Twist of fate
In no way do I intend to belittle the passing of former umpire Eric Gregg, but it's hard to ignore the coincidence that, on the night of his death, Livan Hernandez is pitching against the Braves. Gregg, you'll remember, framed a strike zone almost as large as his belly while working behind the plate during Livan's 15 K performance against the home team in Game 5 of the 1997 NLCS.
Hernandez was a Marlin then, and Florida went on to win the series in six games. Braves fans haven't forgotten.
It was downhill from there for Gregg, who, along with 21 other umpires, resigned in 1999 as part of a failed labor strategy orchestrated by then-union director Richie Phillips. While some who resigned were later rehired by MLB, Gregg ended up judging chicken wing eating contests in Philadelphia.
He may have been a terrible ump, but Gregg was, by most accounts, a good guy. He leaves a wife and four children behind.