Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Better Know An Umpire: Kerwin Danley

Illustration for article titled Better Know An Umpire: Kerwin Danley

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: Kerwin Danley

Uniform number: 44

Age: 51

Height/weight: 6-foot-2, 240 pounds

First year as MLB umpire: 1992

Total MLB games worked through 2011: 1,728 (home plate: 437)

Previous experience: Northwest League, California League, Texas League, Pacific Coast League, International League


Career ejections: 36

No-hitters called: None

Over/under record (1999-2011): 145-140

Hated in: Philadelphia, Miami, Tampa

Notable alleged blown calls: Royals-Yankees, August 16, 2011; Rays-Rangers, October 1, 2011 (Game 2, ALDS); Rays-Phillies, October 23, 2008 (Game 2, World Series).

Claim to fame: For getting knocked unconscious by a 96-mph fastball from Brad Penny in 2008.


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

Danley's chart shows a very clear trend: His BB/9 and K/9 are going up every year. It's hard to imagine that continuing. ... Based on his K/BB ratios, Danley eased up on pitchers in 2010, but still favored hitters. ... [Has] mellowed considerably over time and now has one of the slowest fuses of all active umpires.


Scouting report from an angry message board commenter:

fuck you Smoak
fuck you Nathan
fuck you Wash
fuck you Kerwin Danley
fuck you Seattle


Average K/9 (2011): 13.7

Average BB/9 (2011): 6.9

Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: July 4, 2011. The mild-mannered Danley didn't record his first ejection last season until July 4, when Marlins catcher John Buck started arguing the strike zone, which didn't see many low strikes all day.

Illustration for article titled Better Know An Umpire: Kerwin Danley

True fact: Was a teammate of Tony Gwynn's at San Diego State University, where the outfielder was named a First Team All-American in 1983. When he wasn't drafted, he decided to try his hand at umpiring. (Oddly enough, Danley was the first-base umpire in Montreal on August 6, 1999, when Gwynn singled for his 3,000th career hit.)


Strike 3 call:


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

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