DiscoverThe Plate Meeting, a LF Umpire Podcast from Close Call Sports
The Plate Meeting, a LF Umpire Podcast from Close Call Sports
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The Plate Meeting, a LF Umpire Podcast from Close Call Sports

Author: Gil Imber

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Welcome to The Plate Meeting, A Left Field Umpire Podcast, the official podcast of Close Call Sports & the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League, where we talk baseball umpiring with umpires, and discuss additional officiating related issues, including analysis or other conversation pertaining to plays, ejections, rules, and more. Support this podcast:
27 Episodes
On this episode, Gil and tmac are joined by Bob Davidson to discuss weekly news around baseball, including Miami's viral situation, notable plays from MLB's opening weekend, and to remember former umpire Rick Reed. --- Support this podcast:
As we look forward to a hopefully better year ahead, Tim Tschida joins The Plate Meeting to recap his Major League umpiring career, including memorable games and ejections, as well as his journey to the big leagues and development of his distinctive strike call. Tschida also answers your questions in this in-depth interview and conversation. --- Support this podcast:
In this Plate Meeting Podcast video episode, we step away from on-field umpiring discussion and turn to the current reality for all umpires: a wholesale loss of all games at all levels (in all sports). In this COVID mental health checkup, Jack Furlong of the OSIP Foundation joins tmac & Gil for a conversation about the current sports landscape and reality for officials who continue to lose income due to a lack of games to work. --- Support this podcast:
After 34 years as an AL and MLB crew chief, veteran umpire Mike Reilly joined The Plate Meeting Podcast ahead of Spring Training to share some stories from his nearly 4500-game career, discuss the origin of his 'Corn Flakes' nickname, and talk about the time he turned down a job as umpire analyst with FOX Sports. Mike also takes your questions and discusses several high profile plays, ejections, and events from several World Series appearances and other memorable moments from his time in professional baseball. --- Support this podcast:
Scott Kennedy provides some background on his umpiring career in Minor League Baseball and transitioning into the NCAA ranks, and discusses his philosophy on dealing with teams through relationships with catchers, whom a plate umpire spends an inordinate amount of time with throughout a game. Scott discusses the importance of a proper mindset and attitude both on and off the field, and how to respond to trouble. --- Support this podcast:
Former AL Umpire Drew Coble joins the show to discuss his 2,303-game big league career and recounts several rousing stories from his time in baseball, including the 1991 World Series Hrbek/Gant play and a handful of MLB ejections. Visit for more of Drew's conversation and links to relevant videos. --- Support this podcast:
As we celebrate the life of MLB umpire Eric Cooper, who passed away during the 2019 postseason, we speak with longtime major league crew chief Mike Reilly, who after working with Eric during Coop's big league debut, requested Eric for his crew more than any other chief in baseball. Mike explains this bond, which goes far beyond a shared fandom of Notre Dame, and reveals his fondest memories of Coop over the years, including Coop's selection to the 2014 World Series. --- Support this podcast:
We sat down with UMPS CARE Charities Board Member Scott Kennedy to talk about the 100-hole golf marathon in November and Close Call Sports' postseason donation drive wherein we will donate a dollar to UMPS CARE for every new like on our Facebook page at through the World Series. Scott talks about how UmpsCare got connected with, the long history of MLB umpires' charitable ventures, Gary Darling's fundraising ability, and playing on Fieldin Culbreth's team. --- Support this podcast:
We continue our conversation with veteran AL umpire Dave Phillips with the forfeited game known as Disco Demolition Night and continue with the resumption-of-play for George Brett's pine tar game in New York. We also discuss Joe Niekro's emory board ejection and a massive brawl between Oakland and and Milwaukee, alongside Davey's time as a college basketball referee and we ask him your questions about his big league career. --- Support this podcast:
It's been a busy week for baseball since the All-Star Break, what with TrackMan's automated ball/strike system making its Atlantic League debut—complete with an ejection for arguing the electronic calls—MLB umpire Mike DiMuro's retirement, Chad Whitson's hiring, and an ever-deteriorating umpire-player-coach-manager relationship. Gil & Tmac break it all down in this edition of Judgment Call. --- Support this podcast:
Dave Phillips served as an American League Umpire from 1971-99 and on the MLB staff from 2001-02, officiating 3,933 regular season games alongside three American League Division Series, six AL Championship Series, and four World Series, with 83 ejections. We speak with Davey about his climb to the major leagues and some notable events and incidents. This is Part 1 of a two-part interview. --- Support this podcast:
Why do MLB's umpire accuracy numbers for ball/strike calls look different in private than they do in public? Why are umpires told they are 97% accurate in pitch calling, whereas the public sees a lower figure in the 91%-range? What accounts for this discrepancy, given that the data all come from the same place? We'll speak with Dylan Yep of Umpire Auditor and Boston University Finance Master Lecturer Mark T. Williams to try and figure out why baseball can't keep its numbers straight. This episode of The Plate Meeting dives into the tangled web that is baseball's foray into strike zone technology. The Truth About Baseball's Electronic Strike Zone is more complex that meets the eye. We trace the origins of electronic balls and strikes to the 20th century and a former US Air Force Lt. Col. who first proposed a simulator for umpire training, and how MLB Commissioner Bud Selig, in his zeal to rein in what he felt were wild oats of the American and National League umpiring staffs, opted for a quick and quantitative rank-based ball/strike system over an accurate depiction of what pitch calling actually entails, and in lieu of an encompassing umpire training program. In our conversation with Yep and Williams, we explore how MLB's technology is deficient for the fabled robot umpire concept that pervades popular culture and how baseball does its umpire a disservice by releasing information that is misleading and flawed. --- Support this podcast:
In this episode, we discuss a sports culture where scapegoating is king and the blame game gives way to increasing personal attacks on sports officials. OSIP President Jack Furlong joins the program to discuss the OSIP Foundation (Outstanding Sportsmanship is Paramount) and how OSIP has become especially relevant in a sports atmosphere that is addicted to proving the umpire wrong. We discuss techniques to counteract negativity, working with game participants toward mutually beneficial outcomes through empathy and a change of perspective to make everyone's experience on the field a little more enjoyable. --- Support this podcast:
Gil and Tmac recap umpire Ron Kulpa's high-profile ejection of Astros Manager AJ Hinch. Could either have acted differently, and is there a history when it comes to Hinch? We revisit Tony Randazzo's May 2018 ejection of Hinch as well as Angel Hernandez's ejection of Hinch in Spring Training 2019. Finally, we explore an umpire's role when a dugout turns the heckle button to 10 and what happens when bench jockeying and ball/strike complaining is left unchecked. Hint: There was a bench-clearing brawl about it in April 2018. --- Support this podcast:
We've heard plenty about the MLB World Series from umpiring greats throughout the show, but not so much about the Little League World Series. In this episode, Rich Fronheiser (RichMSN on joins the show to discuss his experience officiating the LLWS in Williamsport, PA. --- Support this podcast:
Five-time UEFL Award winner and 30-year Major and American League umpire Jim Joyce joins tmac & Gil to talk about his illustrious MLB career and answers questions from the community. We discuss a key obstruction call to end Game 3 of the 2013 World Series, a few notable ejections, the state of umpiring and Replay Review at baseball's highest level, and, of course, the infamous Imperfect Game featuring Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga. --- Support this podcast:
Hosts tmac & Gil are joined by 25-year American League veteran umpire Rich Garcia to discuss his officiating career, a major league umpire strike and labor dispute, and his brief foray into the movie business as an umpire in the Kevin Costner-driven film, For Love of the Game. Rich also had a stint as a broadcast analyst and was on-air for the Kent Hrbek/Ron Gant play in the 1991 World Series. We talk about some ejections—such as Tim Foli over a dispute regarding how the baseballs were rubbed before the game—and also ask Rich if he had any odd plays in right field during his postseason career, and if he ever heard of a guy named Jeffrey Maier. --- Support this podcast:
What happens after decision day at umpire school when affiliated ball says "no"? American Association Director of Umpires Ron Teague joins the show to discuss options, such as the Pro Umpire Camp held in March for officials seeking to gain experience and be seen by independent league decision makers. Ronnie also discusses a few notable moments from his career in Minor League Baseball while Can-Am Executive Director Kevin Winn stops by to reminisce and talk shop. --- Support this podcast:
35-year MLB veteran umpire and crew chief Jerry Crawford joins tmac & Gil for Episode 8 of The Plate Meeting. We discuss Jerry's career, father Shag & brother Joe, a few on-field fights and ejections, and ask him some of the UEFL community's questions. --- Support this podcast:
In this seventh episode of The Plate Meeting, a LF Umpire Podcast from Close Call Sports, 28-year MLB veteran crew chief Gary Darling joins the show to discuss his officiating career, UMPS CARE Charities, umpire nicknames, and answer some of your questions. --- Support this podcast:
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