Some umpiring changes in store for 2010

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The umpires took a well-deserved public flogging during the postseason, so much so that rotations were switched up during the World Series. Some called it mere window-dressing at the time, but some significant institutional changes are already underway for the 2010 season.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com reports that Randy Marsh and Charlie Reliford have retired and taken jobs as
supervisors. As a result, former supervisors Marty Springstead, Jim McKean and
Rich Garcia were not retained.

Here’s major league baseball’s executive vice president Rob Manfred:

“Because of early retirement, there were some quality people like Randy
Marsh who became available to us,” Manfred said. “When things go less
than perfectly — as they did in the postseason — you’re going to think
about making changes. And part of it is just the natural turnover in an
organization. It’s no more complicated than that.”

Springstead, according to Crasnick, had been a supervisor since 2000, while Garcia and
McKean started in 2002. Marsh had been a major league umpire since 1981 while Reliford, started in 1989.

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.