Umpires resist background checks boston globe


  1. Referees' controversies will linger after Super Bowl
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  3. National Labor Relations Act | NLRB | Public Website

After the NBA acknowledged last month that the FBI is investigating referee Tim Donaghy for betting on games, baseball officials asked major and minor league umps to sign authorizations for the background checks, but the unions told their members not to sign the forms.

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Torn quadriceps sidelines Soriano Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano went on the day disabled list yesterday, a day after tearing his right quadriceps while running the bases against the New York Mets. Soriano is expected to miss weeks. Cardinals lefthander Mike Maroth was placed on the day disabled list because of tendinitis in his pitching elbow. Pawtucket's Clay Buchholz allowed just four hits and struck out nine in seven innings, but reliever Edgar Martinez gave up five runs in the eighth inning as Rochester Red Wings defeated the PawSox, , at McCoy Field.

Also, Portsmouth, N. O'Neal, a six-time All-Star, said he would be happy to remain with the Pacers in an interview with the Associated Press. Rockets guard Rafer Alston said he was innocent of misdemeanor assault and public intoxication charges filed against him a day earlier in Houston. Alston was accused of grabbing a parking attendant's arm, shaking him, and spitting on him after Alston's vehicle was towed from a lot early Sunday.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Elton Brand will have surgery today to repair a rupture in his left Achilles' tendon. Ress is leaving to play for Italy in the European Championships. Tennis Davydenko to play despite controversy Nikolay Davydenko will play in the Rogers Cup this week amid an investigation into irregular betting patterns on one of his matches. The Association of Tennis Professionals said it had no plans to suspend the Russian star or ask him to sit out. Mauresmo said she needs more time to recover from an appendectomy in March.

But the umpires who started on the left field and right field lines stayed in the outfield for the whole series, while the four umps in the infield rotated spots each game.

Referees' controversies will linger after Super Bowl

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. Which I assume means Joe Torre will be relieved of even more uncomfortable press conferences when things go screwy. May 10, - Those ballpark loudmouths who don't know what they're talking about when they see a pitcher fake a pickoff throw to third base and then yell "BALK! Yeah, there's a good chance they will soon actually know what they're talking about.

Ben Walker of the Associated Press reports that Major League Baseball is looking into classifying that old Pony League trick as a balk for the season. So if a right-hander wants to pick off a guy at first, he'll have to do it with straight-up skills and not deception that rarely works anyway. As Walker notes, this pickoff play could be picked off itself. The Playing Rules Committee has approved a proposal to make it a balk, too, with MLB executives and umpires in agreement.

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  4. The players' union vetoed the plan for this season to discuss it further. MLB is allowed to implement the change after a one-year wait — no telling whether that would happen if players strongly object. Under the new wording, a pitcher could not fake to third unless he first stepped off the rubber. If he stayed on the rubber Of course, it's worth asking the question why the rules committee is spending time on this and not others like instant replay.

    Was this move really such a big problem that it needed extra attention?

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    Do they think taking away part of the pitcher's control of the running game — and it's debatable just how much control this move really creates — will produce more offense? I guess the best argument out there is that left-handed pitchers can't attempt the same move without being called for a balk.

    MLB tests robotic umpires in the Atlantic League

    Yankees lefty Boone Logan makes this very claim in Walker's article. But equality and fairness simply don't exist in the pickoff game and I can't remember hearing many right-handers complain that left-handers get a special advantage by facing toward first when pitching out of the stretch — giving them a full view of the runner's lead until he starts his delivery.

    Also, if it's something that's designed to speed up the game, it seems like a token move, at best. After all, if Bruce Chen can still throw 10 regular pickoff attempts in one at-bat, what good does getting rid of an occasional gimmick pickoff attempt do? Outside of giving us the pleasure of yelling "BALK! Seriously, with no previous controversy surrounding this age-old play, I wouldn't be surprised to find that the playing rules committee came around with this idea while wearing shirts that said "Here comes Selig! Look busy! Rights fees paid by cable television channels are behind the growth in team values.

    The richer television deals are evident in the prices that are being paid for teams. The ultimate cable model for a team is to own an equity stake in a regional sports network because it means you get two revenue streams cable fees and advertising revenue and have greater financial flexibility for example, debt can be parked at the RSN rather than the team. The Red Sox averaged a 7. Although both the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota Twins were unsuccessful with attempts to launch RSNs in because they could not strike sufficient deals with carriers, the Cleveland Indians have shown that it is possible for a small market team to have its own network.

    The Phillies led baseball with an average rating of 9. March 14, - Though MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, owners and players were able to agree on a quick-fix expanded postseason for , baseball was unable to finalize a deal that would have expanded instant replay review in time for Opening Day next month. In late , MLB's owners and the players' union had voted in favor of expanded instant replay, sending the proposal to the umpires' union for final approval earlier this year.

    On March 1, the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League UEFL broke the news of expanded instant replay's failure for , citing an anonymous source that had declared the ramifications of expanded replay were too complex to resolve in just a few short months. On Tuesday, the Associated Press confirmed the report, featuring MLB executive vice president for labor relations Rob Manfred's summation: "We weren't able to come up with an acceptable set of agreements between the three parties, We hope we'll be able to do it in time for the season.

    According to New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira, the deal might have fallen apart due to many extenuating circumstances and questions left to be answered. Teixeira voiced his support in delaying the move: "If they don't have it ready, I'd like for them to hold back. For a glimpse as to what might not have been ready, consider that the expanded replay proposal for included a provision to review and potentially overturn fair vs.

    Though overturning a called fair ball to foul might prove no challenge, the reverse seems to have remained a thorn in baseball officials' sides: With a runner on first, what of the streaking grounder that is ruled foul as it passes first base, only to be declared fair upon further review? With that runner and all defensive players stopping on the umpire's call of "foul ball," officials' biggest concern appears to be how to equitably place runners and the batter after a foul-to-fair overturn.

    Expanded replay would also have included the catch vs. According to additional anonymous sources, umpires were concerned with the unequal quality of television feeds across the major leagues: For instance, umpires expected to receive much clearer images and more television angles at Yankee Stadium than they would in Oakland. Similarly, MLB was unable to determine whether or not to implement a coach's challenge format—as is presently employed in football—nor did baseball decide whether to take the review process away from on-field umpire crew chiefs and make all decisions from an NHL-esque War Room in New York.

    According to an Aug. Current MLB rules allow for home run and fair fly ball spectator interference review. The five-year deal collective bargaining agreement makes changes owners hope will increase competitive balance by pressuring large-market teams to rein in spending on amateur draft picks and international signings. An initial positive test for HGH would result in a game suspension, the same as a first positive urine test for a performance-enhancing substance.

    In addition, the number of offseason urine tests will increase gradually from currently to before the season. Random testing for HGH will take place during spring training and the offseason, but there is no agreement yet on random testing in-season. There can be testing at any time for cause. The sides will explore in-season testing, but the union wants to make sure it's done in a way that doesn't interfere with players' health and safety. Blood tests will be taken on game days in spring training to see what effect they have on a player's energy level, a source told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney.

    Those samples will be discarded immediately. Weiner said scientists told baseball the current blood test can only detect HGH in the blood from to hours. And that's unlike any other athlete -- professional or amateur -- who's subject to drug testing. We want to make sure that we're doing everything we can on the HGH issue, but that it be consistent with not interfering with competition and not interfering with players health and safety under those circumstances.

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    The new rules for free agent compensation under baseball's new labor deal will take effect next winter. This winter, for most players, the old rules governing draft picks awarded as compensation will apply. But a few players will be exceptions to the rules -- because if they're signed as free agents, they won't cost the team signing them a high draft pick. Any team that signs one of these players as a free agent will not have to forfeit a draft choice to the player's former team. If these players' teams offer arbitration and the player declines, the former team will receive a draft choice in the same round immediately preceding the pick that the team signing the player would have given up under the old system.

    The former team will also get a pick in the compensation round. Also, five Type A players will be treated as Type B players, meaning teams don't have to offer them salary arbitration in order to be compensated if they depart. All other Type A players must be offered arbitration by midnight on November 23rd for teams to preserve their rights under the rules.

    Carlos Beltran and Takashi Saito cannot be offered arbitration, under the terms of their contracts. The new tobacco policy falls short of a call by some advocates, including members of Congress, who argued that a ban on chewing tobacco and dip during games was needed to protect impressionable kids watching on TV. At a time when the NBA season is threatened by a lockout and NFL preseason was disrupted by labor strife, this deal ensures baseball will have 21 consecutive years of labor peace since the end of the strike.

    The deal, which still must be ratified by the players and owners, is the first contract since Weiner replaced Donald Fehr as union leader last year. The new playoff model will give baseball 10 of 30 clubs in the postseason. In the NFL, 12 of 32 teams make the playoffs.

    National Labor Relations Act | NLRB | Public Website

    MLB executive vice president Rob Manfred said a decision on whether the expanded playoffs would start next year likely will be made by the January owners' meeting. But a source told Olney the extra wild cards in each league will be added for next season, which means the playoff field will expand immediately. The two wild cards in each league -- the non-first place teams with the best records -- will meet in a one-game playoff, and the winners will move on to the Division Series.