Author: D.J. Short

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 29: Manager Don Mattingly #8 of the Los Angeles Dodgers argues with umpire Mike Winters #33 after being ejected in the seventh inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium on May 29, 2015 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

Home plate umpire Mike Winters criticized A.J. Ellis’ framing ability


Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and catcher A.J. Ellis were ejected from last night’s game against the Cardinals for arguing about the strike zone with home plate umpire Mike Winters. According to Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register, Ellis said he was set off after Winters criticized his ability to frame pitches:

“Their job is to call balls and strikes,” Ellis said. “It’s not their job to be a catching coach behind the plate. It’s not their job to be critical of what I’m doing. It shouldn’t even matter if there’s a catcher there or not. The ball comes through a zone and they need to take a look at that.

“People on blogs and websites can critique my framing but I’m not going to take it from an umpire because it’s not their job to do that. It’s their job to call balls and strikes based on what comes through a strike zone.”

As Harry Pavlidis wrote at earlier this week, Ellis rates very highly as a game-caller, but advanced metrics have him among the lowest as far as pitch framing. Winters may or may not have known that, but his comments clearly struck a nerve with Ellis. Who knows if this sort of exchange between a catcher and an umpire is unusual or not, but it’s interesting to hear an umpire being so open about how framing influences his strike zone. The numbers show it, but you never hear much from umpires about it. Probably for good reason. Then again, maybe Winters was just making excuses for an inconsistent strike zone and knew that criticizing Ellis for his framing would get under his skin.

Winters declined to respond to Ellis’ comments through a pool reporter, but said through a Cardinals official that the issue was balls and strikes and “the rest of it stays private.”

Jerry Dior, designer of MLB’s iconic logo, has passed away

mlb logo square

Sad news to pass along this morning, as the New York Times reports that Jerry Dior, the designer of MLB’s iconic logo, passed away earlier this month due to cancer. He was 82 years old.

Born in Brooklyn, Dior designed the “silhouetted batter” logo in 1968 while working for Sandgren & Murtha, a marketing company in New York City. It was adopted by MLB for the 1969 season, but Dior didn’t receive any royalties or public credit. In fact, he wasn’t officially recognized for the design until 40 years later in 2009. Of course, it still looks just as fresh today as it did in 1969. It’s hard to imagine baseball without it.

Here’s a quote from Dior in an interview with in 2008:

“It holds up today as well as it did back then,” he said. “I truly feel it’s part of baseball. So I added a little something to the game, and I’m very proud of that.”

Thank you, Jerry Dior. Our condolences to Dior’s family and friends.

Video: Derek Norris hit a walk-off grand slam against the Pirates

Derek Norris Getty

Padres catcher Derek Norris struck out in his first four at-bats last night against the Pirates before coming up to bat with the bases loaded and the score tied in the bottom of the ninth inning. Then he did this…

Well, that’s one way to redeem yourself.

As Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune points out, we don’t see this sort of thing very often. Or ever: