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Mike Trout proposes change to spring training umpiring

Houston Astros v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 01: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim talks with teammates in the dugout before the game with the Houston Astros in the first inning at Angel Stadium of Anaheim on October 1, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

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Angels outfielder Mike Trout came up with an idea that would allow less experienced umpires an opportunity to call some major league spring training action. As ESPN’s Buster Olney reports, Trout thinks the veteran umpires should only call five or six innings as they get back into regular season shape. The rest of the innings could be called by minor league umpires.

According to Olney, baseball officials loved Trout’s idea when they heard about it last week. One official said, “It makes a lot of sense for a lot of different reasons.” Another said, “That’s Trout -- he’s always paying attention to stuff beyond what he’s doing.”

Of course, I have to agree that the suggestion is a great one. As Olney notes, the turnover rate for umpires every year is relatively low, so younger, less-experienced umpires have few opportunities to get a feel for what it’s like calling major league action. Even beyond the actual interpretation of the rules, interacting with big league personalities would also be helpful for minor league umpires.

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