Better Know An Umpire: Marty Foster

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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.

Name: Marty Foster

Uniform number: 60

Age: 48

Height/weight: 5-foot-11, 210 pounds

First year as MLB umpire: 1996

Total MLB games worked through 2011: 1,734 (home plate: 429)

Previous experience: Appalachian League, Midwest League, Southern League, International League, Pacific Coast League, American Association, International League


Career ejections: 76

No-hitters called: None

Over/under record (1999-2011): 185-195

Hated in: New York, Detroit

Notable alleged blown calls: Yankees-Blue Jays, July 6, 2009; Yankees-Orioles, September 13, 2009


Claim to fame: For allegedly telling Derek Jeter he didn't need to be tagged out on an attempted steal of third, and for ejecting Tigers manager Jim Leyland for "spitting" sunflower seeds at him.

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

His lifetime ejection rate is twice the average, and he led the majors in ejections in 2004 and 2005. ... Foster's aggregate numbers reveal he has a larger-than-average strike zone, calling three percent fewer walks and affirming four percent more strikeouts than the typical umpire.


Scouting report from a random blog commenter:

Fuck Marty Foster with a rusty rake. Rivera can do just fine without a five-foot wide strike zone. I hope Lowell fouls 15 pitches in a row off your skull.


Average K/9 (2011): 13.2

Average BB/9 (2011): 6.4

Sample PITCHf/x strike zone: September 13, 2009. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez was ejected for arguing a called third strike. (That would be the red triangle outside the left part of the strike zone.)


True fact: Is a huge University of Wisconsin football fan.

Strike 3 call:


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