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: Gerry Davis
Uniform number: 12 (crew chief)
Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 225 pounds
First year as MLB umpire: 1982
Total MLB games worked through 2011: 3,862 (home plate: 961)
Previous experience: Midwest League, Eastern League, American Association, Florida Instructional League, Puerto Rico Winter League
Career ejections: 69
No-hitters called: None
Over/under record (1999-2011): 212-194
Hated in: Northeast Texas
Claim to fame: In July 1998, a wild pitch ended up in Davis' shirt pocket, allowing a run to score.
Scouting report from Major League Umpires' Performance, 2007-2010, by Andy Goldblatt:
More runs score when Davis is behind the plate than any other current ump. ... Davis' four-year performance establishes his strike zone as one of the smallest in the game. ... In his 29-year career, Davis has let a lot blow over. He has a 1.8 percent ejection rate, slightly below average. Since 2007, his ejection rate has plunged to 1.1 percent.
Scouting report from an angry blog commenter:
If it's a close division, everyone will be looking back at today and wanting to murder Gerry Davis.
Average K/9 (2011): 14.1
Average BB/9 (2011): 6.1
Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: April 16, 2012. On most days, Davis can be considered more of a hitters' ump, but he was all over the strike zone earlier this season.
On umpiring: "I think the biggest key is using judgment at the right time. The phrase I use is, 'I want to catch the ball with my eyes.' I make sure I'm not leaving my eyes out in front of the plate, and that I see the catcher catch the ball. If I see him catch it, that gives me more of an opportunity to mentally decide what the pitch is."
Strike 3 call:
To check out other installments of Better Know An Umpire, click here.