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Timothy Reid McClelland (born December 12, 1951 in Jackson, Michigan) is an umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League from 1983 to 1999 and throughout both leagues since 2000. He has called many important games, from post-season games to the George Brett "Pine Tar" game in 1983. More recently, he was the plate umpire for the Sammy Sosa corked bat game on June 3, 2003 when the Chicago Cubs hosted the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Wrigley Field. He has worn uniform number 36 since his promotion to the AL, and kept the number when Major League Baseball merged the American and National League umpiring staffs in 2000.

He is currently the tallest major league umpire at 6-foot-6. He was known in the past for working in a kneeling position behind the plate (he has switched, since at least 2006, to a "box position", a form of squat) and for his deliberate strike calls. He is noted for having a small strike zone, but is praised even by pitchers for its consistency. Major League pitcher Zack Greinke said of McClelland's alleged tight strike zone, "For some reason, he's the one umpire that scares me. I have nightmares about him." [1]

McClelland has umpired in numerous noteworthy baseball games. He has been a World Series umpire four times (1993, 2000, 2002 and 2006), and worked in three All-Star games (1986, 1998 and 2003), calling balls and strikes on the last occasion. He has also called five Division Series (1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006), serving as crew chief in 1997, 2004, and 2006 and in eight League Championship Series (1988, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 ), serving as crew chief in 2003, 2005, 2007 and 2008. He was the home plate umpire for the single-game playoff to decide the NL's 2007 wild card team, in which the Colorado Rockies defeated the San Diego Padres 9-8 in 13 innings. He also worked the 2008 one-game playoff between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox, which the White Sox won by a Jim Thome home run in the 7th inning 1-0. He was also the third base umpire for Nolan Ryan's sixth career no-hitter on June 11, 1990.

In his first season in the AL, he was behind the plate in the infamous "Pine Tar" game at Yankee Stadium on July 24, 1983, in which George Brett of the Kansas City Royals hit a two-run home run, which was immediately protested by New York Yankees manager Billy Martin due to an obscure equipment rule. McClelland inspected Brett's bat, which had pine tar 24 inches up the handle. Because of the rule stating that pine tar cannot extend more than 18 inches up a bat handle, McClelland called Brett out, which nullified the home run. AL president Lee MacPhail later overturned McClelland's decision, clarifying that any protest regarding equipment must be made prior to a play, and had the Yankees and Royals replay the inning. In a twist of irony, nine years later McClelland was a member of the crew that worked Brett's 3,000th hit game and was one of the first to congratulate him.

Fifteen years later, McClelland was once again behind the plate at Yankee Stadium for a famous game, as David Wells pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins on May 17, 1998. He also was the umpire during the 2003 game where famous slugger Sammy Sosa was caught with a corked bat at Wrigley Field during the interleague game between the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the Chicago Cubs.[2] Sosa broke his bat hitting a routine ground out, and upon inspection of the fragments of the bat, cork was found, leading to Sosa's ejection and subsequent suspension.

In 2007, McClelland worked home plate for the NL's Wild Card tiebreaker game between the Padres and Rockies. In the bottom of the 13th inning, with the score even at 8-8, the Rockies scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly when McClelland called the tagging baserunner, Matt Holliday, safe at the plate. There were questions afterward as to whether or not Holliday actually touched home plate on his slide. Padres manager Bud Black stated after the game that he believed Holliday did touch the plate. McClelland is often criticized by Padre fans for the call. [3] Following the game, McClelland told The Des Moines Register that "Michael Barrett stuck out his leg, but he didn't have it planted in the ground. What I saw was Holliday kind of slide through that leg and touch the plate."[4] McClelland defended his deliberate safe call saying that he wanted to see if Barrett held on to the ball.[4]

On October 20th, 2009 in an ALCS game between the Yankees and the Angels McClelland made two highly publicized controversial calls. McClelland called Nick Swisher out for leaving the bag too early when Swisher was tagging up on a fly ball. Some analysts contend that video replays showed this call to be erroneous. With one out in the top of the fifth inning, an apparent double play was negated when McClelland called Robinson Cano safe at third after he was tagged by Mike Napoli while not in contact with the base.

McClelland, a graduate of Michigan State University, is a major league crew chief, and is among the fifteen most senior active major league umpires.

References

External links

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Timothy Reid McClelland (born December 12, 1951 in Jackson, Michigan) is an umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the American League from 1983 to 1999 and throughout both leagues since 2000. He has called many important games, from post-season games to the George Brett "Pine Tar" game in

  1. REDIRECT Template:Baseball Year. More recently, he was the plate umpire for the Sammy Sosa corked bat game on June 3, 2003 when the Chicago Cubs hosted the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Wrigley Field. He has worn uniform number 36 since his promotion to the AL, and kept the number when Major League Baseball merged the American and National League umpiring staffs in
  2. REDIRECT Template:Baseball Year.

He is currently the tallest major league umpire at 6-foot-6. He was known in the past for working in a kneeling position behind the plate (he has switched, since at least 2006, to a "box position", a form of squat) and for his deliberate strike calls. He is noted for having a small strike zone, but is praised even by pitchers for its consistency. Major League pitcher Zack Greinke said of McClelland's alleged tight strike zone, "For some reason, he's the one umpire that scares me. I have nightmares about him." [1]

McClelland has umpired in numerous noteworthy baseball games. He has been a World Series umpire four times (1993, 2000, 2002 and 2006), and worked in three All-Star games (1986, 1998 and 2003), calling balls and strikes on the last occasion. He has also called five Division Series (1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006), serving as crew chief in 1997, 2004, and 2006 and in eight League Championship Series (1988, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 ), serving as crew chief in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009. He was the home plate umpire for the single-game playoff to decide the NL's 2007 wild card team, in which the Colorado Rockies defeated the San Diego Padres 9-8 in 13 innings. He also worked the 2008 one-game playoff between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox, which the White Sox won by a Jim Thome home run in the 7th inning 1-0. He was also the third base umpire for Nolan Ryan's sixth career no-hitter on June 11, 1990.

In his first season in the AL, he was behind the plate in the infamous "Pine Tar" game at Yankee Stadium on July 24, 1983, in which George Brett of the Kansas City Royals hit a two-run home run, which was immediately protested by New York Yankees manager Billy Martin due to an obscure equipment rule. McClelland inspected Brett's bat, which had pine tar 24 inches up the handle. Because of the rule stating that pine tar cannot extend more than 18 inches up a bat handle, McClelland called Brett out, which nullified the home run. AL president Lee MacPhail later overturned McClelland's decision, clarifying that any protest regarding equipment must be made prior to a play, and had the Yankees and Royals replay the inning. In a twist of irony, nine years later McClelland was a member of the crew that worked Brett's 3,000th hit game and was one of the first to congratulate him.

Fifteen years later, McClelland was once again behind the plate at Yankee Stadium for a famous game, as David Wells pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins on May 17, 1998. He also was the umpire during the 2003 game where famous slugger Sammy Sosa was caught with a corked bat at Wrigley Field during the interleague game between the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the Chicago Cubs.[2] Sosa broke his bat hitting a routine ground out, and upon inspection of the fragments of the bat, cork was found, leading to Sosa's ejection and subsequent suspension.

In 2007, McClelland worked home plate for the NL's Wild Card tiebreaker game between the Padres and Rockies. In the bottom of the 13th inning, with the score even at 8-8, the Rockies scored the winning run on a sacrifice fly when McClelland called the tagging baserunner, Matt Holliday, safe at the plate. There were questions afterward as to whether or not Holliday actually touched home plate on his slide. Padres manager Bud Black stated after the game that he believed Holliday did touch the plate. McClelland is often criticized by Padre fans for the call.[3] Following the game, McClelland told The Des Moines Register that "Michael Barrett stuck out his leg, but he didn't have it planted in the ground. What I saw was Holliday kind of slide through that leg and touch the plate."[4] McClelland defended his deliberate safe call saying that he wanted to see if Barrett held on to the ball.[4]

On October 20, 2009 in an ALCS game between the Yankees and the Angels McClelland made two highly publicized controversial calls. McClelland called Nick Swisher out for leaving the bag too early when Swisher was tagging up on a fly ball. Some analysts contend that video replays showed this call to be erroneous. With one out in the top of the fifth inning, an apparent double play was negated when McClelland called Robinson Cano safe at third after he was tagged by Mike Napoli while not in contact with the base.

McClelland, a graduate of Michigan State University, is a major league crew chief, and is among the fifteen most senior active major league umpires.

References

External links


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