Friday, August 18, 2017

Fined - Kinsler Not Suspended for Hernandez Comments

Ian Kinsler will not be suspended for his Angel Hernandez rant, MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre's department failing to issue a statement of suspension for Kinsler's comments. According to Tigers beat reporter Jason Beck, MLB instead issued Kinsler an undisclosed fine for comments to the press that included such barbs as "[Hernandez is] messing with baseball games, blatantly" and "He needs to find another job. He really does. He's just that bad."
Related PostMLB Ejections 134-35 - Angel Hernandez (1-2; DET x2) (8/14/17).

Kinsler will not be suspended for his actions.
Although MLB's Collective Bargaining Agreement with the MLB Players Association states that the Commissioner or Chief Baseball Officer may suspend a player, without pay, for "making public statements that question the integrity of the game, the umpires, the Commissioner and/or other Commissioner’s Office personnel," Beck reported that the League has opted to forgo such disciplinary action and instead issue a fine.

By contrast, here are a few incidents that did result in player suspensions: In June 2017, Torre suspended Yasiel Puig one game for an obscene gesture, while Oakland's Matt Joyce received a two-game suspension earlier in August for anti-gay comments directed toward a spectator in Anaheim.

Ex-Manager, MLB's Joe Torre.
MLB's decision not to suspend Kinsler for his comments about Hernandez follows Hernandez's lawsuit against Major League Baseball and Commissioner Rob Manfred's office, filed on July 3, alleging racial discrimination. The suit also states, multiple times, Hernandez's belief that Joe Torre has perpetuated a personal feud with Hernandez, and that Torre's personal animus toward Hernandez is unfairly affecting MLB's business operation as relates to its handling of matters concerning Hernandez.

Earlier in August, Commissioner Rob Manfred issued umpire Joe West a three-game suspension for comments West had made in June about Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre that Manfred felt created an "appearance of lack of impartiality." Manfred stated that he opted to suspend West two-months after the fact for violation of the umpires' Basic Agreement with MLB, the text of which is not public.
Related PostJoe West Suspended 3 Games for Beltre Comment (8/8/17).

Adrian Beltre: "I didn't think it was a big deal."
Following MLB's suspension of West, the World Umpires Association issued a statement in which it disagreed with the decision to punish Joe West "simply for quotes in media," which the WUA contended was a joking interaction between an umpire and player. In his own comments to the media, Beltre said he felt West's comments were in jest and did not believe the suspension was appropriate: "I don’t think the suspension was necessary, I know he was kidding. I didn’t think it was a big deal. It’s sad that it happened. I guess it was just some miscommunication." According to Beltre, he and West had already laughed it out during a series in Texas prior to the All-Star Break, a month before West drew the suspension.

Following Kinsler's comments about Hernandez, the WUA issued a statement in support of Hernandez: "The World Umpires Association stands behind Angel Hernandez! Angel has dedicated his career to the game. His integrity [was] wrongly impugned. A verbal attack on Angel Hernandez impugns the integrity of all umpires. We all stand by Angel!"

For illustration, here are the comments Kinsler was not suspended for:
I’m surprised at how bad an umpire [Hernandez] is. I don’t know how, for as many years he’s been in the league, that he can be that bad. He needs to reevaluate his career choice, he really does. Bottom line. If I get fined for saying the truth, then so be it. He’s messing with baseball games, blatantly. He’s changing the game. He needs to find another job. He really does. He's just that bad. I’m not mad at him. He just needs to go away...What is he doing on the field? What is he doing out there? It’s pretty obvious he needs to stop ruining baseball games.
And here are West's comments, for which MLB's senior-most umpire drew a three-game suspension:
[The biggest whiner has] got to be Adrian Beltre. Every pitch you call that’s a strike, he says, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” I had a game with him recently and the pitch was right down the middle. He tells me, “That ball is outside.” I told him, “You may be a great ballplayer, but you’re the worst umpire in the league. You stink.”
Did MLB get it right with the Kinsler non-suspension? You make the call.

Commissioner Manfred Discusses Joe West

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred issued a statement on the suspension of umpire Joe West, which West served last week.

In a response to the situation, Manfred stated that "umpires have to be beyond reproach on the topic of impartiality. That's why there are really specific rules in the umpire basic agreement about public comment. I was a bit surprised...I sat down with Joe West after his public comments. He and I agreed that a three-day suspension was the appropriate discipline for his violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement."

"Unfortunately, Mr. West decided that he didn't want to live up to that agreement. I assume with consultation with the WUA, given the statements that they've made, and we had to proceed in a different way."

"I did have a very specific understanding with Mr. West as to what was going to happen here and he was in agreement with what was going to happen here."

The WUA previously stated its public disagreement with the decision to punish Joe West for his quotes in the media stating the WUA's commitment to "fair play and solidarity with Joe West."

Video as follows:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

MLB Ejection 139 - Chris Conroy (3; Joe Maddon)

1B Umpire Chris Conroy ejected Cubs Manager Joe Maddon (check swing dead ball strike call) in the bottom of the 9th inning of the Reds-Cubs game. With none out and two on (R1, R2), Cubs batter Ben Zobrist attempted to check his swing/bunt on a 0-1 fastball from Reds pitcher Wandy Peralta, resulting in the pitched ball hitting Zobrist's knee. This play is under review by the UEFL Appeals Board, the call is *PENDING*. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 6-6. The Cubs ultimately won the contest, 7-6.

This is Chris Conroy (98)'s third ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Chris Conroy now has X points in the UEFL Standings (5 Prev + 2 MLB + X Call = X).
Crew Chief Ron Kulpa now has X points in Crew Division (-1 Previous + X Call = X).

This is the 139th ejection report of 2017.
This is the 69th Manager ejection of 2017.
This is Chicago-NL's 3rd ejection of 2017, 5th in the NL Central (CIN, MIL 5; PIT, STL 4; CHC 3).
This is Joe Maddon's 2nd ejection of 2017, 1st since June 16 (Jeff Kellogg; QOC = Y-C [Replay Review]).
This is Chris Conroy's 3rd ejection of 2017, 1st since July 24 (Dave Righetti; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Cincinnati Reds vs. Chicago Cubs, 8/16/17 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 138 - Chris Segal (3; Mike Matheny)

HP Umpire Chris Segal ejected Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny ("Time" call as a result of pitcher's unjustified delay; QOCU) in the bottom of the 9th inning of the Cardinals-Red Sox game. With one out and two on (R1, R2), Red Sox batter Eduardo Nunez prepared to receive Cardinals pitcher John Brebbia's 0-2 offering, Segal called "Time" following a lengthy delay out of Set Position by Brebbia. Replays indicate that after coming set, Brebbia remained in this pre-pitch state for seven seconds before Segal called time after feeling the delay was not justified pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 5.04(b)(2) Comment, the call was irrecusable.* At the time of the ejection, the Cardinals were leading, 4-3. The Red Sox ultimately won the contest, 5-4.

This is Chris Segal (96)'s third ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Chris Segal now has 15 points in the UEFL Standings (12 Prev + 3 AAA + 0 Irrecusable Call = 15).
Crew Chief Tom Hallion now has 12 points in Crew Division (11 Previous + 1 Irrecusable Call = 12).
*OBR 5.04(b)(2) Comment: "If pitcher delays once the batter is in his box and the umpire feels that the delay is not justified he may allow the batter to step out of the box momentarily." The batted need not request "Time."

This is the 138th ejection report of 2017.
This is the 68th Manager ejection of 2017.
This is St. Louis' 4th ejection of 2017, T-2nd in the NL Central (CIN, MIL 5; PIT, STL 4; CHC 2).
This is Mike Matheny's 3rd ejection of 2017, 1st since May 19 (Nic Lentz; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Chris Segal's 3rd ejection of 2017, 1st since July 26 (Bryce Harper; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: St. Louis Cardinals vs. Boston Red Sox, 8/16/17 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 137 - Lance Barksdale (2; John Gibbons)

HP Umpire Lance Barksdale ejected Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons (ball three call; QOCY) in the top of the 7th inning of the Rays-Blue Jays game. With one out and the bases loaded, Rays batter Steven Souza Jr took a 2-2 fastball from Blue Jays pitcher Aaron Loup for a called third ball before walking on the ensuing pitch. Replays indicate the 2-2 pitch was located off the edge of home plate and thigh-high (px -.971, pz 2.076; the pitch was centered over three inches off the plate) and that all pitches during the at-bat were properly officiated, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Blue Jays were leading, 3-2. The Blue Jays ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

This is Lance Barksdale (23)'s second ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Lance Barksdale now has 2 points in the UEFL Standings (-2 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 2).
Crew Chief Dan Iassogna now has 3 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 1 Call = 3).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.

This is the 137th ejection report of 2017.
This is the 67th Manager ejection of 2017.
This is Toronto's 8th ejection of 2017, 1st in the AL East (TOR 8; TB 6; NYY 5; BOS 4; BAL 3).
This is John Gibbons' 5th ejection of 2017, 1st since July 27 (Will Little; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Lance Barksdale's 2nd ejection of 2017, 1st since July 25 (Kris Bryant; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 8/16/17 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 136 - Stu Scheurwater (5; Scott Servais)

1B Umpire Stu Scheurwater ejected Mariners Manager Scott Servais (check swing hit by pitch call) in the top of the 9th inning of the Orioles-Mariners game. With two out and two on, Orioles batter Trey Mancini attempted to check his swing on a 3-2 fastball from Mariners pitcher Edwin Diaz for a hit by pitch. This play is under review by the UEFL Appeals Board, the call is *PENDING*. At the time of the ejection, the Mariners were leading, 7-5. The Mariners ultimately won the contest, 7-6.

This is Stu Scheurwater (85)'s fifth ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Stu Scheurwater now has X points in the UEFL Standings (X Prev + 3 AAA + X Call = X).
Crew Chief Gary Cederstrom now has X points in Crew Division (5 Previous + X Call = X).

This is the 136th ejection report of 2017.
This is the 66th Manager ejection of 2017.
This is Seattle's 5th ejection of 2017, 2nd in the AL West (TEX 8; SEA 5; OAK 4; HOU 3; LAA 1).
This is Scott Servais' 3rd ejection of 2017, 1st since May 25 (Adam Hamari; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Stu Scheurwater's 5th ejection of 2017, 1st since August 12 (Steve Buechele; QOC = U [Check Swing]).

Wrap: Baltimore Orioles vs. Seattle Mariners, 8/16/17 | Video as follows:

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Zobrist - Computer Ump Would Have Called Strike 3, Too

After striking out to end a Cubs game, Ben Zobrist called for a computer strike zone. The problem? A robo-ump would have ruled the decisive pitch a strike, just as plate umpire Mark Wegner did.

Zobrist & Maddon question Wegner as he leaves the field.
The Play: With two out and two on with the Cubs looking to tie their game against Arizona in the top of the 9th inning, Ben Zobrist took a 2-2 pitch from Diamondbacks reliever David Hernandez for a called third strike.

Quality of Correctness: Replays indicate the pitch was located over the heart of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px .264, pz 1.439 [sz_bot 1.504 / BOZ 1.380]), the call was correct.

Mathematic Analysis: With the horizontal coordinate (px value) presenting itself in the "always a strike" (all else equal) range, we turn our attention to the vertical pz value and the question of whether the ball passed through the bottom of the strike zone.

According to the computer Zobrist wishes would have replaced Wegner's pitch calling, the 2-2 pitch was vertically centered 1.439 feet above ground level while the bottom of Zobrist's strike zone (the hollow of the knee) was located 1.504 feet AGL. 1.439 feet corresponds to 17.27 inches and 1.504 corresponds to 18.05 inches. Thus, the center of the baseball was located .065 feet (or .78 inches) below the bottom of the strike zone.

Brooks' representation of Pitch #5 (Called K3) to Zobrist.
However, as we previously discussed in "Analyzing Strike Zone Analysis - Not So Easy Or Simple," a baseball is not a singular point, but a three-dimensional sphere with an average radius of just under 1.5-inches in length. Because a radius is measured from the center of a circle to its edge, we know that the 2-2 pitch to Zobrist, centered at 17.27 inches AGL, extended from approximately 15.77 inches AGL at the lowest edge of the baseball to 18.77 inches AGL at the highest point of the baseball (mathematically, this is 17.27"+1.5").

Recall that the measured bottom of Zobrist's strike zone was 18.05" AGL. Because the highest point of the baseball was located at 18.77" AGL, and 18.77" is greater than sz_bot's 18.05", we know that a portion of the baseball passed through the strike zone (specifically, we know that precisely 0.72" of the baseball traveled through the lower portion of the strike zone).

The Rule: What does the rule book say about a pitch wherein only part of the baseball travels through the strike zone?
A STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which...(b) Is not struck at, if any part of the ball passes through any part of the strike zone.
Conclusion: Sorry Zobrist, it wasn't a faux pas on Wegner's part that led to that game-ending called third strike: the pitch was actually in the strike zone, and would have been called as such by the very computerized umpire being advocated. Video as follows:

Monday, August 14, 2017

MLB Ejections 134-35 - Angel Hernandez (1-2; DET x2)

HP Umpire Angel Hernandez ejected Tigers 2B Ian Kinsler and Manager Brad Ausmus (strike one call; QOCY) in the top of the 5th inning of the Tigers-Rangers game. With one out and none on, Kinsler took a 0-0 fastball from Rangers pitcher Martin Perez for a called first strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the heart of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px .478, pz 1.616 [sz_bot 1.535] - this is 0.97 inches above the bottom of the strike zone), the call was correct. At the time of the ejections, the Rangers were leading, 5-2. The Rangers ultimately won the contest, 6-2.

This is Angel Hernandez (55)'s first, second ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Angel Hernandez now has 7 points in the UEFL Standings (-1 Prev + 2*[2 MLB + 2 Correct] = 7).
Crew Chief Ted Barrett now has 12 points in Crew Division (10 Previous + 2 Correct Call = 12).

This is the 134th, 135th ejection report of 2017.
This is the 59th player ejection of 2017. Prior to ejection, Kinsler was 0-2 in the contest.
This is the 65th Manager ejection of 2017.
This is Detroit's 4/5th ejection of 2017, 3rd in the AL Central (CWS 12; KC 6; DET 5; MIN 3; CLE 0).
This is Ian Kinsler's first ejection since September 18, 2016 (Jordan Baker; QOC = U [USC-NEC]).
This is Brad Ausmus' 3rd ejection of 2017, 1st since June 23 (Jordan Baker; QOC = Y [Check Swing]).
This is Angel Hernandez's first ejection since March 23, 2017 (Asdrubal Cabrera; QOC = Y [Time]).

Wrap: Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers, 8/14/17 | Video as follows:

Sunday, August 13, 2017

MLB Ejection 133 - Tripp Gibson (3; Jeff Banister)

1B Umpire Tripp Gibson ejected Rangers Manager Jeff Banister (Warnings; QOCU) in the top of the 5th inning of the Astros-Rangers game. With none out and none on, Astros batter Marwin Gonzalez took four consecutive balls from Rangers pitcher Andrew Cashner, the last resulting in a hit-by-pitch and warnings from HP Umpire Stu Scheurwater as both Banister and Astros Manager AJ Hinch argued for opposite rulings (Banister disputed the warnings and Hinch campaigned for Cashner's ejection). Replays indicate the second, third, and fourth pitches to Gonzalez were thrown progressively farther off the inner edge of home plate until the fourth pitch hit Gonzalez in the uniform shirt, the call was irrecusable (see Standards for Removal from the Game, highlighted below).* At the time of the ejection, the Astros were leading, 1-0. The Astros ultimately won the contest, 2-1.

This is Tripp Gibson (73)'s third ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Tripp Gibson now has 6 points in the UEFL Standings (4 Prev + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call = 6).
Crew Chief Bill Welke now has 2 points in Crew Division (1 Previous + 1 Irrecusable Call = 2).
*Standard for Removal (MLBUM): "If a manager, coach or player leaves the dugout or his position to dispute a warning, he should be warned to stop. If he continues, he is subject to ejection."
Related PostEjections - What and Wherefore? Standards for Removal from the Game (3/29/17).

This is the 133rd ejection report of 2017.
This is the 64th Manager ejection of 2017.
This is Texas' 8th ejection of 2017, 1st in the AL West (TEX 8; OAK, SEA 4; HOU 3; LAA 1).
This is Jeff Banister's 5th ejection of 2017, 1st since July 26 (Gerry Davis; QOC = U [On-Deck Circle]).
This is Tripp Gibson's 3rd ejection of 2017, 1st since August 6 (Andy Green; QOC = N [Interference]).

Wrap: Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers, 8/13/17 | Video as follows:

Saturday, August 12, 2017

MLB Ejection 132 - Ramon De Jesus (4; Chase Utley)

2B Umpire Ramon De Jesus ejected Dodgers 2B Chase Utley (positioning disagreement; Unsportsmanlike-NEC) in the top of the 9th inning of the Padres-Dodgers game. With none out and two on (R1, R2), Padres batter Carlos Asuaje hit a 0-2 cutter from Dodgers pitcher Kenley Jansen on a fly ball to shortstop Corey Seager for an out on the infield fly rule. Following the play, Utley requested De Jesus move from his position at Deep B, presumably within Utley's line-of-sight to home plate in double-play depth; after a disagreement, De Jesus ejected Utley for unsporting conduct (NEC), the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Dodgers were leading, 6-3. The Dodgers ultimately won the contest, 6-3.

This is Ramon De Jesus (18)'s fourth ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Ramon De Jesus now has 15 points in the UEFL Standings (10 Prev + 3 AAA + 2 Irrecusable Call = 15).
Crew Chief Dana DeMuth now has 6 points in Crew Division (5 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 6).

This is the 132nd ejection report of 2017.
This is the 58th player ejection of 2017. Prior to ejection, Utley was 1-4 in the contest.
This Los Angeles-NL's 7th ejection of 2017, 1st in the NL West (LAD 7; COL 5; SF 4; ARI, SD 3).
This is Chase Utley's first ejection since April 23, 2006 (Dan Iassogna; QOC = U [Out/Safe]).
This is Ramon De Jesus' 4th ejection of 2017, 1st since August 8 (Mike Scioscia; QOC = Y [Check Swing]).

Wrap: San Diego Padres vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 8/12/17 | Video as follows: