Perhaps it’s the threat of automated officials and instant replay that has made MLB umpires a bit more docile this summer.
At this point in the season last year, umps had dished out 125 ejections and threw out 43 players and managers in the month of July alone, according to the Umpire Fantasy Ejection League
Heading into Wednesday’s slate, umps have fired off only 90 ejections, the most recent coming from Brian Gorman, who tossed St. Louis Cardinals pinch hitter Lance Berkman for arguing balls and strikes in a 3-2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers Tuesday.
That’s not to say some umps don’t have a hair-trigger. Here’s a look at the most-ejection happy umpires of the 2012 season so far and how to bet them:Gary Darling (five ejections)
Darling has shouted “You’re outta here!” more than any ump this season, most notably spitting his gum on Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine during an exchange in mid May. Funny enough, Darling hasn’t shown anyone the gate since that incident.
He’s shown a bit of a lean towards the over this year, with games averaging just over 10 runs and finished 14-7 over/under when Darling is behind home plate.Dan Bellino (four ejections)
Bellino most recently dismissed Cincinnati Reds PH Miguel Cairo for arguing a fair ball after Cairo hacked at a sinker, which dropped into fair territory around home plate. Bellino made the right call, helping the Arizona Diamondbacks secure a 5-3 win which played under the 8.5-run total on July 16.
It was the 15th time in Bellino’s 20 games behind home plate that the under cashed in, making him one of the best under umps in baseball. He’s also been tough on home teams, with hosts going 7-13 and losing nearly eight units when Bellino is calling balls and strikes.Marty Foster (four ejections)
May must have been a bad month for Foster, with three of his four ejections coming in the second month of the schedule. July hasn’t been that great to him either. First, he left a game due to illness on July 7 and then was in the middle of Ozzie Guillen’s pine tar witch hunt against Nationals rookie Bryce Harper earlier this week.
He has no patience for loud-mouth mangers, especially Cubs skip Dale Sveum, who he’s tossed twice in 2012. Foster is about an even an ump as you’ll find, with a 10-10 home team mark and a 9-11 over/under record.Sam Holbrook (four ejections)
Holbrook’s most news-worthy ejection of 2012 came when he was at first base, giving Brewers ace Zack Greinke the heave-ho in the first inning after the pitcher spiked the baseball following an infield single from the Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve on July 7. Greinke had thrown only four pitches before being sent to the showers and the Astros went on to win 6-3 as +145 home underdogs.
Holbrook has been a little friendlier to the home side, with host teams going 11- 8 when he’s working the plate. The real money, however, is betting the over when Holbrook is wearing the mask. Thirteen of his 17 games behind home have played above the total. D.J. Reyburn (four ejections)
The same way DJ Request didn’t take any shit
from the crowd in The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard
, D.J. Reyburn doesn’t take any shit from managers. All four of Reyburn’s tosses have been directed towards either skips or bench coaches, setting the tone back in spring training by ejecting New York Mets Terry Collins on March 15.
Reyburn is another ump with a tendency towards the under, posting a 5-11 over/under mark when calling balls and strikes. He boasts a strike percentage of 63.40 percent and teams combine to averaging only 7.7 runs when he’s working the plate. Visiting clubs are also a solid 12-7 with Reyburn at home.