MLB Umpires You Would Hate to Have Calling Your Team's Big Game

Mark MillerCorrespondent IMarch 29, 2013

MLB Umpires You Would Hate to Have Calling Your Team's Big Game

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    With the official start to the 2013 MLB season just a few days away, teams all over the league are making final roster cuts as they ready themselves to depart from Grapefruit and Cactus League action in Arizona and Florida.

    We've seen some offensive standouts so far this spring and many pitchers that look like they're ready for big seasons, but they're not the only ones that will face high expectations entering the season.

    Umpires have an unenviable task of calling the game properly, and with relatively minimal usage of instant replay at their disposal, their instant judgements are magnified that much further.

    Here are some umpires that seem to find themselves on the bad side of MLB players and managers more often than their counterparts.

Jim Joyce

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    Jim Joyce almost deserves an asterisk in this slideshow, as he's actually one of the most well respected umpires in MLB and for the most part, does an admirable job of controlling the pace of a game.

    He will forever be included on lists including the worst calls of all time, as he single-handedly robbed Armando Galarraga of a perfect game on June 2, 2010.

    Despite that moment of infamy, Joyce was named the best umpire in baseball in a MLB player poll just a few months later.

Tim Welke

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    Umpiring is an imperfect process, so we have to be careful about coming down too hard on an MLB umpire for missing a close call at the plate or a strike that may or may not have been over the plate.

    On May 2, 2012 Welke took the human element of umpiring to a new level when he blew a call at first base (pictured).

    When a first baseman is a few inches from the bag, it can be hard to judge whether or not the out call should be made, but when he's a good three or four feet from the bag, the call should be a no-brainer—under any circumstance.

Angel Hernandez

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    Over the years, Angel Hernandez was seen as one of the worst umpires in MLB, and while he's managed to earn the opportunity to call high profile games since then, that doesn't mean he isn't without his faults.

    He tends to have a quicker trigger than other umpires, even once resorting to ejecting Steve McMichael at Wrigley Field after he gave his rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame".

    The 2013 season hasn't even started yet, and we've already seen what could be the worst call of the year, when Hernandez called a strike on a barely catchable ball.

C.B. Bucknor

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    In the world of MLB umpires that just can't get on the good side of players, C.B. Bucknor takes the cake.

    Bucknor has been named the worst umpire in baseball multiple times in anonymous player polls and hasn't seen his standing improve much over the years.

    If you're an MLB fan that has a beef with Bucknor, this video might make you feel a little bit better.

Joe West

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    Joe West may be the Godfather of umpiring as the president of the World Umpires Association, but that doesn't mean he hasn't spent his fair share of time on the bad side of MLB players.

    In 2007 The Hardball Times regarded West as the most consistent umpire in baseball, but just three years later an MLB player poll voted him as the second worst umpire in the league.

    West may best be known, however, for his criticism of the pace of play in MLB games—namely the matchups between the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees.