Thursday, March 23, 2017

Spring Ejection S-7 - Angel Hernandez (Asdrubal Cabrera)

HP Umpire Angel Hernandez ejected Mets SS Asdrubal Cabrera (time-not-granted call) in the top of the 4th inning of the Mets-Nationals game. With one out and none on, Cabrera requested "Time" during a 3-1 pitch from Nationals pitcher Erick Fedde, resulting in a called second strike when Hernandez subsequently denied Cabrera's request. Cabrera ultimately hit a single on a line drive to right fielder Bryce Harper and was ejected for arguing the "Time" issue while at first base. Replays indicate that Cabrera requested time out while pitcher Fedde was already into his delivery as in Rule 5.04(b)(2), the denial/call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Nationals were leading, 1-0. The Nationals ultimately won the contest, 1-0.

This is Angel Hernandez (55)'s first ejection of Spring Training, the 2017 MLB preseason.
Angel Hernandez now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).
Crew Chief A Hernandez now has 0 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).
A similar play and denied request from 2013.
*Rule 5.04(b)(2) states, "The batter shall not leave his position in the batter’s box after the pitcher comes to Set Position, or starts his windup."
*Rule 5.04(b)(2) Comment states, "Umpires will not call 'Time' at the request of the batter or any member of his team once the pitcher has started his windup or has come to a set position even though the batter claims 'dust in his eyes,' 'steamed glasses,' 'didn’t get the sign' or for any other cause."
"Umpires may grant a hitter’s request for 'Time' once he is in the batter’s box, but the umpire should eliminate hitters walking out of the batter’s box without reason. If umpires are not lenient, batters will understand that they are in the batter’s box and they must remain there until the ball is pitched."
Related Ejection: Todd Tichenor - Jonny Gomes (time out request refusal), 7/14/13
Reason for Rule 5.04(b)(2): Preventing injuries, like this one sustained by Johnny Cueto in 2012.
Case Play Note: If the denied "Time" request disrupts the pitcher's delivery, "the umpire shall call time and both the batter and pitcher start over from 'scratch.'" More: Starting From Scratch - Batter Disrupts Pitcher's Delivery.

This is the seventh ejection report of Spring Training 2017.
This is the 5th player ejection of 2017. Prior to ejection, Cabrera was 1-2 in the contest.
This is NYM's 1st ejection of Spring Training, T-1st in the Grapefruit League (HOU, NYM, STL, TB 1).
This is Asdrubal Cabrera's first ejection since June 22, 2015 (Kerwin Danley; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Angel Hernandez's first ejection since July 19, 2016 (Brian Snitker; QOC = Y [Balk]).

Wrap: New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals (Grapefruit), 3/23/17 | Video via "Read More"

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WBC Game 2 Breaks Replay Review Record

After setting a new Replay Review record Monday, Tuesday's World Baseball Classic Championship Round game broke a different record—for most Replay Reviews in a nine-inning game—and it took just five innings to do it, conducting five reviews in that span.

Eric Cooper and Trevor Grieve during review.
As was the case during Monday's semifinal game between Puerto Rico and Netherlands, Tuesday's USA vs Japan game also featured modified international rules suspending the Manager's Challenge and allowing teams to request Crew Chief reviews at any point during the game.

In other words, don't expect this record to be broken during the upcoming 2430-game MLB regular season. Had Monday's game been played under Manager's Challenge rules, Team USA would have lost its first challenge in the second inning, while Japan would have lost its challenge in the bottom of the third, meaning that only two reviews—total—would have been conducted.

Fortunately, Tuesday's five reviews were completed more expeditiously than Monday's four, as the USA-Japan reviews averaged under one minute from the time the umpires donned their headsets until they removed the devices to render a final decision. Despite the five reviews, the United States' 2-1 win on Tuesday took just three hours, 12 minutes to complete.

The first Replay Review during the USA-Japan game occurred in the top of the 2nd inning, while the fifth and final record-breaking review took place in the bottom of the 5th.

Replay Review 1, Top 2: Out/Safe timing play at first base on Eric Homer's groundout, initially ruled "out" by 1B Umpire Eric Cooper. After review, Cooper's ruling was affirmed. Out.

Replay Review 2, Top 3: Out/Pulled foot play at second base on Japan second baseman Ryosuke Kikuchi's attempted turn of a double play (formerly the neighborhood play), baserunner Buster Posey initially ruled "out" by 2B Umpire Trevor Grieve. After review, Grieve's ruling was overturned. Safe.

Replay Review 3, Bot 3: Out/Pulled foot play at second base on USA second baseman Ian Kinsler's attempted retirement of Japan baserunner Seiji Kobayashi, initially ruled "out" by 2B Umpire Trevor Grieve. After review, Grieve's ruling was affirmed. Out.

Replay Review 4, Bot 3: Out/Safe play at second base on Japan baserunner Tetsuto Yamada's stolen base attempt, initially ruled "safe" by 2B Umpire Trevor Grieve. After review, Grieve's ruling was affirmed. Safe.

Replay Review 2, Top 5: Out/Safe play at first base on Japan batter Nobuhiro Matsuda's groundout, initially ruled "safe" by 1B Umpire Eric Cooper. After review, Cooper's ruling was overturned. Out.

Accordingly, Reviews #1-4 on Tuesday tied the record established during Monday's WBC semifinal for most Replay Reviews over a two-inning span, while Reviews #1-5 set a new mark for most reviews over a four-inning (or three-and-a-half inning) period.

Ejection S-6 - Jordan Baker (Haselman & The 1B Glove)

HP Umpire Jordan Baker ejected Dodgers Coach Bill Haselman over an illegal equipment/glove dispute in the top of the 3rd inning of the Brewers-Dodgers game. With one out and one on (R1) in the top of the 3rd inning of the Brewers-Dodgers game, Dodgers second baseman Logan Forsythe was prohibited from wearing a first baseman's glove, as in Rule 3.05, during a bunt situation in which first baseman Scott Van Slyke had strategically relocated closer to home plate in order to field a bunt attempt from Brewers batter Matt Garza; Van Slyke retained the first baseman's glove for the duration of the play and inning in question, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 0-0. The Brewers ultimately won the contest, 5-4.

This is Jordan Baker (71)'s first ejection of Spring Training, the 2017 MLB preseason.
Jordan Baker now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).
Crew Chief Jim Wolf now has 0 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).

*Believe it or not, we've previously encountered and solved a Case Play about this very (or somewhat similar) play.

In 2015, we asked, "Will the Real F3 Please Stand Up?" and posed the question, "if an outfielder stands at first base in a five-man infield, what is his position called and who may wear the first baseman's glove or mitt?"

Let's review the answer.

> Rule 3.05 allows the first baseman to wear a glove or mitt measuring 13"x8" with a web of width no greater than 5", as opposed to a fielding glove, as in Rule 3.06, whose corresponding maximum dimensions are 13"x7.75" with a web no wider than 4.5". There are additional stylistic and material differences between the two categories of gloves.
> The OBR Definition of Terms defines the battery [catcher/pitcher], but not specifically "first baseman."
> Rule 4.03, regarding the lineup cards, states that "each lineup card presented to the umpire-in-chief should list the fielding positions to be played by each player in the batting order."

With that said, the answer lies within the rarely-referenced Rule 9 (formerly Rule 10 in 2014-era OBR) concerning The Official Scorer. Rule 9.03(a) Comment tells the tale: "When a player does not exchange positions with another fielder but is merely placed in a different spot for a particular batter (for example, if a second baseman goes to the outfield to form a four-man outfield, or if a third baseman moves to a position between the shortstop and second baseman), the official scorer should not list this as a new position."

Accordingly, because second baseman Forsythe did not actually exchange positions with first baseman Van Slyke (since Van Slyke did not assume the customary second baseman's position between first and second base), and because the Forsythe/Van Slyke shift was only in place for batter Garza and his expected bunt attempt, Rule 9.03(a) Comment applies and the two players' positions remain unchanged: Jordan Baker was correct, Forsythe was not entitled to wear the first baseman's glove/mitt because Van Slyke remained the first baseman during this play.

This is the sixth ejection report of Spring Training 2017.
This is LA-NL's 2nd ejection of Spring Training, 1st in the Cactus League (LAD 2; CWS 1; Others 0).
This is Bill Haselman's first ejection since May 7, 2002 (Gary Cederstrom; QOC = U [USC-NEC]).
This is Jordan Baker's first ejection since Sept 26, 2016 (Sean Rodriguez; QOC = U [Fighting]).

Wrap: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Cactus), 3/21/17 | No Video

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

WBC Sets New Review Record in 1st Game of Full Replay

World Baseball Classic set a new Replay Review record for most video reviews over a two-inning span in just its first game of having full replay at its disposal, while tying an expanded Replay Review record for most reviews in a single contest.

Lance Barksdale and Eric Cooper in the 5th.
Due, in part, to the suspension of Manager's Challenge rules for the WBC tournament (all replays are initiated via Crew Chief Review in international play), Crew Chief Eric Cooper and his fellow umpires donned the headsets four times during Monday's Puerto Rico-Netherlands game at Dodger Stadium, with their first replay occurring in the top of the 4th inning and the final one taking place in the bottom of the 5th—setting a new professional baseball record for most replays over the fewest amount of innings played.

Not so coincidentally, those two innings—top 4 through end 5—took over an hour (1:03:15 to be exact) to complete, corresponding a pace of play of 4:44:33 over nine innings. For the record, just one run was scored between the teams during the two-inning span.

Rob Drake and Eric Cooper await word.
Never before had Major League Baseball experienced four replays in just two innings of play, or one replay per half inning over that period. The replays contributed to a total game time of four hours, 19 minutes for 11 innings of work: that prorates to a 3:32 nine-inning game, which is significantly greater than the league-average mark of three hours, one minute (and the game's 11th inning would have taken longer had the 11th's two half-innings not started with runners placed at first and second base, pursuant to WBC tie-breaking rules).

One Replay Review occurred in each of the four middle-inning frames—the top of the 4th, bottom of the 4th, top of the 5th, and bottom of the 5th—and only one resulted in an overturned call. Here is a recap:

Replay Review 1, Top 4: Tag play at second base on Kalian Sams' infield single, initially ruled "safe" by 2B Umpire Rob Drake. After review, Drake's ruling was affirmed. Safe.

Replay Review 2, Bot 4: Tag play at third base on Eddie Rosario's attempted steal, initially ruled "out" by 3B Umpire Eric Cooper. After review, Cooper's ruling was overturned. Safe.

Replay Review 3, Top 5: Tag play & home-plate collision/blocking rule 6.01(i)(2) on Jonathan Schoop's attempted score, initially ruled "out" and no catcher's violation by HP Lance Barksdale. After review, Barksdale's ruling was affirmed. Out, and no violation of the HP collision rule.

Replay Review 4, Bot 5: Slide interference rule 6.01(j) on Angel Pagan's slide at second base, initially ruled "out" and no runner's violation by 2B Umpire Rob Drake. After review, Drake's ruling was affirmed. Out, and no violation of the bona fide side rule.

In 2015, the first instant replay cycle in MLB history occurred in Boston when umpires reviewed one play at every base. Of the four reviews, two were confirmed and two were overturned.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring Ejection S-5 - Ryan Blakney (Nick Franklin)

HP Umpire Ryan Blakney ejected Rays LF Nick Franklin for arguing a strike three call in the bottom of the 8th inning of the Phillies-Rays game. With none out and one on (R1), Franklin took a 1-2 pitch from Phillies pitcher Cesar Ramos for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner half of home plate and around the midpoint, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Rays were leading, 5-0. The Rays ultimately won the contest, 8-0.

This is Ryan Blakney (36)'s first ejection of Spring Training, the 2017 MLB preseason.
Ryan Blakney now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).
Crew Chief Jeff Kellogg now has 0 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).

This is the fifth ejection report of Spring Training 2017.
This is the 4th player ejection of 2017. Prior to ejection, Franklin was 0-1 (SO) in the contest.
This is TB's 1st ejection of Spring Training, T-1st in the Grapefruit League (HOU, STL, TB 1; Others 0).
This is Nick Franklin's first career MLB ejection.
This is Ryan Blakney's first ejection since September 18, 2016 (Joc Pederson; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Grapefruit), 3/19/17 | Video via "Read More"

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Spring Ejection S-4 - Quinn Wolcott (Rick Renteria)

HP Umpire Quinn Wolcott ejected White Sox Manager Rick Renteria for arguing balls and strikes in the middle of the 3rd inning of the Dodgers-White Sox game. After striking out Dodgers batter Trayce Thompson to end the top of the 3rd inning, White Sox pitcher Carson Fulmer engaged Wolcott in a dispute about the strike zone, upon which Renteria was ejected in pursuit of the conflict, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Dodgers were leading, 2-0. The Dodgers ultimately won the contest, 13-7.

This is Quinn Wolcott (81)'s first ejection of Spring Training, the 2017 MLB preseason.
Quinn Wolcott now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).
Crew Chief Quinn Wolcott now has 0 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).

This is the fourth ejection report of Spring Training 2017.
This is the 1st Manager ejection of pre-season 2017.
This is CWS's 1st ejection of Spring Training, T-1st in the Cactus League (CWS, LAD 1; Others 0).
This is Rick Renteria's first ejection since September 26, 2014 (Jeff Nelson; QOC = Y [Balk]).
This is Quinn Wolcott's first ejection since March 12, 2017 (Edgar Gonzalez; QOC = U [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Chicago White Sox (Cactus), 3/18/17 | Video via "Read More"

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Spring Ejection S-3 - Nick Mahrley (Matt Adams)

HP Umpire Nick Mahrley ejected Cardinals 1B Matt Adams for arguing a strike three call in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Mets-Cardinals game. With none out and none on, Adams took a 1-2 pitch from Mets pitcher Robert Gsellman for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located around the inner edge of home plate and belt high, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Mets were leading, 3-1. The Mets ultimately won the contest, 5-4.


This is Nick Mahrley (-)'s first ejection of Spring Training, the 2017 MLB preseason.
Nick Mahrley now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).
Crew Chief Greg Gibson now has 0 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 0 Spring Training = 0).

This is the third ejection report of Spring Training 2017.
This is the 3rd player ejection of 2017. Prior to ejection, Adams was 0-1 (SO) in the contest.
This is STL's 1st ejection of Spring Training, T-1st in the Grapefruit League (HOU, STL 1; Others 0).
This is Matt Adam's first career MLB ejection.
This is Nick Mahrley's first career MLB ejection.

Wrap: New York Mets vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Grapefruit), 7/18/17 | Video via "Read More"

2017 UEFL Appeals Board Election, Candidate Statements

Cast your vote for the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board. Pursuant to UEFL Rule 6-4-a, the UEFL Appeals Board was established to adjudicate appeals of Quality of Correctness and Umpire Classification (Rule 6-1), to determine Check Swing QOCs (6-2-b-5-c) and disputed Reasons for Ejection (6-2-b-5-b), and to review Replay Review decisions (4-7-c and 6-2-b-8) and member appeals for disciplinary reinstatement (8-1-h). Comprised of a roster of nine voting members, including the Commissioners and seven at-large volunteers, a pre-season nomination and election process has been established to complete this year's Board.

Listed in order of their submission, the following three UEFL'ers have been nominated for and are seeking election to the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board (two vacancies). They are:

Joshua (MLB umpire observer)
"I am nominating myself as an attempt to give back to the UEFL. I have been a everyday follower of the UEFL since 2015 and many of you may have gotten to know me through my comments on a number of topics on the site. I have I have multiple years of experience umpiring baseball at the High School level and multiple years of officiating basketball at the High School level. I have never participated as a drafting member of the UEFL and will not this year. I am confident if elected I will represent all members of the UEFL on the board. Thank you for your consideration."

Steven (CohenS3)
"I have over 3 years' Student Government experience.  My final assignment was to Chair our most complex standing committee, Constitution and Bylaws.  This assignment required the preparation and posting of public meeting agendas, as well as the preparation and posting of briefing papers, which differentiated between existing and proposed new laws.  Regardless of my personal agreement with a particular statute, I always upheld them to the best of my ability, weighing all possible outcomes before reaching an ultimate conclusion."

James (jvick2017)
"I am a certified FHSAA Umpire for all High School levels as well as an avid reader of OPR and constant watcher of Major League Baseball. I will bring an unwavering commitment to getting the call right and making sure everyone has a fair experience in the UEFL."

VOTE HERE FOR YOUR 2017 UEFL APPEALS BOARD (SELECT TWO CANDIDATES):

2017 UEFL Appeals Board Election


Voting will remain open through March 24, 2017 (Friday).

WBC Ejection - Will Little (2; Andrew McCutchen)

World Baseball Classic HP Umpire Will Little ejected USA RF Andrew McCutchen for arguing a strike three call in the top of the 6th inning of the USA-Puerto Rico game. With none out and none on, McCutchen took a 1-2 pitch from Puerto Rico pitcher Seth Lugo for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located around the outer edge of home plate and near the hollow of the knee, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, Puerto Rico was leading, 4-2. Puerto Rico ultimately won the contest, 6-5.

This is Will Little (93)'s second ejection of the 2017 World Baseball Classic, 1st since 3/14.
This is the 7th ejection of the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
This is the 4th player ejection of the 2017 WBC.

Wrap: United States of America vs. Puerto Rico (WBC), 3/17/17 | Video via "Read More"

Friday, March 17, 2017

Jen Pawol Promoted to Single-A New York-Penn League

Jen Pawol's quest to become the first female MLB umpire took another step in the right direction this offseason as Pawol received a promotion from 2016's Gulf Coast League (Rookie) to 2017's New York-Penn League (Short-A).

The New York-Penn League is one of two Minor League Baseball's short-season Class-A leagues, the other being the Northwest League. Pawol is at the beginning of a minor league career that will require further progression through Class-A, A-Advanced, Double-A, Triple-A, MLB Call-Up/Fill-In status, and, finally, promotion to the Major Leagues.

Last season, Pawol became the first female umpire to work affiliated baseball in ten years, when Ria Cortesio's career concluded at the Double-A level.

Pam Postema (1977-89) was the last to reach Triple-A.

Pawol's GCL crewmate in 2016 was Scott Molloy, who himself, along with most minor league umpires, is trying to climb the development ladder to reach the big leagues. Molloy was promoted to Short-A's New York-Penn League in August 2016, where he officiated with umpire Matt Cowan, taking the place of Reed Basner, who himself was promoted to Class-A...

As one might surmise, there are a lot of moving parts and quite a few (hundred) umpires vying for a coveted shot at the show. Pawol's is but one of many journeys to be had along the road, most of which will end with release or retirement prior to the highest level.