Can A Baseball Umpire Change His Call? (& Why They Won’t)
If you have watched baseball at all, you will know that there are arguments about the judgments all the time. However, sometimes, the umpire misinterprets the rule, which is seen by most people watching and playing. There are other situations when an umpire should change their call, but the question is, can they?
Baseball umpires can change their calls. This often happens after a misinterpretation of a single umpire, corrected after a conference between umpires. Umpires wouldn’t change their calls back in the day even if they finally knew it was wrong because of pride; however, they do change them nowadays.
That being said, it’s very good that the modern days have made it more normal to change wrong calls in baseball, unlike in history. Baseball umpires wouldn’t change their calls back in the day even if people knew it wrong because of pride.
Think about it. The umpire made a mistake at work which affected his pride, so many umpires wouldn’t change them to save themselves from ”shame”. In reality, they gained a stubborn reputation instead.
How can one umpire make a wrong decision even when everyone knows it was wrong? Well, other umpires are generally prohibited from criticizing and interfering with another umpire’s decision. In addition, it’s illegal for the players to resist the umpire’s judgments. That’s why so many people often get ejected from drawing a line.
However, a misinterpretation of a rule is often intervened by other umpires as it should. And unlike back in the day, most umpires are open for criticism and want’s to know about it to make everything more professional, less ego.
After all, it’s all about getting the decision right than the umpire’s pride which is better for everybody, including the umpire.
How Often are Umpires Wrong?
If you’re watching a baseball game but don’t know the rules, you might think that the umpires are wrong all the time. However, that isn’t the case, and the umpires aren’t wrong that often. Let’s dive into the data.
According to the ESPN study of 184 baseball games, 47 incorrect calls were found, meaning one missed call every four games. When examining the data further, Bleacherreport estimates a minimum of 54 outs per game, meaning 9936 calls, making the wrong decisions only about 0.47%.
You can get this result with the following equation;
- 184 games x 54 outs = 9936 calls
- 47 wrong calls ÷ 9936 total calls x100 =0,47%
- 100% total calls – 0,47% wrong calls = 99.53% right calls.
When the wrong decision is only 0.47%, the amount of successful calls by umpires is 99.53% which is high if you ask me!
Can an Umpire Overrule Another Umpire?
A regular baseball game will have four umpires on the field. If one umpire makes a wrong decision, the other ones might not agree, and due to the fairness and rightfulness of the game, it should be corrected. This begs the question, can another umpire overrule another one?
No other umpire can overrule another umpire’s decision. However, the umpires can hold a conference where they discuss, advise, and point out mistakes made by the umpire responsible for the decision. Only then can the umpire himself change the judgment if he deems it right.
The umpires in baseball are of similar worth and often rotate the umpire positions, making no umpire the boss umpire. Although there is an umpire in chief in games with two or more umpires, even he can’t overrule another umpire’s decision.
Can Umpires Be Ejected by Managers?
We all know that umpires can eject players, managers, and even fan off the field if necessary. However, can umpires be ejected by managers?
According to baseball rule 9.02, no umpire may be replaced during a game unless injured or ill. This means that no manager, player, or umpire may eject an umpire off the field.
I haven’t seen a case where an umpire should have been ejected, as there are often many other umpires in the field. Thus, if one umpire is out of control, the other umpires will gain him to cool down, make the right decision, and so on, especially in the modern era.
Can You Appeal a Judgement Call In Baseball?
I explained above that any player or coach couldn’t argue with the umpire’s calls, which are also illegal in the rulebook. However, can you appeal a judgement instead of arguing?
The baseball rule 8.02 states that no player, manager, coach, or substitute shall object to umpire’s judgment decisions. If there is reasonable doubt that the umpire’s decision conflicts with the rules, the manager may appeal the judgment only to the umpire responsible for the call.
So if it’s clear that the umpire made a bad call, take it to the manager’s attention which is probably already known, and the manager may appeal the judgment for the umpire that made the call. If it’s truly a wrong decision, the other umpires will let the umpire know about it, and it will likely be changed to the right one.
Are MLB Umpires Disciplined for Bad Calls?
All of this makes you wonder whether umpires are being held accountable if they refuse to change the call into the right one, even when everyone sees a wrong decision.
If an MLB or other league umpire consistently underperform or behaves inappropriately, they are disciplined. For example, this can be in the form of a re-evaluation, suspension, or even firing. However, the consequences are made out of the public as it’s a matter between employer and employee.
Think about it, when you make a mistake at work, are you held accountable and disciplined under the eyes of everyone around? I don’t think so. And if you are, you should intervene.
In fact, if the umpire is a part of a union or and so on, the employer could get into serious trouble for disciplining in public. That’s why most of us aren’t aware of when an umpire is being held accountable for consistent bad calls or behavior.
In addition, MLB umpires aren’t stubborn, at least as stubborn as they used to be about their mistakes. There are so many eyes on the game, other umpires to assist each other, higher level of education, and umpire skill standards.
Also, the modern style of getting things right instead of having an ego as an umpire is more important for the umpires.
My Favorite Baseball Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you can find my favorite baseball bat, baseballs, and a glove that I think will take your game to the next level!
- Bat: My favorite baseball bat is the Easton Project 3 Fuze. This bat has a composite end cap, reduced post-impact vibrations, balanced swing weight for the fastest swing speed, and a carbon core that makes this bat perform very well! As I’m not a professional baseball player, I like to use alloy bats as you can swing faster and hit further.
- Baseballs: Rawlings Competition Grade Practice Balls are my choice for something to hit. I love these balls because they fit all levels of play, so regardless of who you are playing with, you can use them. They come in a 6 or 12 balls box, and you can choose between raised or flat seams! I prefer flat seams as the balls tend to fly further!
- Glove: When it comes to the glove, my choice is the Rawlings Sandlot Glove. This glove is available for both lefties and righties. The same glove is also available for infielders, outfielders, pitchers, catchers, and 1B mitt. This glove has a nice vintage look, and it’s made from oiled leather. It has palm pads that protect your hand from impact, and it is pre-broken-in, so you are good to go as soon as you have it! A glove I’m proud to recommend.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.