Friday, April 28, 2017

Case Play 2017-4 - Hurdling Over a Retired Runner

A recently retired runner is guilty of interference upon hindering or impeding the defense's ensuing play after being put out. Having recently discussed diving over a fielder, we now turn our attention to hurdling over a runner.

Graveman tags two runners as Layne looks on.
The Play: With none out and two on (R1, R3), Angels batter Juan Graterol hit a ground ball back to A's pitcher Kendall Graveman, who tagged out Angels baserunner R3 Ben Revere in a rundown between third base and home plate, while trailing baserunner R1 Cliff Pennington attempted to advance to third base. After retiring Revere, Graveman then attempted to jump over the sliding Revere in an effort to tag out Pennington. Replays indicate that as Graveman began his jump, Revere completed his unsuccessful "pop-up" slide and accordingly began to stand, causing contact with the hurdling Graveman. Graveman's momentum allowed him to complete the play and successfully tag Pennington for a double play in front of 3B Umpire and Crew Chief Jerry Layne.

Is this interaction permissible contact?
Case Play Question: Assume Graveman was unable to complete the double play; that instead of rolling into Pennington, Graveman rolled past the trail runner without touching him. Note the retired baserunner Revere's contact with Graveman's undercarriage during the hurdling action. Based on Rule 6.01(a)(5) [see rules library, below], would the proper call on Pennington be "safe," due to no tag having been made, or "out," by virtue of Revere's actions after having been put out? If Pennington is to be declared out, would it still be interference had Revere not attempted to stand or "pop up," even if the same contact occurred?

Answer: TBD - Sunday night / Monday morning, 4/30-5/1.

Official Baseball Rules Library
OBR 6.01(a)(5): "It is interference by a batter or runner when—Any batter or runner who has just been put out, or any runner who has just scored, hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate."
OBR 6.01(a)(5) Comment: "If the batter or a runner continues to advance after he has been put out, he shall not by that act alone be considered as confusing, hindering or impeding the fielders."
Definition of Terms (INTERFERENCE [a]): "Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play."

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Clearing Up a Myth - Timely Retouch of a Bobbled Fly

Catching a fly ball obliges runners to retouch their bases before attempting to advance, lest they be liable to be put out for failing to properly tag up. This play is so common, it has its own name and method of scoring: sacrifice fly.

Kerwin Danley calls Utley safe at home.
During Thursday's Dodgers-Giants matinee, the retouch/tag-up rule came into question when San Francisco appealed that Dodgers baserunner R3 Chase Utley failed to adhere to the time provisions of the retouch rule: the Giants thought he left early.

Sidebar: The Giants first attempted to appeal after calling "Time," but as Rule 5.09 Comment states, "Time is not out when an appeal is being made." San Francisco ultimately executed the appeal after the ball was put back into play.

The Play: With none out and the bases loaded, Dodgers batter Enrique Hernandez hit a fly ball down the right field line in foul territory, where Giants first baseman Buster Posey attempted to catch the ball as baserunner Utley attempted to tag from third base. Posey then bobbled the falling ball before finally securing possession. Replays indicate that after Posey's glove first touched the ball, R3 Utley left third base; he had clearly broken contact with the base by the time Posey finally completed his catch. San Francisco's appeal that Utley left early, however, yielded a "safe" call from 3B Umpire and Crew Chief Bill Miller, who ruled that Utley had properly tagged up.

Analysis: What are the time restrictions on runners during sac fly plays? When is a runner legally allowed to leave his base to avoid being declared out on appeal?

Time to leave: Split-screen of the first touch.
For instance, if a fielder doesn't cleanly catch the ball, but bobbles the baseball before securing it, when is the runner allowed to leave? At first touch, or at final catch?

It's a fairly rudimentary myth of the game that a runner must wait until the fielder catches the ball before leaving, but it exists for a reason.

Rule 5.09(b) instructs the defense on how to retire runners, and states that the runner is out when—"He fails to retouch his base after a fair or foul ball is legally caught before he, or his base, is tagged by a fielder."

Indeed, the phase "legally caught," "after the catch," or a similar iteration appears throughout the rules book in regard to the retouch/tag-up play.

Only in the Definition of Terms under Catch, and reprinted as a comment in Rule 5.09(a), does the sentence, "Runners may leave their bases the instant the first fielder touches the ball" appear.

Based on this seemingly hidden instruction, it's no wonder the confusion persists, but let all doubt be removed: the runner has legally fulfilled the rulebook retouch obligation on a caught fly ball at the moment a fielder first touches the batted ball (even if it's a different fielder than the one who ultimately catches the ball).

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Case Play 2017-3 - Illegal Batter Disconcertion [Solved]

In baseball, disconcertion of the batter occurs when a fielder distracts the batter during a pitch delivery in contravention of baseball rules pertaining to unsportsmanlike conduct. Although rare, the most common form of disconcertion is movement intended to disrupt the batter's concentration while the distracter's teammate—the pitcher—is in the middle of his delivery.

Barrett identifies Villar's disruptive behavior.
Baseball's rules book prescribes a precise penalty for unsportsmanlike disconcertion: the offender is to be removed from the game and must leave the playing field. In other words, the penalty for unsporting disconcertion is ejection from the game.

The following play concerns a fielder who distracts the batter, but is he guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct?

The Play: With two out and one on (R3), Cardinals batter Stephen Piscotty prepares to receive a 2-0 pitch from Brewers pitcher Zach Davies. During Davies' delivery, however, Piscotty observes something in his line of sight, and seemingly gives up on the pitch. After ruling the pitched ball a strike, HP Umpire and Crew Chief Ted Barrett motions to 2B Umpire Lance Barksdale to address a Milwaukee fielder before summoning Brewers Manager Craig Counsell to discuss the issue at hand. Replays indicate Brewers second baseman Jonathan Villar—initially stationed on the third-base side of second base—walked across the middle infield and onto the first-base side of second base during Davies' delivery, and, in doing so, purportedly distracted Piscotty.

Case Play Question: Although Piscotty appeared to have been distracted by Villar's mid-pitch movement, Barrett nonetheless ruled the pitch a strike based on its location, while Barksdale delivered an apparent warning to Villar. Based on Rule 6.04 regarding Unsportsmanlike Conduct (see the library, below), was Barrett's decision correct? Should the strike have been cancelled? Should Villar have been ejected?

Answer (Click here for a Video Answer): Although the term "disconcertion" does not appear in the Official Baseball Rules, we're using that word to distinguish between inadvertent distraction and deliberate unsportsmanlike disconcertion. Since "deliberate unsportsmanlike intent" is required for Rule 6.04 to apply, the umpires must determine whether Villar clearly intended to disrupt Piscotty's concentration on the pitch, a high burden of proof.

Note that Rule 6.04 oddly allows for a balk to be nullified (essentially, correcting for a fielder distracting his own pitcher, but not the batter), but not a legal pitch to be nullified. Thus, the strike stands.

With no evidence to suggest Villar's actions rose to the level of deliberate unsportsmanlike conduct, umpires simply warned him—and his manager—not to do to move during delivery again pursuant to Rule 8.01(b), which grants umpires the "authority to order a player, coach, manager or club officer or employee to do or refrain from doing anything with affect the administering of these rules, and to enforce prescribed penalties."

If, after receiving explicit instruction not to do so, Villar again engaged in identical disruptive behavior, his distraction would rise to the level of disconcertion, and may subject him to removal from the game pursuant to Unsportsmanlike Conduct Rule 6.04.

Official Baseball Rules Library
OBR 6.04: "Unsportsmanlike Conduct: No fielder shall take a position in the batter’s line of vision, and with deliberate unsportsmanlike intent, act in a manner to distract the batter."
OBR 6.04 PENALTY: "The offender shall be removed from the game and shall leave the playing field, and, if a balk is made, it shall be nullified."

Video available via "Read more"

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Diving Over Fielder Legality - OBR, NCAA, NFHS, LL

The legality of a runner diving over a catcher varies by level of play, with professional baseball the most permissive of this maneuver and high school the least.

Click here for Video Analysis of This Play (Runner Diving Over a Fielder).

Legality of Coghlan's dive, by level of play.
The Play: With one out and one on (R1), Blue Jays batter Kevin Pillar hit a 1-1 fastball from Cardinals pitcher Matt Bowman on a fly ball to right fielder Stephen Piscotty. As Jays baserunner R1 Chris Coghlan attempted to score from first base, Piscotty's throw to the plate drew catcher Yadier Molina up the line to receive the bouncing ball, resulting in a rare sequence wherein Molina retrieved the ball in the baseline as Coghlan arrived in the vicinity of home plate and opted to jump over Molina on a modified head-first slide, of sorts, landing on home plate without having been tagged. HP Umpire Quinn Wolcott thus ruled Coghlan safe at home.

Analysis: The first relevant rule is 6.01(i) [formerly Rule 7.13] regarding collisions at home plate. Had Coghlan proceeded along his base path toward home plate—at ground level—he surely would have collided with Molina, who, having barely gained possession of the baseball, stood directly between Coghlan and home plate.

The Runner: Rule 6.01(i)(1) restricts the baserunner, and states, "A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate), or otherwise initiate an avoidable collision. If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the umpire shall declare the runner out (regardless of whether the player cover- ing home plate maintains possession of the ball)."

Coghlan dives parallel to the ground over F2.
However, the most important feature of baserunner Rule 6.01(i)(1) is in its Comment, which states, in part, "If a catcher blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall not find that the runner initiated an avoidable collision in violation of this Rule 6.01(i)(1)." Thus, even though Coghlan appeared to have scraped Molina's helmet, neck, and/or upper back during his dive (watch for the contact between Coghlan's knee and Molina's helmet), the blockage of Coghlan's pathway absolves Coghlan of responsibility for this contact. Coghlan is entirely legal in his dive.

The Fielder: Rule 6.01(i)(2) restricts the catcher, and states, "Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall call or signal the runner safe. Notwithstanding the above, it shall not be considered a violation of this Rule 6.01(i)(2) if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in a legitimate attempt to field the throw."

This upper body contact is legal in OBR.
Thus, Molina is off the hook because he (1) occupied his position in a legitimate attempt to field the throw (however slow the non-cut-off throw might have been), and, more importantly (2) actually gained possession of the ball prior to Coghlan's arrival.

Outcome: With both players legal and in compliance with Rule 6.01(i), the proper call is the sole consideration of whether Molina tagged Coghlan (he did not) and whether Coghlan touched home plate (he did). Therefore, Umpire Wolcott properly ruled runner Coghlan safe.

Sidebar: Coghlan's leap was a "dive": His body became parallel to the ground in what may be described as a "dive into home plate." A "jump" or "hurdle," on the other hand, generally holds that the runner remains at a more vertical posture, closer to a perpendicular orientation relative to the ground.

NCAA (College) Rule: In college ball, diving, hurdling and/or jumping over the fielder are entirely legal...as long as the runner is able to avoid all contact with the fielder. Rule 8-7 states, "If the defensive player blocks the base (plate) or base line with clear possession of the ball, the runner may [avoid], slide into or make contact with a fielder as long as the runner is making a legitimate attempt to reach the base (plate). Contact above the waist that was initiated by the base runner shall not be judged as an attempt to reach the base or plate." Because of this last sentence regarding contact above the waist,  a runner who, all else equal, scrapes the catcher's upper body during a dive, as Coghlan did here—replays indicate contact occurred between Coghlan's leg/knee and the crown of Molina's helmet/back—would be declared out for having initiated contact above the waist (which thus precluded the runner from attempting to reach the base/plate, even though the runner subsequently touched the base).

This head-high contact is illegal in NCAA.
Furthermore, Rule 8-7.2 states, "Contact above the waist shall be judged by the umpire as an attempt by the runner to dislodge the ball." The upper body contact provisions in NCAA are somewhat of a double-whammy on a play like this. If a runner attempts to dive over a catcher, but doesn't physically leap high enough to clear him/her, and therefore makes contact with the catcher's head/neck/torso, the umpire shall rule the runner attempted to dislodge the ball, and thus declare the runner out after calling the ball dead and returning all other base runners to the bases held at the time of the "collision." There is no discretion authorized for considering what degree of contact occurred (light or heavy) other than whether or not the contact was flagrant or malicious. If flagrant or malicious contact occurred, the umpire may eject the runner from the game.

To be clear, unavoidable contact does exist at the NCAA level (Rule 8-7.4), but contact above the waist, as initiated by the baserunner, does not qualify as "unavoidable contact."

NFHS (High School) Rule: The Federation rule just might be the easiest: "It is illegal to dive over a fielder" (8-4-2d); when a dive occurs without contact between the players, keep the ball alive, and call the runner out (unless interference is called, in which case the ball is dead). With illegal contact (e.g., knee-to-head, as occurred here), the ball becomes dead. The exception, naturally, is that a runner may hurdle or jump over a fielder's outstretched arms, or prone fielder lying on the ground in the runner's base path. The Coghlan-Molina play, all else equal, is without-a-doubt illegal on the runner's end in high school ball.

Little League: As LL generally uses OBR, this play is legal in youth ball operating under this scheme, as well as leagues that use the "slide or attempt to get around [the fielder]" language. This assumes there is no other league- or level-specific slide rule that supersedes such legality (e.g., diving a la Coghlan would be illegal in a LL that prohibits head-first slides).

Video available via "Read more"

Monday, April 24, 2017

Sorry Toronto - Batter's Interference Call Was Correct

After ejecting John Gibbons in the 6th, HP Umpire Toby Basner ruled batter interference in the 7th, again stirring Toronto's ire. Was this the correct call? Here is the proper interpretation for batter's interference, complicated by what appears to be unintentional backswing contact with the catcher.

Click here for video analysis of this play.

Travis argues Basner's call to no avail.
The Play: With none out and a runner on first in the top of the 7th, Blue Jays batter Devon Travis swung on and missed a 1-0 changeup from Angels pitcher Yusmeiro Petit as Jays baserunner R1 Chris Coghlan attempted to steal second base. Angels catcher Martin Maldonado's throw to second baseman Danny Espinosa was high, and Espinosa's tag on Coghlan occurred after Coghlan slid into second base, resulting in a fairly obvious safe call by 2B Umpire and Crew Chief Jerry Layne.

Back at home plate, however, Basner had called "Time" and interference on batter Travis. As the throw failed to retire Coghlan, Basner enforced the interference rule and declared batter Travis out, returning Coghlan to first base on the dead ball penalty.

Analysis: As is said, what we have here is a failure to communicate: Toronto and acting manager DeMarlo Hale thought Basner called one thing when he really called an entirely different infraction: Basner got this play right, but why? Let's break down the contested sequence.

Diagram of the INT play.
The entire baseball language barrier is alleviated when we separate "batter's interference" from "unintentional backswing contact," and remind ourselves that Basner called Travis for interference, not contact on the backswing.

This also should help: There is no such thing as backswing interference. Interference is an act that results in an out. Unintentional backswing contact is simply a dead ball (delayed as it were).

Learn more about the difference between interference on the batter and unintentional backswing contact at Case Play 2016-9 - A Backswing on Strike 3 (Backswing contact play with David Ortiz from August 2016).

Rule 6.03(a)(3) describes batter's interference, and states that a batter is out for illegal action when "He interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base."

Pursuant to this definition, we rewind the tape and see that in swinging and missing at Petit's changeup, Travis' right foot exited the batter's box and landed behind home plate, in front of catcher Maldonado before he released the baseball. It was this infraction that Basner called.

Note, for instance, that when Travis argues his case by recreating his swing, he stays within the confines of the batter's box. Had Travis remained within the batter's box during the play, he would have had a valid argument.

The fact that Travis' bat, on the backswing, made contact with Maldonado is the textbook definition of unintentional backswing contact, but this inadvertent contact is superseded by the batter's interference call that immediately followed it.

In other words, in the hierarchy of baseball rules, interference trumps accidental contact.

Timing: Travis' foot is out before the throw.
Though the backswing contact may or may not have caused Maldonado's high throw, that matter is irrelevant: the proper interference call—due to Travis stepping out of the batter's box in front of a throwing Maldonado—meant that at the end of this play, either Coghlan would be out on the tag, or Travis would be out on interference, pursuant to Rule 6.03(a)(3) and (4) Comment, which states, "If the batter interferes with the catcher, the plate umpire shall call 'interference.' The batter is out and the ball dead...If, however, the catcher makes a play and the runner attempting to advance is put out, it is to be assumed there was no actual interference and that runner is out—not the batter."

For wholesome's sake, Rule 6.03(a)(3) and (4) Comment also dictates the terms of unintentional backswing contact: "If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard he carries the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgment, unintentionally hits the catcher or the ball in back of him on the backswing, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play."

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MLB Ejection 019 - Toby Basner (1; John Gibbons)

HP Umpire Toby Basner ejected Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons (strike three call) in the top of the 6th inning of the Blue Jays-Angels game. With two out and none on, Blue Jays batter Russell Martin took a 3-2 fastball from Angels pitcher Jesse Chavez for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the outer edge of home plate and waist high (px 1.234, pz 2.670), the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Angels were leading, 2-1. The Angels ultimately won the contest, 2-1.

This is Toby Basner (99)'s first ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Toby Basner now has -2 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 3 AAA - 1 N - 4 Incorrect = -2).
Crew Chief Jerry Layne now has 2 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 2).
*Refer to UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule) for full ranges; px > .914 are in "always a ball" category.

This is the 19th ejection report of 2017.
This is the 12th Manager ejection of 2017.
This is Toronto's 2nd ejection of 2017, T-1st in the AL East (BOS, TB, TOR 2; BAL, NYY 0).
This is John Gibbons' 2nd ejection of 2017, 1st since April 23 (Ramon De Jesus; QOC = Y [Illegal Pitch]).
This is Toby Basner's first ejection since September 19, 2016 (Ned Lost; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 4/24/17 | Video via "Read More"

MLB Ejection 018 - Alfonso Marquez (1; Jeff Banister)

HP Umpire Alfonso Marquez ejected Rangers Manager Jeff Banister (strike three call) in the bottom of the 9th inning of the Twins-Rangers game. With one out and none on, Rangers batter Elvis Andrus took a 2-2 sinker from Twins pitcher Brandon Kintzler for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located thigh high and off the outer edge of home plate (px .952, pz 1.979 [sz_bot 1.535]), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Twins were leading, 3-2. The Twins ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

This is Alfonso Marquez (72)'s first ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Alfonso Marquez now has 3 points in the UEFL Standings (5 Previous + 2 MLB - 4 Incorrect = 3).
Crew Chief Alfonso Marquez now has 4 points in Crew Division (4 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 4).
*Refer to UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule) for full ranges; px > .914 are in "always a ball" category.

This is the 18th ejection report of 2017.
This is the 11th Manager ejection of 2017.
This is Texas' 2nd ejection of 2017, 1st in the AL West (TEX 2; SEA 1; HOU, LAA, OAK 0).
This is Jeff Banister's 2nd ejection of 2017, 1st since April 19 (Bill Welke; QOC = N [Fair/Foul]).
This is Alfonso Marquez's 1st ejection since September 22, 2016 (Walt Weiss; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Minnesota Twins vs. Texas Rangers, 4/24/17 | Video via "Read More"

Injury Scout - Brian Gorman Off Plate Duty on Sunday

Sunday's scheduled plate umpire in Philadelphia, Brian Gorman, officiated second base instead due to a "medical clearance" issue, according to the Phillies broadcast.

Gorman, who officiated Saturday's game at first base, returned to his Friday night stomping grounds in the middle infield while Sunday's originally scheduled first base umpire, Tripp Gibson, worked the plate in Gorman's stead.

CSN Philadelphia reported that Gorman's rare counterclockwise rotation from first to second base had to do with a matter related to medical clearance:
Usually, the umpires, as everybody knows, will circle around in a clockwise formation. Brian Gorman, the second base umpire today, was at first base yesterday, so he would normally then just go to home plate, but he cannot ump home just yet. He needs to get medical clearance from his doctors to be behind home plate, so that's why he's at second. He's a pretty good balls and strikes umpire, too.
Gorman's last scheduled plate game had been Friday's Braves-Phillies affair, but that game's originally scheduled first base umpire, Stu Scheurwater, ended up calling balls and strikes, with Gorman taking over at second base—where he notably jumped to avoid being struck by a batted ball—similar to Sunday's rotational maneuver.

Although the MLB Umpire Manual states, "An umpire who returns following injury or illness must be capable of working home plate," Gorman has not missed a scheduled assignment since his last game behind home plate, on April 17, in Houston.

Video via "read more"

Sunday, April 23, 2017

MLB Ejection 017 - Paul Emmel (1; Andy Green)

HP Umpire Paul Emmel ejected Padres Manager Andy Green (balls/strikes) in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Marlins-Padres game. Green's objection to Emmel's strike zone concerned the final two Padres batters in San Diego's 7th inning (the first batter, Allen Cordoba, flew out before any strikes were thrown). Of the two callable pitches, the called first strike to Padres batter Luis Torrens was located over the inner half of home plate and thigh high (px .350, pz 2.433) and the called second strike to batter Austin Hedges was located over the outer half of home plate and below the midpoint (px .574, pz 3.48 [sz_top 3.549]), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Marlins were leading, 6-3. The Marlins ultimately won the contest, 7-3.

This is Paul Emmel (50)'s first ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Paul Emmel now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 4).
Crew Chief Paul Emmel now has 3 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 3).
*UEFL Rule 6-5-d address Ball/Strike ejections occurring at the end of an inning, and states that holistic review of the umpire's "overall inning's performance" may be used to govern this specific type of ball/strike ejection.

This is the 17th ejection report of 2017.
This is the 10th Manager ejection of 2017.
This is San Diego's 1st ejection of 2017, T-1st in the NL West (COL, LAD, SD 1; ARI, SF 0).
This is Andy Green's 1st ejection since June 29, 2016 (Bill Miller; QOC = N-C [RLI Interference]).
This is Paul Emmel's 1st ejection since July 20, 2016 (Blake Doyle; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Miami Marlins vs. San Diego Padres, 4/23/17 | Video via "Read More"

MLB Ejection 016 - Ramon De Jesus (John Gibbons)

HP Umpire Ramon De Jesus ejected Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons (Illegal Quick Pitch, automatic ball call) in the bottom of the 3rd inning of the Blue Jays-Angels game. With two out and none on, Angels batter Kole Calhoun prepared to receive a 3-1 pitch from Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman. Replays indicate that Stroman began his delivery prior to Calhoun becoming set in the batter's box, resulting in a quick pitch ruling and automatic ball, the fourth ball of Calhoun's at-bat, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 0-0. The Blue Jays ultimately won the contest, 6-2.

This is Ramon De Jesus (18)'s first ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Ramon De Jesus now has 5 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 3 AAA + 2 Correct Call = 5).
Crew Chief Alfonso Marquez now has 2 points in Crew Division (1 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 2).
*Rule 5.07(a)(2) Comment states, in part, "if, however, in the umpire’s judgment, a pitcher delivers the ball in a deliberate effort to catch the batter off guard, this delivery shall be deemed a quick pitch, for which the penalty is a ball."
Rule 6.02(a)(5) Comment states, "A quick pitch is an illegal pitch. Umpires will judge a quick pitch as one delivered before the batter is reasonably set in the batter’s box. With runners on base the penalty is a balk; with no runners on base, it is a ball. The quick pitch is dangerous and should not be permitted."
Rule 6.02(b) states, "If the pitcher makes an illegal pitch with the bases unoccupied, it shall be called a ball unless the batter reaches first base on a hit, an error, a base on balls, a hit batter or otherwise."

This is the 16th ejection report of 2017.
This is the 9th Manager ejection of 2017.
This is Toronto's 1st ejection of 2017, 2nd in the AL East (BOS, TB 2; TOR 1; BAL, NYY 0).
This is John Gibbons' 1st ejection since September 11, 2016 (Jim Joyce; QOC = Y [Replay Review]).
This is Ramon De Jesus' 1st ejection since Sept 13, 2016 (Tim Wallach; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 4/23/17 | Video via "Read More"