Better Know An Umpire: Ed Rapuano

Illustration for article titled Better Know An Umpire: Ed Rapuano

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: Ed Rapuano

Uniform number: 19 (crew chief)

Age: 54

Height/weight: 5-foot-10, 190 pounds

First year as MLB umpire: 1990

Total MLB games worked through 2011: 2,809 (home plate: 711)

Previous experience: New York-Penn League, Florida State League, Southern League, Triple-A Alliance

Career ejections: 48

No-hitters called: One (Kent Mercker, 1994)

Over/under record (1999-2011): 207-218

Hated in: New York, Philadelphia

Notable alleged blown calls: Brewers-Giants, May 4, 2012; Tigers-Blue Jays, July 27, 2011; Brewers-Twins, May 21, 2010.

Claim to fame: For bumping and then ejecting Mets manager Bobby Valentine during a 2002 game. Was also knocked out of a game in 2010 (and taken to the hospital for a brain scan) after taking a foul ball off the head.


Rapuano might be most well-known for ejecting Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino from 200 feet away.


Scouting report from Major League Umpires' Performance, 2007-2010, by Andy Goldblatt:

Early in Rapuano's career he was considered a top-flight umpire, especially when it came to ball-and-strike judgment. ... But of late Rapuano has shown a more nettlesome side. ... In 2010, Rapuano jumped on the pro-pitcher bandwagon, reducing his BB/9 by nearly an entire walk and increasing his K/9 by more than a strikeout.


Scouting report from an angry Phillies blogger:

What Ed Rapuano did today was one of the worst, immature, absurd, ridiculous decisions that an umpire has ever made. Fire Ed Rapuano now! And if a video ever surfaces, trust me, I will get it to you as soon as possilbe. Check back frequently for updates.


Average K/9 (2011): 13.7

Average BB/9 (2011): 6.8

Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: August 9, 2009. This is the strike zone that irked Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino, leading to his first career ejection from the major leagues.

Illustration for article titled Better Know An Umpire: Ed Rapuano

True fact: Rapuano doesn't like endorsing pads. He loves endorsing pads. The RiteTemp umpire cooling pad and Team Wendy protective pads are two of his preferred pads of choice.


Strike 3 call:


To check out other installments of Better Know An Umpire, click here.