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New crew chiefs, new hires highlight '13 umpire staff

Experienced veterans Joyce, Barrett and Culbreth tabbed to take on leadership roles

Major League Baseball set its umpiring staff for the upcoming season on Monday, naming three new crew chiefs and hiring three more umpires.

The three newest crew chiefs -- Jim Joyce, Ted Barrett and Fieldin Culbreth -- replace the retired trio of Derryl Cousins, Ed Rapuano and Tim Tschida. As for the new hires, experienced Minor League umpires Vic Carapazza, Manny Gonzalez and Alan Porter will all work Major League games on a full-time basis this summer.

Joyce, a 25-year umpiring veteran, is the most experienced of the new crew leaders, while Barrett, 47, and Culbreth, 49, become the youngest chiefs on the Major League staff.

Each of the three newly appointed chiefs has worked two World Series (1999, 2001), while Joyce has also umpired four League Championship Series, eight League Division Series and three All-Star Games, including the 2012 Midsummer Classic. Barrett has worked five LCS, seven LDS and one All-Star Game, while Culbreth has called six LCS, five LDS and one Midsummer Classic.

Barrett also has the distinction of being the only umpire in Major League history to be behind the plate for two perfect games. Along with working Ervin Santana's no-hitter in 2011, Barrett called balls and strikes for David Cone's 1999 perfect game and Matt Cain's perfecto last season.

The three newcomers to the Major Leagues bring a combined 32 years of professional umpiring experience. Gonzalez and Porter have each worked in the Minor Leagues since 2002, while Carapazza started in '03. With the promotion, Gonzalez will become the first full-time Venezuelan umpire in Major League history.

As for Cousins, Rapuano and Tschida, they end their umpiring careers having totaled 83 1/2 years of Major League experience, though Rapuano will assume a new role as an umpire evaluator for Major League Baseball.

Paul Casella is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.