Well, Mr. Drake, a MiLB umpire, has worked the most MLB games (1218) (per retrosheet.org) of all the current "call up" umpires, which is like calling a full 9 seasons worth of games at 134 games per season. Mr. Drake started with 3 games in 1999 which gave him technical seniority, if you go by date started, over Mr. Guccione who started in 2000. However, after the 2008 season and just before his 2009 selection to replace Mr. Poncino, Mr. Guccione had worked 1255 games to Mr. Drakes 1065. Mr. Hoye has worked 734 games, Mr. Fairchild 561, Mr. Knight 553 although Mr. Knight first went up in 2001 and Mr. Hoye in 2003 and Mr. Fairchild in 2004. Mr. Johnson 391, and Mr. Barry 350. Guess they will fight it out in spring training.
Last years 2009 call up list included the following, alphabetically--Scott Barry, Damien Beal, Angel Campos, Kevin Causey, Delfin Colon, Rob Drake, Mike Estabrook, Chad Fairchild, James Hoye, Adrian Johnson, Brian Knight, Casey Moser, Mike Muchlinski, D.J. Reyburn, R.J. Thompson, Todd Tichenor, and Chris Tiller.
There is absolutely no precedent for a "call up" umpire that has worked over 1,000 games and 11 years as a call up, not to be signed full time. However, just because one is called up, that in no way guarantees full time employment either. If we go back in history, (per retrosheet.org) Mr. Poncino who started MiLB in 1977, Mr. Craft, Mr. Meriwether, Mr. Cederstrom who all started MiLB in 1979, Mr. Hickox who started MiLB in 1983, Mr. O'Nora who started MiLB in 1985, and Mr. Culbreth worked quite some time as call ups, but they did become full time. However, Mr. Lepperd in the AL and Mr. Grinder in the NL worked 3 and 4 years respectively as call ups, but were not signed full time. There was a Mr. Barnes in the NL in the 90's that worked 10 years as a call up, for 352 games, and was not signed full time. Mr. Poncino began in the NL working call up games in 1985 and worked 6 years and 292 games before signing full time in 1993 after working 16 years as a MiLB. Mr. Craft and Mr. Meriwether began in the AL working as call ups in 1987, with Mr. Craft working 6 years and 391 games as a call up before signing full time in 1993 after 14 years as a MiLBU. Mr. Meriwether worked 6 years and 362 games as a call up before signing full time in 1993, after 14 years as a MiLBU. Mr. Cederstrom began in the AL as a call up in 1988 and worked 9 years and 665 games as a call up before signing full time in 1997 after working 18 years as a MiLBU. The previous record in more modern times, for working as a MiLBU, before signing full time, was 17 years, held by Mr. Rennert. However, Mr. Cederstrom has been making up for lost time by working 4 consecutive LCS's the last 4 years after working the 2005 WS. He became a crew chief in 2008. Mr. Hickox began as a call up in 1990 and worked 9 years and 795 games as a call up before signing full time in 1999 after working 16 years as a MiLBU. Mr. O'Nora began as an AL call up in 1992 and worked 7 years and 573 games as a call up before signing full time in 1999 after working 14 years as a MiLBU. Mr. Culbreth began as an AL call up in 1993 and worked 6 years and 531 games before signing full time in 1999.
In more recent times, the call ups have been Mr. Barksdale, Mr. Guccione, Mr. Drake, Mr. Hoye, Mr. Knight, and Mr. Fairchild. Mr. Barksdale began as a call up in 2000 and worked 6 years and over 800 games before signing full time in July of 2006 at the age of 39. He had worked 13 1/2 years as a MiLBU. Mr. Guccione began as a call up in 2000, and worked 9 years and 1255 games, before signing full time in 2009 at the age of 34, after working 13 years as a MiLBU. Mr. Drake began working as a call up in 1999, and has worked 11 years and 1218 games. He has worked 16 years as a MiLBU and is 40 years old. Mr. Hoye began as a call up in 2003, and has worked 7 years and 734 games. He has worked 14 years as a MiLBU and is 39 years old. Mr. Knight began as a call up in 2001, and has worked 9 years and 553 games. He has worked 14 years as a MiLBU and is 35 years old. Mr. Fairchild began as a call up in 2004, and has worked 6 years and 561 games. He has worked 12 years as a MiLBU and is 39 years old. Also, Mr. Johnson began as a call up in 2006 and has worked 4 years and 371 games. He has worked 12 years as a MiLBU and is 34 years old. Mr. Barry began as a call up in 2006 and has worked 4 years and 350 games. He has worked 10 years as a MiLBU and is 33 years old. It appears from old contract articles that umpires need to get in 20 years for the full retirement package to take effect. Several of these umpires would have to work till 60 to make that happen. It does look like they have something in the MLBU contract that can allow for some service time to be credited for call up work from the past. Mr. Cedarstrom signed full time in 1997 yet his service time is showing as 15 years as of the end of 2008. Mr. Barksdale signed half way through the 2006 season, but is showing 5 years of service time at the end of 2008. Mr. Reliford, who worked as a call up in 1989 and 1990, signed in 1991, but is showing 19 years of service as of the end of 2008.
I believe Mr. Reilly stated in an article on another area of this board that this will be his last full season, (oops, or will it after reading it again), rather than stop in the middle. Mr. Crawford has technical seniority if you go by first game worked, 1976, when he first went up for Mr. Gorman and then various others. He worked 45 games as a call up in 1976. Mr. Reilly has worked more games, and therefor has more game seniority than Mr. Crawford, since Mr. Crawford has missed more games in his career. They were both hired full time in 1977. Mr. Reilly stated in his article he is 60 years old and started as a MLBU at an early age which has helped him work so many games. Mr. Crawford is 62 and Mr. Cousins 63 and Mr. Marsh 60. Mr. Reilly can now say he has worked in 5 decades as a MLBU as can Mr. Crawford, Mr. Cousins, and Mr. West.
In an article from MLB4U talking about the old 2005-2009 contract, it said that the umpires have from Febuary 1 until April 30 to decide whether to take the retirement package that was offered under that contract. It does not state whether that decision could only be made in the 2005 year or whether that was for each year of the contract. It can probably be assumed??, that there would be something similar though not exact in the new contract. So, maybe others could be talking to their financial advisers and contemplating retirement also. Who knows if any other Crew Chiefs are contemplating retirement like Mr. Montague. Mr. Montague only worked 23 games last year, and if he was one of the ones that suffered a concussion last year, it would have probably entered into his decision to retire. Since Mr. Montague is a crew chief, this also means a spot for Crew Chief is available for the 2010 season. Mr. Montague retires having worked 4369 games with 7 DS, 7 LCS, 6 WS, and 4 all star games to his credit.
So far in spring training 2010, the following Crew Chiefs are working, Cederstrom, Cousins, Crawford, Darling, DeMuth, Hirshbeck, McClelland, Scott, Tschida, Welke and West. Mr. Davis, and Mr. Reilly have now reporteded for the 2nd half of Spring Training. It would just seem if they were going to retire, they would not go to Spring Training at all, or maybe they are using Spring Training as a gauge for that final decision. Once again, who knows. Oh well, Mr. Marsh and Mr. Reliford have now retired as reported just this evening. They will now become supervisors as Mr. Springstead, Mr. Garcia and Mr. McKean have been let go. Now that Mr. Marsh and Mr. Reliford have just retired, there will be 3 openings for new Crew Chiefs. Mr. Davidson, Mr. Hallion would have 28 and 24 years respectively without the ordeal in 1999 for seniority. Mr. Joyce has 22 years and Mr. Hohn and Mr. Layne have 21 years seniority. Crew Chiefs have not necessarily been picked by seniority. The rule for picking Crew Chiefs states "While the Office of Commissioner may consider seniority along with other factors that it may deem appropriate when exercising its appointment discretion, seniority shall not control in the Office of the Commissioner's choice of Crew Chiefs".
Well, it appears Mr. Gorman, Hallion, Layne, and Kellogg have the 4 crew chief spots, with the 4th retiring crew chief still a mystery. Probably, the crew chief with the worst health issues the last 2 years has been Mr. Reid. He had a stroke in May of 2008 and then again in February 2009. Then in May 2009 he had a hairline fracture in his foot. He finally made it back for the final 41 games last year. Mr. Gorman is the son of the late Tom Gorman, who was a longtime NL umpire, crew chief, and then a NL supervisor with Mr. Barlick and Mr. Donatelli. The senior Mr. Gorman also pitched 5 innings and 4 games with the 1939 New York Giants. Brian Gorman, began his MiLB career in 1982 in the New York-Penn league. He worked his first call up game in St. Louis against the Reds 4/24/1991 with Mr. West, Gregg, and Reliford. He worked 1992 as a call up before signing with the NL full time in 1993. Mr. Hallion began his MiLB career in the New York-Penn League in 1979. He was a call up umpire in 1985 working his first game 6/10/1985 in San Francisco against the Braves with Mr. Engel, Quick, and Pallone. He signed full time with the NL in 1986. Mr. Layne started his MiLB career in 1978 in the Appalachian League. He signed full time with the NL in 1989 and worked his first game 4/19/89 in LA against the Reds with Mr. Wendelstedt, Montague, and Hallion. Mr. Kellogg began his MiLB career in 1985 in the Appalachian League. He worked his first call up game 6/12/1991 in New York against the Braves with Mr. Tata, Ripley, and Hohn. He worked 1992 as a call up before signing with the NL full time in 1993.
Mr. Marsh, a 31 year veteran, was one of the 8 umpires who refused to work during the 45 day strike in 1979 due to sympathies with the striking umpires. As part of the next contract in 1982 , those 8 umpires were to be the next ones brought up. Mr. Marsh worked as a call up umpire in 1981 for 50 games with his first game 5/22/81 in Cincinatti against the visiting Dodgers. He worked his first game with Mr. Weyer, Mr. Rennert, and the just retired Mr. Montague. He became a full time member of the staff in 1982. Mr. Marsh worked 14 years as a MiLB starting in the Appalachian League in 1968. He worked 5 DS, 9 LCS, 5 WS, and 4 All-Star games. Mr. Reed worked his first MLB game 5/9/1979 as a call up for Mr. Hendry (who had already signed his full-time contract as a new MLBU prior to the called strike) during the 1979 strike. Mr. Reed became a full time member of the staff in 1983. Mr. Reed worked 10 years as a MiLB starting in the Appalachian league in 1973. He worked 3 DS, 3 LCS, 1 WS and 2 AS games. Mr. Reliford, a 20 year veteran, worked his first game as a call up 5/29/1989 in Atlanta against the Cubs. He worked with Mr. McSherry, Mr. Crawford and Mr. West. He worked 1990 as a call up before signing full time in 1991 after 8 years as a MiLBU. Mr. Reliford worked 4 DS, 3 LCS, 2 WS and 2 All-Star games.
So far for Spring Training 2010, the following MiLBU's have been spotted, with the number of MLB games worked as a "call up" in parentheses, Lance Barrett(0), Scott Barry(350), Toby Basner(0), Damien Beal(73), Dan Bellino(32), Cory Blaser(0), Vic Carapazza(0), Chris Conroy(0), Rob Drake(1218), Mike Estabrook(229), Chad Fairchild(561), Tyler Funneman(0), Manny Gonzalez(0), James Hoye(734), Adrian Johnson(371), Brian Knight(553), Jon Merry(0), Casey Moser(35), Mike Muchlinski(150), Alan Porter(0), David Rackley(0), DJ Reyburn(55), Mark Ripperger(0), Will Robinson(0), Todd Tichenor(227), Chris Tiller(56), John Tumpane(0), and David Uyl(0). All of the above were just listed on the WUA website as receiving 2010 MLB Spring Training. Although not on Spring Training List on WUA, Angel Campos (259) is working a full schedule making it look like an oversight on the list. First timers are Gonzalez, Merry, Basner and Funneman.
Others spotted but not on the list, unless a mistake was made, and probably assigned through PBUC include Lou Acello(0), Jason Arends(0), Chris Bakke(0), Craig Barron(0), Jason Bradley(0), John Brammer(0), Travis Brown(0), Mark Buchanon(0), Darren Budahn(0), Fran Burke(0), Johnny Conrad(0), Derek Crabill(0), Clint Fagan(0), Shaun Francis(0), Takeshi Hirabayashi(0), Mike Jarboe(0), Barry Larson(0), Jeff Latter(0), Mark Lollo(0), Eric Loveless(0), Michael Lusky(0), Jason Millsap(0), Brad Myers(0), Brad Purdom(0), Brian Sinclair(0), David Soucy(0), Dixon Stureman(0), Art Thigpen(0), and Justin Vogel(0), Chris Ward(0) and Chad Whitson(0).
Missing from last years "call up" list so far in Spring Training 2010, and the number of MLB games they have worked include, Kevin Causey(81), Delfin Colon(46), Shawn Rakos(11), and R.J. Thompson(4). Mr. Thompson was listed as working a NCAA D1 game at East Tennessee State University in the Atlantic Sun Conference last weekend.
Mr. Basner and Mr. Barrett appear to be moving very quickly at a young age. Steve the umps website shows Mr. Basner starting in the Applachian League in 2005 at the age of 20, South Atlantic League 2006, and then in 2007 at the age of 22, going to the AA Southern League where he was for 2008-2009 also, unless he moved to AAA during the year of 2009. The South Atlantic League is a low A league and unless he went to a high A league for half a season in 2006, the jump to AA the next year would be a big jump. It does not even show him going to any of the Instructional Leagues over the Winter, unless an assignment was missed. His first Winter Assignment shows as Venezuela after his first year in AA. Of course Lance Barrett has moved quick also. It looks like he started in 2003 at the ripe old age of 18 in the both the Gulf Coast and then over to the Appalachian League. 2004 in the South Atlantic, 2005 California, and 2006-2008 in the Eastern. He moved from AA to AAA during the 2008 season at the age of 23.
With the 4 newly created openings, they "could" but they "do not have to", hire the 4 call ups with the most games, Mr. Drake, Hoye, Fairchild and Knight. All of these have over 500 MLB games under their belts. Then in the future with the retirements of the senior umpires, Mr. Cousins, Crawford, and Reilly who are 60 or older, Mr. Johnson and Mr. Barry could be signed full time with each of them having over 500 games by that time. Appears that there is a 5th umpire to retire according to Mike DiMuro. It says that due to contract provisions, the 5th umpire will not be given that spot until the end of the season. This would now allow the top 4 umpires with the most call up games (Drake, Hoye, Fairchild, Knight) to get the 4 spots immediately and the 5th umpire with the most call up games (Johnson) to work all year as a call up, and then be added at the end of the year per the contract. Mr. Merriwether is mentioned as retiring, but is listed on the DL on Mr. West's website with the new crews, much like Larry Poncino was on the DL all of his last season before retiring. Mr. Merriwether said in a recent article at a basketball game in Tennessee that he has arthritic knees (bone on bone) and that he is taking this year off, but that it is "probably" (maybe Dr. Andrews can help) over for him because of the knees. So, 4 of the umpires will be named to start the season, and the other call ups can fight for that 5th spot at the end of the year based on their performance ratings during the 2010 year.
The announcements have been made and the new additions to the staff are Rob Drake, James Hoye, Chad Fairchild, and Adrian Johnson. There will be a 5th umpire added at the end of the year due to the way the contract is written. Mr. Knight a "call up" will start up with Mr. Davis's crew to start the year as that 5th umpire to be named at the end of the year. Mr. Knight probably has the inside track on that job, but nothing is ever guaranteed. Mr. Knight is also the senior call up umpire in years and games worked.
The first call ups of the 2010 season are Scott Barry, Dan Bellino, Vic Carapazza, Todd Tichenor, Mike Estabrook, Brian Knight, Mike Muchlinski, Al Porter, DJ Reyburn and Chris Tiller. Mr. Porter and Mr. Carapazza have just worked their first games as call ups. Mr. Carapazza worked his first game 4/9/2010 in Tampa for the Rays versus Yankees. He worked with Wally Bell, Laz Diaz, and James Hoye. Mr. Porter worked opening day 4/5/2010 in Pittsburgh for the Pirates versus Dodgers with John Hirschbeck, Larry Vanover, and Mark Carlson. Cory Blaser is working his first call up MLB game 4/24/10 in Colorado with Joe West's crew, as part of the first game of a day night double header. He is working 1b with Drake, Hernandez and Schrieber. On the night game he is working 3rd with West, Hernandez and Schrieber
Preliminary 2010 AAA Rosters from their respective leagues prior to any games---Looks like they are not totally accurate yet.
PCL--Dan Bellino, Cory Blaser, John Brammer, Mark Buchanan, Darren Budahn, Angel Compos, Jason Dunn, Clint Fagan, Shaun Francis, Tyler Funneman, Takeshi Hirabayashi, Mike Jarboe, Brian Knight, Barry Larson, Jeff Latter, Eric Loveless, Mike Lusky, Jason Millsap, Casey Moser, Mike Muchlinski, DJ Reyburn, Mark Ripperger, Will Robinson, Dixon Stureman, Todd Tichenor, Chris Tiller, John Tumpane. Bellino and Reyburn are listed on both the PCL and IL which is strange. Jon Merry and Vic Carrapazza move over to the IL. Hirabayashi comes over from the International. Missing from last year are Delfin Colon, John Kiser, Shawn Rakos and Jake Uhlenhopp.
IL--Chris Bakke, Steve Barga, Lance Barrett, Craig Barron, Scott Barry, Toby Basner, Damien Beal, Dan Bellino, Jason Bradley, Travis Brown, Fran Burke, Vic Carapazza, John Conrad, Chris Conroy, Derek Crabill, Mike Estabrook, Manny Gonzalez, Mark Lollo, Jon Merry, Alan Porter, David Rackley, DJ Reyburn, Art Thigpen, Justin Vogel, Chris Ward. Once again Carrapazza and Merry are showing as transferring from the PCL. Bellino and Reyburn are showing on both leagues, so one or the other is wrong at this time, and would need 2 other new umpires. Uyl was in the IL last year, and is missing, but he was in 2010 Spring Training so something is wrong there also. Missing from last year are Kevin Causey, Rob Healy, Jason Klein, Bobby Price, Brian Reilly and RJ Thompson.
The official MLB call up list for 2010
Lance Barrett, Scott Barry, Damien Beal, Dan Bellino, Cory Blaser, Angel Campos, Vic Carapazza, Chris Conroy, Mike Estabrook, Manny Gonzalez, Brian Knight, Casey Moser, Mike Muchlinski, Alan Porter, David Rackley, D.J. Reyburn, Mark Ripperger, Todd Tichenor, Chris Tiller and John Tumpane
2010 updated PCL crews---1. Chris Tiller, Jason Millsap, Matt Schaufert---2. John Brammer Mike Jarboe, Clint Fagan.---3. Jeff Latter, Darren Budahn, Jason Arends---4. Barry Larson, Takeshi Hirabayashi, Brian Sinclair---5. Eric Loveless, Dixon Stureman, Shaun Francis----6. Will Robinson, Mark Ripperger, Brad Purdom---7. Casey Moser, Tyler Funneman, Michael Lusky---8. Corey Blaser, John Tumpane, Mark Buchanan
Local fill in umpires working games---Joe Nelson
2010 updated IL crews---1. Jon Merry, Art Thigpen, Stephen Barga---2. Justin Vogel, Mark Lollo, Craig Barron---3. Manny Gonzalez, Lance Barrett, Chris Ward---4. Al Porter, Chris Bakke, Travis Brown,---5. Damien Beal, Fran Burke, Derek Crabil----6. David Rackley, Jason Bradley, Toby Basner---6. Chris Conroy, Vic Carapazza, Johnny Conrad.
Local fill in umpires working games---Jim McNally, Tom Augustini, Dave Elliott
2010 AA Texas League umpires--1. Dan Oliver, Jimmy Volpi, Brandon Misun--2. Brett Robson, Kelvin Bultron, Stu Scheurwater--3. Jeff Gosney, Brian Hertzog, Alex Ortiz--4. Brad Myers, Kellen Levy, Seth Buckminster
Southern League---1. Jordan Baker, Will Little, A.J. Johnson--2. Anthony West, Chris Sega, Nick Bailey--3. Quinn Wolcott, Brent Rice, Spencer Flynn--4. Tripp Gibson, Jason Cooksey, Kolin Kline--5. Gerard Ascani, Sean Barber, Travis Carlson
Eastern League--1. Joel Hospodka, Andy Dudones, Max Guyll,---2. David Soucy, Scott Mahoney, Matt Cunningham--3. Jon Byrne, Travis Hatch, Tom Honec--4. Adam Hamari, Karl Best, Joe Hannigan,---5. Cory Hinga, Chris Hamner, Jordan Ferrell--6. Chad Witson, Jon Saphire, Tim Eastman.
California League--1. Greg Stanzak, Tom Woodring--2. Adam Schwarz, Brett Terry--3. Blake Davis, Matt Benham--4. Justin Sassaman, Charles Billinton--5. Mike Goebel, Ryan Blakney
Carolina League--1. Matt Cumbee, Jay Pierce--2. Joey Amaral, Tyler Wilson--3. Chris Graham, Doug Vines--4. Shaylor Smith, Jacob Danielsen
Florida State--1. Brandon Hinson, Roberto Medina--2. Allan Alvarez, Luke Hamilton--3. Mathieu Moisan, Ross Nickel--4. Ben May, Marcus Pattillo--5. Matt Neuhold, Ian Fazio--6. Jason Born, Jeff Morrow
1. Nick Mahrley, Ryan Goodman—2. Nick Lentz, Asa Gaddy---3. Matt McCoy, Rocky Craig—4. Javier Cantu, Chris Nguyen—5. Will Thornewell, Eric Gillam---6. Gus Curtis, Jeff Woods---7. Matt Jones, Brett Houseman---8. Taro Hamano, Jeff Klinghoffer
1. Lawrence Reeves, Jose Esteras—2. Shane Livensparger, Tim Rosso---3. Aaron Larsen, Aaron Roberts==4. Derek Molica, Garrett Corl—5. Jonathan Bailey, Ryan Karle---6. Brian Debraywere, Gabriel Morales---7. Shaun Lampe, Mike Walsh