A lot of spring training games are played with minor league-level umpire staffing. Specifically: three umpires. A home plate ump, one at first and one at third, with the third base ump moving to cover second when a runner is on base.
And if you lose one of the umpires due to injury? Well, you get this:
Yep, that’s an umpire calling balls and strikes from behind the mound in today’s Brewers-Angels game in Maryvale after the home plate umpire was injured. Here’s what it looks like on TV.
You don’t see that every day.
Real games soon, please?
UPDATE: OK, apparently it only lasted for four batters, as a replacement up was called in. Shame, that. We used the mound ump in little league. You’d think the big boys could do it for a while.
Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.
Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.
To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.