|ESPN.com: Spring 2011||[Print without images]|
“The players and umpires had been scheduled to meet at the Winter Meetings in December, but a family death for one of the principals involved led to the postponement of that get-together. The idea was sparked by the Major League Baseball Players Association after it received an increased number of complaints from players last season about umpires. Last season, multiple players told ESPN.com's Amy K. Nelson that tensions had increased with umpires. They also are concerned about a lack of transparency when umpires are evaluated. "We never know why or when they are fined, or reprimanded or held accountable," Oakland Athletics reliever and player union representative Brad Ziegler told ESPN.com last October. "Anytime a player is punished, suspended or sent down to the minors, the public knows about it. It would be a lot easier to communicate with umpires if everyone was held to similar standards. Our statistics as players are a lot more quantifiable than the umpires'." Increased attention on umpires has been a byproduct of recent high-profile mistakes and the advent of high-definition television, at-home replays and advances in technology within stadiums. During the 2010 postseason, calls were isolated by players, the media and announcers as being problematic. Calls for a change in instant-replay policy have been renewed. Amy K. Nelson is a staff writer for ESPN.com.. ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney and ESPNBoston.com's Gordon Edes contributed to this report.
There were some things we talked about that I think will result in concrete steps.” -- Rob Manfred