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Minor League Umpires Reject New Deal

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on May 1, 2006

In case you've been hiding under a large stone-like structure for the past several week, you know that the minor league umpires have been on strike all season.

Strikes always appear, on the surface, to be about greedy people that are already making solid wages, if not ridiculous salaries – except for teachers, of course.
That is not the case with these umpires, either.

The attorney for baseball, George Yund, keeps using excuses as to why the umpires are paid so poorly and why they haven't received a raise in 10 years.

We'll get to the excuses in a minute.

Umpires in Triple-A make an average of $15,000, those in Double-A average$12,000 while full-season A umpires average $10,000 and short-season $5,500.

They make a per diem of $25, $22 and $20.

Yund claims that these umpiring job are "more comparable to training than to a lifetime job."

Try telling that to a big-league umpire whose career was bred in the minors.

Training? So maybe Yund should not have been paid very well until he became a partner in a firm?

That's absurd.

What Yund refuses to admit (I refuse to believe he and the rest of baseball doesn't know this) is that these umpires, though part time employees, can't have careers outside of their umpiring jobs, because lawyers, doctors, dentists, stock brokers, day traders and all other professions require a 12-month per year commitment, which none of them can give.

They, just like the players, managers and coaches in the game, have given up the opportunity for other careers to chase their own dream of being a part of the game of baseball.

This is how greedy and cheap baseball has been thus far to the umpires.

The latest offer, the one that was rejected today by a 2-1 margin, gave raises of 100 bucks per month, about 600 bucks for the year, and 2 bucks per day in per Diem.

By offering 22 to 27 dollars per day for meals, baseball contends that an adult should be able to eat out for three full meals a day on 27 bucks.

Not in any city is that realistic, unless you expect fast food twice per day.

The umpires haven't received raises since 1995 and will continue to reject any contract offer that doesn't reflect a significant improvement across the board.

The quality of umpiring has not been that bad, regardless of what Delmon Young thinks, and the game is fine as is. The World Umpires Association is standing behind the minor league umps.

"The proposed salaries and per diems were ridiculously low," said John Hirschbeck, president of the major league umpires' union. "It would have been unconscionable to increase salaries only $100 dollars per month and to expect adults to live on the road spending only $22 a day in 2006 and $29 a day in 2011."

Has baseball sunk this low that they are offering such stingy raises to the umpires that they need?

If they don't pay these umpires a decent wage, where do they think they are going to get new MAJOR League umpires down the road?

Japan?

殴打3 のある!

(strike three, you're out!)

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13 Responses to “Minor League Umpires Reject New Deal”

  1. marc w. said

    So, um, why did the union agree to the offer (pending approval from membership, of course)? Do they simply have no leverage?

    That gets to the heart of it – I’d suspect, though I really don’t know, that MiLB could replace the umpires in a second with people more than willing to get paid crap wages for a part-time gig. The problem, of course, would be that most of the replacements wouldn’t really be interested in it as a vocation, and there may be an interruption in the supply of umps to the majors – but that would take years to really manifest itself. I just wonder how much leverage the umps really have- the offers from baseball (a couple of bucks and a kick in the nuts) illustrate this.

  2. They have a lot of leverage, because all across the minors, fans, managers, coaches, team GM’s and team owners are complaining about the current replacements.

    Baseball is just being cheap. Not shocking.

  3. marc w. said

    Fans complain about umps = Dog bites man. That doesn’t get you leverage, in my view. If fans stopped going, that’d be something. But I don’t see it happening. Any word on attendance this year, througout MiLB?

    Remember the MLB umpire strike, and how that was crushed with ruthless efficiency? I don’t think many fans cared that Eric Gregg wouldn’t be around anymore. Although, come to think of it, was that Eric Gregg umpiring the Rainiers-Bees games yesterday?

  4. JasonAChurchill said

    Attendance is fine but the CLUBS themselves are lighting up the office phone lines and e-mail severs with complaints.

    That has already given them leverage, as will the negative publicity this is starting to bring in.

  5. Willmore said

    No chance of it, but might the abominable K/BB ratios of some players be accounted for by the umpiring ?

  6. I don’t think so.

    The calls are going in both directions, pretty consistently. Some for the hitter, some for the pitcher…

  7. Willmore said

    By the way, Feierabend has a no-no through 4 innings.

  8. Willmore said

    Oops, I jinxed him – 3 hits in the 5th.

  9. Willmore said

    Jason, so I was bored once again and decided to look into the stats of the Mexican league. A kid jumped oout at me. Alfredo Aceves. Not really a kid, he’s 23 years old, but still at an age when doing well in the Mexican League means something. The 4.18 ERA isn’t impressive, but then again, it’s a hitter’s paradise there. What caught my eye was 43 Ks in 47.1 innings with just 7 walks. He has allowed 8 home runs, but once again … it’s the Mexican League.

    Could you look into him, and see if he has potential. Physically, he doesn’t seem very impressive – 5’10, 176, the again, so is Pedro.

  10. Actually, I’ve heard of him, he’s not much of a prospect.

    I have him at 5-10, 182.

    87-89 FB, below average curve ball, below average slider, average change.

    He was with Yucatan last year in the mExican League and posted a 4.32 ERA but his command wasn’t quite as good, walking 44 guys in 145 innings.

    He fanned 101, so he’s obviously improved from last year to now, but his pitch arsenal is unimpressive, at least at this point.

    He doesn’t get ground ball outs and doesn’t have an out pitch.

    Sight unseen for 2006, I’d say he profiles a little bit like Cesar Jimenez, with the exception being that Jimenez has more room to get better, being two years younger and having a plus pitch in his rep.

  11. Willmore said

    Hmmm. Alright. I guess I’m not smarter than 30 MLB front offices 🙂

  12. Haha… it was a legit sighting, Willmore, and still is.

  13. Jason, is there anyone in the Mexican League that looks to have a future in the Majors right now?

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