The highest percentage of strikes were called when both the home-plate umpire and pitcher were white, and the lowest percentage were called between a white ump and a black pitcher. The study also found that minority umpires judged Asian pitchers more unfairly than they did white pitchers. It's a significant disadvantage for Asian pitchers because the MLB doesn't have any Asian umpires. Interestingly enough, Hamermesh's research found that the race of the batter didn't seem to matter — the correlation was only between the pitcher and the home-plate ump. Rich Levin, an MLB spokesman, refused to comment on the research findings.
This in itself is interesting enough. But then you look at the picture they used. And you realize it's a stock photo of a Royals batter in spring training facing the Braves. And then you look at the last name on that jersey.
The Royals batter is Sal Fasano.
Who was last seen in Royals spring training in 1999.
Russ Schleipman / Corbis
Sharing the same office building as Sports Illustrated, you'd think Time could've dug up a more recent photo.