Bros Before Zones

The blurry photograph shows Randy Wolf attending a game in which his brother Jim was umpiring, cleverly dressed in his older brother's umpiring jersey.

Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Randy Wolf ‘s brother Jim is a Major League Baseball umpire. You might think this to be a conflict of interest, but generally speaking, MLB avoids assigning his crew to games involving his brother’s team. The few times when scheduling has made conflict unavoidable, Wolf has sat out the game and an alternate umpire is used.

Back in 2003, an issue arose during a heated September Wild Card race between the Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins. Pudge Rodriguez and Mark Redman accused Wolf of deliberately making calls that went against the Marlins so that the Phillies, his brother’s team at the time, could win the Wild Card.

Spring Training baseball has about as much in common with a September playoff race as the similarities that strikes share with balls. Therefore, it wasn’t seen as much a big deal when Jim Wolf was assigned to work home plate for a Brewers’ exhibition game today. Causing us to question the role of fate, however, is that it just so happens Milwaukee’s rotation schedule has caused his brother Randy to be today’s starter.

Controversy!

If nothing else, it should be fun to check out the strike zone map tool or two after Wolf exits the game.

A four pitch pass to Crossing Broad for the picture.