Wednesday, November 22, 2017

2017 Rules Summit - Results

The following are results of the 2017 UEFL Rules Summit. Notable changes for 2018 include elimination of the Triple-A ejection bonus point, renaming of the Declining Umpire Award to Most Disappointing Season, elimination of the Worst Umpire of the Year Award, and 30+ day absence replacement eligibility. Appeals Board re-election results are also posted.

Items which have gained passage (indicated in green highlight) will become rules for the 2018 UEFL season. Text of items which did not pass are indicated in red highlight.

Rule 1 - Selection of Umpires
Prop 1-2: Addition of Drafted Crew Chief - 27.0% YES.
> Would have added one crew chief (2 cc). Count remains one (cc).

Prop 1-3: Restructuring of Drafted Crew - 25.8% YES.
> Would have modified crew structure to (cc + 1 PRM + 1 SEC + 1 Fill-In); structure remains as (cc + 2 PRM + 2 SEC).

Prop 1-5-b: Mid-Season Replacement - 68.9% YES.
> Any consecutive 30+ day absence during the season qualifies as a circumstance for replacement.

Prop 1-5-c: Trade and Switch - 34.9% YES.
> Would have authorized one mid-season trade or replacement at the All-Star Break.

Rule 3 - Crew Division
Prop 3-3: Penalty for Incorrect Ejection - 41.9% YES.
> Would have deducted one point (-1) from crew chief's score for an incorrect crew ejection.

Rule 4 - League Scoring
Prop 4-2-a: Elimination of AAA Bonus Point - 55.6% YES.
> Eliminates the Triple-A ejection bonus point; all ejections are now allocated two base points.

Prop 4-2-b-3: Full Game Performance Points - 41.9% YES.
> Would have allowed full-game accuracy to mitigate QOCN ball/strike ejection loss of points.

Prop 4-3-c: Post-Season Appearance Points - 35.5% YES.
> Would have added one point to each round of the postseason.

Prop 4-4-h: Modification of Declining Umpire Award - 60.6% YES (Renaming), 30% Elimination.
> "Most Declining Umpire the Year" shall be renamed to "Most Disappointing Season."

Prop 4-4-i: Elimination of Worst Umpire Award - 51.5% YES.
> The "Worst Umpire of the Year" Award is removed from the postseason awards slate.

Rule 6 - Challenges and Appeals
Prop 6-1: Challenger Eligibility - 24.6% YES.
> Would have allowed any person logged into DISQUS to file a challenge.

Prop 6-2-b-1: Pitch f/x and Statcast - 75.9% YES.
> Statcast language shall be adopted while allowing Pitch f/x terms to still be used interchangeably.

Prop 6-2-b-5: Consistency and Meals Rule - 20.3% YES.
> Would have allowed consistent intra-at-bat ball/strike calls to be QOCU instead of QOCN.

Prop 6-2-b-5-c: Check Swings - 35.5% YES.
> Would have removed automatic Appeals Board referral for Check Swings.

Prop 6-4-a-3: Appeals Board Terms of Office - 45.2% YES.
> Would have extended at-large Appeals Board members' terms of office from one to two years.

Prop 6-4-a-4: Early Re-Election Elimination - 23.7% YES.
> Would have eliminated at-large Appeals Board members' re-election votes in the Rules Summit.

Prop 6-5-a -b: Appeal Language - 81.4% YES.
> UEFL Rules language for appeals shall be changed to match Appeals Board internal terminology.

Prop 6-5-c-5: Realistic Result - 32.8% YES.
> Would have removed the 3-0 count from list of "different outcome" counts.

Rule 8 - Umpire Odds & Ends and Community Issues
Prop 8-1: Restrict Commenters - 49.2% YES.
> Would have restricted commenting to only members registered and signed into DISQUS.

Prop 8-1-h: Comment Penalty - 27.0% YES.
> Would have instituted a mandatory seven-day penalty for violative/removed comments.

Prop 8-5: League Fee and Prizes - 11.7% YES.
> Would have instituted a fee for the league and allowed for a year-end prize.

UEFL Appeals Board (The Following At-Large Members sought re-election to the Board)
Arik G - 87.5% YES.
cyclone14 - 87.0% YES.
jvick2017 - 73.6% YES.
MarkCanada - 86.5% YES.
MLBUmpireObserver - 89.1% YES.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

2017 AFL Championship Game Roster

The following four minor league umpires officiated Saturday's Arizona Fall League Championship Game at Scottsdale Stadium. The AFL staff includes 12 officials from Triple-A Baseball's International (IL) and Pacific Coast (PCL) Leagues.

Related Post2017 Arizona Fall League Umpire Roster

2017 AFL Championship Game Umpires
HP: Roberto Ortiz, IL. 2016 AFL, MLB Fill-In.
1B: Bryan Fields, PCL. 2017 MiLB Postseason.
2B: Jeremie Rehak, IL. 2017 MLB Spring Training2017 MiLB Postseason.
3B: Garrett Patterson, PCL. 2016 AFL, 2017 MLB Spring Training2017 MiLB Postseason.

Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 UEFL Rules Summit Ballot and Voting

Voting is now open for the 2017 UEFL Rules Summit. Visit the Discussion thread for a detailed look at the various proposals and items up for consideration in this year's ballot.

Each measure up for vote is listed in the following ballot, including descriptions. Upon Commissioner approval, all proposals receiving a majority of votes, or a plurality where appropriate pursuant to Rule 8-3, will become rules for the 2018 UEFL season. Each at-large Appeals Board member receiving a majority of votes cast in the affirmative shall be re-elected to the 2018 UEFL Appeals Board.

The Rules Summit ballot will close Tuesday, November 21, at 11:59 pm PT. A run-off ballot and/or election, if necessary, will follow.

The 2017 Rule Summit includes 21 Rules proposals, and five Appeals Board retention polls. You may vote in as many or as few polls as you wish, but only may submit one ballot. We will review voting records to determine ballot authenticity and adjust the record appropriately to account for suspicious or fraudulent activity or conduct, pursuant to the framework and procedure delineated by UEFL Rule 4-4-j. Click "read more" to access the ballot.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Rob Manfred Vows Pace of Play Rules Changes for 2018

Speaking at an owner's meeting, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred indicated pace of play rules changes are coming in 2018, with or without support from the player's association, though he prefers MLBPA's sign-off.

MiLB's pitch clock is coming.
The Arizona Fall League is presently testing several pace of play-related rules. Here's a look at the AFL rules tests from the 2016 and 2017 October-November seasons.

2016 Arizona Fall League Pace of Play Initiatives:
In 2016, MLB tested the following pace-of-play rule modifications during the Arizona Fall League. Those adopted by MLB for the 2017 season are indicated by an asterisk (*); those adopted by Minor League Baseball are indicated by a caret (^):
> 2:15 Inning Break and 2:25 Pitching Change Timers^, beginning at the third out or call to the pen.
> Batter's Box Rule^*, requiring the batter keep a foot in the box absent exceptions (repeat of 2014/15).
> 15-Second Pitch Clock^, during which the pitcher must begin his motion or come set (penalty: ball).
> 35 Seconds Between Batters Timer, beginning as soon as the prior play concludes (same penalty).
> 30 Second Mound Visit Timer^, at which time coaches and teammates must vacate the mound.
> Three "Time Out" Rule, capping "Time" conferences at three per game, per team (repeat of 2014/15).
^Note: some MiLB adoptions were not MiLB-wide, but league specific (e.g., the FSL or A-ball).
*Other adoptions appeared during previous AFLs (e.g., the no-pitch intentional walk - 2014 AFL)
Pitch Clock Penalties: If the pitcher fails to begin his pitching position within 20 seconds, the umpire shall call a ball. If the batter steps out of the box without authorization at any time during the 20-second countdown, the pitcher may pitch the ball for a called strike.

2017 Arizona Fall League Pace of Play Initiatives:
> 2:15 Inning Break Clock, a repeat of the 2016 experiment (in 2014, for instance, it was 2:05).
> 12-Second Pitch Clock with No Runners On Base, down from 15 seconds in 2016.
> 15-Second Pitch Clock with Runners on Base, identical to the 2016 experimental rule.
> 30 Seconds Between Batters, which is five seconds fewer than the 2016 AFL rule.
> 30 Second Mound Visit Timer, same as the 2016 provision.
> Extra-Inning Runner, beginning in the 10th inning, and placing a runner at second base prior to the inning's commencement (the runner is the player who immediately precedes the lead-off batter).

Some AFL 'ideas' already exist in OBR...
Some of these "experiments," such as the 2016 AFL's batter's box rule, already exist in the Official Baseball Rules. For instance, existing Rule 5.04(b)(4)(A) states, "The batter shall keep at least one foot in the batter’s box throughout the batter’s time at bat, unless one of the following exceptions applies, in which case the batter may leave the batter’s box but not the dirt area surrounding home plate." The exceptions listed in OBR (swing, bunt, check swing appeal, forced off balance by a pitch, "Time" called, pickoff/play at a base, pitcher leaves mound, catcher leaves box, wild pitch, passed ball) correspond precisely to the exceptions indicated by the 2016 AFL rule.

...They're just not enforced in MLB.
Similarly, in 2017, the 12-second pitch clock with no runners on base corresponds to existing Official Baseball Rule 5.07(c), Pitcher Delays, which states, "When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call 'Ball.'" Again, the rule already exists, but it appears MLB, and AFL, is simply trying to strictly enforce it.

Here's an example of the issue with 12-second violation enforcement: 2B Umpire Doug Eddings, using his stopwatch, attempted to apply the rule in 2007 against Cleveland, calling pitcher Rafael Betancourt for an automatic ball for taking longer than 12 seconds to deliver a 0-2 pitch to batter Carlos Guillen with no runners on base in the 8th inning. Then-Indians Manager Eric Wedge ran out of the dugout and vehemently argued the call with Eddings, resulting a delay much longer than 12 seconds.

Undeterred, Eddings would later call Betancourt for another 12-second violation in the 9th inning.

Said umpire supervisor Jim McKean, "It wastes more time if you call it than if you don't call it, because as soon as you call it you've got a full-scale argument...the clubs will complain."

Baseball hopes that by putting the time on stadium-wide pitch clocks visible to all participants, an umpire's enforcement of the pace of play rules will become less controversial.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

2017 UEFL Rules Summit Discussion

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces its 2017 UEFL Rules Summit, our annual forum for discussion of controversial issues which may have surfaced during the past season, setting forth a framework for rectifying these issues by amending the existing UEFL Rules Book ahead of the 2018 UEFL season.

This discussion thread is an open colloquium for proposal, discussion and debate of potential rules changes. This thread will remain open through Thursday, November 16, at which time voting will proceed—voting will not occur prior to that date. This will provide ample time for proposal and subsequent discussion of possible rules changes for the 2018 season. If necessitated by certain below decisions, a Summit runoff ballot may be presented after the initial voting closes.

You may propose a rules change by replying in a comment to this post and the following list, accordingly, will be routinely updated to reflect such proposals. Nonmaterial proposed modifications and cascading editorial changes are underlined, deletions are printed in strikethrough and material additions are bold faced.  Comments/rationale not part of the actual book are indicated by italics. Individual propositions are preceded by the ">>" bullet point symbol.

Rule 1 (Selection of Umpires).
>> 1-2. ...each member of the league shall select one two MLB crew chiefs to serve as UEFL crew chiefs.
COMMENT: Adds a second crew to chief to list of drafted umpires (2 cc + 2 PRM + 2 SEC = 6).
>> 1-3. ...each member of the league shall select two one umpires...Primary umpires may not be Triple-A call-ups... [Primary Umpire]
      1-4. ...league members select two one additional umpires. [Secondary Umpire]
      1-6. Subsequent to the Secondary Draft, each league member shall select one umpire chosen only from the list of umpires classified as "AAA" or fill-in. [Fill-In Umpire]
COMMENT: Replaces current 1 cc + 2 PRM + 2 SEC crew with 1 cc + 1 PRM + 1 SEC + 1 Fill-In.
>> 1-5-b. An umpire may be replaced pursuant to 1-5-a if the originally drafted or replaced umpire has missed at least 30 consecutive days during the season.
COMMENT: Authorizes replacement of a clearly absent or injured umpire midseason.
>> 1-5-c. Up to one umpire of any class, regardless of injury status, may be replaced at the All-Star Break pursuant to the procedure prescribed in UEFL Rule 1-5-a concerning points structure.
COMMENT: Authorizes a midseason "trade" or replacement of no more than one healthy drafted umpire.

Rule 2 (The Season).

Rule 3 (Crew Division).
>> 3-3. ...Each incorrect ejection committed by a UEFL crew chief's crew shall result in the subtraction of one (-1) point toward a UEFL member's overall score...
COMMENT: Changes present rule (+0) to (-1) for an incorrect call by a crew chief's crew.

Rule 4 (League Scoring).
>> 4-2-a-1. 3 points for each non-incorrect ejection by a primary AAA umpire; OR a. In the event of an ejection resulting from an incorrect call, either by himself or a crewmate, the AAA Umpire will receive just 2 base points instead of 3 points.
     4-2-a-2. 2 points for each ejection by a primary MLB umpire...
COMMENT: Eliminates bonus point for QOCY and QOCU ejections by a AAA-level umpire.
>> 4-2-b-3-i. +2 points, applied concurrently with -4 QOCN (thus, -4 + 2 = -2) for a QOCN ball/strike ejection wherein the umpire achieved 95.0% or greater accuracy for the entire game. [AND]
     4-2-b-3-ii. +1 points, applied concurrently with -4 QOCN (thus, -4 + 1 = -3) for a QOCN ball/strike ejection wherein the umpire achieved 93.0-94.9% accuracy for the entire game.
COMMENT: Allows umpire to earn points to mitigate the -4 QOCN penalty based on whole-game performance.
>> 4-3-c. Post-season appearance points... (1) Wild Card +2, Division Series +3, Championship Series +4, World Series +5.
COMMENT: Adds one additional point per round for on-field postseason umpires.
>> 4-4-h. An umpire recognized as Most Declining Umpire of the Year (min. 0 / max. 1 umpire) will receive -1 bonus points.
EDITORIAL CHANGE: 4-4: Umpires receiving the distinction of subsection (h/i) will have shown a regression in ability and might have had a regrettable situation occur in-season.
COMMENT: Eliminates one of the two negative postseason UEFL Awards.
>> 4-4-h. An umpire recognized as Most Disappointing Season (min. 0 / max. 1 umpire) will receive -1 bonus points.
COMMENT: Replaces "Most Declining" with an award whose vision and mission is clearer.
>> 4-4-i. An umpire recognized as Worst Umpire of the Year (min. 0 / max. 1 umpire) will receive -3 bonus points.
EDITORIAL CHANGE: 4-4. ...Umpires receiving the distinction of subsection (h/i) will have shown a regression in ability and might have had a regrettable situation occur in-season.
COMMENT: Eliminates one of the two negative postseason UEFL Awards.

Rule 5 (Statistics).

Rule 6 (Challenges and Appeals).
>> 6-1. Any logged-in person may file a UEFL Challenge.
COMMENT: Allows any person logged into DISQUS to challenge/appeal an Original Ruling.
>> 6-2-b-1. In rendering QOC regarding a pitch location (ball/strike), Pitch f/x, or Statcast, whose titles shall herein be used interchangeably, shall be the primarily cited source.
EDITORIAL CHANGE: 6-2-b-2. ...shall be calculated using pitch f/x, or statcast, data.
COMMENT: Acknowledges MLB/MLBAM's change to the Statcast platform while allowing the "Pitch f/x" phrase to continue to be used, so as to maintain consistency in identifying the stats' purpose.
>> 6-2-b-5. A balls/strikes ejection concerning multiple similar ball/strike calls during the same at-bat may be deemed irrecusable if the multiple calls were consistently officiated, even if otherwise QOCY or QOCN. May be referred to as the "Meals Rule."
COMMENT: Neither rewards nor punishes umpire whose pitch calls were consistent during the eventful AB.
>> 6-2-b-5-c. Ejections for the reason of "Check Swing" shall be adjudicated based on whether the batter attempted to strike the pitch as the pitch crossed home plate automatically, be referred to the UEFL Appeals Board for QOC determination. No UEFL Challenge shall be accepted for any such ejection.
COMMENT: Eliminates automatic Appeals Board review of check swings and restores the ability of the membership to challenge the Original Ruling via referral to the Appeals Board.
>> 6-4-a-3. At-large terms shall be limited to two years one year in length with no term limits.
COMMENT: Extends at-large UEFL Appeals Board terms from one to two years (3 elections each year).
>> 6-4-a-4. At the conclusion of the season and during the Rules Summit, Appeals Board members may sit for re-election/retention. An absolute majority is required for re-election. If a Board member fails to ascertain this during a first ballot, a run-off may be initiated.
COMMENT: Eliminates Appeals Board re-election vote prior to the general pre-season election.
>> 6-5-a. In the event that a play under appeal can be conclusively categorized or adjudged as Correct/Incorrect as a result of this action, through the use of conclusive and/or clear and/or convincing evidence, the appeal shall be either Upheld or Denied Original Ruling shall be confirmed or overturned, as specified in Rule 6-4-b-1 or -2, respectively.
COMMENT: Aligns language with actual voting terminology used by the UEFL Appeals Board.
>> 6-5-b. In the event that a play under appeal cannot be conclusively categorized or adjudged as Correct/Incorrect as a result of this action, through the lack of conclusive nor clear nor convincing evidence, the appeal shall be upheld or deferred, as specified in Rule 6-4-b-2 or -3, respectively.
COMMENT: Aligns language with actual voting terminology used by the UEFL Appeals Board.
>> 6-5-c-5-b. YES (Defense) = x-2, 1-x, 2-x, 3-1, or 3-2 or 3-x ==> Called Ball. [AND]
     6-5-c-5-c. NO (Offense) = 0-0, 1-0, 2-0, 3-0 ==> Called Strike.
RATIONALE: Changes ball/strike ejection pitch count criteria, specifically related to a 3-0 pitch ruled a "strike." Disqualifies a 3-0 strike from being considered as having "realistically resulted in a different outcome of the at-bat," provided the ejection occurred after the at-bat's conclusion or other subsequent pitch (e.g., an ejection after the 3-0 pitch, but prior to the 3-1 pitch, will still be QOC adjudicated based on the QOC of the strike one call).

Rule 7 (Unresolved Classifications and References).

Rule 8 (Umpire Odds & Ends and Community Issues).
>> 8-1. Comments shall be restricted to members registered with the DISQUS commenting platform.
COMMENT: Turns off guest comments; reduces likelihood of spam, violative, and/or trolling.
>> 8-1-h. Any removed comment shall result in a seven-day penalty wherein the offending author may not receive league points for a seven-day period, beginning after comment removal.
COMMENT: Creates a stricter penalty for removed comments; eliminates penalty discretion.
>> 8-5. A grand prize shall be instituted and awarded to the UEFL member who earns the most points at the end of the postseason. As such, a league entry fee shall be imposed at an amount set by the Commissioner, which must be paid prior to the start of the regular season.
     Note: Pursuant to Rules vote, participation in the official Umpire Ejection Fantasy League shall remain free of charge to members.
COMMENT: Adds a prize for the winner while instituting a registration fee; eliminates free play.

Rule 9 (Unaddressed and Authorized Provisions).

The final portion of the Rules Summit ballot will feature 2017 UEFL Appeals Board members seeking re-election for 2018, as afforded by the process delineated by UEFL Rule 6-4-a-4. Click here to view the Board's decisions in 2017.

Following the 2017 Rules Summit's discussion phase, voting will occur. No voting shall take place prior to 11/16, until the discussion phase has ended and all proposals become part of the finalized ballot.

Friday, November 10, 2017

2017 UEFL Final Standings and the Perfect Crew

With UEFL awards season now complete, it is time to unveil the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's Final Standings for 2017, as well as the Perfect Crew. This year's "Perfect Score" was 112 while the lowest score possible was -39, a spread of 151 points.

2017 Perfect Crew (Highest Scoring Crew): 112 points.
Crew Chief: Joe West (23 pts).
Primary Umpires: Will Little (26 pts) & Vic Carapazza (22 pts).
Secondary Umpires: Mark Wegner (23 pts) & Chad Fairchild (18 pts).

2017 Imperfect Crew (Lowest Scoring Crew): -39 points.
Crew Chief: Jerry Meals (-6 pts).
Primary Umpires: Tony Randazzo (-6 pts) & Dan Bellino (-6 pts).
Secondary Umpires: DJ Reyburn (-12 pts) & Lance Barrett (-9 pts).

Joe West led 2017's "Perfect Crew."
UEFL Final Standings (Ties resolved per Rule 5-3)
1) tjskip (87 pts).
2) Aztrini47 (68 pts).
3) Bino (64 pts).
4) wgvaz (64 pts).
5) sonderweg74 (62 pts).
6) KTurner14 (62 pts).
7) toss 'em (62 pts).
8) Bryce Swanson (62 pts).
9) spballsandstrikes (61 pts).
10) writingump (61 pts).
11) jwwhite47 (60 pts).
12) dwlockman (59 pts).
13) skippyINC (59 pts).
14) hadstein87 (58 pts).
15) L'Ump (58 pts).
16) MWmoney (57 pts).
17) Denny Crane (56 pts).
18) FVB6 (54 pts).
19) Burtrh3 (54 pts).
20) Jeremy407 (53 pts).
21) s0m0teitbe (52 pts).
22) dmcneeley (52 pts).
23) emkst22 (52 pts).
24) Bluewillie100 (51 pts).
25) davidsteinle (50 pts).
26) Bleacher Bums (49 pts).
27) Commander Red (49 pts).
28) Spence1222 (48 pts).
29) Mortonkc (47 pts).
30) 618Umpire (47 pts).
Complete Final Standings, points, and results available via the UEFL Portal: 2017 Standings page.

The Rules Summit will begin tomorrow.

2017 UEFL Award for Umpire of the Year - Mark Wegner

Mark Wegner is the UEFL's (Best) Umpire of the Year for 2017 [2016: Chris Guccione].
Voting Results (Top 5): Wegner (34.2%), Alfonso Marquez (7.0%), Jim Reynolds (6.1%), Chad Fairchild (5.3%), Ted Barrett/Laz Diaz/Hunter Wendelstedt (3.5%).

Award Winner: Mark Wegner.
Mark Wegner wins the UEFL Umpire of the Year Award for 2017. In his 20th season in the majors, Wegner went ejection-less until the postseason, when he ejected then-Red Sox Manager John Farrell for arguing balls and strikes, drawing praise in opting not to ejected batter Dustin Pedroia for Pedroia's unsporting actions. Wegner also finished seventh in Replay with 15-of-21 affirmed calls (.714 RAP), including two in the World Series.
Related Post: MLB Ejection P-1 - Mark Wegner (1; John Farrell) (10/9/17).

Wegner's heads-up year started early with a ball out of play & base award ruling on the very first day of Spring Training back in February: While players and coaches stood around after a thrown ball exited the playing field, 3B Umpire Wegner alertly awarded bases, apparently one of the only people on the field paying attention to the ball's journey as it bounced into, and then out of the dugout and back onto the playing field.
Related Post: First Play of Spring - Overthrown Two Base Award (2/24/17).

In the end, it was Wegner serving as plate umpire for Game 7 of the World Series as the Astros defeated the Dodgers, marking his fifth consecutive year appearing in either the League Championship Series or World Series—the only umpire to possess such an active streak. Wegner has now made the postseason every year since suffering a torn calf muscle in 2011.
Related Post: Umpire Odds & Ends: Wegner Injured (5/28/11).

UEFL Awards History, Mark Wegner
Noteworthy (Promising) Umpire of the Year: 2013.

Mark Wegner now has 24 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (19 Previous + 5 Award = 24).
Final Standings will be released later tonight.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

2017 UEFL Award for Ejection of the Year - Gerry Davis

Gerry Davis had the Best Ejection of the Year for 2017 [2016: Joe West & Bob Davidson].
Voting Results (Top 4): Davis-109 (56%); Bellino-FAN/Cuzzi-117/Kulpa-001/Little-WBC6 (4%).

Award Winner: Gerry Davis.
In MLB Ejections 109-110 - Gerry Davis (1-2; Beltre, Banister), 2B Umpire Gerry Davis ejected Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre for, essentially, moving the on-deck circle after being told to stay in the circle as the on-deck hitter. Late in a blowout game (the Marlins were leading Texas, 18-6), Davis walked from his position inside of second base toward the right field foul line and instructed on-deck batter Beltre to move from his position along the warning track behind the dirt circle to the batter's box between the dirt circle and dugout, pursuant to Rule 8.01(b) [authority to order a player to "do or refrain from doing anything which affects the administering of these rules"]. Beltre heard Davis' instruction of "stay in the circle" differently, as Adrian picked up the circle itself and dragged it toward his preferred position closer to the backstop behind home plate. Davis then ejected Beltre for objecting to his order, as in Rule 8.01(d), and Manager Jeff Banister for arguing Beltre's ejection, prompting many commenters to declare the odd exchange as Ejection of the Year-worthy.

Gerry Davis now has 13 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (12 Previous + 1 Award = 13).
The final postseason award, (Best) Umpire of the Year, will be released tomorrow.

2017 Promising Umpires - Cory Blaser & Chad Fairchild

Cory Blaser & Chad Fairchild are 2017's Promising Umpires of the Year [2016: Holbrook & Porter].
Voting (Top 5): Blaser (12.9%), Fairchild (11.6%), Quinn Wolcott/John Tumpane (8.9%), Adam Hamari (7%).

Cory Blaser & Chad Fairchild are the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2017 Promising Umpires of the Year.

Award Winner: Cory Blaser.
Blaser's season started early, with a trip to the World Baseball Classic in Japan, where Replay Review affirmed a fan interference call at the Tokyo Dome. He finished the regular season with zero ejections and a .591 Review Affirmation Percentage, 27th best in the league, earning a trip to the postseason where he plated Game 1 of the Cubs-Nationals NL Division Series, calling a neutral 96.7% game, eventually going three-for-three on reviews during the series. In complimenting Blaser, one commenter called him "a quality young ump who had a very good season & was excellent in the postseason."
Related PostDiscussion of 2017 AL and NL Division Series (10/5/17).

Award Winner: Chad Fairchild.
Fairchild's three ejections in 2017 accounted for his first dismissals since the 2015 season, when he ejected Terry Collins. Meanwhile, his two overturned calls in 13 total replays (.846 RAP) was fourth-best in baseball, leading to praise of a "terrific season" and "good situation handling" concerning his ejection of Jose Bautista in September. Fairchild earned his first League Championship Series assignment with a visit to the 2017 ALCS, working the plate for Game 1 and putting up the highest plate score of the 12 total LCS games at a 97.4% clip, along with two challenged and confirmed calls via replay in Games 1 and 2.
Related PostDiscussion of 2017 AL & NL League Championship Series (10/13/17).

UEFL Awards History, Cory Blaser & Chad Fairchild

Cory Blaser now has 9 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (6 Prev + 3 Award = 9).
Chad Fairchild now has 21 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (18 Previous + 3 Award = 21).
The next postseason award, Ejection of the Year, will be released tonight.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

2017 UEFL Award for Honorable Umpire - John Tumpane

John Tumpane is 2017's Honorable Umpire of the Year [2016: Rob Drake & John Hirschbeck].
Voting Results (Top 5): Tumpane (37.4%), Phil Cuzzi (9.2%), Ted Barrett/Drake (6.5%), Bill Welke (5.2%).

John Tumpane is the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2017 Honorable Umpire of the Year.

Award Winner: John Tumpane.
In his first complete season as a full-time MLB umpire, having been hired to the staff midway through the 2016 regular season, Tumpane ejected six players and managers, finishing 15th on the RAP leaderboard with a .647 (11-for-17) Review Affirmation Percentage.
Related PostMLB Officially Hires John Tumpane to Full-Time Staff (7/1/16).

On June 28, Tumpane intervened upon observing a woman standing on the river-bound side of the Roberto Clemente Bridge, speaking with her and eventually helping pull her back toward the bridge and away from the Allegheny River below.
Related PostMLB Umpire John Tumpane Saves Suicidal Woman's Life (6/28/17).
Related PostLet's Talk - Mental Health in an Abusive Environment (10/10/17).

After the regular season, Tumpane officiated his first postseason game as a member of Mike Winters' AL Wild Card Game crew; Tumpane's postseason assignment after just his first full season as a full-time umpire virtually ties a modern-era Major League record for quickest playoff assignment after hire (Ted Barrett, for instance, worked the 2000 National League Division Series round after promotion to the staff in July 1999).
Related Post2017 Wild Card & Division Series Umpires Roster (10/2/17).

UEFL Awards History, John Tumpane
Fill-In Umpire of the Year: 2015.

John Tumpane now has 18 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (16 Prev + 2 Award = 18).
The next postseason award, Promising Umpire of the Year, will be released tomorrow.