An umpire stands in front of a countdown clock at a major league stadium. (USA Today)

Length of 2016 MLB Games by Home Plate Umpire

This is the first in what will be a series of posts on the topic of Major League Baseball’s ‘pace of play’ initiative. The data used to generate these posts comes from publicly accessible Gameday data files at Keep an eye out for posts to come!

I recently came across this 2006 ESPN article that chronicles a week in the life of a major league umpire. To my surprise, the piece mentions MLB’s efforts to police the pace of the game even back in 2006 by gauging umpires and their ability to move the game along (or not). Here’s a relevant extract that discusses an umpire’s “POG stat”:

The POG [pace of game] stat is derived from a formula that includes length of game, number of pitches, pitching changes, runs and innings. “Pace of game is harder to control,” Marsh says. “But if your POG average is consistently high in relation to the other crews, they let you know it.” He asks if any of the other guys saw the previous night’s Yankee game. “Posada went to the mound three times in an inning,” he says. Everyone shakes his head. Not good for that crew’s POG.

“You pull for the other crews to have short games,” Hernandez says. “Not just for their POG stats, but because you know how tired they are. When you’re watching a game and it goes into extra innings, you say a little umpire prayer for it to be done soon.”

Admittedly, I don’t know the POG formula referenced, though that won’t stop me from trying to create one of my own. In the interim, here’s a listing of the umps with the best and worst average game times when they’re behind the plate from 2016. For the purposes of making things somewhat reasonable, I have restricted the table to only those regular season games that ended after 9 innings. I realize this is rather rudimentary and doesn’t take into account a whole host of other factors, but I thought it might be interesting to see any noticeable differences amongst the umpires. In coming weeks, I’ll update with more detail and hopefully provide breakdowns for individual crews.

The following table pulled data only from 9-inning regular season games during the 2016 season and includes those umpires who served at least 10 games behind the plate. In addition to their average game time, I’ve included the number of games they were home plate umps as well as their quickest and longest (9-inning) games from last season.

Umpire# of GamesAverageShortestLongest
Adam Hamari283:012:113:31
Adrian Johnson273:012:293:48
Alan Porter293:032:293:37
Alfonso Marquez303:012:283:45
Andy Fletcher263:042:213:49
Angel Hernandez292:542:233:25
Ben May152:542:103:18
Bill Miller342:532:253:24
Bill Welke253:032:283:47
Bob Davidson282:582:123:50
Brian Gorman183:092:293:37
Brian Knight263:012:234:15
Brian O'Nora153:002:343:33
Carlos Torres353:042:234:03
CB Bucknor282:542:243:38
Chad Fairchild283:032:233:48
Chad Whitson123:012:453:25
Chris Conroy313:012:323:44
Chris Guccione242:582:103:25
Clint Fagan293:092:204:11
Cory Blaser282:492:103:22
D.J. Reyburn272:542:133:28
Dale Scott203:122:433:39
Dan Bellino273:022:343:36
Dan Iassogna273:062:333:53
Dana DeMuth192:532:163:24
David Rackley243:032:323:46
Doug Eddings232:552:303:58
Ed Hickox162:592:333:23
Eric Cooper222:562:213:20
Fieldin Culbreth283:012:134:02
Gabe Morales282:572:193:32
Gary Cederstrom273:032:313:38
Gerry Davis263:022:213:56
Greg Gibson253:052:123:49
Hunter Wendelstedt242:512:263:15
James Hoye233:062:284:16
Jeff Kellogg233:062:384:11
Jeff Nelson273:022:233:35
Jerry Layne252:592:313:28
Jerry Meals273:022:193:32
Jim Joyce272:572:083:54
Jim Reynolds273:062:373:41
Jim Wolf283:022:283:35
Joe West263:032:173:43
John Hirschbeck193:052:303:52
John Tumpane313:052:274:00
Jordan Baker323:092:314:01
Kerwin Danley302:582:153:40
Lance Barksdale272:562:143:43
Lance Barrett282:522:183:36
Larry Vanover302:592:103:39
Laz Diaz283:022:373:51
Manny Gonzalez283:022:194:08
Mark Carlson292:572:294:01
Mark Ripperger282:542:153:40
Mark Wegner293:032:363:55
Marty Foster252:562:073:30
Marvin Hudson273:052:293:46
Mike DiMuro133:082:433:24
Mike Estabrook242:572:173:38
Mike Everitt292:582:173:28
Mike Muchlinski272:522:243:46
Mike Winters233:052:333:49
Nic Lentz232:572:193:55
Pat Hoberg302:532:213:47
Paul Emmel273:002:263:57
Paul Nauert293:022:184:30
Phil Cuzzi203:032:113:36
Quinn Wolcott313:092:403:49
Ramon De Jesus233:052:163:50
Rob Drake222:582:313:38
Ron Kulpa293:022:303:48
Ryan Blakney302:552:143:34
Sam Holbrook273:022:303:43
Scott Barry253:002:263:29
Sean Barber162:572:333:35
Stu Scheurwater113:032:263:46
Ted Barrett313:032:303:43
Tim Timmons273:012:213:36
Toby Basner182:542:193:17
Todd Tichenor272:582:113:43
Tom Hallion273:022:293:38
Tony Randazzo242:592:233:48
Tripp Gibson252:542:064:02
Vic Carapazza263:002:223:44
Will Little272:562:203:25


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