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

Thursday, August 21, 2014

MLB Ejections 158, 159: Fletcher (3, 4; Pujols, Scioscia)

HP Umpire Andy Fletcher ejected Angels 1B Albert Pujols and Manager Mike Scioscia for arguing a prior strike two call (Unsportsmanlike-NEC) in the top of the 6th inning of the Angels-Red Sox game. With none out and none on, Pujols took a 2-1 slider from Red Sox pitcher Ruby De La Rosa for a called second strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner edge of home plate and diaphragm-high (px -.787, pz 3.306 / sz_top 3.26 [MOE 3.34]); Pujols and Scioscia were ejected at the conclusion of teammate Josh Hamilton's ensuing at-bat, the call was irrecusable . At the time of the ejections, the Angels were leading, 1-0. The Angels ultimately won the contest, 2-0.

These are Andy Fletcher (49)'s third and fourth ejections of 2014.
Andy Fletcher now has 12 points in the UEFL Standings (8 Prev + 2*[2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable] = 12).
Crew Chief Mike Winters now has 2 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 2 Irrecusable Call = 2).

These are the 158th, 159th ejections of 2014.
This is the 64th player ejection of 2014. Prior to ejection, Pujols was 0-3 in the contest.
This is the 78th Manager ejection of 2014.
This is the Angels' 2/3rd ejection of 2014, 4th in the AL West (SEA 8; TEX 7; OAK 5; LAA 3; HOU 2).
This is Albert Pujols' first ejection since August 28, 2005 (Larry Poncino; QOC = U [Safe/Out]).
This is Mike Scioscia's first ejection since June 9, 2014 (Bob Davidson; QOC = Y [Replay Review]).
This is Andy Fletcher's first ejection since July 12, 2014 (Jake Diekman; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Boston Red Sox, 8/21/14
Video: Unhappy with a K2 call during his AB, Pujols is tossed arguing after a flyout; Sciosc, too (LAA)

MLB Instant Replay Reviews 989-994: August 21, 2014

August 21, 2014 featured the following MLB Instant Replay Review decisions:

R9892BBucknor, CB14MIN30Ron Gardenhire6SafeOverturned
R9902BBucknor, CB15MIN31Ron Gardenhire7OutConfirmed
R9911BDavidson, Bob19ARI36Kirk Gibson1SafeOverturned
R9923BNelson, Jeff11ATL28Fredi Gonzalez3OutOverturned
R9931BMuchlinski, Mike14BOS33John Farrell3SafeOverturned
R994HPDiMuro, Mike14CHC49Rick Renteria3BallConfirmed

MLB Instant Replay Review Videos (MLB Advanced Media):
Video 989: CLE@MIN: Challenge overturns safe call in the 6th
Video 990: CLE@MIN: Challenge confirms out stealing in the 7th
Video 991: ARI@WSH: Challenge overturns safe call in the 1st
Video 992: ATL@CIN: Challenge overturns catch in left in the 3rd
Video 993: LAA@BOS: Safe call overturned in the 3rd inning
Video 994: SF@CHC: Call confirmed in 3rd, no hit-by-pitch

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

MLB Instant Replay Reviews 981-988: August 20, 2014

August 20, 2014 featured the following MLB Instant Replay Review decisions:

R9811BCulbreth, Fieldin10TOR43John Gibbons7SafeStands
R9822BHernandez, Angel15ATL26Fredi Gonzalez1SafeOverturned
R983HPNauert, Paul8ATL27Fredi Gonzalez6OutConfirmed
R9842BHamari, Adam11CLE35Terry Francona4OutStands
R985HPScott, Dale12CLE36Terry Francona6BallConfirmed
R9861BBarry, Scott8COL37Walt Weiss8FoulStands
R9873BFairchild, Chad6SD28Bud Black8OutConfirmed
R9883BReyburn, DJ20MIA29Mike Redmond6SafeOverturned

MLB Instant Replay Review Videos (MLB Advanced Media):
Video 981: TOR@MIL: Safe call stands after challenge in the 7th
Video 982: ATL@PIT: Challenge overturns safe call in the 1st
Video 983: ATL@PIT: Out call confirmed at the plate in the 6th
Video 984: CLE@MIN: Out call overturned on a steal in the 4th
Video 985: CLE@MIN: No hit by pitch confirmed in the 6th inning
Video 986: KC@COL: Foul stands after Rockies' challenge in 8th
Video 987: SD@LAD: Out call on Liriano at third confirmed in 8th
Video 988: TEX@MIA: Challenge overturns safe call in the 6th

Protest Upheld for 1st Time in 28 Yrs in SF-CHC Rainout

MLB upheld a protest for the first time in 28 years following Tuesday's Giants-Cubs rain-shortened victory for the home team, 2-0, in five innings.

Immediately following the top half of the contest's fifth inning, umpire-in- and crew chief Hunter Wendelstedt called for a weather delay, ordering both teams off the field and the Cubs grounds crew to unravel the tarpaulin and cover the playing field. The stadium crew had difficulty in unfurling and dragging the tarp across the infield, including the positioning of the tarp at an incorrect angle, failing to cover key portions of the infield occupied by the shortstop and, in an attempt to correct the error, dumping standing water onto the uncovered dirt when wind kicked up the tarp, further submerging the infield with water collected from a brief yet very intense rainstorm.

Wendelstedt's crew of 1B Umpire Toby Basner, 2B Umpire Mike DiMuro and 3B Mike Estabrook then observed the Chicago grounds crew attempt to restore the field to playing condition, but after a rain delay in excess of four hours and 30 minutes, Wendelstedt called the game, declaring the 2-0 result final and deeming the field unplayable. Wendelstedt told a pool reporter, "I think the problem that all the parties faced was, by the baseball rulebook, there was nothing to put our hat on to suspend the game."

San Francisco disagreed.

The Giants, in the midst of a pennant chase with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West, elected to file a protest, alleging that the Cubs' grounds crew - and by extension, the team itself - experienced a malfunction of a mechanical device under the control of the home team, such as a tarp. The protest was filed over the interpretation of Rule 4.12(a), which states, in part, that a game shall be rendered suspended (and not declared final) if, "Light failure or malfunction of a mechanical field device under control of the home club. (Mechanical field device shall include automatic tarpaulin or water removal equipment)."

Major League Baseball upper management, including Commissioner Bud Selig, Commissioner-elect Rob Manfred and Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations Joe Torre, agreed with the Giants, ordering the 2-0 contest suspended, rather than declared final, at the point of interruption. The Cubs will step to the plate with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 5th inning Thursday as part of a modified doubleheader.

Hunter's Wendelstedt Umpire School established the website www.obr412.com prior to the 2014 season, posting a "Regulation and Suspended Game Outline (OBR 4.12)" infographic logic tree. When Wendelstedt declared the SF-CHC contest final on Tuesday night (or, early Wednesday morning), he invoked Rule 4.12(b)(4)(i) and justifying the decision by calling the regulation game early due to weather. When SF protested and MLB affirmed the protest, the league office invoked Rule 4.12(c), agreeing with the Giants that the reason Wendelstedt called the regulation game was because of mechanical failure on the part of the home team, not because of weather. Pursuant to rule, if this was the last contest of the season scheduled between the two teams, the score would be final (2-0 Cubs F/5). Because the Giants and Cubs were scheduled to play again following the game in question, the game was declared suspended and ordered to resume at a later date.

In a twist of fate, MLB's last upheld protest occurred on June 16, 1986 and also concerned a rule misinterpretation regarding rain delays and calling a regulation game. The protest of '86 was upheld when the Pittsburgh Pirates alleged that umpires failed to wait the required 30 consecutive minutes before calling their game against St. Louis due to rain. NL President Charles "Chub" Feeney agreed and ordered the game resumed at the point of interruption, with two outs in the 6th inning and the Cardinals leading, 4-1. St. Louis ultimately won the contest, 4-2.

Wrap: San Francisco Giants vs. Chicago Cubs, 8/19/14
Video: Multiple broadcasts cover the stormy Chicago chaos, and its aftermath (Must C)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

MLB Instant Replay Reviews 976-980: August 19, 2014

August 19, 2014 featured the following MLB Instant Replay Review decisions:

r9761BCuzzi, Phil17DET32Brad Ausmus4HROverturned
R9771BCuzzi, Phil18DET33Brad Ausmus5OutOverturned
R9781BWinters, Mike12LAA34Mike Scioscia3OutOverturned
R9793BDiaz, Laz11COL36Walt Weiss5SafeOverturned
R9803BMiller, Bill11SD27Bud Black9OutStands

MLB Instant Replay Review Videos (MLB Advanced Media):
Video 976: DET@TB: Call overturned on home run in 4th inning
Video 977: DET@TB: Catch overturned for hit in 5th
Video 978: LAA@BOS: Call overturned after great play in 3rd
Video 979: KC@COL: Safe call at third overturned in 5th
Video 980: SD@LAD: Out call at third stands for final out in 9th

39-Year NBA Veteran Referee Dick Bavetta Retires

Veteran NBA referee Dick Bavetta will retire from basketball after 39 years of service in the sport's top domestic league. The 74-year-old Bavetta concludes his career, which began on December 2, 1975, with 2,635 consecutive regular season games, never having missed an officiating assignment since joining the NBA staff.

His career includes 270 playoff games, including 27 NBA Finals games, three All-Star Games and the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona. Bavetta previously officiated in the CBA's Eastern League, Rucker League, FIBA and Jersey Shore Basketball League following his start at the high school level in New York.

Bavetta surpassed Cal Ripken, Jr.'s 'Iron Man' streak of 2,632 consecutive game appearances on April 2, 2014.

News: Referee Dick Bavetta retiring after record 2,635 straight games (NBA Press Release)

Monday, August 18, 2014

MLB Ejection 157: Chris Segal (2; Ron Gardenhire)

HP Umpire Chris Segal ejected Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire for arguing a foul tip (strike three) call in the bottom of the 1st inning of the Royals-Twins game. With one out and one on, Twins batter Joe Mauer attempted to strike a 3-2 changeup from Royals pitcher Jason Vargas for a swinging third strike as the result of a foul tip. Replays indicate that after making contact with Mauer's bat, the baseball bounced off the dirt before being caught by Royals catcher Salvador Perez, the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 0-0. The Royals ultimately won the contest, 6-4.

This is Chris Segal (96)'s second ejection of 2014.
Chris Segal now has -1 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Prev + 3 AAA - 1 Pen - 4 Incorrect = -1).
Crew Chief Fieldin Culbreth now has 13 points in Crew Division (13 Previous + 0 Incorrect = 13).

This is the 157th ejection of 2014.
This is the 77th Manager ejection of 2014.
This is the Twins' 5th ejection of 2014, T-1st in the AL Central (KC, MIN 5; CWS, DET 4; CLE 1).
This is Ron Gardenhire's first ejection since July 29, 2014 (Ted Barrett; QOC = Y [Replay Review]).
This is Chris Segal's first ejection since May 17, 2014 (Ned Yost; QOC = N [HBP/Foul]).

Wrap: Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins, 8/18/14
Video: Mauer strikes out in the first inning on changeup low-and-away, leading to Gardy's toss (MIN)

MLB Instant Replay Reviews 970-975: August 18, 2014

August 18, 2014 featured the following MLB Instant Replay Review decisions:

R9702BCuzzi, Phil16CHC47Rick Renteria4SafeOverturned
R9711BGibson, Greg13CHC48Rick Renteria5OutStands
R9723BFletcher, Andy10LAA33Mike Scioscia2SafeStands
R973HPMuchlinski, Mike13BOS32John Farrell8SafeOverturned
R974HPGibson, Tripp14BAL29Buck Showalter5OutConfirmed
R9752BTichenor, Todd13CIN27Bryan Price4SafeOverturned

MLB Instant Replay Review Videos (MLB Advanced Media):
Video 970: CHC@NYM: Renteria challenges, call overturned in 4th
Video 971: CHC@NYM: Flores' throw nails Baez, call stands in 5th
Video 972: LAA@BOS: Angels challenge call in 2nd, call stands
Video 973: LAA@BOS: Out call at home overturned in the 8th
Video 974: BAL@CWS: An out call at home is confirmed in the 5th
Video 975: CIN@STL: Play overturned at second in 4th inning

Sunday, August 17, 2014

MLB Ejection 156: Tony Randazzo (2; Lloyd McClendon)

3B Umpire Tony Randazzo ejected Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon for arguing a check swing (ball four) call in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Mariners-Tigers game. With one out and none on, Tigers batter Alex Avila attempted to check his swing on a 3-2 fastball from Mariners pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen for a called fourth ball affirmed on appeal. Replays indicate Avila did not attempt to strike the pitch, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Mariners were leading, 7-0. The Mariners ultimately won the contest, 8-1.

This is Tony Randazzo (11)'s second ejection of 2014.
Tony Randazzo now has 5 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct = 5).
Crew Chief Brian Gorman now has 12 points in Crew Division (11 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 12).

This is the 156th ejection of 2014.
This is the 76th Manager ejection of 2014.
This is the Mariners' 8th ejection of 2014, 1st in the AL West (SEA 8; TEX 7; OAK 5; HOU 2; LAA 1).
This is Lloyd McClendon's first ejection since Aug 16, 2014 (Tony Randazzo; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Tony Randazzo's first ejection since Aug 16, 2014 (Lloyd McClendon; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Seattle Mariners vs. Detroit Tigers, 8/17/14
Video: McClendon is dumped for the second day in a row by Randazzo, this time for a check swing (SEA)

MLB Ejection 155: Doug Eddings (1; John Farrell)

1B Umpire Doug Eddings ejected Red Sox Manager John Farrell for arguing a Replay Review decision that overturned 2B Umpire Cory Blaser's out call in the top of the 2nd inning of the Astros-Red Sox game. With one out and two on, Astros batter Marwin Gonzalez hit a 1-0 fastball from Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly on the ground to shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who threw to first baseman Kelly Johnson. Upon Replay Review as the result of a challenge by Astros Manager Bo Porter, Blaser's ruling that Bogaerts legally tagged second base while in possession of the baseball was reversed; Farrell was ejected for arguing this specific call after a subsequent Jose Altuve grand slam, the call was correct. At the time of the review, the Astros were leading, 2-0. At the time of the ejection, the Astros were leading, 6-0. The Astros ultimately won the contest, 8-1.

This is Doug Eddings (88)'s first ejection of 2014.
Doug Eddings now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Prev + 2 MLB + 1 Correct [Crewmate] = 4).
Crew Chief Jim Joyce now has -2 points in Crew Division (-3 Previous + 1 Correct Call = -2).

This is the 155th ejection of 2014.
This is the 75th Manager ejection of 2014.
This is the Red Sox's 12th ejection of 2014, 1st in the AL East (BOS 12; TB 10; NYY 7; TOR 4; BAL 3).
This is John Farrell's first ejection since May 30, 2014 (Dan Bellino; QOC = U [Warnings]).
This is Doug Eddings' first ejection since Sept 25, 2013 (G Laird, F Freeman; QOC = U [Fighting]).

Wrap: Houston Astros vs. Boston Red Sox, 8/17/14
Video: Farrell takes issue with overturned Replay leading to a big Stros inning and gets tossed (BOS)
Video: During post game comments, Farrell deemed the play an unreviewable neighborhood play