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Old Fri Apr 07, 2006, 02:55am
socalblue1 socalblue1 is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 387
Originally Posted by PeteBooth
Ok since we are on the topic of the Minor League Umpires Union I thought I would take a different "twist" on what's going on.

I'll start by asking this question? What is the benefit of being in a Minor League Union anyway?

Here is what I am talking about and perhaps you know some individuals who had the same thing happen to them.

The majority of the umpire movement in the Minor Leagues is within the Minor league program itself. Very few make it to the PROS.

My summer assignor is good friends with an individual who attented PRO School and this individual made it up to Triple A. I can't remember the exact time frame he was in Triple A, 2 or 3 years. After the 2nd/3rd year, he received a letter in the mail that said.

"Major League baseball no longer requires your services" and just like that he was out of a job. No severance pay, No Nothing. To my knowledge and I am sure someone will correct me if I am wrong. An umpire who makes it to Triple A has a certain amount of time to make it to the "Show" and if he doesn't then he is released to make room for other Umpires wanting to go from Double A to Triple A.

Do you think the Teamsters Union would have become a Big outfit under those type of circumstances? Answer: NO. One joins a Union for: benefits, safety conditions, and Protection meaning an employer simply can't fire you without having your shop seward present. Here in the Minor leagues, your career can end at any moment and what Ultimate benefit do you receive.

I think what could happen someday if not already in the works is that Umpires for the Minor Leagues will be chosen from the College ranks. Just like a draft system works.

Summary: What's the purpose of the Minor league Umpires union to begin with? Does the Union really look out for it's participants?

Pete Booth

You have asked some very good questions. I'll try to answer each in turn:

1. The AMLU was formed BECAUSE of the way MiLB has treated umpires.

2. The union was formed & signed the first contract in 2001. Prior to 2001, each umpire signed a seperate contract with MiLB/PBUC.

3. Much of what the AMLU is trying to achieve during negotiations relate directly to these very issues.

4. Without the union, MiLB was free to transfer, promote or demote or terminate umpires at will. The original contract helped set some reasonable standards with regard to ranking, promotion, etc (It didn't solve all the problems by any stretch).

5. MLB supervises umpires at the AAA level. An umpire that MLB feels is not a viable candidate will be released after 2-3 years so that a AA umpire can be promoted.

The entire system, umpires and player alike, is based on up or out. If you are not a viable MLB prospect/candidate by a certain point in your carreer you are released so someone else has an opportunity.

Frankly, I feel that MLB should have retained umpire development. The result would have been similar in regard to standards, with better supervision and working conditions for the MiLB umpires. PBUC management is a joke (There are some great folks working there).
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