MLB Confidential: Grading the umps
Question: Grade the overall performance of umpires, A through F
Grading overall performance
Average grade: B
1. B: 29%
2. C: 20%
3. A: 16%
4. B+: 12%
5. A-: 9%
6. B-: 5%
T7. C+, D: 3%
9. F: 2%
AL players: Overall grade -- B
1. B: 36%
2. C: 24%
3. B+: 12%
NL players: Overall grade -- B+
T1. A, B: 22% each
3. C: 16%
Most players give good grades to umps. Of the 100 surveys, 25 percent gave an A or A-, with only three Ds and two Fs. Though NL players gave out more As (11-5), AL players handed out seven more Bs (18-11). Said one AL player who gave a B grade: "It's in vogue right now to criticize umpires -- I don't agree with that. Every spring training, we see big league umpires and minor league umpires, and it's night and day. The guys in the majors are better, and it's not even close. They do as good a job as we could hope for." One veteran pitcher who's won games in both leagues could only muster a C: "The guys on the field are good -- they rarely get a tight play wrong. But behind the plate, they are shaky. I've had umpires tell me they were guessing on pitches. That's not right -- this is my livelihood."
After Jim Joyce's blown call at first base cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game, MLB umpires came under harsh scrutiny. To test the current climate of player-umpire relations, ESPN The Magazine grilled 100 MLBers about the boys in blue. Here's what we found:
1. Who are the three best umpires in baseball?
2. Who are the three worst umpires in baseball?
3. Which umpire has the quickest hook?
4. Grade the overall performance of umpires, "A" through "F."
5. Should there be replay on base calls?
6. Should there be replay on fair/foul calls?
7. Should Bud Selig have overturned the result of the Galarraga near-perfect game?