One of the hottest topics across MLB in recent years has been referees and their future in sports.
The league has been testing an automated ball-and-strike system (ABS) in the minors since 2019, fueling speculation that human referees will eventually be phased out. No, but there is consensus that it will be implemented in the near future.
With major changes potentially on the horizon, 10 MLB umpires will retire by the end of 2022, including seven crew chiefs, the most since 1999 .
Ten MLB umpires, including seven crew chiefs, are set to retire at the end of the month, marking the biggest turnover at the job since 1999, a source familiar with the situation told ESPN. The division was due to a nagging injury, and the other referees joined the league around the same time, so it’s a coincidence.
Some of the retiring referees include Ted Barrett and Greg Gibson:
Respected crew chiefs Ted Barrett, Greg Gibson, Tom Harrion, Sam Holbrook, Jerry Meals, Jim Reynolds and Bill Welke are among the group to remove the chest protectors, and Marty Foster, Paul Nauert and Tim Timmons will retire. .
The retiring crew chief has called a combined 16 World Series, with Barrett leading the way (five). He was particularly behind David Cone’s perfect his game in 1999 and Greg Maddux’s 300th winning plate five years later.
Gibson became the first umpire to have a call overturned based on a manager’s challenge in 2014, and then was behind the plate in Clayton Kershaw’s no-hitter later that season.
The retirement reportedly has nothing to do with rule changes for the 2023 season or the possible implementation of an ABS system in the next few years.
MLB plans to promote or hire 10 new umpires next month, promising a diverse group.
MLB umpires wear microphones to announce replay decisions to fans in 2022
For the first time in MLB history, umpires were equipped with microphones to inform ballpark crowds and those watching at home of their decisions after immediate replay review.
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