MLB is lucky last night’s Royals-Blue Jays game was a victory for the Jays, because if the Royals had pulled ahead late and Troy Tulowitzki hadn’t been there to bat in the bottom of the ninth, all of Canada would be calling for home plate umpire John Hirschbeck’s head.
Umpiring comes with all sorts of occupational hazards, not the least being that a catcher might just whiff on a 93-mph fastball, allowing it to connect directly with one's bare hand.
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.)
Your morning roundup for July 25, the day we learned of the Russians' plans to invade a beach in Brooklyn. H/T to Dave Littlefield for the video, though we kinda wish it had been from the real Dave Littlefield. Got any stories or photos for us? Tip your editors.