MLB Network Goes Behind the Scenes with World Series Umpires

From calling the balls and strikes to making a crucial call at home plate, MLB Network will bring viewers into the lives of the 2012 World Series umpires in The Third Team: All-Access 2012 World Series, a one hour special premiering Thursday, December 27, at 9:00 p.m. ET. The documentary features exclusive behind-the-scenes access and never-before-heard audio of Fieldin Culbreth, Gerry Davis, Brian Gorman, Dan Iassogna, Brian O’Nora, and Joe West, as they worked this past year’s Fall Classic between the San Francisco Giants and Detroit Tigers.

All six umpires wore microphones before, during and after each World Series game, as The Third Team captures the sights and sounds of the umpires’ pre- and postgame rituals, their interactions with players and coaches on the field, and their calls on the some of the series’ closest plays, including Iassogna’s crucial out call of Detroit’s Prince Fielder at home plate in Game Two and his subsequent conversation with Tigers Manager Jim Leyland about the play.

An exclusive interview with MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre is featured, plus all six umpires discuss the bond they share as the “third team” on the field, the pressure of being an MLB umpire, the sacrifices they have made for their careers, and the feeling of having reached the pinnacle of their profession, which Fieldin Culbreth says, “You start off with 68 of us, and to be one of the six that’s chosen to work the World Series is an honor.”

The Third Team also features Iassogna and O’Nora discussing the emotion of working their first World Series, Gorman talking about following in his father Tom’s footsteps as an umpire, and Davis’ thoughts about setting the record for the most Postseason games worked by an umpire in Game One.