Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Illustration for article titled Better Know An Umpire: Mark Carlson

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: Mark Carlson

Uniform number: 6

Age: 42

Height/weight: 6 feet, 210 pounds

First year as MLB umpire: 1999

Total MLB games worked through 2011: 1,527 (home plate: 392)

Previous experience: Pioneer League, Midwest League, Florida State League, Southern League, International League, Arizona Fall League


Career ejections: 39

No-hitters called: None

Over/under record (1999-2011): 156-190

Hated in: Chicago

Notable alleged blown calls: Mets-Braves, May 22, 2007; Cubs-Pirates, May 27, 2009.

Claim to fame: Causing Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano to completely lose his mind in May 2009. Video showed Carlson's call was correct, and Zambrano was suspended for six games.

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

And though Carlson's walk rate increased substantially after 2007, he remained favorable to pitchers, posting the second-lowest R/9 among umpires from 2007 through 2009. ... Although he isn't known for a short fuse, he doesn't take a lot of guff, either. His career ejection rate of 2.6 percent is nearly 20 percent higher than average.


Scouting report from a Bleacher Report writer:

Perhaps a new set of guidelines for job performance is what we need. If they can't be followed, well, Mark're outta here!


Average K/9 (2011): 14.6

Average BB/9 (2011): 5.6

Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: June 6, 2011. Starters Cliff Lee and Ted Lilly combined for 14 strikeouts, and it's easy to see why.

Illustration for article titled Better Know An Umpire: Mark Carlson

True fact: Served in the Marine Corps for one year before being honorably discharged for medical reasons.


On umpiring: "You can't get caught up in the moment. You have to realize you are doing your job, [that] 50,000 people are here."

Strike 3 call:


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

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