For the first time in a long time, baseball umpires are in the news for something other than blown calls or Jose Offerman.Â The Associated Press reported Monday that Major League Baseball umps ratified a new five-year contract that now allows umps to work World Series games in consecutive seasons.Â A series of missed calls in this yearâ€™s playoffs influenced the decision.
"Baseball and the union both agreed to make every effort to keep the game of baseball first and professional umpiring second, and we're going to do what's in our hearts to make it right. We said that from the beginning, and we kept our word," said Joe West, the president of the World Umpires Association.
The umpiresâ€™ union attorney Brian Lam said that it is in baseballâ€™s best interest to give many umpires World Series experience.Â The new agreement, which baseballâ€™s owners unanimously ratified last Thursday, will also allow management to use video to evaluate umpires and establish guidelines for retirement.
I know what youâ€™re thinking:Â What about replay?!?!Â On that, a 14-member committee formed by commissioner Selig said it is discussing the possibility of expanding replay
This is the second consecutive incident-free agreement since 22 umps lost their jobs in 1999 after a failed attempt at mass resignation.
Matthew Coller is staff member ofÂ the Business of Sports Network and is a freelance writer. He can be followed on Twitter
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