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Old Wed Dec 14, 2005, 03:57am
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I've searched and found little to indicate who will schedule the umpires for this series. MLB is allowing players to participate for their heritage countries (except for Big George's hangup with Posada), but will they allow the MLBUA to provide the bodies for the games? The umpires in the lower Americas and Japan are outstanding, but not MLB caliber. We saw a drop in quality at the Olympics, too. Accuse me of being a homer, but our boys may get snookered here. Has anyone seen an announcement about the crews that would be available?
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Old Wed Dec 14, 2005, 09:49am
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Rumor has it

After talking with a member of our association, Kevin Causey, who is in AAA, he told me that the MLB Boys would be doing the games. There are not supposed to be that many games and so should not disrupt spring training greatly. He also told me that it will probably mean that a few more AAA guys will get to see a little spring this year. Hope that somewhat answers your questions or clouds the issue.
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Old Wed Dec 14, 2005, 12:59pm
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From the World Baseball Classic Website (FAQ)

UMPIRES

Q: Who will select the umpires for the World Baseball Classic?
A: Umpires will be chosen by World Baseball Classic, Inc. The majority of the umpires selected for the tournament will be professional umpires familiar with Major League Baseball's Official Baseball Rules.


I guess this means umpires in AAA and MLB.

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Old Wed Dec 14, 2005, 05:19pm
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Thanks Sal, I saw that too; it merely states who will select the umpires. The second sentence implies that only 'professional' umpires will be used, but does not state that they will be ours. The Japanese and Central Americans have a pretty developed network of professionals.

I would love to see our AAA guys get a chance to shine. The MLB, while the best, get enough chances. We'll just have to wait and see, but I wouldn't be surprised that the PU for the final is from one of the other countries. Diplomacy in action...
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Old Wed Dec 14, 2005, 06:19pm
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WWTB - Sorry if I stated the obvious. Since this is a "World" event, I think it's only fair that they get professional umpires from other countries as well (even though the US probably has the best umpires in the world). I agree, it would be nice to see some AAA umpires assigned to the event, especially because a few have international experience (ie Peter Durfee). I hope the games will be televised on cable - it would be interesting to see how the players/managers from other countries treat umpires. From what I hear, baseball in Japan and some of the Dominican Leagues can be "dangerous" for umpires. But then again, most of there players will probably come from MLB where the behavior is pretty tamed compared to overseas.
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Old Wed Dec 14, 2005, 10:51pm
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Great point; I'm especially curious to see how American players treat the umpires in foreign lands. Better yet, the MLB foreign players who go to their heritage countries to play will be in for a treat.

The International League Umpires are ready. March can't be here soon enough.
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Old Wed Dec 14, 2005, 11:13pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by WhatWuzThatBlue
I'm especially curious to see how American players treat the umpires in foreign lands...
The umpires from the other countries will make guys like Angel Hernandez & Bill Hohn look great Just kidding. In all seriousness, maybe U.S. players will realize that MLB does have the best umpires in the world.

I want to mention that I went to umpire school with some great umpires from Japan. They barely spoke our language yet did extremely well, even in the classroom. I don't want to knock officials from other countries - I just think we have better access to the best training available. Just my opinion
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Old Thu Dec 15, 2005, 02:00am
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Yeah, but they get FREE Mizuno and SSK gear!

I worked with one guy a few years ago (I won't say which tourney, sorry Bob) who was from Japan. After the series he wanted to trade gear. He offered to swap his shirt, shin guards and chest protector for mine. I declined since I'm a few sizes bigger than he. He kept saying that it was tradition and that he didn't mind if my West Vest was bigger than what he could comfortably wear. I countered that I couldn't possibly wear his and he laughed. We traded a couple shirts and I gave him a patent leather belt and +POS ball bags. Another partner traded chest protectors with him. I found out later that he gets his gear free from Mizuno and sells the stuff he trades for to his bigger buddies in Korea and Japan! His shirt is hanging in my office on a coat rack with a few more that I bartered for over the years. I smile each time I see it and think about how I almost gave away a $200 protector for something that I couldn't give away here. Ahhhh, capitalism...
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Old Thu Dec 15, 2005, 07:21am
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One thing does seem certain, Gentlemen. We won't see any Cuban Nationals umpiring in the Classic.


Tim.
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Old Thu Dec 15, 2005, 11:26am
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I noticed as well that Cuba will not be permitted in this "World" event. So much for making it a first class showcase. I'll bet it won't be hosted in the USA in the future - EVER - if this restriction remains in place. Can't say as I would blame the organizors a bit. The one thing I've always enjoyed about baseball is that it IS an international sport. It would be wonderful if governmental politics couldn't control who plays and who doesn't.

JJ
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Old Thu Dec 15, 2005, 12:46pm
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JJ,
I just heard on ESPN that it is still possible for Cuba to field a team by using Cuban players that are currently playing here in the U.S. I think they said there are 22 Cuban players in the bigs and 50+ in the minor leagues.

I guess none of their umpires will be able to come over but maybe Angel Hernandez could do their games... I believe he's a native of Cuba
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