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: Brian O'Nora
Uniform number: 7
Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 210 pounds
First year as MLB umpire: 1992
Total MLB games worked through 2011: 2,181 (home plate: 555)
Previous experience: Appalachian League, Midwest League, Eastern League, Pacific Coast League, American Association, International League, Florida Instructional League, Puerto Rican Winter League
Career ejections: 28
No-hitters called: Zero
Over/under record (1999-2011): 198-191
Hated in: Minnesota, Boston
Claim to fame: Getting his skull sliced open by a bat shard during a 2008 game in Kansas City.
Scouting report from Major League Umpires' Performance, 2007-2010, by Andy Goldblatt:
O'Nora has remarkably consistent plate judgment. ... O'Nora's strikeout rate has been rising at a faster pace than the major league average, but has never been above average, suggesting he might have an aversion to calling third strikes.
Scouting report from an Internet message board:
In other news, Brian O'Nora is a fucking asshole.
Average K/9 (2010): 14.09
Average BB/9 (2010): 5.26
True fact: Became the third home plate umpire in one game on August 26, 2009. The first home plate ump, Jerry Crawford was hit by a foul ball and started getting spasms in his back. The next one, Tom Hallion, took a fastball to the chest and subsequently moved to third base.
Strike 3 call:
To check out other installments of Better Know An Umpire, click here.