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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 09:53am
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Officiating.com has published today a free article written by Jason Millsap, a minor league umpire.

We ask that you read it and give it the consideration and calm deliberation it deserves.

Thanks.
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 12:25pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Officiating.com has published today a free article written by Jason Millsap, a minor league umpire.

We ask that you read it and give it the consideration and calm deliberation it deserves.

Thanks.
I received the same "article" from another minor league umpire today in an email from one of my college assignors. Appears to be a form email.

I am happy to give the AMLU all the consideration it deserves.

However, I have to ask one question that, answered, would seriously impact my feelings toward the AMLU -- if these umpires DO strike will they promise to not take any high school or college dates from the umpires that normally work THOSE games?

Best regards,
Rich
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 01:08pm
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Originally posted by Carl Childress

Officiating.com has published today a free article written by Jason Millsap, a minor league umpire.

Papa C before I comment, please clarify something for me.

When Richie Phillips and the Umpires Union went on strike, did the Minor league Umpires "cross the picket Line" so to speak?

If they did, then the article holds no credence because it becomes hypocritical. On one hand they do not want "other umpires" taking Minor league assignments, but it was ok for them to take Big league Assignments.

Thanks

Pete Booth
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 02:14pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by PeteBooth
Originally posted by Carl Childress

Officiating.com has published today a free article written by Jason Millsap, a minor league umpire.

Papa C before I comment, please clarify something for me.

When Richie Phillips and the Umpires Union went on strike, did the Minor league Umpires "cross the picket Line" so to speak?

If they did, then the article holds no credence because it becomes hypocritical. On one hand they do not want "other umpires" taking Minor league assignments, but it was ok for them to take Big league Assignments.

Thanks

Pete Booth
In 1984 when the MLB umpires "walked out" at the end of the season, well-known college umpies filled in.

In the American League Championship Series (Kansas City v Detroit, won by Detroit 3-0), a former major league umpire, Bill Deegan, called all three plates. The other umpires were:

Game 1: Bill Deegan, Jon Bible, Randy Cristal, Larry Zirbel, Harold Jordan, Mike O'Dell

Game 2: Bill Deegan, Jon Bible, Randy Cristal, Bob Jones, Richard Denny, Carl Nothnagel

Game 3: Bill Deegan, Jon Bible, Randy Cristal, Doug Cossey, Dick Runchey, Dick Zivic

In 1979, minor league umpire filled in. Several, one of whom was Dave Pallone, became permanent members of the staff.
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 02:22pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Fronheiser
Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Officiating.com has published today a free article written by Jason Millsap, a minor league umpire.

We ask that you read it and give it the consideration and calm deliberation it deserves.

Thanks.
I received the same "article" from another minor league umpire today in an email from one of my college assignors. Appears to be a form email.

I am happy to give the AMLU all the consideration it deserves.

However, I have to ask one question that, answered, would seriously impact my feelings toward the AMLU -- if these umpires DO strike will they promise to not take any high school or college dates from the umpires that normally work THOSE games?

Best regards,
Rich
I don't know about other minor league umpires, but Jason is a member of TASO and a D1 college official. Generally, he's had four to five weeks of amateur baseball before he reports to his minor league.

When the hockey officials were locked out, they did not drop down to minor league hockey though many did work in Europe.

The test, though, should not be whether minor league umpires accept amateur games. During a strike, moving down, taking other jobs, has always been sanctioned.

It's when an umpire moves up that the union is weakened. In 1984, 12 college umpires walked into a play-off situation. If the AMLU strikes, far more than a dozen would be needed.

BTW: There's no doubt that your article is different from the one I published.
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 02:22pm
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You guys are too tough. I officiate as a hobby; it's a challenge, fun and an enrichment to my day job. But these minor league guys do it for a living as a career. They contribute to a growingly popular product, and should be compensated for their contribution. Though many unions today protect mediocrity and laziness, minor league officiating is already a ruthless meritocracy and the union only attempts to fairly negotiate.

I don't like competing with this guys for my NCAA assignments. But I have mostly found these guys all too willing to help me improve. So I believe our minor-league brethren should be given the benefit of every doubt. Support them and their strike!
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 03:09pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Fronheiser
Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Officiating.com has published today a free article written by Jason Millsap, a minor league umpire.

We ask that you read it and give it the consideration and calm deliberation it deserves.

Thanks.
I received the same "article" from another minor league umpire today in an email from one of my college assignors. Appears to be a form email.

I am happy to give the AMLU all the consideration it deserves.

However, I have to ask one question that, answered, would seriously impact my feelings toward the AMLU -- if these umpires DO strike will they promise to not take any high school or college dates from the umpires that normally work THOSE games?

Best regards,
Rich
I don't know about other minor league umpires, but Jason is a member of TASO and a D1 college official. Generally, he's had four to five weeks of amateur baseball before he reports to his minor league.

When the hockey officials were locked out, they did not drop down to minor league hockey though many did work in Europe.

The test, though, should not be whether minor league umpires accept amateur games. During a strike, moving down, taking other jobs, has always been sanctioned.

It's when an umpire moves up that the union is weakened. In 1984, 12 college umpires walked into a play-off situation. If the AMLU strikes, far more than a dozen would be needed.

BTW: There's no doubt that your article is different from the one I published.
I have no problem with umpires working the games they normally work, Carl. But I can't wait to see if long season minor league umpires start competing with established HS and college umpires for assignments. We shouldn't take their games, but I will bet that many will take ours.

BTW, here's the email I received this morning. Another umpire has received FOUR copies from different umpires:

My name is Andy Russell and I am a professional baseball umpire .I would like to ask you for a few minutes of your time to update or inform you on the Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU) and our current negotiations with Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation (PBUC).

As some of you may have already heard, our contract and collective bargaining agreement has expired and we have been in negotiations with MiLB/PBUC for the past three months. We are asking for better wages and living conditions for the umpires of today, and for those who will follow in our paths. To date, MiLB/PBUC and the AMLU have been unsuccessful on agreeing to a new contract. With that being said, the AMLU has made a decision not to attend spring training this year.

In a nutshell, minor league umpires have not had a pay raise in over TEN years. In fact, seven years ago there was actually a DECREASE in pay and a wage freeze put in place. Five years ago the minor league umpires formed an association and signed their first contract ever. It was believed to be a major step in the right direction, but as it turned out it gave MiLB almost deity-like power over the umpires. They have pushed us around for five years, and have treated us like dirt. It has come time for things to change, and this is the year for it to happen.

We are not asking baseball to make minor league umpires rich, but we are asking them to come up to level that will allow us to follow our career paths with affordable means - right now, the wages are not livable. The top AAA umpires currently make $14,000/season (give or take). Our per diem is $25/day at the highest level while the government allows for a MINIMUM of $40/day, with many of the MiLB cities listed closer to $50.

Some of you may be approached to either work games in spring training or even the regular season, as this has been happening recently in minor league cities throughout the country. As my fellow brothers on the field, and also as friends with whom I have had the pleasure of working with and getting to know over the past few years, I would ask that you take our situation into consideration if you are contacted. MiLB believes that they have a broad pool of talent to choose from to replace us in spring, and also in the event of a work stoppage. By agreeing to work in our stead, you would be denying us any hope of leverage in negotiations.

If you have not already read the numerous articles about our situation, you can visit the AMLU website (www.amlu.org) and view some of the articles there. Also, doing a Google search about minor league umpires and contracts or negotiations will produce a multitude of results. If, for whatever reason, you can’t find these articles and would like to read them, please feel free to contact me and I will forward them to you.

I hope this information helps and each of you better understand what we are trying to accomplish and that you will seriously consider standing behind our effort. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for umpires in the minor leagues. If we don't make a stand now, MiLB will never have to take us seriously and we will be pushed around forever.

If anyone has questions, comments, concerns or any information about contact that has been made by MLB or MiLB that they would like to share, I ask you please do not hesitate to get in touch with me, or with any of the other guys I will list at the end of this letter.

I can’t thank you all enough for taking the time to read through this and for any and all support that you can give.
Andy Russell
South Atlantic League


[Edited by Rich Fronheiser on Feb 28th, 2006 at 03:12 PM]
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 04:11pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Fronheiser
Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Fronheiser
Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Officiating.com has published today a free article written by Jason Millsap, a minor league umpire.

We ask that you read it and give it the consideration and calm deliberation it deserves.

Thanks.
I received the same "article" from another minor league umpire today in an email from one of my college assignors. Appears to be a form email.

I am happy to give the AMLU all the consideration it deserves.

However, I have to ask one question that, answered, would seriously impact my feelings toward the AMLU -- if these umpires DO strike will they promise to not take any high school or college dates from the umpires that normally work THOSE games?

Best regards,
Rich
I don't know about other minor league umpires, but Jason is a member of TASO and a D1 college official. Generally, he's had four to five weeks of amateur baseball before he reports to his minor league.

When the hockey officials were locked out, they did not drop down to minor league hockey though many did work in Europe.

The test, though, should not be whether minor league umpires accept amateur games. During a strike, moving down, taking other jobs, has always been sanctioned.

It's when an umpire moves up that the union is weakened. In 1984, 12 college umpires walked into a play-off situation. If the AMLU strikes, far more than a dozen would be needed.

BTW: There's no doubt that your article is different from the one I published.
I have no problem with umpires working the games they normally work, Carl. But I can't wait to see if long season minor league umpires start competing with established HS and college umpires for assignments. We shouldn't take their games, but I will bet that many will take ours.

BTW, here's the email I received this morning. Another umpire has received FOUR copies from different umpires:

My name is Andy Russell and I am a professional baseball umpire .I would like to ask you for a few minutes of your time to update or inform you on the Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU) and our current negotiations with Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation (PBUC). [large section snipped][Edited by Rich Fronheiser on Feb 28th, 2006 at 03:12 PM]
It is very like the one Jason sent me. No doubtr someone provided the general form and text; each umpire could make changes if he chose.

I'm certain that some amateur umpires will decide to fill in. There's a whole slew of unaffiliated minor league umpires, some of who were in PBUC and let go. I would expect many of them would cross the line, having already had a taste of the "little" Show.

They're not going to offer games to an old fat man like me, but I certainly would turn them down.
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 04:18pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Fronheiser
Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Quote:
Originally posted by Rich Fronheiser
Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Officiating.com has published today a free article written by Jason Millsap, a minor league umpire.

We ask that you read it and give it the consideration and calm deliberation it deserves.

Thanks.
I received the same "article" from another minor league umpire today in an email from one of my college assignors. Appears to be a form email.

I am happy to give the AMLU all the consideration it deserves.

However, I have to ask one question that, answered, would seriously impact my feelings toward the AMLU -- if these umpires DO strike will they promise to not take any high school or college dates from the umpires that normally work THOSE games?

Best regards,
Rich
I don't know about other minor league umpires, but Jason is a member of TASO and a D1 college official. Generally, he's had four to five weeks of amateur baseball before he reports to his minor league.

When the hockey officials were locked out, they did not drop down to minor league hockey though many did work in Europe.

The test, though, should not be whether minor league umpires accept amateur games. During a strike, moving down, taking other jobs, has always been sanctioned.

It's when an umpire moves up that the union is weakened. In 1984, 12 college umpires walked into a play-off situation. If the AMLU strikes, far more than a dozen would be needed.

BTW: There's no doubt that your article is different from the one I published.
I have no problem with umpires working the games they normally work, Carl. But I can't wait to see if long season minor league umpires start competing with established HS and college umpires for assignments. We shouldn't take their games, but I will bet that many will take ours.

BTW, here's the email I received this morning. Another umpire has received FOUR copies from different umpires:

My name is Andy Russell and I am a professional baseball umpire .I would like to ask you for a few minutes of your time to update or inform you on the Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU) and our current negotiations with Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation (PBUC). [large section snipped][Edited by Rich Fronheiser on Feb 28th, 2006 at 03:12 PM]
It is very like the one Jason sent me. No doubtr someone provided the general form and text; each umpire could make changes if he chose.

I'm certain that some amateur umpires will decide to fill in. There's a whole slew of unaffiliated minor league umpires, some of who were in PBUC and let go. I would expect many of them would cross the line, having already had a taste of the "little" Show.

They're not going to offer games to an old fat man like me, but I certainly would turn them down.
I have little desire to work them myself as, frankly, they won't pay enough for someone to travel and put up with a lot of crap. My reasons for not working them are not noble ones, though. I don't feel a "brotherhood" with these guys or anything like that.

I think there will be more than enough school grads and PBUC-released umpires who won't even think twice about taking the assignments. And if that happens, all the strikers will lose. It'll be like Reagan and the air traffic controllers all over again.
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 05:05pm
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I may be way of base on this so forgive me if I don't have a thorough understanding of what transpired. When the MLB umpires negotiations with the WBC to work those games hit an impass and broke down alltogether, why did the MiLB umpires decide to not support their bretheren and take the games for less money? It would seem to me that if the AMLU want's to take a stance for their members and ask others not to work their games, they've set a double standard by undercutting the MLB umpires by stepping in and agreeing to work the WBC.


Tim.
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 06:42pm
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I know it's a broken record, but for God sakes this is not a melodrama. These men have taken a chance on a career; no promises of huge salaries or security were made. They are the musicians and artists of the sporting world. To say that they aren't being paid to learn and master their craft is absurd. That is why they don't stick new graduates in AAA. Despite the protestations of a few befuddled members, a decent D1 umpire can work a AAA series. The spirit and talent on the fields of Miami, Arizona State, USC, Texas and many more top programs is akin to what you'll see on many minor league fields. The action is no faster on the whole, in fact, composite bats make the game much more interesting in college. The same six calls get made and if you don't think there is pressure on you for games like USC vs. UCLA, A&M vs Texas or Miami vs Oklahoma, then you have never been to one of those games.

The men who chose the path of the apprentice umpire deserve the respect of the league but have no business asking for ours. Why should an amateur umpire refuse games at his local affiliate? What loyalty has the AMLU shown amateur umpires who try to work those local games. The answer is none. If you have ever been asked to fill in at any level, you will find that your salary is a lot less than you think. You get treated as a second class citizen by the union and the number of spots available for locals is strictly regulated. The independent leagues have operated for years with locals and no one knows that they didn't attend pro school or work their way through the PBUC system. They hustle, study and make the calls.

I have long said that I won't work those games. I know that I'm too old to move like those young robots. The fact that some of you might challenge yourself and ask to be considered should be applauded. Maybe you'll find that the game is beyond your scope and appreciate the dedication it takes to work at that level. However, this letter writing campaign is the last gasp of a dying association. It takes a lot of gall to ask someone you normally would never work with to protect your livelihood.

I would also like to correct a statement made earlier in that letter. "The top AAA umpires currently make $14,000/season (give or take)." Hogwash, even your press releases state otherwise! I know a few AAA guys and they make more than some college grads their age. The Department of Labor stated that an employee without a college degree often makes 40% less than one who does. Take a poll and see how many complete bachelors degrees are in hand. When you factor in a five month season and that most of those guys are eligible to work two seasons, hustle clinics or grab some choice summer assignments that take home is considerably more.

I won't even discuss the per diem. Any fill in or local umpire doesn't receive even a hot dog. He may have to drive hours to the park and be relegated to the rabbit position. He gets less than you per game and you still complain about conditions. Think about it, there are guys that are willing to work for less than you and put up with the grief and you are asking them to help you make more.

In the end, I hope that your union is smart enough to limit their focus and accept a nominal increase for a year or two. Spend the time finding better bargaining positions and remind yourselves of how special it feels to step onto those fields. That is what it is all about. It is a privilege to work in those parks. Yes, you are talented and deserve more, but should not compromise your brethren while at it. Your cause will be hurt if they take games, but you made a decision and want others to bail you out. That is a horrible trait in an umpire. Make the call and live with the decision.

[Edited by WhatWuzThatBlue on Feb 28th, 2006 at 06:52 PM]
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 07:54pm
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I worked with a couple of the AMLU folks to draft the letter. There is one change that may not have made it out to everyone, so I will post the most updated version here (Look at the last two paras):

If you would please distribute this to all of the umpires in your local association it would be greatly appreciated.

Dear Fellow umpires,

We would like to take a just minute out of your time and update/inform you on the Association of Minor League Umpires (AMLU) and their current negotiations with Minor League Baseball (MiLB) and Professional Baseball Umpire Corporation (PBUC).

If you have not already heard, our contract/collective bargaining agreement has expired and we have been in negotiations with MiLB/PBUC for the past three months. We are asking for better wages and living conditions for the umpires of today and the future to be. To date, MiLB/PBUC and the AMLU have been unsuccessful on agreeing to a new contract. With that being said, the AMLU has made a decision not to attend spring training this year.

If you have not read the numerous articles about our situation, you can visit the AMLU website (www.amlu.org) and view many of the articles there. We also have available a section for associate membership for a very small fee. If you are not interested in this membership and want these articles, you can email me directly and I will do my best to send these your ways. You can also do a “Google” search using "Minor League Umpires Voting on Contract”.

In a nutshell; MiLB umpires have not had a pay raise in over 10 years. Our per diem is $25/day at the highest level while the government provides for a minimum of $40/day. We are not asking baseball to make minor league umpires rich by any means, but we are asking them to come up to a par level and allow us to follow our career paths with affordable means - right now, the wages are not livable and a top AAA umpires currently makes $14,000/season (give or take).

As fellow umpires, and many of you we know on a personal level, would ask that you take our situation into consideration if you are approached to work games in either spring training or the regular season.

The AMLU would like to assure you that our members have no intention of going after you games. During the period when we are not working, many of our members are willing to be a ‘go to’ resource to assist your association with filling open games. Many of our members already have games that are scheduled to them and will maintain their current schedule. But we will recommend to our local assignor to only utilize us if necessary.

We hope this information helps and each of you will stand behind our effort. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for umpires in the minor leagues. If umpires don't make their stand now, then they will never have any leg to stand on and be pushed around forever.

Thanks for the open ear and we look forward to your support.
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 08:18pm
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"The AMLU would like to assure you that our members have no intention of going after you games."

that should be "your games" - normally i wouldnt nitpick this but i figured it would help you if you didnt notice it, since people are sending this out to other umpires across the US
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Old Tue Feb 28, 2006, 11:25pm
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Quote:
Originally posted by PWL
Quote:
Originally posted by PeteBooth
Originally posted by Carl Childress

Officiating.com has published today a free article written by Jason Millsap, a minor league umpire.

Papa C before I comment, please clarify something for me.

When Richie Phillips and the Umpires Union went on strike, did the Minor league Umpires "cross the picket Line" so to speak?

If they did, then the article holds no credence because it becomes hypocritical. On one hand they do not want "other umpires" taking Minor league assignments, but it was ok for them to take Big league Assignments.

Thanks

Pete Booth
They didn't go on strike. They had what was supposed to be an enmass resignation. Some failed to get theirs in the mail. Plus, these aren't the same umpires that so called "crossed the picket line". Things change, times change.
Your facts are wrong. Check the dates and come back when you know what you're talking about.

Strike in 1979; walk out in 1984, just before the playoffs.

The mass resignation? Summer, 1999, effective 2 September.
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Old Wed Mar 01, 2006, 12:23am
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Quote:
Originally posted by PWL
Quote:
Originally posted by Carl Childress
Quote:
Originally posted by PWL
Quote:
Originally posted by PeteBooth
Originally posted by Carl Childress

Officiating.com has published today a free article written by Jason Millsap, a minor league umpire.

Papa C before I comment, please clarify something for me.

When Richie Phillips and the Umpires Union went on strike, did the Minor league Umpires "cross the picket Line" so to speak?

If they did, then the article holds no credence because it becomes hypocritical. On one hand they do not want "other umpires" taking Minor league assignments, but it was ok for them to take Big league Assignments.

Thanks

Pete Booth
They didn't go on strike. They had what was supposed to be an enmass resignation. Some failed to get theirs in the mail. Plus, these aren't the same umpires that so called "crossed the picket line". Things change, times change.
Your facts are wrong. Check the dates and come back when you know what you're talking about.

Strike in 1979; walk out in 1984, just before the playoffs.

The mass resignation? Summer, 1999, effective 2 September.
Was Richie Phillips union chief the whole time. By that I mean in 1979 and 1984? Cut a brother some slack. I'm not a mind reader.
But you are supposed to be a reader, no? When you make elementary mistakes like this, you certainly lose some of whatever credibility you ever had.

Cut YOU some slack? You "corrected" me with bogus information. You should remember there are some who post here who are pretty knowledgeable about baseball. I am one of them.

The answer to your question is "Yes."
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