WEEI>On Demand>>Chuck Merriweather, MLB umpiring supervisor, with Joe Castiglione and Jon Rish

Chuck Merriweather, MLB umpiring supervisor, with Joe Castiglione and Jon Rish

Mar 16, 2012|

Chuck Merriweather, MLB umpiring supervisor, with Joe Castiglione and Jon Rish.

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Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Second inning those are we welcome umpiring supervisor chuck meriwether twenty year veteran of umpiring in the major leagues -- great to have you with us thank you invite. Good to be used the beautiful ballpark I tell you that isn't it amazing it is just there. Trevor -- leading up against Jon Lester giving money to this spring with two RBIs and he takes a called strike. He went right from the Eagles last year the -- Straighten up and umpires yes -- Bring closure just I tried my last year he took us right back up when center field -- it is a big adjustment. Well a little bit you know after doing it for twenty years -- when they took me down spring training last year to kind of train me. From the -- you're an umpire -- we always -- to keep down balls. When them trying to to a Jets where when the ball's hit to watch and see what the young on -- -- doing the little a little bit of adjustments and yeah it's. It's natural that wells he has progressed -- the -- -- -- I sharper -- -- 28 without and I BI era extra base hit. As to deals pitches low and I stopped by shop and -- at the with a passing you -- brings to do is. And upper site supervisor. In January but yeah most personable guys in the east was a lot of fond confirmed that again Morry with the super the old American League apparently -- -- parent and -- remember that night he cold. In the wife -- fans in January. As a line drive in the left field slice to get stopped for a base hit -- cuts. Lou stops at second -- -- first and second with nobody out so it was -- the ecology at the job you know. You know right before Christmas so that was it was a big night was. No problem with home for about 45 minutes to talk to me about two with three minutes and talk to my wife refused collapse -- to a lot. -- It's exciting night. It was a charming guy he has and I remember seeing him. After our shall we say you are on the road in the last couple years you talk about the box and said he never had that -- you guys. Had at least on television you thinner than you think you're graded him because ultimately -- -- -- and 8188. Takes a strike. As the game slowed down for you know you're watching from up here I mean I imagine when you're done their work and it must be. Go but much faster pace. When I was working in the minor leagues and do little college ball passed the ball and got the minor leagues. It is unbelievable how quick and good these -- and so that it in the -- it's -- sit up here but. They have some kind of athletes. -- pick off throw nothing doing -- -- our umpires rotating on plays. Is there a standard rotation or is it up to the individual cruise -- the standard rotation. And I think -- making a whole lot you do when everybody is doing the same special we have young on cars to come up and join the crew. Pitches in there but little old but and they know that it is the same way no matter what -- no we have to make some type of adjustment. And we go to Fenway Park just because of that. The Green monster when we go to Houston. But but but it's not that. There by the tries to work the same same rotation. As they're ready in delivering the pitch he's swung kind of popped it remember the old days it was actually a -- American League umpires. One would work second base average work. Inside and outside the utterly right at -- -- -- guys now they -- can't. Everybody works and we've talked about going back to the outside you can conceal a lot of different plays with a lot of pleased to be blocked so. We you know we believe right now we -- doing it the best way to give them cars the best view. -- second exchanges that. We want to do is lol. Other anything. And do in terms of speed up. -- -- -- Nothing new nothing do I'm -- always gives the signal about the Sixers haven't pitched of indicate to them -- -- matter how many more warmup pitches the pitcher has -- Him as one more pitch Wilson one more and hopefully get that that a kind of walking toward home plate. Nothing else really knew this year. Time granted just as Lester is about to -- he -- it to the plate. No pitch. Ryan -- umpires have really tried but. It's up to the players in the manager's. Lot of laws everybody needs to do their part this -- It's true and you can't call more strikes with a great situation in that box you have to them and Patriots. You know you just want to keep it -- and this was all about being consistent. Out there right out of play. And umpires are graded. After every team they work right. At the plate in the basis. There nine times out of ten there's going to be a super about their war observer. That the game. Agree. With technology cameras and stuff there that greeted. Only everything every pitch there's -- -- -- Shop I did not story arc -- right center field runner gets buried here and to provide feedback cut -- throw to the plate saint. -- stars. And act that was cut up by the shortstop Spears'. -- was too late it's one nothing twins and RBI single for Bentsen. -- holding it secondhand the twins score first. Is there one or two things that is you can identify it's changed about the game since he started -- to now. Different perspective for institutional from an umpires believe you. Yeah. I really don't think so not that I can think of right of well my feeling is that he's got the very elusive very quick game. I was working in the game somewhere few years ago when you look around him and count the cameras just technology. That's the Bulls planes did it change since that started umpiring years ago. If it's better and better you Dubya cherish those -- tops the box in the air but. It's the screen no chance for shopping. About the parts per million buys a new parks that would have been excellent not feel major problem with it makes it tough. Or tonight's field on part of the Dodgers fan friendly moments that it all parts of beautiful but anytime you. And fans were -- in the you know vegetables and a lot of yellow line that it's helpful. And the walk -- ways to. Third so if the home run we have similar lines here and there rat line to get that little -- -- -- it is the replays worked out pretty well. Boundary calls. Lester delivers -- wanna can be terrible -- upon takes key. I don't several pars I've talked to say it like to see even more replay because. In many ways to get them off the hook vindicates. The office they do a lot of embarrassment. With a lot -- to look into it. We'll be different than other sports. You change of cold you had multiple runners what you put them so thank the commissioner is doing a good draw. In the community together and really look at him today. There's a body gets it down nicely last electric Gaudio who picks it up and throws the second baseman covering. Very nice bunt by who would you terror. Five or on the sacrifice zone. Burroughs at third events in the second. And we have that one out -- the -- can see it coming you know. You have some. Young umpires here and mark got a lot of behind the plate to -- umpire producer. -- in a nationally. Animal Mario is in the Pacific Coast League and Manny Gonzales was. I know it was so many last year in the big leagues discern the answer in the infield and pitches high ball on. No I don't know what you can really do to prepare to umpiring in the big leagues I know a lot of people think it's easy but it's not easy. This is one way these guys could train in and stuff unfortunate as an umpire only way to learn a prime big leagues is usually in the victory. There's across privately. I know that to go over the years and executives. In the umpires. Perspective. -- the pace so terrible minor leagues. And so if you get a chance to advance weakness. Tires stick around -- and not much Paterno both the infield charge. -- edging and the pitches. In the average frankly so that before the end it was what was that pitcher gets hit that whoever. Until -- kind of something broadcasting. Yeah. That's happening in the minors -- a good not too many -- -- but the guys -- -- blocked and you can at at that. It's very similar. Players who differently age there's a 12 bonds that Barrett you charges holes a runner at third and throws. First with the attitude where -- problem -- the matter is is that you get him off the -- And when his follow the umpires today. Listening. -- -- -- -- Pick up the bad -- way. What you thanks. Hello I'm glad I I have -- called him when I'm there in right there -- that's the -- The -- to call it I don't know. No outs of 53 out certainly didn't hit him -- almost that it didn't. So there too after Jamey Carroll walked his first time. -- don't have camera series and this is -- that you don't live yes -- As it -- to the right out of play. What do you tell young men might see him too steep and time. What would you advise that the most pursued a career. Always. Of us didn't they ask me that just finished school because it is a tough moment ruled him. It's been a lot of good on ours passed over -- there's no there's nothing you can do it's always steps up and fall back home. I usually ask them if they're already married and have family could really view. Tough job and so. Susan the just just to finish who were this many games as you can and you have to go on -- who. Attributed profession school work as many games and kick in practice makes perfect. It's one and one -- count. Now. Veteran umpires to me that managers today much easier to deal with the they weren't generation ago when you have Earl Weaver Williams. With the Martins -- You called Bulls -- not meet with those guys. That they have all retired before I came along with that. I think manages a great -- they just expect from you what they expect the players just to give them 100% each and every night. They realize that is not easy job we do. I think we have a commitment. To one swing -- about the ball to urge you. Backs up lobs fires across in time working out and sorry -- to. Runs out after winning one of the Minnesota shot that you. -- Red Sox radio network. I'm not the twins last of the second David Aardsma. Introduced at the age should be qualified Darnell McDonald and Josh program poppy with two home runs to RBIs in 8278. Visiting with the umpiring supervisor and twenty year hiring veteran chuck meriwether. Native of Nashville Tennessee. At a -- -- Europe firing in the big leagues whenever home. Never home. On par is always on the road even guys that then they'll like it -- -- somebody lived in Boston. Think that schedule comes -- go to Boston if you want to hit out -- -- no guarantee if you live in the city. Strike called to copy. In Hendrix delivers -- Ortiz files one left field line. -- -- seats in my that to guys give people -- if he doesn't like strike call. That he does he do it and it's nice way. Always I think it can -- -- -- -- and go with -- smiles but still will but but but it makes it easier to take the complaint they could be viewed. -- -- -- And at that. But that's when he costs just after. I don't but it community on -- that -- that term of the back shoot you but. Off. -- not that commitment. Want to know is little low two and two. I had David loves everybody else here. Including the opponents and 22 pitch. And he files it to the street. And out -- Felt it seems like we've seen more umpires you know but -- -- to expect in recent years. Is it on the rise or is it just perception mean what can you guys do to protect yourself to what mark put on who's middle school. Director does a great job. Working with the guys and trying to keep us in the slot. If you look at David he's left handed -- of course of course the umpires home. In that particular batters box so that's what we called -- trying to stay in the slot and you're still gonna get hit but. If that's on par with the Oakland pitchers left children he would be. In the zone where the speed is gonna pick up -- -- a foul ball off into the band around it involved. As to which remains AB is sitting target really. That target but I -- so many umpires now are having neck surgery and concussion symptoms from getting drilled. Is it because. The game speed up so much in the batter's. Swing has so much or violently in the pitchers throw harder is it because of the stance. You know what that as a good question I really don't know I'm sure guys used to go. Would take in the same chemicals leaving him just offering just about -- concussions and stuff like I don't know where the focus of our photographers to. He -- not only guys who. -- -- -- -- If it takes off for upn and one man on nobody effort Darnell McDonald has been on fire hitting 500. Eight for 65. Doubles two homers three RBIs feedback is. Swinging it well and long bomb over everything Atlanta yes today. Here's the pitch in his -- course the old days you -- we have mark for the big -- chest protector of the big bubble in the big moon. Where they'd better protected. Of those look -- before my time also. I don't know it seems like that ball no matter what protection you have home that goal is always gonna find that open spot sometimes you can go a month without it yet. And things like some games you get hit 23 times. 10 pitch. Fastball in their first strike. Out. Another thing that I've always wondered about with the umpires you'd never get to sit down you're on your feet to three and a half hours right. And -- that's gotta be tough on the back and -- to -- the body equipment but. He needs these and everything. He -- almost gets hit by a pitch around -- and -- on these young guys. Both of these guys shape. They worked very hard in all season. That's part of people who don't really realize that you have to keep yourself that you us less turf good for the youngsters like it is the player's absolute. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- You could really. You could really tell it like if you went to Toronto. And in Minnesota. Or something like that when you headed back to back it would really. It would really. We're Coleman these bad -- and everything. The 22 pitch is what allowed that helped get you the supervisor's position not an -- the B yes that it is. Yeah bone on bone and pull off Roberts. -- -- Three and jokes you a copy does he goes out. Andy Beckett in the air right field but right Theres the right fielder right fielder and to say. Willingham to make -- catch here's what we're coming up. One on one out Josh Kroger 235 this spring with two RBIs. I you. Know certainly up fires well see them working out and Conchita. We've seen in the gym every day here riding his bike rollerblading via. And it's not like twenty years ago when some of the umpires were not very good condition. -- perhaps move. As it is a physical job. Pitches low and I stopped by the catcher. -- Gravity and -- a very good defensive catcher what happens when you get a catcher was not very good. Yeah that kept. -- a little bit. Aforementioned going home back there you know. He's been at times with the Bulls in the third. You know which was to kitchen. But it did some things that -- nothing thank you. Not to mention any names but you -- -- catchers that. You're leery about was true with at this level. All these guys use them. Out to the backstop. I suppose that's a big difference between. The minors and major legal salute and a pitcher's courses better command absolutely. One ball one strike one -- one nothing Minnesota in the second inning -- -- -- with the umpire supervisor chuck meriwether that pitch. Fastball in there for a strike. We see the catchers move a lot right with a pitch is delivered you move with the most of the time when you try and pick a spot well. Didn't help -- Barley move so you what you try to do is not try to get sick too quickly. And you watch them come and -- their rhythm if you look at him now mark. He didn't go down to actually sit so. This has slowed to a two. -- hear people -- -- was short -- like calling more strikes but. You have such a great that technical system now in place you really couldn't call more strikes to pitch is popped up proper base side. It's gonna -- behind the Red Sox I got out of play. It's is that the case that. You know technology. And with the rating system. It's pretty clear -- of -- -- strike you that you really can't expand. Sure I mean he didn't have the technology won't be there. Wanna start making up stuff. Spring training goes along in the in his season. Some players would tell you pay this last season called strikes -- with him being called strikes and there but he'll call me yeah pat and technology not together be fair there's a call strike and it's called strike three to judge Kroger two men down for Kelly Shoppach. Easy to 22 with a YRBI. To have a lot of friends among the catchers of all the time you spent. Close -- likely -- long we've buckled balls in the dirt and they're at it that. Is that pitching and it is in the effort -- strike going on. Was like we're in the end Jason Varitek. Always knew he was a great receiver. Nice and relaxed received the ball well we always take two. I enjoy work. Now the true what they say catchers mostly less in the batter's box when they're hitting to protect themselves in the back there. The idea that they wanted to calls for the pitchers that -- independently. Of that. You've been your experience. I don't think so and everybody's different you know fans -- you all the time about this clear that clear some people. Talkative and someone not just his -- person now. It's the shop biggest long -- miss strike three -- my slider to retire this I checked -- thanks so much for joining us and that. We look forward to seeing you work at ballparks throughout the major leagues during the course of the season that you always good to see. Are right up front supervisor check meriwether I guess after 21 nothing twins on the -- WEEI Red Sox radio network.

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