The group includes veteran crew chiefs Gerry Davis, Joe West and Dana DeMuth, along with Brian Gorman, Jeff Nelson and Mike Everitt. Davis is the crew chief and is slated to open behind the plate as former Cleveland teammates CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee hook up, now representing the Yankees and Phillies, respectively.
That didn't happen this year because MLB wanted more experienced umpires to try to avoid the mistakes that plagued the first two rounds.West, DeMuth and Davis each have worked three World Series and have been big league umpires for more than 25 years. Gorman, Nelson and Everitt all have called one World Series, and have been on the big league staff for at least 11 years. The most damaging mistake of the first round was left-field umpire Phil Cuzzi's foul call on a drive by Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer that was fair by a foot in Game 2 of the AL Division Series at Yankee Stadium. It happened in extra innings of a game the Twins lost, 4-3, in the l1th inning on Mark Teixeira's walk-off homer. In Game 4 of the ALCS, also won by the Yankees, third-base umpire Tim McClelland made two erroneous calls: He missed an obvious double play when Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada converged on third base. McClelland correctly called Posada out, but should have also done the same with Cano, who was tagged before he got to the bag from second base. Cano was called safe. McClelland also nailed Nick Swisher for leaving third base early on an apparent sacrifice fly to Angels center field Torii Hunter. Replays showed that Swisher didn't leave early and should have been credited for scoring the run. In all three cases, Cuzzi and McClelland admitted they were in error. World Series umpires are chosen from the pool of 24 umpires who work in the first round, with those two dozen picked on merit. ALCS and NLCS umpires aren't in play, because umps don't work in consecutive rounds of the postseason.
Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.