Brian Runge

Brian Runge

Brian Edward Runge (born January 5 1970 in San Diego, California) is an umpire in Major League Baseball who has worked in the National League in 1999 and throughout both major leagues since 2000. He wears uniform number 71. He has worked in the 2004 and 2007 American League Division Series. His father, Paul (NL, 1973-97), and grandfather, Ed (American League, 1954-70), were also major league umpires, which makes the Runges the first three-generation umpiring family in major league history. His strike call is loud and sounds like "ha." When there is a called strike three, Runge raises his right arm up quickly and then steps into a walking punch out. During a game between the New York Yankees and Cincinnati Reds at Yankee Stadium earlier in the 2008 season, Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay commented on Runge's emphatic called strike three on Derek Jeter, calling it, "histrionic." Runge's crew for the 2008 season includes Charlie Reliford (crew chief), Kerwin Danley, and Greg Gibson. []

On Wednesday, September 3, by|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.


In September 2007, Runge reportedly baited then Padres outfielder Milton Bradley, telling him that umpire Mike Winters had told him that he "flipped his bat in [his] direction." Bradley confronted Winters, who reportedly shouted profanity at Bradley. In his frustration, Bradley approached Winters, and needed to be restrained by his manager Bud Black, tearing his ACL in the process. [ [ Umpire Winters suspended for remainder of regular season ] ]

On June 15, by|2008, Runge was involved in a controversial incident involving the Minnesota Twins and their manager Ron Gardenhire. Gardenhire was angry that home plate umpire Brian Runge didn't allow Brendan Harris time to reset in the batter's box. On an 0-2 count, Harris got into the box, and then pulled one foot out, asking for time. Runge didn't grant it and Brewers reliever Guillermo Mota delivered to the plate. Runge called the pitch a strike and a shocked Harris, who wasn't looking at Mota, dropped his bat and began to complain. Gardenhire came out to get Harris and argued for several minutes. Runge warned him to go back to the dugout before ejecting him. []

Nine days later, Runge was involved in an altercation during a New York Mets/Seattle Mariners game at Shea Stadium on June 24. 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. Those involved in the incident suggested that Runge's actions were "unsportsmanlike" and ought to garner a suspension. Various sports talk hosts, including Michael Wilbon of ESPN, agreed with this view. [ [ ESPN - Manuel ejected in second home game as Mets manager - MLB ] ] As a result of the incident, Manuel and Beltran were fined, while Runge was suspended for one game. [ [ » News: Beltran and Manuel Fined ] ] [ [ WCBS NEWSRADIO 880 - Umpire Suspended for 'Bumping' Mets Manager, Jerry Manuel ] ]

On July 19, 2008 (Tigers vs Orioles in Baltimore), Runge made a controversial call on a play at the plate. In the 10th inning, with 2 outs, Gary Sheffield singled and brought Placido Polanco home from 2nd base. Runge was right there on the play and called Polanco out to end the inning. Replays showed Polanco clearly touching the plate prior to the tag. This would have given the Tigers a one-run lead going into the bottom of the 10th inning. Luke Scott would eventually come up in the bottom of the 10th inning and hit a walk-off one-run home run to win the game for Baltimore. [ [,0,6599718.story Scott's HR caps wild Orioles win - ] ] [ [ ESPN - Tigers vs. Orioles - Recap - July 19, 2008 ] ] Runge had another questionable call the following day as the third-base umpire(Orioles/Tigers). He ruled Marcus Thames' sixth-inning home run a foul ball, but was overruled by home plate umpire Greg Gibson. The home run counted. [ [ Thames' home runs keep coming at clutch times | | Detroit Free Press ] ]


External links

* [ Major league profile]

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