Major League Baseball has fired three of its seven umpire supervisors in response to a postseason plagued by blown calls.
Marty Springstead, Rich Garcia and Jim McKean, all veterans of at least 40 years, were fired in January, according to USA Today. Retired umpires Randy Marsh and Charlie Reliford were hired as replacements. Ed Montague, a recently retired ump of 34 years, is a candidate to fill the other position.
Rob Manfred, MLB executive vice president, told USA Today, "The change in supervisors is part of our ongoing effort to make our organization as strong as possible."
According to the report, Springstead said the firings were directly related to last year’s playoffs. The umpires who made the questionable calls were all retained. In Game 2 of the ALDS, Phil Cuzzi incorrectly ruled a ball hit by Joe Mauer as foul, costing the Twins a double. Crew chief Tim McClellenand missed two key calls in Game 4 of the ALCS. He called Nick Swisher out on appeal for leaving third base too early, although replays showed that Swisher left after the ball was caught. He then called Robinson Cano safe on a rundown even though Cano was clearly standing off the base while getting tagged. One responsibility of the supervisors is to make recommendations to MLB for postseason crews.