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Mike Trout proposes change to spring training umpiring

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Angels outfielder Mike Trout came up with an idea that would allow less experienced umpires an opportunity to call some major league spring training action. As ESPN’s Buster Olney reports, Trout thinks the veteran umpires should only call five or six innings as they get back into regular season shape. The rest of the innings could be called by minor league umpires.

According to Olney, baseball officials loved Trout’s idea when they heard about it last week. One official said, “It makes a lot of sense for a lot of different reasons.” Another said, “That’s Trout — he’s always paying attention to stuff beyond what he’s doing.”

Of course, I have to agree that the suggestion is a great one. As Olney notes, the turnover rate for umpires every year is relatively low, so younger, less-experienced umpires have few opportunities to get a feel for what it’s like calling major league action. Even beyond the actual interpretation of the rules, interacting with big league personalities would also be helpful for minor league umpires.

Braves senior advisor John Hart Resigns

Associated Press
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Braves senior advisor John Hart announced his resignation today.

Hart, who was once the team’s GM, then returned to the role on an interim basis following the dismissal of John Coppolella in the wake of MLB’s investigation into the team’s practices in Latin America. With the hiring of Alex Anthopoulos as the team’s new General Manager, Hart was shuttled into a senior advisor role with no final say over baseball decisions. It was expected that he’d leave the organization once his contract was up at the end of the year, but he decided to quit now.

One wonders if he was merely getting on with the inevitable or if his early resignation is a sign that the results of MLB’s investigation will be such that he doesn’t want to be around when they come down.