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: Brian Runge Uniform number: 18 Age: 42 Height/weight: 6-foot-1, 225, pounds First year as MLB umpire: 1999 Total MLB games worked through 2011: 1,454 (home plate: 369) Previous experience: Northwest League, Arizona Instructional League, South Atlantic League, California League, Eastern League, Pacific Coast League Career ejections: Nine No-hitters called: Two ( Jonathan Sanchez, 2009; Philip Humber's perfect game, 2012)
Journeyman pitcher Philip Humber joined the list of hurlers to have completed pitching's most… Read more Read more Over/under record ( 133-156 1999-2011): Hated in: Queens, Detroit Notable alleged blown calls: A's-Angels, April 18, 2012; Tigers-Orioles, July 19, 2008. Claim to fame: Was suspended one game by MLB for bumping Mets manager Jerry Manuel in the chest during an argument in June 2008. (After that, no umpire had been suspended for a similar offense until Bob Davidson last week.) In what's almost certainly a response to his repeated instances of "Fuck You,… Read more Read more Scouting report from Major League Umpires' Performance, 2007-2010 , by Andy Goldblatt: $40 Gizmodo Media Group may get a commission
Brian Runge keeps getting tougher on hitters. ... If his K/BB goes much higher, pitchers will be able to throw to the on-deck circle and get a strike. ... Despite his enormous strike zone, Runge's R/9 is average. ... Runge's career ejection rate is a remarkably low 0.7 percent.
Scouting report from an angry message board commenter:
Unreal. Most critical game in the past 26 years and a fat fuck that hasn't touched a girl in his life named Brian Runge wants to fuck around with the zone and stroke his fucking pussy ass ego in a big game like this.
Average K/9 ( 14.6 2011): Average BB/9 ( 5.4 2011): Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: April 21, 2012. How much did Runge's strike zone factor into Philip Humber's perfect game last month? Humber got a few calls—surely, more than Seattle—but nothing too egregious. True fact: His dad ( Paul) and grandfather ( Ed) were both MLB umpires, making the Runges the first three-generation umpiring family in baseball history. On umpiring:
The players test you. You fall into a thing where a young umpire has to prove himself. You have to be a little more aggressive, but you have to be smart about it at the same time. My feeling is, if I show the players respect, they'll respect me. If they see I'm out there working hard, if I'm busting my tail night after night, they'll be a little more forgiving if I kick one. Not a lot and not all of the time, but they'll let it go a little quicker.
Strike 3 call:
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