ALCS Umpires Strike Zone Analysis, Game Calling Abilities

The Umpiring crew for the Angels-Yankees series has been named. I spent some time this afternoon examining the ALCS umpires on some sports sites that cater to clients who bet on the games, as these sites can be found to be delving deep into umpiring statistics beyond what basebball nerds have compiled. I added in a 2007 report from Baseball Prospectus on the accuracy of some of these umpires umps.

Crew Chief Tim McClelland: 2007 BP Ump Rating: 93% Strikezone accuracy (2nd best), strike zone is most generous in middle innings, no home team bias. A steady pace. Career Highlights: Made the infamous George Brett Pine Tar call that was reversed (at the time it was a partisan call for the Yankees at home), called David Wells perfect game at Yankee Stadium (ugh), busted Sammy Sosa for a corked bat in 2003 and called Matt Holliday safe at the plate in the 2007 NL West 1-Game playoff that sent the Padres home for the Winter.

Fieldin Culbreth: Big time homer. Squeezes at the beginning of the game and at the end as well. Speeds things up with a fat zone in the middle innings. Not active enough in 2007 for the BP K-Zone survey, he nonetheless has all the traits of a guy who bows to the pressure of the crowd and assists the momentum of a dominant pitcher. Career Highlight: Called Game 3 of last year's World Series, a walk-off win for the home Phillies.

Laz Diaz: Unaffected by the home crowd, he races through the game with a fat strike zone for both sides, but makes the relievers hit a smaller mark, especially in high drama situations. Career Highlights: A former minor leaguer he is one of the replacement ump crop of 1999. He has umpired 3 ALDS series.

Jerry Layne: Generous zone to starters, squeezes relievers, mild home team bias within margin of error. He is more prone to favor a home team in a split-second, high-leverage decision (historically). Career HIghlight: Was the home plate umpire for Fernando Valenzuela's 1990 no-hitter.

Bill Miller: A consistent strike zone maintained throughout the game, in 2007 BP gave him a 90% accuracy rating for his strike zone, but when he calls one wrong for your team, he will call it wrong for the other team, thus making it "right"... right? Career Highlights: A few ALDS and an All Star Game.

Dale Scott: 2007 BP Ump Rating: 91% Strikezone accuracy, strike zone tightens up to the size of a silver dollar in the late innings. This is the guy you want behind the plate calling a complete game or a blowout. Career Highlights: He is known as the Time Warp Umpire, because after a strike three call he takes a jump to the left and gestures as he takes a step to the right.

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