MLB Confidential: Who are the best umpires?
Question: Who are the three best umpires?
1. Jim Joyce (named on 53% of surveys)
2. Tim McClelland (34%)
3. Jim Wolf (15%)
4. Greg Gibson (9%)
5. Ed Rapuano (7%)
6. Doug Eddings (6%)
T7. Ted Barrett, Laz Diaz, Angel Hernandez, Tim Tschida: (4%)
The top spot was a battle between Joyce and McClelland, with many players saying they would have called it a tie ... until Joyce's humbling admission that he botched the biggest call of his career. "The sad thing about the Galarraga game is, Jim Joyce is seriously one of the best umpires around," one NL player told ESPN The Magazine. "He always calls it fair, so players love him. Everyone makes mistakes, and it's terrible that this happened to him." A distant third, Jim Wolf, grabbed some love, too. "I asked Jim Wolf a question one time during a game," an NL pitcher said. "He was really polite and explained his stance. I ended up going back to the tape, and he was right."
To see the breakdown of AL and NL umps, you must be an Insider.
After Jim Joyce's blown call at first base cost Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game, MLB umpires came under harsh scrutiny. To test the current climate of player-umpire relations, ESPN The Magazine grilled 100 MLBers about the boys in blue. Here's what we found:
1. Who are the three best umpires in baseball?
2. Who are the three worst umpires in baseball?
3. Which umpire has the quickest hook?
4. Grade the overall performance of umpires, "A" through "F."
5. Should there be replay on base calls?
6. Should there be replay on fair/foul calls?
7. Should Bud Selig have overturned the result of the Galarraga near-perfect game?