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Monday, July 6, 2015

MLB Replay Reviews, Week 13 (June 29 - July 5, 2015)

MLB umpires experienced 51 instant replay reviews during the week of June 29 - July 5, 2015 (-7 over prior week). Games played during this period featured the following MLB Replay Review decisions:

Sunday, July 5, 2015

MLB Ejections 116-117: Phil Cuzzi (3-4; Vogelsong, Bochy)

HP Umpire Phil Cuzzi ejected Giants P Ryan Vogelsong and Manager Bruce Bochy for arguing a ball two call in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Giants-Nationals game. With none out and none on, Nationals batter Denard Span took a 1-2 slider for a called second ball. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer half of home plate and below the hollow of the knee (px -.253, pz 1.289 [sz_bot 1.530]) and that all other preceding pitches during the inning were properly officiated, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 1-1. The Nationals ultimately won the contest, 3-1.

These are Phil Cuzzi (10)'s 3rd and 4th ejections of 2015.
Phil Cuzzi now has 8 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 2*[2 MLB + 2 Correct Call] = 8).
Crew Chief Gerry Davis now has 2 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 2 Correct Call = 2).

These are the 116th and 117th ejections of the 2015 MLB Regular Season.
This is the 54th player ejection of 2015. Prior to ejection, Vogelson's line was
This is the 54th Manager ejection of 2015
This is the Giants' 4/5th ejection of 2015, 3rd in the NL West (SD 12; LAD 6; SF 5; COL 4; ARI 1).
This is Ryan Vogelsong's first career MLB ejection.
This is Bruce Bochy's 3rd ejection of 2015, 1st since June 16 (John Hirschbeck; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Phil Cuzzi's first ejection since June 16, 2015 (Miguel Montero; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: San Francisco Giants vs. Washington Nationals, 7/5/15
Video: When Vogelsong walks through Cuzzi's stop sign, he is tossed, as is skipper Bochy (ESPN)

Fieldin Culbreth Leaves Game with Mild Concussion

HP Umpire Fieldin Culbreth left Sunday's Rockies-Diamondbacks game after taking a foul ball to the left side of his facemask in the first inning of the Rockies-Diamondbacks game. With none out and none on in the bottom of the 1st, Diamondbacks batter Nick Ahmed fouled a 91 mph fastball from Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa over catcher Michael McKenry, where it struck Culbreth on the left portion of his traditional-style facemask.

Culbreth remained in the game until Chris Owings' one out at-bat in the bottom of the 2nd inning, when he left the game and was subsequently diagnosed with a mild concussion.

1B Umpire Jim Reynolds became the new home plate umpire and crew chief as 2B Umpire Manny Gonzalez slid over to first base, with 3B Umpire Paul Schrieber completing the crew.

Culbreth previously was forced out of a May 15, 2013 game after a foul ball struck his collarbone in extra innings. Replays indicate the ball appeared to wedge between Culbreth's chest protector and facemask before falling to the side, indicating Culbreth may have received the full force of the impact due to a wedging action vaguely similar to the method of injury that once befell Ed Hickox, who successfully sued Wilson in 2011.

Video: Culbreth takes a foul from Ahmed early on and exhibits symptoms an inning later (ARI)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

MLB Ejection 115: Bill Welke (2; Brayan Pena)

HP Umpire Bill Welke ejected Reds C Brayan Pena for arguing a Replay Review decision that affirmed 3B Umpire Tony Randazzo's safe call in the top of the 5th inning of the Brewers-Reds game. With one out and one on, Brewers baserunner R2 Ryan Braun attempted to steal third off Reds catcher Pena, who threw to third baseman Todd Frazier as Braun slid into third base, ruled safe by Randazzo. Upon Replay Review as the result of a challenge by Reds Manager Bryan Price, Randazzo's ruling was affirmed, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Brewers were leading, 2-1. The Brewers ultimately won the contest, 7-3.

This is Bill Welke (52)'s second ejection of 2015.
Bill Welke now has 2 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable-Crewmate = 2).
Crew Chief Bill Welke now has 1 point in Crew Division (0 Previous + 1 Irrecusable Call = 1).

This is the 115th ejection of the 2015 MLB Regular Season.
This is the 53rd player ejection of 2015. Prior to ejection, Pena was 1-2 in the contest.
This is the Reds' 5th ejection of 2015, 1st in the NL Central (CIN 5; CHC, MIL 3; PIT, STL 2).
This is Brayan Pena's first ejection since August 17, 2013 (Mike Muchlinski; QOC = U [DiMuro]).
This is Bill Welke's first ejection since April 27, 2015 (Jonny Gomes; QOC = U [Warnings]).

Wrap: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7/4/15
Video: After review goes Brewers' way, Pena laments the non-caught stealing stat and is tossed (FOX)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Clint Fagan Takes Deflected Pitch to Mask, Stays in Game

After taking a deflected pitch in the facemask, HP Umpire Clint Fagan remained in Wednesday's Cubs-Mets game. With none out and none on in the 6th inning, Mets batter Lucas Duda took a first-pitch cutter from Cubs pitcher Jonathan Lester for a ball. As catcher David Ross attempted to glove the 87 mph offering, the baseball deflected off the upper part of his mitt and hit Fagan right between the two horizontal orbital "eye bars" of his traditional-style mask, which appears to be the Wilson Titanium model worn by a handful of other umpires throughout the league.

After attention from Mets training staff and discussion with other umpires, Fagan remained in the game. This was the same Cubs-Mets game that inspired our most recent rundown-centric Case Play.

Video: Ross-deflected pitch strikes Fagan's cage; umpire remains in the game unfazed (NYM)

Thursday, July 2, 2015

MLB Ejection 114: Bob Davidson (2; Yangervis Solarte)

HP Umpire Bob Davidson ejected Padres 3B Yangervis Solarte for arguing a strike three (check swing) call by 1B Umpire David Rackley in the top of the 6th inning of the Padres-Cardinals game. With two out and none on, Solarte attempted to check his swing on a 2-2 changeup from Cardinals pitcher Tim Cooney. This ruling has been referred to the UEFL Appeals Board for adjudication. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 3-3. The Padres ultimately won the contest, 5-3, in 11 innings.

This is Bob Davidson (61)'s second ejection of 2015.
Bob Davidson now has ? points in the UEFL Standings (2 Previous + 2 MLB + ? Call-Crewmate = ?).
Crew Chief Hunter Wendelstedt now has ? points in Crew Division (4 Previous + ? Call = ?).

This is the 114th ejection of the 2015 MLB Regular Season.
This is the 52nd player ejection of 2015. Prior to ejection, Solarte was 1-3 in the contest (SO).
This is the Padres' 12th ejection of 2015, 1st in the NL West (SD 12; LAD 6; COL 4; SF 3; ARI 1).
This is Yangervis Solarte's first career MLB ejection.
This is Bob Davidson's first ejection since May 13, 2015 (Don Mattingly; QOC = U [Replay Review]).

Wrap: San Diego Padres vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 7/2/15
Video: Davidson checks with base umpire Rackley, who affirms the appeal; Solarte slams helmet (SD)

MLB Ejection 113: Gerry Davis (2; John Gibbons)

HP Umpire Gerry Davis ejected Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons for arguing a Replay Review decision that affirmed Davis' out call in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Red Sox-Blue Jays game. With one out and two on, Blue Jays batter Devon Travis hit a 0-1 changeup from Red Sox pitcher Wade Miley on the ground to center fielder Mookie Betts, who threw to catcher Ryan Hanigan as Blue Jays baserunner Danny Valencia attempted to score. Upon Replay Review as the result of a challenge by Blue Jays Manager Gibbons, Davis' ruling was affirmed, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Red Sox were leading, 8-4. The Red Sox ultimately won the contest, 12-6.

This is Gerry Davis (12)'s second ejection of 2015.
Gerry Davis now has 7 points in the UEFL Standings (5 Previous + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable = 7).
Crew Chief Gerry Davis now has 2 points in Crew Division (1 Previous + 1 Irrecusable Call = 2).

This is the 113th ejection of the 2015 MLB Regular Season.
This is the 53rd Manager ejection of 2015.
This is the Blue Jays' 5th ejection of 2015, 2nd in the AL East (BOS 7; TOR 5; BAL, NYY 4; TB 3).
This is John Gibbons' 3rd ejection of 2015, 1st since June 19 (CB Bucknor; QOC = U [Warnings]).
This is Gerry Davis' first ejection since April 23, 2015 (Brad Ausmus; QOC = Y [Balk]).

Wrap: Boston Red Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 7/2/15
Video: Mookie's throw home retires Valencia on Hanigan's attempted tag, upheld on review (BOS)
Video: When both the on-field & replay umps rule against Toronto, Gibbons argues and is run (TOR)

MLB Ejection 112: Sam Holbrook (7; Brad Ausmus)

HP Umpire Sam Holbrook ejected Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus for arguing a strike three call in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Pirates-Tigers game. With none out and none on, Tigers batter J.D. Martinez took a 3-2 slider from Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer edge of home plate and belt high (px .928, pz 2.880), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Pirates were leading, 2-0. The Pirates ultimately won the contest, 8-4.

This is Sam Holbrook (34)'s seventh ejection of 2015.
Sam Holbrook now has 22 points in the UEFL Standings (18 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct = 22).
Crew Chief Greg Gibson now has 6 points in Crew Division (5 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 6).

This is the 112th ejection of the 2015 MLB Regular Season.
This is the 52nd Manager ejection of 2015.
This is the Tigers' 3rd ejection of 2015, 4th in the AL Central (KC 9; CWS 5; CLE 4; DET 3; MIN 2).
This is Brad Ausmus' 3rd ejection of 2015, 1st since May 19 (Tripp Gibson; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Sam Holbrook's first ejection since April 23, 2015 (Royals/White Sox; QOC = U [Fighting]).

Wrap: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Detroit Tigers, 7/2/15
Video: After a corner strike, Ausmus waits for a single to get ejected arguing the lost baserunner (DET)

Case Play 2015-06, Running Out of a Rundown

When the Cubs caught Mets baserunner R3 Ruben Tejada in a rundown between third and home on a botched suicide squeeze in the 8th inning of Wednesday's game, Chicago catcher Miguel Montero decided to run Tejada back to third base, noticing that trailing Mets baserunner R2 Daniel Murphy had run in behind Tejada and was standing on third base.

"This is like Final Jeopardy! on the umpire exam....Time to go digging for the ol' rule book."

U3 Guccione halts play at third base.
Instead of giving himself up, Tejada ran through third base while F2 Montero tagged R2 Murphy, standing on third base, before subsequently applying the tag to R3 Tejada, who was still standing up the left field line, several feet behind (and not touching) third base. 3B Umpire Chris Guccione initially called both runners out before quickly reversing course and asking Murphy to remain on third base while the umpires convened. After consultation with umpires Clint Fagan, Cory Blaser, and acting crew chief Laz Diaz, Guccione ruled R3 Tejada out and R2 Murphy safe at third base.

Replays indicate that when F2 Montero tagged R2 Murphy, R3 Tejada was not in contact with third base (having already ran past it).
Video: Darrell Ceciliani can't get the bunt down, leading to Mets mayhem at third base (CHC)

Case Play Question, 2015-06: What is the proper call here? Rule 7.03(a) [OBR 2015 Rule 5.06(a)(2)] states that, "Two runners may not occupy a base, but if, while the ball is alive, two runners are touching a base, the following runner shall be out when tagged and the preceding runner is entitled to the base" (unless it is a force play), but what happens when said preceding runner attempts to retreat to his base and overruns it while the trail runner is in contact?

Hint: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Case Play 2015-05, Interference and the Base [Solved]

With runners colliding with fielders & questions of interference while on base, Case Play time is upon us once again. For this Case Play, we head to Toronto, with a comparative pit stop in Cleveland.

A tale of two cities
Left: In Cleveland, U1 May rules B1 out for interference.
Right: In Toronto, U2 Hirschbeck rules R2 safe, no violation.
In Cleveland, batter Jose Ramirez hit a fly ball and, having become a probable runner, ran towards first base. The high fly descended near first base and as Ramirez stepped on first base, he made contact with Orioles first baseman Chris Davis, who was attempting to field the pop-up and, after running into Ramirez, was unable to do so. 1B Umpire Ben May subsequently ruled Ramirez out for interference. (Video: Ramirez runs into Davis, and after some jockeying for position, the ball falls to the ground untouched and May calls Davis out)

Up in Canada, the Blue Jays were attempting to complete a come back against the Houston Astros in the bottom of the 9th inning. With Jose Reyes serving as baserunner R2 on second base, Jays batter Jose Bautista hit a fly ball as Reyes retreated to second. With Reyes standing on second base, Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar and Reyes made contact, Villar unable to field the pop-up which fell to the ground untouched. 2B Umpire John Hirshbeck subsequently called Reyes safe, ruling no interference had taken place. (Video: 9th inning pop fly wreaks havoc for Astros as Villar runs into Reyes, allowing the ball to hit the turf for a single)

Case Play Question 2015-05: Compare and contrast these two plays of infielders contacting runners. What happened here?
A) May (CLE) and Hirschbeck (TOR) were both correct;
B) May (CLE) was correct, but Hirschbeck (TOR) was incorrect.
C) May (CLE) was incorrect, but Hirschbeck (TOR) was correct;
D) May (CLE) and Hirschbeck (TOR) were both incorrect.

What rule(s) or interpretation(s) support your determination?

Case Play Answer 2015-05: A) May (CLE) and Hirschbeck (TOR) were both correct. The reason both umpires are correct—May's play was interference and Hirschbeck's was not—has to do with the offensive players' actions in touching first and second base, respectively.

In Cleveland, U1 May ruled B1 out for interference because, in May's judgment, B1 (BR) had not yet achieved first base when the hindrance occurred; B1 was not in legal occupation of the base and may have even intentionally interfered.

In Toronto, U2 Hirschbeck ruled R2 Reyes safe because, in Hirschbeck's judgment, R2 was standing on second base and making no movement to indicate any intent to interfere with F6.

Rule 7.09(j) (2015 OBR Rule 6.01(a)(10)) specifies that the batter or runner is out for interference if "he fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball." Rule 7.08(b) Comment (2015 OBR 6.01(a) Penalty for Interference Comment) further specifies that "If, however, the runner has contact with a legally occupied base when he hinders the fielder, he shall not be called out unless, in the umpire’s judgment, such hindrance, whether it occurs on fair or foul territory, is intentional."

This is why BAL-CLE B1 was declared out (violation of 7.09(j)/6.01(a)(10), did not meet criteria of 7.08(b)/6.01(a)) while HOU-TOR R2 was declared safe (met the key criterion under 7.08(b)/6.01(a) Comment).