Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ejections: Jerry Meals (2, 3)

HP Umpire Jerry Meals ejected Braves center fielder Nate McLouth and Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez for arguing a strike call in bottom of the 9th inning of the Pirates-Braves game. With none out and none on, McLouth took a 1-1 splitter from Pirates pitcher Jose Veras for a called strike two. Replays indicate the pitch was at the hollow of the knees and over the plate, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 3-3. The Braves ultimately won the contest, 4-3, in 19 innings.

These are Jerry Meals (41)'s second and third ejections of 2011.
Jerry Meals now has 12 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (4 Previous + 2*[2 MLB + 2 Correct Call] = 12)
Jerry Meals was not drafted in 2011.

These are the 129th and 130th ejections of 2011.
This is the 63rd Manager ejection of 2011.
This is the 59th player ejection of 2011.
This is Fredi Gonzalez's second ejection of 2011.
Prior to his ejection, McLouth was 0-3 in the contest.

Wrap: Pirates @ Braves 7/26/11
Video: Meals Tosses McLouth, Gonzalez in the 9th

Related Video: Braves win on walk-off safe call by Jerry Meals*
Related Video (2): Meals discusses his controversial call*

*It has been reported that Umpire Jerry Meals' family is receiving threatening phone calls and inappropriate contacts as a result of this controversial call. It has been reported that several websites have posted Meals' home telephone number, mailing address, e-mail address, and other personal information. The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League in no uncertain terms condemns any person or website which endorses or participates in the distribution of personal phone numbers, addresses, or otherwise advocates threatening or inappropriately contacting or communicating with any umpire, player, coach, or any other personnel. If you encounter such inappropriate activity, including the publication of personal information with incendiary overtones and believe a criminal or credible threat has taken place, contact Major League Baseball.

Pitch f/x courtesy Brooks Baseball

58 comments :

Anonymous said...

Question: if that same pitch was ruled a ball and the other manager came out to argue as was tossed, would the call be ruled correct? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

Looking at the Pitch Track above, it is not a Strike. How is this call correct?

Jeremy "jeruhmed" said...

Anonymous 7:38 PM, Since the vertical bounds of the strike zone are not static, they are judged on a case by case basis. As with the Kulpa Rule to the horizontal bounds, borderline pitches are usually considered correct.

Anonymous 8:09 PM, Any part of the ball touching any part of the strike zone is a strike. If you look at the graph the plotted ball is in contact with the plotted strike zone, thus a strike.

BAPACop said...

I guess maybe it catches the very bottom of the zone? Even if it didn't, it would be correct under the Kulpa Rule.

Another miscellaneous question... After getting ejected, Gonzalez appeared to go into the dugout and instruct the bench coach on what changes to make to the lineup before exiting to the clubhouse. Is the manager allowed to do this? I'm assuming he is, since the umpire didn't seem to mind, but I can't see why he'd be allowed to.

Anonymous said...

Meals should lose his job for his performance in this game. Absolutely atrocious. Not only was his strike zone inconsistent ( it looked like the Braves got hosed on at least 12 ball/strike calls), but then he misses the play at the plate to end the game. I guess he thought he had screwed the Braves all night long so he'd fix it by screwing the Pirates. I guess his Napoleon complex finally caught up to him

BAPACop said...

Agreed. That has to be the worst call I've ever seen. He was in the perfect position to make that call, and yet he somehow missed it.

tmac said...

@ anon 10:55 Actually Meals was very good...consistant tht top and the bottom and wide on one edge but not the other Missing around 20 pitches in 19 innings is something we all should be so lucky to do.

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/zoneTrack.php?month=7&day=26&year=2011&game=gid_2011_07_26_pitmlb_atlmlb_1%2F&prevDate=726

BUT the call at the end of the game was possibly the WORST i have ever seen at any level EVER

Anonymous said...

I only watched from the 14th on. He was very good with balls/strikes in the part I watched. The call at the end of the game was simply puzzling. I'd rather have a missed tag and get that wrong than call the runner safe and find out (as he did) that he missed it.

Anonymous said...

I don't get the Napoleon complex comment. Is it cause he's not built like Ted Barrett?

Meals doesn't exactly end up in the middle of a lot of crap. He's had 37 ejections in his career and only 9 since 2008.

tmac said...

http://network.yardbarker.com/mlb/article_external/you_be_the_judge_worst_call_at_home_plate_ever_at_end_of_pirates_braves_game/5749111

here is the still of the tag.. MLB.com has yet to put the final play of the game online.. maybe they will keep it hidden

tmac said...

here is the amazing end of game video:

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=17335125

tmac said...

The video for the ejections is up also:

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=17333399

Anonymous said...

Are you people all blind?

This was a great call!

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=17333399

tmac said...

here are the Meals quotes...

"I saw the tag, but he looked like he oled him and I called him safe for that," Meals said. "I looked at the replays and it appeared he might have got him on the shin area. I'm guessing he might have got him, but when I was out there when it happened I didn't see a tag.
"I just saw the glove sweep up. I didn't see the glove hit his leg."

Ok i'm done posting on this now :)

BAPACop said...

Jerry Meals is apparently going to be at third base in the next game. Right in front of the Pirates dugout.

This is going to be interesting...

Anonymous said...

What's also going to be interesting is C.B. Bucknor behind the plate. I agree with a previous poster, Meals WAS horrible behind the plate, especially when it came to the Braves. McClouth nearly got run on a similar pitch early in the game. The call in the 9th (NOT A STRIKE BTW, I don't care what anybody says) was the last straw. Uggla also had words with Meals in one of the extra frames on another low pitch, and this with the Braves out of position players. Christian Martinez also thought he was being squeezed by Meals. Horrible night for Meals...he should be suspended.

And I just KNOW that some of the umpire apologists will look at the final replay and say "I think he got it right." So I'll just make a preemptive strike and say you're WRONG. Lugo was out by three feet and everybody knew it. To quote Don Sutton on Braves radio, "the worst call of the night goes against the Pirates." I'm a Braves fan and that call was horrible. Horrible, horrible, horrible.

Anonymous said...

At 1:14 mark of the tag video (
and thereafter), almost looks like the tag didn't make contact, didn't see the glove slow down or anything.

Not saying Meals was right but maybe it wasn't as clean cut a call as it seemed.

Dan said...

Guess we have our Jim Joyce call for 2011.

That reminded me of Leslie Nielsen's umpiring in "The Naked Gun."

brettjwhaley said...

This ejection was great. Nothing wrong with the pitch that McClouth was omplaining about and Fredi will get a little extra on his fine for standing around in the dugout. The call at the end seems to be a good call. I have seen the video on espn several times and looked at the stills and I cannot say that he tagged him. Its a gutsy call becuase the throw obviously beat him there. You have to put down a solid tag right there and leave no question. The mitt did not move like you see with a tag normally. Remeber before you start bashing him the great call he had in Seattle on the front end of a double play. He is a pretty solid umpire.

Anonymous said...

Yeah Jerry Meals should lose the job he has had for fourteen years because of one "bad game". Next time you have a bad day at work, which you will, because your human, try to imagine losing your job over it regardless of stellar past performance. Also, just because he is small does not mean he has a Napoleon Complex.

Jack_1B Ump said...

The calls he made before the ejections were close either way. If the computer shows it's a strike, then it's a strike. I mean, if you're going to use instant replay, at least accept the fact that a computer just might prove the umpire right.

In that same vein, I'm not sure with instant replay, that call at the end of the game would be overturned (clear & convincing) since it was a swipe attempt. Meals said in postgame that he didn't see a tag and videos showed there might have been one.

Anonymous said...

Pirates file formal complaint against Jerry Meals' call.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/6808357/pittsburgh-pirates-file-complaint-umpire-jerry-meals-call-19-inning-loss

So what does this actually do? It won't change the outcome. Also, Joe Torre believes (like most sane people) that Meals missed the call.

Anonymous said...

LOL! The fans are chanting "Jerry! Jerry!" as the umpires walk off the field at 2:25 in the Must C video.

Anonymous said...

Meals wasn't in perfect position for that play but for his lack of positioning he made up for it by getting closer to the play. He should've been on the 3rd base extended line to see a swipe tag. I still have my doubts that Meals missed the call.

Anonymous said...

Worst case scenario, this is a call that happened at the end of the game and that any umpire can simply miss. It's a judgement call, you can't protest a judgement call. The Pirates' statement simply says that in their opinion, Meals got the call wrong. Meanwhile, the Pirates say that Meals is a good umpire with integrity and professionalism. They don't question his integrity and concede his intention was to get the call right.

Therefore, the Pirates' protest will ultimately do nothing. The call won't be reversed, and since they're not claiming that Jerry Meals is biased or doing something intentionally wrong to adversely affect the game, Joe Torre and co. can't really do anything about it.

Anonymous said...

From Yahoo Sports' Jeff Passan: "Already Meals had spent the night making a mockery of the strike zone, inflaming the Braves so much that outfielder Nate McLouth and manager Fredi Gonzalez found themselves ejected. This was the rotten cherry atop the moldy cake."

It's obvious from Pitch F/X that Meals was having a problem with the left side and bottom of the zone. By my count, he called 17 pitches strikes that should've been balls, 9 for Pirates pitchers, 8 for Atlanta pitchers. He also called 5 balls that should've been strikes, 3 for Atlanta pitchers, 2 for Pirates pitchers. That's 22 missed calls, 11 each for both sides. I don't care how long the game was, 22 missed pitches is bad work.

I also take issue with whoever said he was consistently wide on one edge (the left edge). Of the calls made outside the zone but inside the widest called strike (and within the top and bottom of the zone), around 10 were called balls, and 10 were called strikes. That's not consistent. If here were consistent out there, I would expect at least 17 of those pitches to be called strikes.

Anonymous said...

3 different replays can be seen, and nobody still cannot tell whether Meals missed the call. That means it's a good call. Calls that can go either way are not "horrible" calls. Joe Torre is an idiot, and was a bad manager. The only team easier to manage than the NYY is the Harlem Globetrotters. How'd he mess that up?

Gil "R.O." said...

As called by Jerry Meals, 07/26/2011:

194 Correct Ball Calls + 5 Incorrect Ball Calls = 199 Ball Calls [97.5% Accuracy]

94 Correct Strike Calls + 12 Incorrect Strike Calls = 106 Strike Calls [88.7% Accuracy]
-----------

288 Correct Ball/Strike Calls + 17 Incorrect Ball/Strike Calls = 305 Total Ball/Strike Calls

94.4% Total Accuracy

Anonymous said...

I think Meals has a good game here. 94.4% accuracy is exactly where the league wants their umpires to be, 10 years ago they were at 91-92%. Because you're playing what essentially is a double header of two nine inning games apiece, of course you can expect to see twice as many callable pitches as usual. Therefore you'll have twice as many incorrect calls as usual. Averaging around 10 incorrect calls per nine innings? That's quite good. It's just that you have twice as many calls coming, so fans have twice as many incorrect calls to judge you for, regardless of the fact that for every incorrect call you make, you have over 15 correct ones.

Anonymous said...

Some people expect these guys to be robots. He had 305 pitches to call and was out there 6:39. His ball/strike performance was just fine. The Braves in the 9th were just rats being rats. Convenient to dump all over Meals about that after the game ending call, but not really related or important.

Jim said...

@Anonymous 4:30 am, so even though the computer says it's a strike, you still think it's a ball? You refuse to believe the computer & replay? No wonder MLB doesn't use replay or f/x to call games...

tmac said...

I can't believe some of you guys are bashing meals for his plate work.... I want to come watch you guys do an american legion game.... He missed about ONE pitch per inning.... And you still are complaining ... give it a rest guys... In the grand scheme of things I'd have to believe some of these ANON guys are the same poster over and over again. I think this site is filled with intelligent people.

As for the play at the plate... The big problem is he safed the runner before he touched home. The look on Meals' face as proctor came up they had a close up of him and he looked delerious Mistakes happen. It's what we call the HUMAN element

Anonymous said...

How are you wanting to have Meals suspended for missing one play? You dont see batters being suspended when they go hitless in a game? Or a fielder suspended for when he errors costing his team a run? That guy was out there until damn near 2am working his ass off and missed one play. Plus I can see why he missed it. Sure looks like the catcher ole'd on the tag at full speed..

BAPACop said...

People want Meals suspended because of just how badly he missed the play. As an umpire at the Major League Level, you cannot miss calls like that.

He didn't miss the tag, by the way. Both teams' announcers knew it. The crowd knew it. McKenry knew it. Lugo even knew it. You can tell by the fact that he very clearly doesn't think he was safe until Meals says so. Then he starts celebrating. Despite his remarks after the game, if he actually hadn't felt the tag he would have had a much different initial reaction.

Anonymous said...

On the end of game call, one thing (besides the replays) that makes me think Meals may have missed the call was Lugo's reaction after the slide, but before the "safe" call. It just doesn't look like he thinks he scored, until he sees the call.

It looks to me like the tag got Lugo on the inside of the leg right around the knee, which Meals might not have been able to see from his angle.

I'm probably 95% sure he missed the call, but I can't say it's definitive.

Anonymous said...

Meals is a HUMAN and will miss calls every now and then. Just because he is a Major League Umpire doesn't mean he will be perfect. Is he expected to get it right? Yes of course but not everything happens how it should. Just ask Jim Joyce. Both those guys prolly still feel terrible about what happened however they will both be out there trying to do the best they can. Suspending an umpire because he misses a call is absolutly ridiculous and those that think that should happen should try and understand the position those guys are in everytime they step on the field. If you want to suspend and Umpire then suspend players for erroring in the field. They are big league players and are expected to make the play.. but hey guess what? They are human to and mistakes occur....

BAPACop said...

Major League Baseball has officially declared the call to be incorrect.

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/6808357/mlb-acknowledges-jerry-meals-missed-call-pittsburgh-pirates-file-complaint-19-inning-loss?campaign=rss&source=ESPNHeadlines

clement30 said...

I actually get pretty angry when I see something like this:

http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/6808357/pittsburgh-pirates-file-complaint-umpire-jerry-meals-call-19-inning-loss

Joe Torre does not stand up for his umpires plain and simple end of story. He stands up for what he would have wanted as a manager. For Ryan Theriot's actions earlier this month, he was suspended 2 games for bumping 2 umpires. Then, he had it cut to 1 on appeal. WHY? That just shows that you can go bump a few umps, and just take the next day off! Apparently, Joe took Meals' comments as acknowledgement of a blown call, which I did not. I am so fed up with the MLB making a circus out of their umpires, treating them with less respect than they deserve. The umpires work a hard job on 100 degree nights, and for Joe Torre or anyone representing the league to come out and do this is just wrong. Keep it to yourself. And for an umpire to be being threatened over a call on July 26th during the baseball schedule is really disgusting. Meals works very hard to be the best he can every night, and whether he was the worst umpire in the league or not, that is no reason for him to be threatened. I'm actually very glad this happened to show all of us just what MLB Umpiring is like today. These guys have to endure it from not only players and fans, but from their own bosses who are supposed to protect and defend them.
In the words of Hawk Harrelson, "it's becoming a joke." No, not the umps, but those who are in charge of them.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why some commenters get so defensive and angry every time an ump is criticized here--or some tenuous justification is offered claiming why they were actually right, despite all appearances to the contrary.

It's OK. These guys are the best in the world at what they do, but that doesn't mean they are perfect and can't be criticized when they screw up. They are extremely well paid and essentially can't be fired. They wouldn't have gotten where they are without being able to deal with critiques and recognizing that they aren't perfect.

The amateur umps on here would do well to learn from that example.

BAPACop said...

At the risk of double-posting, Meals himself has now admitted he was incorrect. No more of this "I might be wrong" stuff.

http://blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-braves-blog/2011/07/27/umpire-meals-on-call-at-home-plate-i-was-incorrect/

Anonymous said...

Consistency is the key word here. Yeah, Meals was calling a lot of low strikes and a lot of strikes off the left corner. After looking at some other charts from yesterday's games, several other umpires were calling pitches just off the left side as well. But, those other umps were consistently calling pitches out there with only one or two pitches being called balls. Meals, as I've already noted, was only 50% out there. That's not acceptable. If you're going to call strikes out there, call them all out there, not half of them.

Jeremy "jeruhmed" said...

Joe Torre's statement:

"Unfortunately, it appears that the call was missed, as Jerry Meals acknowledged after the game. Many swipe tags are not applied to the runner with solid contact, but the tag was applied and the game should have remained tied. I have spoken with Jerry, who is a hard-working, respected umpire, and no one feels worse than him. We know that this is not a product of a lack of effort.
"Having been the beneficiary of calls like this and having been on the other end in my experience as a player and as a manager, I have felt that this has always been a part of our game. As a member of the Commissioner's Special Committee for On-Field Matters, I have heard many discussions on umpiring and technology over the past two years, including both the pros and the cons of expanding replay. However, most in the game recognize that the human element always will be part of baseball and instant replay can never replace all judgment calls by umpires. Obviously, a play like this is going to spark a lot of conversation, and we will continue to consider all viewpoints in our ongoing discussions regarding officiating in baseball.
"We expect the best from our umpires, and an umpire would tell you he expects the best of himself. We have to continue to strive for accuracy, consistency and professionalism day in and day out."

Anonymous said...

clement30,

No one is saying these guys don't work hard. But they do make mistakes and they are not infallible. That said, they still should be held accountable for calls like this.

There's also one other sad fact...several of these guys (Joe West is a prime example) are just plain bad and are also combative. There's no room for that IMNSHO and they should be held accountable for their actions.

If players can get punished for unsportsmanlike behavior, if players can be held accountable for bad or lackadaisical play, then umpires should be held accountable when they make errors as egregious as last night.

That said, it is completely reprehensible for fans to call and threaten the family of any umpire.

Anonymous said...

Well, Jerry Meals was tested in the bottom of the first. Martin Prado correctly called out trying to stretch a 2B into a 3B. However, Dan Iassogna just incorrectly called Freddie Freeman out at first. No controversies with C.B....yet.

Anonymous said...

firstly, that tag was a lot closer than everyone says it was. the catcher didn't do a very good job of blocking the plate and making it OBVIOUS he tagged him, just a sweep that isn't even definitive on video. second, why is Meals being harassed so much, just because the game ended on this play does not make it any worse than a blown call at the plate in another game or anther situation, a run is a run no matter which inning it occurred in. Third, the pirates let themselves get into that situation, you don't win or lose a play on one call, if the pirates had actually scored in once in the last 16 innings, the game would have been over before this call.

Anonymous said...

if you pause the must c video at 1:16 and 1:49 you can see the air between the glove from 2 different angles

Anonymous said...

Did I just see where the Padres Orlando Hudson threw a ball into the stands with only 2 outs allowing the runner on second to score and the runner on first to go to third. That is so much worse than the call by Meals. That is just brutal. Is Hudson going to loose his 4 million a year job??? He should be fired, but guess what. He didn't get benched or anything, and neither should Meals. The umpires are being graded individually on every call made during the season as well as pitches when working the plate. The best umpires are then given playoff assignments based upon their performance during the year. If Meals does not perform, he does not get the playoffs. Too bad Hudson faces no penalties at 4 million a year for his pathetic play.
Do I not see where the Pirates made 2 errors themselves and they lucked up and it did not cost them a run. 1 error by McKendry's throw in the 4th and 1 error by Alvarez's throw in the 9th with Alvarez making 2 million a year. 2 errors in 9 innings. What a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

I think Meals was pressured into admitting a mistake. I'd also like to know what replay Meals was looking at when he said he could see a tag on the leg.

If there was a replay review of this call, I don't think it would be over turned to an out.

BAPACop said...

@Anonymous 8:56PM
No umpire at the Major League level should be making a call that badly. No player at the Major League level should be throwing balls into the stands either. But just because a player's team won't fire him because of a mistake (which they can't by the way, ever hear of a "contract"? They'd have to pay him the money regardless) doesn't mean umpires should get away with it. Umpires are MLB employees, the ones charged with mmaking sure the game is played as it should be. Those in charge of administrating a game should be, by definition, held to much higher standards.

(How do you loose a job, anyway? You can lose a job, but not loose one.)

@Anonymous 10:22PM
I still say the greatest evidence that the call was wrong lies not in the replay of the call itself, but rather in Lugo's immediate reaction to it. He clearly does not react like somoene who had just scored the winning run after a nineteen-inning game. He acts like someone who had just got thrown out by a mile. He only starts celebrating when Meals says safe, and he reacts rather suddenly, as if the call is a surprise. Despite his post-game interview comments, looking at that reaction it's pretty obvious he knew he was tagged.

BAPACop said...

And I just realized I made a typo in my comment as well, despite correcting one. I hereby call myself out on that one and will point out that "mmaking" is a worse typo than "loose".

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 8:56 PM: The Indians made 5 errors today AND were no hit by the Angels. That seems far more egregious than missing a tag call...

Look, everyone has a bad day at the office, and truth be told, until this final call, Meals was doing a fine job. It's just this one call after close to seven hours of work that Meals made a tough call. That's it.

Jimmy said...

@BABACop 11:24PM, don't be a hypocrite. If you're going to mention how players have contracts, you have to mention how umpires also have contracts. That's why both of them don't get fired for a missed play or error. That's it. Done.

Anonymous said...

Those of you who are calling for Meals's head need to calm down. He blew a call, no doubt he feels horribly and is extremely embarrassed. We are not perfect at our own jobs, it is just that for most of us, our mistake is not on display for everyone to see. Meals is not one of those umpires who usually calls attention to himself on the field. Honestly, before this call, who was complaining about Jerry Meals?

Anonymous said...

@BABACop.............

The runner's reaction is a bad example to use for the runner being out. So if the runner celebrated after touching the plate, would that change your opinion of Meals ruling?

Plus, this was not a bad call. I don't care if Meals has admitted a mistake on this play, I still haven't seen a replay that shows a clear tag. This is similar to Jim Joyce last year.

This site was the 1st place I had ever seen a defense of Joyce's call, and on replay I still cannot tell if Joyce's call was in error.

Anonymous said...

@tmac.... you said this was the worst call you had ever seen? Really the worst I can think of about 4 more that were worst than this one.. get a grip buddy.. I would love to put you in his shoes after working the plate for over 6 and a half hours, squatting down on over 400 times...

BAPACop said...

@Jimmy
I didn't mention the Umpire's contracts because I felt it isn't quite the same thing. Individual teams can not necessarily afford to release players, it requires them to pay out the contract, something some smaller market teams can not necessarily afford. I seriously doubt the MLB would have any problem affording a terminated contract. (Though I will freely admit I have no idea how much the contract is, I can't find the amount anywhere. Google has failed me in this matter...)

@Anonymous 8:31AM
Actually, yes. Yes it would. It is a very close play, and the replays are inconclusive. Ultimately, yes, my opinion on the call is based largely on Lugo's reaction. The fact that the runner himself obviously reacts as if he were tagged tells me that he knew he was tagged, even though the replays could go either way.
Also:
http://www.iviewtube.com/v/155596/umpire-jim-joyce-blown-call-ruins-armando-galarraga-perfect-game-video
Second Google result. 1:35 into the video, very clear.

@Both of you
Do you know what this letter is: P
It is the letter P. It is the third letter in my username. It is not the letter B.
Why do people keep doing that?

@Anonymous 2:22AM
The Braves. All game long.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 2:22AM & BAPACop... which explains why Meals ejected two Braves in the 9th.

Anonymous said...

B A P A Cop,

My computer screen isn't all that nice. The resolution isn't all that good. B or P look the same sometimes. But relax, P is very close looking to a B. It's not like we used a Z for the B.

(Note to self, DO NOT call a cop by the wrong name, ever!!)

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