Better Know An Umpire: Vic Carapazza

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. (All cumulative statistics are through the 2011 season, unless otherwise stated.)

Name: Vic Carapazza

Uniform number: 85

Age: 32

Height/weight: 6 feet, 180 pounds

First year as MLB umpire: 2010

Total MLB games worked through 2011: 162 (home plate: 39)

Previous experience: Gulf Coast League, Florida State League, Pacific Coast League, Florida, Arizona Fall League, New York-Penn League, Eastern League, International League, Midwest League, Dominican League

Career ejections: 5

No-hitters called: None

Over/under record (2010-2011): 16-21

Hated in: Tampa

Notable alleged blown calls: Cardinals-Rays, July 1, 2011 (see below); Marlins-Cardinals, August 6, 2011.

Claim to fame: Is the son-in-law of former MLB umpire Richie Garcia, who blew the Jeffrey Maier call in 1996.

Scouting report from Major League Umpires' Performance, 2007-2010, by Andy Goldblatt:

Although his sample size is too small to draw conclusions from, in 2010 he showed a hitter-friendly strike zone. Hitters failed to capitalize on it, though, compiling a low 7.78 R/9.

Scouting report from a random blog commenter:

umpire was a prick and then hid behind his "boys" when the shit hit the fan

Average K/9 (2011): 16.0

Average BB/9 (2011): 6.2

Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: July 1, 2011. Four Rays were ejected in this game, including two by Carapazza (manager Joe Maddon and reliever J.P. Howell). Those green squares inside the strike zone probably didn't help.

Better Know An Umpire: Vic CarapazzaS

True fact: Served in the Air Force for four years and worked as a telemarketer before enrolling in umpiring school.

On umpiring: "The only way you thought it would happen is by playing, but to be on the field is a dream come true. ... When I got to umpire school, I loved umpiring. It's the best job in the world. Oh my God, I love it to death."

Strike 3 call:

Better Know An Umpire: Vic Carapazza

To check out other installments of Better Know An Umpire, click here.