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: Adrian Johnson
Uniform number: 23
Height/weight: 5-foot-9, 210 pounds
First year as MLB umpire: 2006
Total MLB games worked through 2011: 642 (home plate: 157)
Previous experience: Gulf Coast League, Pioneer League, South Atlantic League, Florida State League, Eastern League, International League
Career ejections: 13
No-hitters called: One (Edwin Jackson, 2010)
Over/under record (2006-2011): 78-70
Hated in: St. Louis, Boston, Los Angeles
Notable alleged blown calls: Mets-Cardinals, June 1, 2012; Red Sox-Twins, April 24, 2012; Giants-Dodgers, July 20, 2010.
Claim to fame: During the sixth inning of what would become Johan Santana's no-hitter, Carlos Beltran hit a ball down the third-base line that appeared to kick up chalk and, therefore, be fair. Johnson called it foul.
Scouting report from Major League Umpires' Performance, 2007-2010, by Andy Goldblatt:
In 2010, Johnson joined the trend toward fewer runs and walks. But that did not make him a pitchers' umpire. His R/9 stayed five perent above average and his walk rate a whopping 15 percent above average, the sixth most generous to hitter for the year. ... There is no question that Johnson's plate work benefits hitters more than pitchers.
Scouting report from an angry, misinformed HBT commenter:
* Ignorant 3rd base umpire awards mets their only perfect game
Average K/9 (2011): 15.0
Average BB/9 (2011): 6.2
Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: June 25, 2010. Johnson's strike zone from Edwin Jackson's "statistically absurd" no-hitter was kind of absurd in its own right.
True fact: In 2008, Johnson and Chuck Meriwether became the first two black MLB umpires to work the same game.
Strike 3 call:
To check out other installments of Better Know An Umpire, click here.