Laz Díaz

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63 – Laz Díaz
Laz Díaz 2011.jpg
Díaz in 2011
Born (1963-03-29) March 29, 1963 (age 51)
Miami, Florida
MLB debut June 23, 1995
Umpiring crew
A [1]
Crew members
Career highlights and awards

Lazaro Antonio Díaz Sr. (born March 29, 1963) is an umpire in Major League Baseball. He joined the American League's full-time staff in 1999, and has worked in both major leagues since 2000.

His professional umpiring career began after he attended the Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School in 1991. He worked his way up to the International League for the 1995 season. Díaz was one of the 22 umpires promoted to the major leagues in the wake of the Major League Umpires Association's mass-resignation strategy in July 1999. Prior to his professional umpiring career, he served in the Marine Corps Reserves. Díaz's hand-to-hand combat skills were displayed on the baseball diamond when he was attacked by an intoxicated fan while umpiring first base in a game at Chicago's Comiskey Park in April 2003.[2] He easily stifled the attack, and the fan (Eric Dybas) was later sentenced to up to 180 days in jail and one month of probation for aggravated battery.[3][4]

Díaz was the second base umpire when Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's career home run record. On July 23, 2009, Díaz was the third base umpire for Mark Buehrle's perfect game.

He has worked the World Series in 2007, the American League Championship Series in 2009, and the Division Series in 2002, 2006, 2007, and 2013. He also umpired the All-Star Game in 2000 and 2010.

Díaz is featured in Pepsi commercials with the Detroit Tigers' Johnny Damon, the Minnesota Twins' Joe Mauer and broadcaster Gary Thorne.

On Sunday March 7, 2010, Laz Díaz was inducted to the Cuban Hall of Fame.

During a game on May 30, 2012, Díaz got into an unusual argument with New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin. According to Martin, Díaz punished the catcher for disputing the strike zone by not letting him throw new baseballs out to the pitcher (a preference of Martin's) and claiming that this ability had to be "earned." MLB Executive VP for Baseball Operations Joe Torre spoke to Díaz and Martin about the incident, but Martin said he does not expect any disciplinary action for either man.[5]

MLB selected Diaz to officiate its 2014 Opening Series at the Sydney Cricket Ground in Sydney, Australia from March 20-23, 2014.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Umpires by 2013 MLB Crew Grouping, as of June 23rd". closecallsports.com. June 23, 2013. Retrieved August 5, 2013. 
  2. ^ Fan Jumps Umpire In Chicago
  3. ^ "White Sox Fan Attacks Umpire on Field". Associated Press (firstcoastnews.com). 2003. Retrieved 2008-08-03. 
  4. ^ Muskat, Carrie (December 4, 2003). "Fan pleads guilty to attacking ump". White Sox.MLB.com. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ Boland, Erik (June 1, 2012). "Russell Martin puts Laz Diaz incident behind him". Newsday. Retrieved 2 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Imber, Gil. "Roster: 2014 Opening Series (Sydney, Australia) Umpires." Close Call Sports/Umpire Ejection Fantasy League. Retrieved 16 March 2014.

External links[edit]