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Umpires agree to wear mikes
2007-03-23 19:51
by Bob Timmermann

In exchange for wearing microphones during ESPN and Fox broadcasts and agreeing to umpire the 2009 World Baseball Classic, the umpires union (the World Umpires Association) was able to get Tom Hallion and Ed Hickox reinstated.

Hallion and Hickox had resigned in 1999 during the umpires ill-fated power play to force MLB to give them a better deal.

ESPN and Fox will not air the umpires comments live.

2007-03-23 21:43:50
1.   El Lay Dave
Will managers remember that one of the umpires is miked when they rush out to argue calls? If the manager is picked up by the umpire's mike, that might make for some interesting sound bites.
2007-03-23 21:45:41
2.   Bob Timmermann
I imagine that no arguments will be broadcast.
2007-03-23 21:50:45
3.   Trojan Ron
I'm sure the eight years off have done wonders for Hallion and Hickox.
2007-03-23 21:53:05
4.   El Lay Dave
2 They'll leak though.

3 They have worked as fill-ins for vacationing umps. (Isn't Nov. - Jan. enough vacation?)

2007-03-23 23:10:11
5.   Greg Brock
Once you've seen YouTube videos of Earl Weaver, who cares about today's manager/umpire arguments.

Everything else is noise.

2007-03-23 23:16:37
6.   xaphor
But why are they being miked? Is it for communication between the umps on the field, informing TV crews of calls, and/or ensuring no shenanigans take place?

I'm assuming the mikes are mainly for the TV crews since they are only miked for those games, but it seems only sensible to allow the umpires to talk to each other to ensure accurate and speedy decisions. Perhaps this is a stepping stone to a full implementation next year.

4. Many soccer leagues including FIFA and the English FA mike each referee and I have heard little of leaked recordings. There is a possibility the feed from the umpires can be turned off and on at will like in the NFL or not recorded at all.

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