Welcome to Better Know An Umpire, an effort to educate ourselves on the human elements who have ultimate decision-making power over some 2,500 Major League Baseball games a year.
Name: Dale Scott
Uniform number: 5 (crew chief)
Height/weight: 6 feet, 190 pounds
First year as MLB umpire: 1985
Total MLB games worked through 2011: 3,311 (home plate: 832)
Previous experience: Northwest League, California League, Arizona Instructional League, Texas League, American Association, Dominican Winter League
Career ejections: 78 (two in 2011)
No-hitters called: One official, one unofficial
Over/under record (1999-2011): 169-188
Hated in: Boston, Anaheim
Claim to fame: Worked home plate for Andy Hawkins' 4-0, no-hit loss on July 1, 1990, producing one of the weirdest scorecards in history. (MLB later ruled that because Hawkins did not pitch nine innings, it would not be recognized as a no-hitter.)
Scouting report from Major League Umpires' Performance, 2007-2010, by Andy Goldblatt:
Scott's strike zone changes from year to year. ... [In 2009], Scott turned into a pitchers' umpire, calling ten percent fewer walks than average. ... In 2010, he bucked the trend and called more walks. ... Scott's temper can be short. He has a 2.4-percent career ejection rate.
Scouting report from a random Internet commenter:
We hear how players have comprimised the integrity of the game, with peds, but this looks like a case where an umpire has done the same. The fans at the game, those watching and listening on the radio, were all shortchanged. Also, as WEEI sagely pointed out, professional hitters take every at bat seriously. Its their craft, their job, how they make their living. Ortiz is fighting for his career. In short, you rarely hear about umpires called intop question, except for a mistake on a call. But then, we all make mistakes. Im as outraged as I can be on a Mid May day game with Toronto.
Average K/9 (2010): 14.97
Average BB/9 (2010): 6.4
Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: May 12, 2010. Red Sox manager Terry Francona was ejected by Scott for arguing the ginormous strike zone. (Called strikes to Boston hitters are shown as red triangles.)
True fact: On May 30, 1988, became the last umpire to eject Billy Martin, who was fired as Oakland's manager three weeks later.
On umpiring: "There's an old saying about an umpire that you have to start up perfect and then improve. That's a high standard, but it's not more pressure with technology. There's always been pressure and our goal is try to get every pitch and every play right. That doesn't always happen, so we try making a negative into a positive and figure out why we didn't get the call right."
Strike 3 call:
To check out other installments of Better Know An Umpire, click here.