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The Left Field Corner: Read the September 2014 Issue of LF Corner


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Solution for ABL Case Play: Stepping Over the Line

Our Australian Baseball League dead-ball territory Case Play is now complete, the solution below. Play:
With none out and two on, Bite batter Chan Moon hit a sacrifice fly to Heat left fielder Tim Smith in foul territory, Bite baserunner R3 Rocky Gale scoring as R1 Michael Miller remained at first base. Replays indicate F7 Smith slid to catch the fly, then regained his footing before stepping across the venue's out-of-play line and into dead ball territory before throwing the ball back to the infield.
At issue, as argued by the offensive team's coach, was whether F7's actions caused the ball to become dead and, if so, whether R1 should have been awarded second base.

Because the ABL uses the Official Baseball Rules, we can confidently cite MLB's code in solving this Case Play. As it stands, the following comprise our statements of material fact:
➤ The Norwood Oval's ground rules states a line in foul ground delineates live from dead ball territory.
➤ F7 entered his slide, without possession of the ball, while in foul territory, above "in play" ground.
➤ F7 caught the ball and exited his slide, standing on his feet, while in foul territory, "in play."
➤ F7 hopped across the out of play line, such that only his feet/shoes were in contact with the ground.
➤ F7 threw the ball back to the infield while standing wholly in dead ball territory.

F7 legally stands out of play
OBR Rule 5.10(f) states, "When a fielder, after catching a fly ball, falls into a bench or stand...If a fielder after making a catch steps into a bench, but does not fall, the ball is in play and runners may advance at their own peril."
OBR Rule 6.05(a) Comment states, "The ball is in play unless the fielder, after making a legal catch, falls into a dugout or other out-of-play area, in which case the ball is dead."
OBR Rule 7.04(c) states that each runner may advance one base when, "a fielder, after catching a fly ball, falls into a bench or stand, or falls across ropes into a crowd when spectators are on the field."

Because F7 did not actually fall in or onto dead ball territory—he recovered to his feet and maintained his shoes as the only point of contact with the ground—Rule 7.04(c) cannot apply. According to the Wendelstedt Umpire School, "This is covered under 6.05 (a) Comment. It appears that he slides, makes the catch, recovers to his feet, then steps into the out-of-play area. This is perfectly legal under the rules." Thus, the umpires made the correct call. Live ball, B1 is out, R1 stays at first, R3 scores.

Wendelstedt School Director Brent Rice addressed the following potential scenarios to this play:
➤ Had F7 fallen after entering DBT: Dead ball, B1 is out, R1 awarded one base (2B), R3 scores.
➤ Had F7 made the catch and then slid into DBT: Dead ball, B1 out, R1 awarded 2nd, R3 awarded home.
➤ Had F7 caught the ball after entering DBT—or bobbled the ball into DBT: Foul ball, no out.
➤ Had F7 dropped the ball while standing in DBT having already completed the catch: Dead ball, B1 out, R1 awarded two bases (3B), R3 awarded home.

NCAA RULING: Under most circumstances, this same play is legal in NCAAB, pursuant to Rule 6.1.d. However, Rule 6.1.d(1)(b) specifically authorizes a local facility to adopt a ground rule that would preclude a fielder from throwing from dead-ball territory, though the fielder would be legally permitted to re-enter live-ball territory in order to throw. If such a ground rule is adopted, the penalty for this "catch-and-carry" violation is a dead ball and one-base award.

Thanks to all participants: 2015 UEFL CP points for: AJ_Off, cyclone14, Jim, RichMSN, zimmerthechief.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Final Results: 2014 UEFL Rules Summit

Final results for the 2014 UEFL Rules Summit are in. The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces the following rules changes for the 2015 UEFL Season. The results of the Summit have been referred to the UEFL Rules Committee for formal codification and adoption (the 2015 UEFL Rules will be released prior to standard registration, by February 2015):

➤ 6-1-a: Appeals must be initiated within 24-hour statute of limitations; 69% Yes, 26% No.
➤ 6-2-b-5: Ejections for arguing a Replay Review are deemed irrecusable; 66% Yes, 29% No.
➤ 6-2-b-5: Ejections for throwing equipment are judged individually; 74% Yes, 20% No.
➤ 6-2-b-5-c: All check swing ejections are referred to Appeals Board for QOC; 51% Yes, 46% No.
➤ 8-1: Penalty system to be established for violations of community guidelines; 60% Yes, 31% No.
➤ 9-1-a: Appeals Board has elastic clause power rule on unaddressed issues; 69% Yes, 23% No.
➤ Appeals Board: Arik G; 69% Yes, 23% No.
➤ Appeals Board: JD; 69% Yes, 20% No.
➤ Appeals Board: RichMSN; 80% Yes, 11% No.
➤ Appeals Board: tmac; 80% Yes, 9% No.
➤ Appeals Board: Turducken; 74% Yes, 17% No.
➤ Appeals Board: cyclone14; 57% Yes, 31% No.

2015 UEFL Appeals Board: Gil, Jeremy, RichMSN, tmac, Turducken, Arik G, JD, cyclone14.

The following proposals did not receive an absolute majority of yea votes and, therefore, did not pass:
➤ 1-3: Decrease in number of drafted umpires to three (from five); 34% Yes, 54% No.
➤ 3-3-a: Assessment of -1 points for crew chief's incorrect call (from +0); 31% Yes, 60% No.
➤ 4-7: Removal of Instant Replay Reviews from league scoring; 31% Yes, 63% No.
➤ 6-2-b-8: UEFL to determine Replay Review QOC independent of MLB; 46% Yes, 49% No.
➤ 6-2-c-a: Confirmed/Overturned calling official = NY, Stands = Field; 40% Yes, 54% No.
➤ 6-4-a-3: UEFL Appeals Board terms of office extended to three years; 40% Yes, 57% No.
➤ 8-5: UEFL draft to adopt a required entry fee; 11% Yes, 80% No.
➤ 8-3: Voting for Appeals Board restricted to prior year's UEFL membership; 48% Yes, 46% No.
➤ 8-6: 30 QOC Quick Votes in opposition to Original Ruling triggers appeal; 49% Yes, 46% No.
➤ 8-7: UEFL members authorized to trade a team member during season; 44% Yes, 46% No.

Thank you all for participating in the 2014 UEFL Rules Summit and we'll see you in 2015. Stay tuned for the answer to the Stepping Over the Line ABL Case Play and offseason ejection updates/reports.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Case Play (ABL Ejection): Stepping Over the Line

An umpire's out/live ball in play vs. dead ball call sparked an ejection in the Australian Baseball League this weekend as 3B Umpire Neil Poulton ejected Adelaide Bite Manager Brooke Knight for arguing a live ball call in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Heat-Bite game. With none out and two on, Bite batter Chan Moon hit a sacrifice fly to Heat left fielder Tim Smith in foul territory, Bite baserunner R3 Rocky Gale scoring as R1 Michael Miller remained at first base. At issue was not the validity of the out (catch) call, but whether F7 Smith "fell" before throwing the ball back into the infield and keeping Miller at first base. The ground rules for the Norwood Oval specify that an out-of-bounds line shall exist in the corners of the outfield, in front of the bullpens, and that a fielder or ball crossing this line shall be deemed out of play.

Momentum carries F7 across the OOP line.
The ABL uses the Official Baseball Rules; pursuant to OBR Rule 5.10(f), "When a fielder, after catching a fly ball, falls into a bench or stand," the ball is dead. However, "If a fielder after making a catch steps into a bench, but does not fall, the ball is in play and runners may advance at their own peril." Rule 7.04(c) specifies that each runner may advance one base when "A fielder, after catching a fly ball, falls into a bench or stand, or falls across ropes into a crowd when spectators are on the field." Rule 6.05(a) Comment similarly states that the "ball is in play unless the fielder, after making a legal catch, falls into a dugout or other out-of-play area, in which case the ball is dead." Replays indicate F7 Smith slid and caught the ball in the field of play, appearing to regain his footing before stepping over the out-of-play line (see attached photograph).

Q: Does this constitute a "fall" under Rule 5.10(f) or a "step into a bench"? Is a bullpen a bench?
HINT: MLBUM #24(5).
Case Play Note: Yes, the 2014 UEFL season has concluded. However, up to two Case Play points for the 2015 UEFL season may be gained through contributing to this discussion.

Wrap: Perth Heat vs. Adelaide Bite (Australian Baseball League), 11/15/14
Video: Sac fly to LF gives Bite a 3-1 lead and fireworks, too, on question of Smith's status (ABL)

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Polls: 2014 UEFL Rules Summit Voting

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces 2014 Rules Summit voting, which follows the Summit's discussion phase. It is now time to vote for UEFL rules modifications in advance of the 2014 baseball season.

The following ballot includes a description of proposals and an opportunity to vote on each measure. Upon Commissioner approval, all passing proposals will become rules for the 2014 UEFL season. Pursuant to the terms of UEFL Rule 8-1, a proposal with two options (e.g., Yes/No) is considered passing if it receives an absolute majority.

The Rules Summit ballot will close Saturday, November 22, at 11:59 pm PST. A run-off ballot and/or election will follow, beginning the afternoon or evening of Sunday, November 23.

The 2014 Rules Summit includes 19 polls related to proposals and six Appeals Board re-election polls. Carefully consider the below options before submitting your ballot. As in years past, you may vote in as many or as few polls as you wish. Be advised we will review voting records to determine ballot authenticity, which includes allegations or suspicions of fraudulent activity or misconduct. Click "read more" or click here to access the ballot.

Roster: 2014 Arizona Fall League Championship Game

Umpire Ryan Blakney plates the Arizona Fall League Championship Game played Saturday, November 15, 2014. He is joined by Doug Vines (1B), Ryan Goodman (2B) and Shaun Lampe (3B). The AFL Championship is the final game of the Arizona Fall League season, pitting together top prospects in baseball on the fall stage. The 2014 AFL Championship is being played at Scottsdale Stadium and features the Peoria Javelinas and Salt River Rafters.

Umpiring Crew, 2014 Arizona Fall League Championship Game (Peoria vs Salt River):
HP: Ryan Blakney (AAA: Pacific Coast League)
1B: Doug Vines (AAA: International League)
2B: Ryan Goodman (AAA: PCL)
3B: Shaun Lampe (AAA: PCL)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Roster: 2014 MLB Japan All-Star Series

Umpire Chris Conroy & Crew Chief Mike Winters are in Japan for MLB's All-Star Series, joining local officials Fumihiro Yoshimoto and Hideto Fuke for the Exhibition Game at Koshien Stadium in Osaka. Veteran Fumihiro Yoshimoto worked his 1,000th career game in Nippon Professional Baseball in July 2014. In the postseason, Winters served as crew chief for the 2014 NLDS with Chris Conroy assigned to NY's Replay Operations Center while both Yoshimoto and Fuke officiated the NPB's equivalent for the Pacific League. Game 1 vs. Samurai Japan saw the addition of Jerry Layne while Game 3's combined no-hitter featured Mike Winters behind the dish.

Look closely and you might see the portable camera mounted on the hockey-style mask of plate umpire Fumihiro Yoshimoto. MLB Network will show replays from the camera throughout the broadcast.

Umpiring Assignments, MLB All-Stars vs Hanshin-Yomiuri*, Exhibition Game:
HP: Fumihiro Yoshimoto (JPN)
1B: Chris Conroy (USA)
2B: Hideto Fuke (JPN)
3B: Mike Winters (USA)

Umpires, MLB All-Stars vs. Samurai Japan (Japanese National Team), Game 1:
HP: Chris Conroy (USA)
1B: Takanori Yamamoto (JPN)
2B: Jerry Layne (USA)
3B: Katsumi Manabe (JPN)

Umpires, Samurai Japan (Japanese National Team) vs. MLB All-Stars, Game 2:
HP: Shoji Arisumi (JPN)
1B: Jerry Layne (USA)
2B: Chikara Tsugawa (JPN)
3B: Chris Conroy (USA)

Game 3:
HP: Mike Winters
1B: Kyohei Makita
2B: Jerry Layne
3B: Masanobu Sasaki

Game 4:
HP: Masao Yanada
1B: Mike Winters
2B: Kinji Nishimoto
3B: Chris Conroy

Game 5:
HP: Jerry Layne
1B: Kunio Kiuchi
2B: Mike Winters
3B: Norihiro Akimura

Sunday, November 9, 2014

ABL Ejection: Greg Kent (1; Dae-Sung Koo)

Here's a textbook ejection from the Australian Baseball League to brighten your offseason. HP Umpire Greg Kent ejected Blue Sox pitcher Dae-Sung Koo for arguing a ball four call in the bottom of the 8th inning of the Blue Sox-Cavalry game. With one out and one on, Cavalry batter Mitch Walding took a 3-1 pitch from Koo for a called fourth ball. After the walk, Koo walked to home plate, pointed down at the inner edge where he believed the pitch was located, and was dismissed by Kent. At the time of the ejection, the Blue Sox were leading, 7-5. The Blue Sox ultimately won the contest, 7-5.

Wrap: Sydney Blue Sox vs. Canberra Cavalry (Australian Baseball League), 11/9/14
Video: Dae-Sung Koo is ejected in textbook ejection for drawing line in the dirt on 'black' of plate (ABL)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

2014 UEFL Rules Summit: Discussion

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces its 2014 Rules Summit, a postseason forum with a purpose of discussing any controversial issues which have surfaced during the past season and to set forth a framework for rectifying these issues by altering the existing UEFL Rules Book in advance of the 2015 UEFL season.

This discussion thread is an open forum for the proposal, discussion and debate of potential rules changes. This thread will remain open through Friday, November 14, which will provide ample time for the proposal and subsequent discussion of possible rules changes for the 2015 season. If necessitated by certain below decisions, a Summit runoff ballot may be presented after the initial voting closes.

The following matters are presently on docket for 2014 Rules Summit consideration. Any UEFL'er or guest may contribute an idea by replying to this thread; in turn, the following list will be updated to reflect the added item(s). Proposed rules modifications or changes are identified by italics, deletions by strikeout and additions by bold text. Editorial changes underlined. Individual propositions are identified by the ">>" symbol.

Rule 1 (Selection of Umpires).
>> Section 3 amended as follows: "...each member of the league shall select two umpires one umpire..." Section 4 shall be amended as follows: "...shall select two additional umpires one additional umpire." Proposal would decrease # of drafted umpires from 1 cc + 2 PRM + 2 SEC to 1 cc + 1 PRM + 1 SEC.

Rule 2 (The Season).

Rule 3 (Crew Division).

Rule 4 (League Scoring).
>> Section 7. Eliminates Section "Replay Challenges and Reviews." Proposal would eliminate all points from Replay Review and return to scoring of *just* ejections.

Rule 5 (Statistics).

Rule 6 (Challenges and Appeals).
>> Section 2-b-5. Adds phrase: "The Quality of Correctness for all reasons of Fighting, Throwing At, Unsportsmanlike Conduct-NEC, arguing a Replay Review decision or Excess Contact shall be judged as "Irrecusable" by default..."
>> Section 2-b-5-c. Adds provision: "Ejections exclusively concerning the call of check swing (ball or strike) shall be referred to the UEFL Appeals Board for a vote of Confirm/Uphold (QOC Correct) or Overturn (QOC Incorrect). Because no Original Ruling will be crafted in the case of a check swing, the Board's ruling will determine Quality of Correctness, which may not be appealed."
>> Section 2-b-8. Adds provision: "Quality of Correctness for Replay Reviews shall be determined by the UEFL independent of the outcome of the Replay Review."
>>>>> Note: This would require the following editorial changes: Rule 4-7-a: "Calls affirmed or upheld as correct or inconclusive Correct/Inconclusive calls will result in the addition of one (1) point." 4-7-b: "Calls overturned or found to be incorrect will result in the application of negative one (-1) points."
>> Section 2-c-a amended as follows: "...after umpire consultation and calls that stand after or instant replay challenge shall revert to whichever umpire would have had primary responsibility (calling) had the consultation or challenge not occurred." Section 2-c-b amended as follows: "All classifications in regards to calls that are confirmed or overturned after instant replay review shall revert to reflect the crew chief replay official as the calling umpire, such that any on-field ejection that results shall be a crewmate ejection."
>> Section 4-a-3 amended as follows: "[Appeals Board] At-large terms shall be limited to one year three years in length with no term limits."

Rule 7 (Unresolved Classifications and References).

Rule 8 (Umpire Odds & Ends and Community Issues).
>> Section 3. Adds section requiring entrance fee. If passed, terms determined via runoff ballot.

Rule 9 (Unaddressed and Authorized Provisions).

Appeals Board Membership: Re-Election Ballot (Click here to view 2014 Appeals Board decisions)
The following 2014 UEFL Appeals Board Members are seeking re-election via the 2014 Rules Summit.
>> This section will be completed in advance of Rules Summit voting.

Again, this is the discussion phase of the 2014 UEFL Rules Summit and will remain active through 11/14, after which proposals will be officially drafted and voting will commence. Please do not vote in this thread.

Friday, November 7, 2014

2014 UEFL Awards: Umpire of the Year: Ted Barrett

2014 UEFL Awards: Umpire of the Year: Ted Barrett (65) [2013 Winner: Jim Joyce]
Voting Results (min. 10%): Ted Barrett (11%), Greg Gibson (10%).

MLB Umpire Ted Barrett
In his 18th MLB season, Ted Barrett concluded 2014 with four ejections (089: Ron Washington, 095: Kirk Gibson, 096: Evan Marshall, 136: Ron Gardenhire) and was 10-for-22 (.455 RAP) in Replay Review. with one UEFL'er describing Barrett as "MLB's most underrated umpire, while simultaneously being among the league's best." Barrett's 2014 Division and World Series appearances marked his 10th straight postseason (he last missed the playoffs in 2004, but worked the Division Series annually from 2000-2003), and his third Fall Classic overall (2007, 2011). Barrett's three years between World Series is the shortest span between two such appearances since Crew Chief Jeff Kellogg worked the Fall Classic in 2008 and 2010, and matches the 2009/12 and 2010/13 splits by Gerry Davis and John Hirschbeck, respectively. Barrett also won the 2014 Honorable Umpire and Crew Chief of the Year Awards, which marks the first time in UEFL history that an umpire has won the "Triple Crown" of postseason awards.

Ted Barrett now has 26 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (21 Previous + 5 Award = 26).

With the final award in the books, the UEFL announces the final standings for the 2014 UEFL season.
The "Perfect Score" this season was 162. Perfect score is calculated using the highest points possible per category (32 [Miller -cc] + 36 [Carapazza] + 30 [Bellino] + 23 [Guccione] + 22 [T Barrett] + 19 CP/Props = 162 Total Points). Accordingly, the "Perfect Crew" was comprised of Bill Miller (crew chief), Vic Carapazza (primary #1), Dan Bellino (primary #2), Chris Guccione (secondary #1) and Ted Barrett (secondary #2).

UEFL Final Standings
1) Russ (102 pts)
2) Fikester (101 pts)
3) AlwaysOsinski (99 pts)
4) BkSl14812, flaump22, Tom Slick (96 pts)
7) toss 'em (94 pts)
8) CricketChapman (91 pts)
9) BigCatch22, dmcneeley, eastern36, youthministeradam (86 pts)
13) jdphenicie (83 pts)
14) johnnyg08 (80 pts)
15) DNS67665 (78 pts)
16) UmpAtty (77 pts)
17) JRD, thejaigner (73 pts)
19) brettjwhaley, johnnyd8833 (71 pts)

UEFL Express Final Standings
1) Tom Slick (96 pts)
2) youthministeradam (86 pts)
3) jdphenicie (83 pts)
4) johnnyg08 (80 pts)
5) hohnforpresident (60 pts)
6) JJBilinski, wwjd220 (57 pts)
8) kickersrule (56 pts)
9) Krwill96 (55 pts)
10) QuickTrigger3 (52 pts)

The Rules Summit will begin tomorrow.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

2014 Ejections of the Year: Joe West & Mike Winters

2014 UEFL Awards: Ejections of the Year: Joe West, Mike Winters (Ejection: [189], [137])
Voting Results (min. 10%): Joe West-189 (18%), Mike Winters-137 (14%), Andy Fletcher-119 (10%).

Umpire Joe West ejects Jonathan Papelbon
Ejection 189: Joe West (3; Jonathan Papelbon); On September 14 in Philadelphia, 2B Umpire Joe West ejected Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon for a lewd gesture made while Papelbon was leaving the field during a pitching change. Replays indicate the existence of an obscene gesture, which MLB Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre confirmed was "appropriately" disciplined by West with expulsion from the game. After the ejection, Papelbon confronted West, who in turn appeared to grab Papelbon's jersey to brush the player aside as West continued walking from the first base area back to his position in shallow center field. MLB reacted to the incident by suspending Joe West one game for initiating physical contact with a player. Joe West previously won the UEFL's 2013 Ejection of the Year Award.

Umpire Mike Winters ejects Mike Remond
Ejection 137: Mike Winters (1; Mike Redmond); On July 31 in Miami, HP Umpire Mike Winters ejected Marlins Manager Mike Redmond for arguing a Replay Review decision that overturned Winters' Rule 7.13 violation no-call (out), resulting in the tying run being awarded to the visiting Reds. Following Redmond's prompt dismissal, the catcher-turned-manager untucked his jersey, threw his cap and animatedly argued New York's ruling. UEFL'ers observed during the review that Winters appeared "beyond aggravated on the headset. He goes out and tells Redmond, 'that's bullshit,' then hands the ball to F1 and says, 'I agree, as well.'"

Joe West now has 17 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (16 Previous + 1 Award = 17).
Mike Winters now has 8 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (7 Previous + 1 Award = 8).

The final postseason award, Umpire of the Year, will be released tomorrow.