Are Major League Umpires Racist/Bias II: A Study of Ejections This Season
reading about the study conducted by the
Some background on my study, and where we got our data:
I initially was hoping to find data on player/manager ejections for the years 2004-2006, mirroring the UTX study; this data was hard to find. However I was able to find some amazing data for 2007, from of all places another blog. And not just any blog, but a blog I read often! To my amazement, One More Dying Quail has been keeping a log of every ejection this season. Despite reading that blog regularly, I hadn't noticed this log; I found it via a Google search. We have to take a moment to commend OMDQ for the fine detail work in keeping this log - it's safe to say that the majority of the work on this study was essentially conducted by OMDQ's logging of every ejection in the 2007 MLB season, through August 6th. They not only logged who got ejected, but by which umpire (which we thought would be the hardest detail to find), and, as a bonus, the reason for the ejection. Big big tip of the hat to OMDQ.
Determining Race/Ethnicity for Players, Managers and Umpires in This Study:
We chose to
follow the UTX study's lead here; players or umpires are classified as Hispanic
if they are born in one of the following countries:
Getting the ethnicity of players and managers is easy; we used cbssportsline's player profiles. My data spreadsheet is available if anyone wants to double-check that we have all the player's ethnicities listed correctly.
As for umpires... that was tougher. We used MLB's umpire page, and the notes from my post on the UTX study. There we noted that there are 72 umpires in MLB, 66 white. We found that the two "black" umpires are Kerwin Danley and Chuck Meriweather. There was a Jamaican, which we found to be C.B. Cucknor; a Mexican, who turned out to be Alfonso Marquez; Angel Hernandez is Cuban-born; and there was the curious case of what to do about Laz Diaz.
was born in
"Díaz's hand-to-hand combat skills were displayed on the
baseball diamond when he was attacked by an intoxicated fan while umpiring
first base in a game at
"All things considered, Diaz has served the Major Leagues
with many years of hard, unbiased service. Fans, mainly from
Anyway, we are going to presume Diaz is a Dominican because there was mention of a Dominican umpire in the UTX study, and unless that Dominican retired odds are that Diaz is the man in question.
size is n=140 ejections through
Ejections by Player Ethnicity:
Black player/coach = 14
Hispanic player/coach = 19
White player/coach =107
Of the ejections of a player or coach by an umpire, one was by a black umpire. 2 were by the Cuban, 1 was by the Dominican and 5 were by the Mexican for 8 in total by Hispanics. The Jamaican had one ejection (other). 130 ejections were by white umpires.
Ejections by Umpire's Ethnicity:
Black Umpire = 1
Hispanic Umpire = 8
White player/coach = 130
Other = 1
Actual Data Analysis:
Let's look at some of the data. In the one ejection so far in 2007 by a black umpire, Chuck Meriweather ejected Cuban coach Fredi Gonzalez for arguing a call at 1B.
Mexican umpire Alfonso Marquez, the most active minority umpire by far in terms of ejections, tossed out three different Hispanics (one Dominican, two Venezuelans). He also tossed out two white, but both were for throwing at a batter (an automatic ejection if warned). The Dominican pitcher he ejected (Hector Carrasco) was also a "throwing at batter" ejection. Therefore it can be determined that of the non-automatic ejections Marquez has made, they have both been of Venezuelans; Ozzie Guillen once for arguing a check-swing, and Carlos Garcia once for "leaving the 3B coach's box".
Dominican umpire Laz Diaz ejected Steve Smith for arguing balls and
strikes. Of course Steve Smith is the 3B
coach of the Philadelphia Phillies - didn't you read Diaz's Wikipedia page? He's biased against
Angel Hernandez, the Cuban umpire, ejected two whites: Ron Gardenhire for arguing a call at 1B, and Jeff Francoeur for arguing balls and strikes. He may be biased against people with 4 vowels in their last name.
C.P. Brucknor, the Jamaican umpire, ejected Woody Williams for throwing at a batter, an automatic ejection.
Only one white umpire - Mike Everett - has rejected multiple black players/coaches, in his case two - Derrek Lee and Gerald Perry. Both were ejected for fighting during a game June 16th. He also ejected Chris Young and Jake Peavy, the two best pitchers on SD (both white) for fighting that game. I don't remember this game, and am not quite sure how the Padres managed to get both their aces ejected from the same game. Quite a feat.
Several umpires have thrown out multiple Hispanics this season - one was the aforementioned Alfonso Marquez. White umpire Brian Knight, threw out Fredi Garcia and Taylor Tankersley of the Marlins for throwing at a batter (automatic). Mike Winters threw out Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez for throwing at a batter, but also threw out Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez for "arguing an obstruction call". Clearly he has something against Hispanics with cool nicknames (as opposed to simple hyphen nicknames, like A-Rod or K-Rod or E-Rent).
Phil Cuzzi threw out Jose Guillen for charging the mound (automatic ejection), but also throw out Ozzie Guillen for arguing balls and strikes. Also, Tony Randazza has thrown out two minorities this season - Willie Randolph for arguing a call at 1B, and David Ortiz for arguing balls and strikes. Considering he's only thrown out one other person - white manager Jim Leyland for arguing balls and strikes - he may be in danger of being labeled "the most biased umpire in baseball". By me. Okay, I'll say it: "Tony Randazza is a racist."
Joe West has also thrown out two minorities on judgment calls; he tossed Ozzie Guillen for arguing an obstruction call at 2B, and Cliff Floyd for arguing balls and strikes. Joe West is an active ejector, having already tossed five people this season, including Charlie Manuel for arguing a balk, Bud Black for arguing a home run call, and Marcus Giles for arguing balls and strikes.
The Top Ejectors, and Race/Ethnicity:
Mike Everitt, thanks to the Cubs-Padre fight, shares the majors in ejections this season with seven. Phil Cuzzi also has seven. Bill Miller, Bob Davidson and Alfonso Marquez have five apiece. Joe West and Mark Wegner also have five. Mike Winters, Larry Vandover Bill Welke and Tim Timmons have 4 (sidenote: the 11 umpires at the end of the alphabet via last name - Tim Timmons down to Young - have an outstanding 30 of the 140 ejections, or 21.4% of the total).
Mike Everitt's 7 ejections drop to 1 after six "automatic" ejections are taken out of his total (4 for fighting, 2 for throwing at a batter). Phil Cuzzi has three automatics, dropping him to 4 "real" ejections.
The top 10 by "real" objections:Bill Miller - 5
Bob Davidson - 5
Alfonso Marquez - 5
Joe West - 5
Mark Wegner - 5
Phil Cuzzi - 4
Bill Welke - 4
Chad Fairchild - 4
Greg Gibson - 4
Larry Vanover - 4
Tim Timmons - 4
Finally, Ejections by Ethnic Group Combination:White Umpire, White Player/Coach: 101 (77.7%)
White Umpire, Black Player/Coach: 14 (10.7%)
White Umpire, Hispanic Player/Coach: 15 (11.5%)
White Umpire, Asian Player/Coach: 0 (0.0%)
Next, we took out the "automatic" ejections, where ref's personal judgment is irrelevant:
Automatical Ejections:Fighting - 6 (2 Black, 1 Hispanic, 3 White)
Charging the Mound - 1 (Hispanic)
Hitting/Throwing at a Batter - 10 (4 Hispanic, 6 White).
What's left is ejections for "arguing" - balls and strikes being the most common, but balks, obstruction calls, check-swings, HR reversals, warnings (!), and my favorite, arguing an ejection, which got Aaron Boone (who apparently is still playing in the majors!) ejected from a game. The new numbers:
Umpire's Subjective Ejections:White Umpire, White Player/Coach: 92 (81.4%)
White Umpire, Black Player/Coach: 12 (10.6%)
White Umpire, Hispanic Player/Coach: 9 (8.0%)
White Umpire, Asian Player/Coach: 0 (0.0%)
Conclusion: Hardly a tremendous sample set, but it is apparently that umpires tend to eject a white or black player in higher numbers than their population, and under-eject a foreign player. There are many different reasons for why that might be - one obvious one that jumps out to me is that a foreign player is less likely to argue with an umpire if he can't talk the umpire's language, or understand his response.
noting that blacks account for only 8% of MLB players; that number is even less
when coaches/managers are included in the mix.
So they are ejected at a slightly higher rate. The same applies to whites. Again, this data is skewed because most
foreign players aren't getting ejected at a rate equal to their portion of
- Derryl Cousins is white.
- Jerry Crawford is related to Joey Crawford, the NBA referee and noted Tim Duncan hater.
- Joe West has our vote as the likeliest to pull a Tim Donaghy, if personality temperament is any indicator.
- Andy Fletcher's picture cracks me up. It's not surprising he has yet to toss anyone. He resemblances Buster from Arrested Development, no? He seems more likely to be mesmerized by the Jumbotron than paying attention to the game.
- Bill Hohn's mustache is crazy. It looks like a prop he wore to picture day.
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