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: Tim Tschida
Uniform number: 4 (crew chief)
Height/weight: 5-foot-9, 180 pounds
First year as MLB umpire: 1985
Total MLB games worked through 2011: 3,253 (home plate: 816)
Previous experience: California League, Southern League, Dominican Winter League, Caribbean World Series, American Association
Career ejections: 79 (led league with 14 in 1998)
No-hitters called: Two
Over/under record (1999-2011): 182-196
Hated in: Boston
Scouting report from Major League Umpires' Performance, 2007-2010, by Andy Goldblatt:
Prior to 2010, pitchers had reason to doubt that even a shutout was possible when Tschida stood behind the plate. ... In 2010, Tschida climbed aboard the pro-pitcher bandwagon. ... He went from the second-highest R/9 to the fifth lowest. ... Unless Tschida's 2010 results were due to a new philosophy of balls and strikes, look for him to rack up higher BB/9s and R/9s in the next few years.
Scouting report from a random Internet commenter:
There are some really, really bad calls in that chart. I mean, really bad calls. There's squeezing the pitcher, and there's calling an inconsistent zone, but then there's Tschida with about a dozen pitches that he called a ball that went right through the heart of the zone, dead fucking center.
Average K/9 (2010): 14.16
Average BB/9 (2010): 5.6
True fact: Ejected 42-year-old Joe Niekro from a game in 1987. Niekro, suspected of doctoring pitches, was emptying his pockets when a five-inch emory board flew out.
On umpiring: "Getting into a position is a little bit foreign. ... It's a little bit uncomfortable."
Strike 3 call:
To check out other installments of Better Know An Umpire, click here.