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MLB hires seven new umpires, names a Director of Instant Replay

Feb 13, 2014, 3:12 PM EDT

World Series Cardinals Red Sox Baseball

Press release from MLB on the officiating front. The league announced today that seven umpires have been named to the full-time Major League Umpiring staff.  In addition, as another part of this season’s expansion of instant replay, the Office of the Commissioner has appointed Justin Klemm as Director of Instant Replay.

Klemm, a former minor league umpire and minor league umpire administrator, will report to Peter Woodfork, MLB’s Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations. Which I assume means Joe Torre will be relieved of even more uncomfortable press conferences when things go screwy. Klemm will be based at the headquarters of MLB Advanced Media, which will serve as the Replay Command Center.

Here is the rundown of the seven new umps, all of whom have had callups as replacement/fill-in umps in the past. And one of whom served as Nick Carroway’s love interest in “The Great Gatsby”:

  • Jordan Baker – Baker, 32, has been an umpire in the Minor Leagues since the 2005 season.  In 2013, he worked in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.  Baker worked his first game in the Majors on June 24, 2012 and overall, he has been a part of 199 regular season Major League games.
  • Lance Barrett – Barrett, 29, has been a Minor League umpire since 2003.  He is now the youngest full-time Major League Umpire.  In 2013, he worked in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.  Barrett debuted in the Majors on October 1, 2010 and he has worked 237 big-league games.
  • Cory Blaser – Blaser, 32, has been an umpire in the Minor Leagues since the 2002 season. In 2013, he worked in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.  Blaser made his Major League debut on April 24, 2010 and he has worked 346 Major League games.
  • Mike Estabrook – Estabrook, 37, has umpired professionally since 1999.  In 2013, he was on the staff of the Triple-A International League.  Estabrook’s first Major League game was on May 7, 2006, and he has been assigned to 698 Major League games.
  • Mike Muchlinski – Muchlinski, 36, has been a Minor League umpire since 1999.  In 2013, he worked in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.  Muchlinski made his Major League debut on April 24, 2006, and he has worked 569 Major League games.
  • David Rackley – Rackley, 32, has been an umpire in the Minor Leagues since the 2001 season.  In 2013, he was on the staff of the Triple-A International League.  Rackley had his first Major League game on August 13, 2010, and he has been on the field for 165 Major League games overall.
  • D.J. Reyburn – Reyburn, 37, has umpired in the Minors since 2000.  In 2013, he worked in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.  He has worked 440 Major League games since his debut on June 10, 2008.

All hail our new replay overlords. All hail our new human elements.

  1. chill1184 - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Bets on which of these seven makes a horribly bad or depending on your outlook hilarious call?

  2. bmfc1 - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    Seven minor league umpires are now major league umpires and all them are better than Angel Hernandez.

    • 78mu - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      Gee, if they were going to promote any umpire that is better than AH there wouldn’t be anyone left to ump in the minors. Or in college. Or high School games. Or little league games. Or any pickup game on sandlots throughout the world.

  3. sfm073 - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    You would think these sports leagues would hire younger and more athletic guys who have experience playing the sport at a high level. Wouldn’t a guy who just got done playing 4 years of college baseball be better than an old fat man who stopped playing baseball at age 10?

    • larrytsg - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      Try officiating and then tell me how easy it is.

      I guess it goes back to the whole thing about the best at something being the best teachers…. it doesn’t usually work unless they love teaching,. Sometimes the best players make the worst umpires… same thing.

      If you can find a college player willing to go to umpire school and compete for an assignment in the low minors and drive all summer long honing his skill for years before he gets called up, then wonderful. But it takes a long time to become good at this.

      We can all make the call based on slow motion high definition TV with the “pitch zone” clearly delineated on the screen, but trying to make it in person is a LOT harder.

      And yes, I do umpire, at the Little League level, and it’s harder than you think (even if the stakes are a lot lower).

      • larrytsg - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        best players make the worst managers…. oops!

    • billybawl - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:21 PM

      In defense of Joe West, he actually played baseball after age 10 — I think through high school.

    • 78mu - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:44 AM

      Playing a sport and officiating that sport are two completely different things with completely different skill sets required for each.

  4. righthandofjustice - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:41 PM

    Why are there no female umpires? There are female referees in more physical sports.

    • historiophiliac - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:03 PM

      As replay reviews essentially qualify as asking for directions, I don’t know why you wouldn’t put a woman in charge of that.

      • righthandofjustice - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:37 PM

        Pam Postema should have applied for the instant replay director job.

  5. El Pollo Loco - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    can they fire Joe West and Angel Hernandez now?

  6. sportsdrenched - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    So, Lance Barrett started umping in the minors at 19? When I was 19 I thought I was cool calling Little League Games.

  7. happytwinsfan - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    the pitcher in the picture looks like he’s ready to run away.

  8. proudlycanadian - Feb 13, 2014 at 5:25 PM

    So which 7 umpires are being replaced?

    • happytwinsfan - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:00 PM

      yul brenner, eli wallach, steve mcqueen, charles bronson, robert vaughn, brad dexter, and james coburn.

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:04 PM

        Delete “eli Wallach” and add “horst buchholz”

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 13, 2014 at 7:08 PM

        i’d rather delete steve mcqueen except i don’t wanna upset harry

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:00 PM

        eli Wallach was not one of the magnificent 7 as he played the role of the villain.

  9. musketmaniac - Feb 13, 2014 at 6:21 PM

    New blind mice

  10. happytwinsfan - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    i stand corrected. please forgive my willful absentmindedness. eli wallach was after all the frenenemy of detective callahan’s 19th century predecessor.

    • happytwinsfan - Feb 13, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      edit

      response to pc

  11. hushbrother - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:03 PM

    Is Klemm related to Bill Klem, the Hall of Fame umpire?

  12. boukengreen - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:48 PM

    I’m happy to say that D.J. and Lance were two of my instructors at JEAPU winter of. 08

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