The 2010 edition of the Major League Baseball Umpire Manual (MLBUM) is 79 pages, the same number of pages as my edition of Sun Tzu's The Art of War.
The MLBUM may be small, but it packs quite a wallop. It is not comprehensive, and unlike the PBUC Manual it does not deign to teach its reader the rules, customs, or courtesies. It is an elaboration on certain rules, a collection of interpretations that every MLB umpire needs to know to survive at the highest level.
The focus of the MLBUM is to clarify the confusing morass called the Official Rules of Major League Baseball. Think of it as rules graduate work. In the hierarchy of baseball rules, the MLBUM is merely a secondary resource (the OBR along with its comments is the only primary resource). No umpire in his right mind would cite the MLBUM to a manager. However, in interpreting and enforcing the rules, it is law. The MLBUM is published by the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball and is how MLB wants its rules interpreted.
In the past this publication was very difficult to obtain. Now the MLBUM is available for purchase from Jim Evans Academy of Umpiring for $10.00. A small price for a small book, but what it inside will answer many rules dilemmas.
Fair or Foul?
The MLBUM is an important resource for every umpire. The rules may not be clearly written, but the MLBUM is written in plain, easy to understand language. It is absolutely FAIR.