Brian Runge

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Brian Runge
Brian Runge.jpg
Brian Runge June 2011 at Dodger Stadium.
Born (1970-01-05) January 5, 1970 (age 44)
San Diego, California
Occupation Former MLB umpire
Height 6' 1"
Weight 225 lb.

Brian Edward Runge (born January 5, 1970) is a former umpire in Major League Baseball who worked in the National League in 1999 and throughout both major leagues from 2000 to 2012; he wore uniform number 18.

Umpiring career[edit]

Runge worked three Division Series (2004, 2007, 2008) as well as the 2012 MLB All-Star Game. His father, Paul (NL, 1973–97), and grandfather, Ed (American League, 1954–70), also were major league umpires, which makes the Runges the first three-generation umpiring family in major league history.

Absences[edit]

Runge went on a hiatus from umpiring from the middle of July 2009 until September 20, 2009, for an undisclosed reason.[1] He returned to the field on September 21, 2009, in Milwaukee to work home plate in a game between the Brewers and the Chicago Cubs.[2]

In a July 28, 2010, game between the Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners, Runge exited prior to the start of the third inning, after taking a foul tip off his mask during a Paul Konerko at-bat against Jason Vargas in the first inning.[3] After over a month of not umpiring due to this injury, Runge returned to the field on September 2, 2010.[4]

Runge was on an extended hiatus from umpiring, from August 30, 2012 to July 2, 2013. He missed the last month of the 2012 season because of a knee injury.[5] Although he did umpire 2013 MLB Spring Training games, he has not appeared in a regular season game. The cause of this extended absence was unknown[6] until it was reported on July 2, 2013 that Runge had been fired for multiple failed drug tests.[7]

Controversies[edit]

In September 2007, Runge was part of an incident involving then Padres outfielder Milton Bradley and first base umpire Mike Winters. Winters had apparently told Runge that Bradley "flipped his bat in [his] direction" after being called out on strikes earlier in the game. Runge denied that Winters had told him this, but when Bradley came to the plate in the 8th inning, Runge did ask Bradley about the bat–flip. After reaching first base, Bradley raised the issue with Winters. Bradley claimed that Winters told him he had thrown his bat in Runge's direction and Bradley reacted incredulously to this. Shortly afterward, the argument got ugly as Winters reportedly shouted profanity at Bradley. When he attempted to approach the umpire, Bradley was restrained by his manager, Bud Black, and Bradley sustained a torn ACL in the process. He was also ejected from the game by Winters, who was given a suspension through the rest of the regular season.[8][9]

On June 24, 2008, Runge was involved in an altercation while working home plate during a New York Mets/Seattle Mariners game at Shea Stadium. After Carlos Beltran of the Mets questioned a called strike, Runge walked in front of the plate to dust it off, saying some words to Beltran in the process. When Mets manager Jerry Manuel came out to argue, Runge appeared to bump Manuel in the chest, before ejecting both Manuel and Beltran. As a result of the incident, Manuel and Beltran were fined, while Runge was suspended for one game.[10][11]

Notable games[edit]

On June 28, 2007, Runge was at third base when Toronto Blue Jay Frank Thomas hit his 500th career home run off Minnesota Twins pitcher Carlos Silva. Later in the game, Thomas was ejected by plate umpire Mark Wegner for arguing balls and strikes, with Toronto manager John Gibbons also getting thrown out.[12]

On Wednesday, September 3, 2008, Runge was the third-base umpire when Alex Rodriguez hit a home run which bounced off a catwalk behind the left field foul pole. It was the first play in major league history which involved the use of instant replay to confirm a home run call.[13]

On July 10, 2009, Runge was behind the plate for San Francisco Giants pitcher, Jonathan Sánchez's no-hitter.[14] Runge made a dramatic called third strike to end the game. His grandfather, Ed, also was home plate umpire in 1965 for Dave Morehead's no hitter.

Runge served as home plate umpire for White Sox pitcher, Philip Humber's perfect game on April 21, 2012, at Safeco Field,[15] and the combined no-hitter of Seattle Mariners pitcher Kevin Millwood and five relievers on June 8, 2012, also at Safeco Field,[16] becoming the 10th Major League umpire to call balls and strikes for multiple no-hitters in the same season.[17] He was the third-base umpire for the perfect game thrown by San Francisco Giants pitcher, Matt Cain, on June 13, 2012, at AT&T Park.[18]

Runge was a member of the umpiring crew for the 2012 MLB All-Star Game on July 10.[19]

Termination[edit]

On June 9, 2013, a rumor began to circulate that Runge would be removed from the MLB umpiring staff and be replaced by Triple-A fill-in umpire Chris Conroy.[20] Less than one week later, Runge was released from Major League Baseball, reportedly due to undisclosed violations of the MLB Drug Policy.[21][22]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Injuries, rules make umpiring a sore subject - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN
  2. ^ Game Wrapup | cubs.com: News
  3. ^ Umpire exits Mariners-White Sox after foul tip | Mariners.com: News
  4. ^ Boxscore: Cleveland vs. Seattle - September 2, 2010 | MLB.com: News
  5. ^ MLB.com Gameday | orioles.com: Gameday
  6. ^ Unconfirmed: MLB Hires Vic Carapazza, Porter, Gonzalez | Close Call Sports and the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League
  7. ^ Brian Runge, MLB umpire, dismissed after drug violation, according to report - ESPN
  8. ^ "Baseball". Daily News (New York). 
  9. ^ Brock, Corey (September 23, 2007). "Bradley injured after getting tossed". MLB.com. Retrieved August 9, 2013. 
  10. ^ MetsBlog.com » News: Beltran and Manuel Fined
  11. ^ WCBS NEWSRADIO 880 - Umpire Suspended for 'Bumping' Mets Manager, Jerry Manuel[dead link]
  12. ^ Momentum of Thomas' 500th homer erased as Twins rally. ESPN.com. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  13. ^ New York Yankees vs. Tampa Bay Rays - Box Score - September 03, 2008 - ESPN
  14. ^ Game Wrapup | SFGiants.com: News
  15. ^ "White Sox vs. Mariners Saturday, April 21, 2012:box score". MLB.com. 2012-04-21. Retrieved 2012-04-23. 
  16. ^ "Dodgers vs. Mariners Friday, June 8, 2012:box score". espn.com. 2012-06-08. Retrieved 2012-06-09. 
  17. ^ "Combined No-Hitter". closecallsports.com. 2012-06-09. Retrieved 2012-06-12. 
  18. ^ "Houston Astros vs. San Francisco Giants". espn.com. 2012-06-13. Retrieved 2012-06-14. 
  19. ^ Gerry Davis named home plate ump ESPN.com. Retrieved 3 July 2012
  20. ^ Rumor: AAA Umpire Conroy May be Hired, Replacing Brian Runge. Close Call Sports and the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League. 2013-06-09.
  21. ^ Report: MLB umpire dismissed after drug violation - MLB News | FOX Sports on MSN
  22. ^ "Umpire Brian Runge reportedly fired for drugs by MLB". David Brown Big League Stew on Yahoo! Sports. 

External links[edit]