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UEFL Appeals Board Decisions: E-103 AFFIRM-BALLS/STRIKES | E-106 ADJ-QOCN


Monday, July 25, 2016

Case Play 2016-7 - When a Ball hits a Broken Bat [Solved]

A batted ball hit a broken bat in fair territory at Yankee Stadium during New York's game-winning play Monday night, resulting in Baltimore's final out and a 2-1 victory for the Bronx Bombers.

A batted ball hits a broken bat in fair territory.
Play: With two out and a runner on first, Orioles batter Ryan Flaherty hit a 105 mph fastball from Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman with such force that Flaherty's bat broke and launched, alongside the baseball, onto the infield. Replays indicate the batted ball actually ended up hitting the detached barrel of the broken bat as Orioles baserunner R1 Noland Reimold avoided the pair of projectiles, 2B Umpire Brian Knight confirming the legality of Reimold's successful evasion. Yankees second baseman Starlin Castro ultimately scooped up the deflected grounder and threw to first baseman Rob Refsnyder ahead of B1 Flaherty's arrival.

Case Play Question: Is this the proper result (B1 out on the 4-3 putout) or is there an alternative ruling? If this is not interference or some similar infraction, under what circumstances—regarding the bat and/or regarding the baserunner—would this be subject to interference? Had there been only one out, under what circumstances could this play have ended the game (e.g., a double play)?

Case Play Solution: This is the proper result, as a ball hitting a broken bat in fair territory is live and in play. By contrast, a broken bat contacting a batted ball in foul territory results in a foul ball. The relevant rule is OBR 5.09(a)(8) Comment:
Rule 5.09(a)(8) Comment (Rule 6.05(h) Comment): If a bat breaks and part of it is in fair territory and is hit by a batted ball or part of it hits a runner or fielder, play shall continue and no interference called. If a batted ball hits part of a broken bat in foul territory, it is a foul ball.
This would be interference if Flaherty had thrown his whole (e.g., not broken) bat into fair territory and interfered with a defensive player attempting to make a play, and similarly interference if the runner touched the batted ball or hindered the fielder's play on the batted ball—either before or after the ball deflected off the broken bat. The runner's interference would have ended the game via a double play if the interference was willful and intentional.

Video: Odd sequence in New York closes out the Orioles-Yankees game ("Read more")

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Hit in Elbow Fri, Jordan Baker Denies Lean-In HBP Sat

Umpire Jordan Baker called Josh Donaldson back to bat on a HBP-that-wasn't when Donaldson appeared to place his left ("front") elbow into the path of a pitched baseball during the Mariners-Blue Jays game.

Baker calls Donaldson back to the plate.
On the very first pitch to lead off the bottom of the third inning, Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma threw inside to Blue Jays batter Josh Donaldson, who appeared to place his left arm in the path of the pitched ball, resulting in the ball hitting Donaldson's elbow. For Donaldson, it was a convenient pitch—a benign 70 mph curveball that strayed from its intended spot—and replays indicate he made little attempt to avoid the ball and a similarly negligible attempt to actually hit the pitch.

Although a non-swinging batter is usually awarded first base when he is hit by a pitched ball, this was not the case Saturday as HP Umpire Baker invoked Official Baseball Rule 5.05(b)(2)(B), which is a subsection of the rule awarding the batter first base in the event of a hit-by-pitch:
The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out (provided he advances to and touches first base) when: (2) He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (A) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (B) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball.
With Donaldson clearly making no attempt to avoid the ball, Baker properly enforced OBR 5.05(b)(2)(B) and ordered Donaldson back to the plate to continue his at bat with the count 1-0 ("If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched"). Replays indicate the pitch had a horizontal px value of -1.179, meaning it was clearly off the plate and out of the zone, but had it been in the zone, Donaldson would have been charged a strike. To be clear, Donaldson's infraction was not that he leaned into the pitch, but that he made no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball.

Baker perhaps was unamused by Donaldson's act after Baker himself was drilled in the left arm by a foul ball during Friday night's contest. That line drive off the bat of Nelson Cruz left an imprint of the baseball's stitch marks on Baker's arm, which was wrapped prior to Saturday's game. It was Baker's second time being struck by a foul ball this season, as he was hit in the hip at third base by another line drive in April.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

MLB Ejection 115 - Mike Winters (2; AJ Pierzynski)

HP Umpire Mike Winters ejected Braves C AJ Pierzynski for arguing an obstruction call by 2B Umpire Mark Wegner & 3B Umpire Mike Muchlinski in the bottom of the 8th inning of the Braves-Rockies game. With one out and two on (R2, R3), Rockies batter Nick Hundley hit a 1-1 slider from Braves pitcher Mauricio Cabrera on the ground to left fielder Jace Peterson, who threw to catcher Pierzynski as Rockies baserunner R2 Daniel Descalso attempted to score. Replays indicate Pierzynski tagged Descalso prior to Descalso's touch of home plate, but also indicate that Braves shortstop Erick Aybar obstructed Descalso's progress in running the bases between second and third base and that, if not for the obstruction, Descalso would have scored, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Rockies were leading, 6-1. The Rockies ultimately won the contest, 7-3.

This is Mike Winters (33)'s second ejection of the 2016 MLB regular season.
Mike Winters now has 10 points in the UEFL Standings (7 Prev + 2 MLB + 1 Correct-Crewmate = 10).
Crew Chief Mike Winters now has 6 points in Crew Division (5 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 6).
*The Definition of Terms states, "OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner."
*OBR Rule 6.01(h)(2) states, "If no play is being made on the obstructed runner, the play shall proceed until no further action is possible. The umpire shall then call “Time” and impose such penalties, if any, as in his judgment will nullify the act of obstruction."

This is the 115th ejection report of the 2016 regular season.
This is the 54th player ejection of 2016. Prior to ejection, Pierzynski was 1-3 in the contest.
This is Atlanta's 7th ejection of 2016, 1st in the NL East (ATL 7; NYM 4; MIA, WAS 3; PHI 0).
This is AJ Pierzynski's 2nd ejection of 2016, 1st since May 6 (Cory Blaser; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Mike Winters' 1st ejection since May 16, 2016 (John Gibbons; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Atlanta Braves vs. Colorado Rockies, 7/21/16 | Video available via "Read more"

Tmac's Teachable Moments - Steal Plays at 3rd Base

Tmac's latest teachable moment concerns taking steal plays at third base, which, unlike steals at second, enjoys the unique vantage point of starting the play behind the bag and up the line.
Starting Position: Get closer, in foul ground.

I have often talked with young umpires about finding the keyhole so no matter what happens, you will be able to make an accurate call on a tag play.  Lets get a glimpse at one of the best young umpires in the game, Quinn Wolcott, as he puts on a clinic on a steal of 3rd base.  In this play we have a fast runner on 2nd base, so we should have already made an adjustment to our starting position: a step or two closer to the bag, still in foul territory. We also have a left-handed predominantly pull hitter.

Reading the play before the action happens.
Now we can really dig in and sink our teeth into this play.  Understanding that a starting position and being in tune with the game can make us or break us, We also have one out.  Most steals of 3rd base at the professional level seem to occur with one out.  We have the pre-pitch reads, we have the info, now we just have to get the call right if the play happens, while still monitoring anything else that could happen.  This play proves that you can never take a play or a second off and you always have to be quick on your feet as there is so much more to umpiring than the call itself.

U3 Wolcott finds the keyhole angle.
You can't get a clear look on this call if you start with the edge of your feet on the outfield grass.  So once we realize we are going to have a play we need to find, what I like calling, the Keyhole (see: Tmac's Teachable Moments - Pickoff Tag at First Base), which is going to be really tiny on this play.  Wolcott takes the play in foul territory (about 5 feet) on the foul side of the bag and what a great look.  SO we get the call right and then....OH NO! does he overslide, does he keep his hand on the bag?  Why won't this play end?!  Wolcott correctly, due to his excellent position, asserts that the runner is safe and he was never tagged while off the base.

What did we learn here..... It doesn't matter where you are; pre-pitch reads can make you or break you... Think outside the box..... Always be thinking about what can happen next and be in touch with the game.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

MLB Ejection 114 - Sam Holbrook (2; Clint Hurdle)

HP Umpire Sam Holbrook ejected Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle for arguing a foul ball (no interference) call in the top of the 1st inning of the Brewers-Pirates game. With none out and two on (R1, R2), Brewers batter Ryan Braun hit a 1-0 fastball from Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke into the ground in front of home plate. Replays indicate the batted ball subsequently bounced off the dirt and struck Braun in the helmet before hitting him in the shoulder as he was in a legal position with both feet within the right-handed batter's box, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 0-0. The Brewers ultimately won the contest, 9-5.

This is Sam Holbrook (34)'s second ejection of the 2016 MLB regular season.
Sam Holbrook now has 9 points in the UEFL Standings (5 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 9).
Crew Chief Gerry Davis now has -1 points in Crew Division (-2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = -1).
*OBR Rule 5.04(b)(5) states, "The batter’s legal position shall be with both feet within the batter’s box." "APPROVED RULING: The lines defining the box are within the batter’s box."
*Rule 5.09(a)(7) states that a batter is out when, "His fair ball touches him before touching a fielder. If the batter is in a legal position in the batter’s box, see Rule 5.04(b)(5) (Rule 6.03), and, in the umpire’s judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, a batted ball that strikes the batter or his bat shall be ruled a foul ball."
Note: NFHS code explicitly states this play is a foul ball ("no foot entirely outside the batter's box"), while NCAA requires the batter to simply be "in the batter's box" similar to OBR; effectively, same as NFHS.

This is the 114th ejection report of the 2016 regular season.
This is the 49th Manager ejection of 2016.
This is Pittsburgh's 11th ejection of 2016, 1st in the NL Central (PIT 11; CIN 6; CHC 3; STL 1; MIL 0).
This is Clint Hurdle's 5th ejection of 2016, 1st since July 3 (Sam Holbrook; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Sam Holbrook's first ejection since July 3, 2016 (Clint Hurdle; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 7/20/16 | Video available via "Read more"

Rules Review - Replay of a Double-Missed Tag & Touch

Replay Review showed both catcher & runner missing their respective tag & touch in Colorado Wednesday afternoon, the play having gone to video review as the result of a Rockies challenge after HP Umpire Paul Emmel originally ruled Colorado's baserunner out on the play at the plate.

With one out and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 2nd inning of the Rays-Rockies game, Rockies batter Charlie Blackmon hit a fly ball to Rays right fielder Steven Souza Jr., who caught the fly ball and threw to catcher Curt Casali as Rockies baserunner R3 Mark Reynolds tagged and slid toward home plate. Initially ruled an out by HP Umpire Paul Emmel, Rockies Manager Walt Weiss held play while Bench Coach Tom Runnells spoke on the Replay phone with Colorado's video coordinator Brian Jones.

Replays indicate both players missed the mark.
Watching his monitors in the video room, Jones considered which of two play elements the Rockies should challenge: that catcher Casali illegally blocked home plate in violation of the anti-collision rule (a case can be made for either ruling), or that F2 Casali flat-out missed his tag of the runner (replays conclusively show he missed the tag), though going this "simple" tag/no tag route would also expose that R3 Souza Jr. also missed his touch of home plate.

Whether because of rules knowledge or for some other reason, Jones/Runnells/Weiss elected not to challenge that Casali illegally blocked home plate, but that F2 missed his tag on R3 Souza Jr.

This exact scenario (the double-missed tag/touch) is addressed in the MLB Replay Review Regulations. Replay Reg V.F.3., regarding base running, gives the following example:
A runner attempts to score on a play at the plate. The catcher misses the tag on the runner, and the runner fails to touch home plate, but the umpire calls a tag and the runner "out." The offensive manager challenges the call, and the Replay Official determines that the catcher missed the tag. The Replay Official shall disregard the failure of the runner to touch home plate, declare the runner "safe" and score the run.
Colorado fortuitously challenged the tag play.
If you were thinking about a Rays appeal, you, like Tampa Bay's Kevin Cash, would be too late: "When reviewing a play at home plate, if the Replay Official determines both that the runner did not touch home plate and that the fielder did not tag the runner (or, in the case of a force play, did not touch home plate), the Replay Official shall rule the runner "safe" at home plate unless the defensive Manager appeals the failure of the runner to touch home plate prior to the Crew Chief making contact with the Replay Official" (V.F.3).

Thus, the NY Replay Official (someone from either Jerry Meals or John Hirschbeck/Bill Welke's crew), having observed both player's failures to tag and touch their respective targets, correctly overturned the on-field ruling and declared the runner safe at home plate.

MLB Ejection 113 - Paul Emmel (2; Blake Doyle)

HP Umpire Paul Emmel ejected Rockies Hitting Coach Blake Doyle for arguing a ball one call in the top of the 2nd inning of the Rays-Rockies game. With none out and none on, Rays batter Corey Dickerson took a 0-0 fastball (first pitch of the inning) from Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa for a called first ball. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the inner edge of home plate and below the hollow of the knee (px -1.438, pz .741 [sz_bot 1.570]) while all eligible first inning called strikes against Colorado were properly officiated (3/3 such pitches), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Rays were leading, 1-0. The Rays ultimately won the contest, 11-3.

This is Paul Emmel (50)'s second ejection of the 2016 MLB regular season.
Paul Emmel now has 7 points in the UEFL Standings (3 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 7).
Crew Chief Dan Iassogna now has 2 points in Crew Division (1 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 2).
*See UEFL Rule 6-5-a-5 regarding contributory pitch Quality of Correctness for post-AB ejections.

This is the 113th ejection report of the 2016 regular season.
This is Colorado's 3rd ejection of 2016, T-3rd in the NL West (ARI, LAD 4; COL, SD, SF 3).
This is Blake Doyle's first career MLB ejection.
This is Paul Emmel's first ejection since April 9, 2016 (Brad Ausmus; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Colorado Rockies, 7/20/16 | Video available via "Read more"

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

MLB Ejection 112 - Angel Hernandez (2; Brian Snitker)

1B Umpire Angel Hernandez ejected Braves Interim Manager Brian Snitker for arguing a balk no-call in the top of the 10th inning of the Braves-Reds game. With one out and one on (R1), Reds pitcher Tony Cingrani attempted to pick off Braves baserunner R1 Adonis Garcia at first base. Replays indicate Cingrani's move to first base did not appear to contain a requisite natural motion associated with his pitch delivery, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 4-4. The Braves ultimately won the contest, 5-4, in 11 innings.

This is Angel Hernandez (55)'s second ejection of the 2016 MLB regular season.
Angel Hernandez now has 3 points in the UEFL Standings (-1 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 3).
Crew Chief Ted Barrett now has 3 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 3).
*Rule 5.07(a)(2): "After assuming Set Position, any natural motion associated with his delivery of the ball to the batter commits [the pitcher] to the pitch without alteration or interruption."
*Rule 6.02(a)(1): "If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when: The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery."
Related Ejection: MLB Ejection 077 - Marty Foster (1; Terry Pendleton), 6/18/16.

This is the 112th ejection report of the 2016 regular season.
This is the 48th Manager ejection of 2016.
This is Atlanta's 6th ejection of 2016, 1st in the NL East (ATL 6; NYM 4; MIA, WAS 3; PHI 0).
This is Brian Snitker's 2nd ejection of 2016, 1st since June 23 (Mike Everitt; QOC = Y-C [Out/Slide]).
This is Angel Hernandez's first ejection since June 24, 2016 (Don Cooper; QOC = Y [Balk]).

Wrap: Atlanta Braves vs. Cincinnati Reds, 7/19/16 | Video available via "Read more"

Rules Review - Interference and Phases of a Play

CB Bucknor's interference no-call on Carlos Correa's base running in Oakland on Monday was decisive and resolute: By the time A's third baseman Ryon Healy fielded the batted ball and threw toward first base, the "safe" call had already been made.

Diagram of F5, R2, and the baseball's paths.
After the play, A's Manager Bob Melvin took issue with Bucknor's ruling that Astros baserunner R2 Correa had not interfered with F5 Healy, which prompts our latest rules review.

With two out and two on (R1, R2) in the top of the 4th inning of the Astros-Athletics game, Astros batter Carlos Gomez hit a ground ball weakly to third base. Replays indicate that baserunner R2 Correa ran in front of A's third baseman Ryon Healy without making contact as Healy charged across to field the batted ball and threw to first base, his low throw resulting in an error that allowed Correa to score.

Melvin's operative question and objection concerns whether Correa's actions in running directly in front of Healy constituted interference. As most of us know, the broadcaster's claim, "As an infielder, you have to make contact with the baserunner to get the call" is somewhat of a misnomer, though it did end up holding true for this particular play: Though a runner is out, pursuant to Rule 6.01(a)(1), if "He fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball," this is not the only potential for interference (6.01[a][1] does not apply here since Correa did physically avoid Healy).

Official Baseball Rule 5.09(b)(3) states that any runner is out if, "He intentionally interferes with a thrown ball; or hinders a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball." This rule is so important that it has been highlighted in two colors. More on the color-coding later.

Did Correa hinder Healy's play on the ball?
The penalty for this brand of interference is as follows: "The runner is out and the ball is dead. If the umpire declares the batter, batter-runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules."

To understand why Bucknor would not call interference on Correa for Healy's poor throw—which may or may not have been caused by Correa's conduct—requires a grasp of 5.09(b)(3) and "phases of a play."

Recall the two colors used to diagram the rule. For this play, those colors should be reversed; The relevant portion of this play is diagramed thusly: (1) R2 runs past F5 as he attempts to field a batted ball; (2) F5, having fielded the batted ball, now throws the ball to first base.

By this point, the potential for INT is over.
Thus, the quality of Healy's throw to first base is not eligible nor should it be considered as part of the call-making process: The batted ball component of this play ended as soon as Healy fielded the ball, and thus, the potential for batted ball interference by Correa ended as soon as Healy fielded the ball. Any subsequent action (e.g., Healy's throw) is irrelevant for this play, since the subsequent action occurs during a subsequent phase of the play.

That said, the question of whether runner Correa hindered fielder Healy in his attempt to make a play on the batted ball relies, partly, on the dictionary definition of hinder ("to cause delay, interruption, or difficulty in; hamper or impede"), and, partly, on the umpire's judgment of whether the fielder was delayed or otherwise placed at an unfair disadvantage in fielding the ball by the runner's actions. Replays indicate that fielder F5 Healy initially charged directly toward the right foul line, running parallel to the left field foul line, before reading the batted ball's bounce and moving to his left, coincidentally taking him directly toward and past baserunner R2 Correa. Replays indicate Healy was then able to field the ball via the barehand (thus, ending the batted ball phase of the play) and throw to first base.

The throw was poor, but by that point, Correa already had committed his action of interference or non-interference: U3 Bucknor, thus, had to rely solely on the definitions and criteria as prescribed by OBR: Did Correa hinder Healy's ability to field the batted ball? Notice how the action that occurs after Healy actually fields the ball—namely his throw to first base—is not part of the batted ball interference rule and, indeed, requires a separate brand of interference altogether: For interference to be called on a throw, it must be intentional (or, in 2016, a violation of the bona fide slide rule). Replays indicate it wasn't and, thus, Bucknor's 5.09(b)(3) no-call appears to have been correct.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

MLB Warns Managers to Stop Using Video to Argue Pitches

MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre warned managers using Replay Review to argue balls and strikes to knock it off, according to a Bulletin distributed on Friday by the Commissioner's Office to teams, Field & General Managers, and Assistant GMs.

Torre is ejected arguing balls/strikes in 2011.
Specifically, Torre is concerned that managers are abusing Replay Review technology—the team's video replay room and its replay consultant or coordinator—for ammunition in ball/strike arguments with umpires and is calling out his former coaching colleagues and adversaries; Torre himself was ejected 66 times as a big league manager, including 16 heave-hos for arguing balls and strikes.

At the heart of the matter, however, Torre is concerned about an overall increase in the number of managerial ball/strike ejections, which has indeed risen relative to the past few years, and is on pace to return to 20-aught levels. On a related note, the number of overall ejections in baseball has already returned to pre-expanded replay 'lull' levels, having increased annually since a post-2010 low of 178 in 2012 (2015's 212 regular season ejections topped 2014's 199 ejections, which in turn marked an increase over 2013's 180 heave-hos, etc.); 2016 is presently on pace for 201 regular season ejections.

2016 is on pace for another ejection increase.
In 2015, 39 managers (including repeat ejectees) were ejected for arguing balls and strikes, compared to 34 managerial ball/strike ejections in 2014, 31 in 2013, 31 in 2012, 44 in 2011, and 45 in 2010. With 25 ejections through 1,344 games of the 2,430-game MLB season as of Saturday, 2016 stands, at its present rate, to experience 45 managerial ball/strike ejections, or the most of its kind since 2010. What one will notice about the decreasing trend of managerial ball/strike ejections since 2010 is that, after dropping to a low of 31 ejections in each of 2012 and 2013, the amount of this specific brand of ejections increased in both 2014 and 2015, when, not so coincidentally, expanded replay was introduced.

As previously posited, the proportion of ball/strike ejections relative to overall ejection numbers has increased in baseball ever since expanded replay's 2014 debut. We've known this for some time now.

Still, there is, in baseball, a right way and a wrong way to argue calls—even ball and strike calls.

As the UEFL Video Rulebook entry on Ejections tells us, and as the MLB Umpire Manual instructs its umpires,  "if a manager, coach, or player makes reference to having observed a video replay that purportedly contradicts the call under dispute, such person is subject to immediate ejection from the game" (highlighted, as this phrase appears both in MLBUM's Standards for Removal from the Game and as part of MLB Replay Review Regulation II.K.5).

The Mets abused video replay during ejection.
For instance, the New York Mets were caught red handed in May when Adrian Johnson ejected Mets Hitting Coach Kevin Long for arguing a strike three call to David Wright. Replays of the ejection sequence clearly show Mets Bench Coach Dick Scott utilizing the dugout phone designated for video replay immediately following Wright's return to the dugout. By design, that specific telephone only connects with the video room and Mets replay coordinator Jim Kelly.

Citing an alarming trend of managers and coaches relying on video material as evidence during ball/strike arguments during games, Torre stated, "This highly inappropriate conduct is detrimental to the game and must stop immediately." Similarly, we know that any manager—or player for that matter—will be ejected for arguing balls and strikes if he "leaves his position" (e.g., the dugout) to do so. Vin Scully told us that the last time Dave Roberts was ejected over a strike call.

Brad Ausmus displays inappropriate conduct.
Torre's reference to "inappropriate conduct" may be in response to stunts like that of Brad Ausmus. Ejected on May 16 by Doug Eddings over a called third strike, the booted Tigers skipper partially disrobed and covered home plate with his discarded sweatshirt. Torii Hunter pulled a similar stunt last season in response to a Mark Ripperger strikeout call while David Ortiz once broke a Baltimore dugout phone several pitches after a called first strike by Tim Timmons, but players—and the MLB Players Association—were not a target of Torre's most recent bulletin. Managers and coaches do not have their own union.

Of the 47 managerial ejections thus far in 2016, 25—or 53%—have concerned ball and strike arguments. Of those 25 ball/strike ejections, umpires have been correct 68% of the time (17/25), which is on par with, if not slightly higher than, the historical accuracy of 65-67% for all ejections. John Gibbons presently leads all Managers with three balls/strikes ejections (2 QOCN & 1 QOCY).

Mgr Leaders, Ejection Type: Balls/Strikes.
Torre accused several unnamed teams and coaching personnel, Metropolitans notwithstanding, of misusing the video Replay Review system in order to bolster arguments against umpires' purportedly missed pitch calls, citing the managers' misconduct as "an express violation of the Replay Regulations, which state that 'on-field personnel in the dugout may not discuss any issue with individuals in their video review room using the dugout phone other than whether to challenge a play subject to video replay review'" (Regulation VI.C.2.c).

Thus, a bench coach who utilizes the dugout's Replay phone after a strike three call or similar 'ordinary' called pitch not subject to Replay Review is himself in violation of MLB rules, as is his manager in using information gleamed from the video replay coordinator during the course of a balls/strikes argument. It is this abuse of Replay which baseball is most concerned with.

Melvin likely didn't allude to replay on Friday.
By contrast, when Mark Wegner ejected Athletics player Yonder Alonso and Manager Bob Melvin on Friday, Melvin likely did not refer to video replay during his argument, as he had vacated the dugout in order to back up his player (Alonso) without bothering to have bench coach Mark Kotsay place a phone call to replay coordinator Adam Rhoden in order to misuse the replay system by rewinding the pitch.

On the other hand, Diamondbacks Manager Chip Hale has, on multiple occasions this season, found himself ejected between innings and during pitching changes for arguing balls/strikes, with some time between the pitch call in question and Hale's exit from the dugout which could have conceivably allowed Bench Coach Glenn Sherlock and video coordinator Allen Campbell to relay information to their skipper.

Torre acknowledged that, "Although disagreements over ball and strike calls are natural, the prevalence of manager ejections simply cannot continue. This conduct not only delays the game, but it also has the propensity to undermine the integrity of the umpires on the field."

In a final admonishment, Torre warned managers and coaches that any further ejections for arguing balls and strikes "hereafter will be disciplined, including at least a fine," which might carry the startling and hopefully incorrect implication that such ejections were not previously subject to discipline.