Friday, September 30, 2011

Discussions: 2011 Division Series

As the ALDS & NLDS get underway, we again feature the live UEFL UmpChat as well as some game highlights, below. Notes include home plate umpire performance according to pitch f/x and UEFL Rules 6.b.ii.a. (horizontal bound, "Kulpa Rule") and 6.b.ii.b. (vertical strike zone, "Miller Rule"). Plays include significant plays, if such plays occur. For future games, notes include home plate umpire probables. "If necessary" games are not included. Proudly updated on a Mac.

**We are live tracking select DS games, denoted by º, in real time. Reload this page for updated stats.**

Friday's covered games (both NLDS Game 5: Deciding Cardinals/Phillies meet D'Backs/Brewers in NLCS):
- Final: STL@PHI: Ending with 94.0%, Cederstrom wraps up the Division Series.
- Final: AZ@MIL: At 95.2%, Kellogg finishes with the second highest accurate game of the playoffs.

Thursday's covered game (ALDS Game 5: Deciding, Tigers meet Rangers in ALCS):
- Final: DET@NYY: With Barrett's <90.0%, the Tigers-Yankees series finishes with 683-768, or 88.9%.

Wednesday's covered games (both NLDS Game 4):
- Final: MIL@AZ: Bruce Dreckman finishes at 93.3%, having called the most pitches of any DS umpire thus far.
- Final: PHI@STL: Angel Hernandez finishes at 93.1%, having called the fewest pitches of any DS umpire thus far.

Tuesday's covered games:
- Final: MIL@AZ: In calling 90.7%, West scores the highest accuracy of any Division Series crew chief.
- Final: DET@NYY: Dan Iassogna calls <90.0% in Yankees blowout.
- Final: PHI@STL: Layne is the second crew chief to finish with <90.0% (Dale Scott).
- Final: TEX@TB: With 96.0%, Gibson has the highest accuracy rating in the Division Series.

Monday's covered games:
- Final: NYY@DET: Gerry Davis goes 90.2% after dropping 2.1% after the 7th inning.
- Final: TEX@TB: Calling 146-168, Dale Scott calls the 3rd most pitches of anyone in the DS, goes <90.0%.

Notes and Archives
All DS: Starting assignments place the crew chief at second base so that he will officiate Game Three at the plate.
TB@TEX, Gm1: HP Umpire Mark Carlson: pfx (53-56 Called Strikes, 99-109 Balls = 92.1%)º
DET@NYY, Gm1: HP Umpire Tony Randazzo: pfx (50-62 Called Strikes, 103-107 Balls = 90.5%)*º
AZ@MIL, Gm 1: HP Umpire Ron Kulpa: pfx (55-59 Called Strikes, 76-80 Balls = 94.2%)º
STL@PHI, Gm 1: HP Umpire Chris Guccione: pfx (41-44 Called Strikes, 73-76 Balls = 95.0%)

TB@TEX, Gm2: HP Umpire Kerwin Danley: pfx (41-47 Called Strikes, 92-99 Balls = 91.1%)
DET@NYY, Gm2: HP Umpire Eric Cooper: pfx (40-51 Called Strikes, 100-106 Balls = <90.0%)'
AZ@MIL, Gm2: HP Umpire Alfonso Marquez: pfx (41-46 Called Strikes, 106-113 Balls = 92.5%)º
STL@PHI, Gm2: HP Umpire Jerry Meals: pfx (47-50 Called Strikes, 88-95 Balls = 93.1%)º

TEX@TB, Gm3: HP Umpire Dale Scott: pfx (49-57 Called Strikes, 97-111 Balls = <90.0%)º
NYY@DET, Gm3: HP Umpire Gerry Davis: pfx (34-42 Called Strikes, 104-111 Balls = 90.2%)º
PHI@STL, Gm3: HP Umpire Jerry Layne: pfx (38-45 Called Strikes, 83-90 Balls = <90.0%)º
MIL@AZ, Gm3: HP Umpire Joe West: pfx (38-44 Called Strikes, 79-85 Balls = 90.7%)º

TEX@TB, Gm4: HP Umpire Greg Gibson: pfx (49-50 Called Strikes, 96-101 Balls = 96.0%)º
NYY@DET, Gm4: HP Umpire Dan Iassogna: pfx (38-47 Called Strikes, 82-90 Balls = <90.0%)
PHI@STL, Gm4: HP Umpire Angel Hernandez: pfx (30-34 Called Strikes, 65-68 Balls = 93.1%)º
MIL@AZ, Gm4: HP Umpire Bruce Dreckman: pfx (48-54 Called Strikes, 118-124 Balls = 93.3%)º

DET@NYY, Gm5: HP Umpire Ted Barrett: pfx (40-49 Called Strikes, 92-103 Balls = <90.0%)º
AZ@MIL, Gm5: HP Umpire Jeff Kellogg: pfx (49-52 Called Strikes, 109-114 Balls = 95.2%)º
STL@PHI, Gm5: HP Umpire Gary Cederstrom: pfx (34-38 Called Strikes, 76-79 Balls = 94.0%)º

DET@NYY, Gm1: Cano's hit off top of the wall is reviewed with instant replay, confirmed by Davis as an RBI double
AZ@MIL, Gm1: Ryan Braun throws out Bloomquist at the plate, perfect block, perfect call by Guccione
TB@TEX, Gm2: Danley rules David Murphy's bouncer in front of the plate foul despite no contact with catcher or bat
DET@NYY, Gm2: Cooper, Davis, Iassogna, Barrett, and Welke simultaneously call the obvious Logan balk
AZ@MIL, Gm2: Brewers' five run sixth inning features Dreckman and Marquez's balk call on Ziegler
AZ@MIL, Gm2: Looking in from the glare, James Hoye rules Aaron Hill's line drive a foul ball off the wall
STL@PHI, Gm2: Edited video of four angry reactions to Jerry Meals' strike zone (one of those, a correct call)^
STL@PHI, Gm2: La Russa complains on national TV about the strike zone; MLB has fined him for his actions^
PHI@STL, Gm3: Umpires confer, correctly overturn trap / catch call in right field to an out
TEX@TB, Gm4: Rodriguez and Napoli collide at home plate, Greg Gibson correctly gives two "safe" calls
PHI@STL, Gm4: Squirrel runs in front of home plate as pitch is caught, Angel Hernandez correctly rules a ball
DET@NYY, Gm 5: Girardi requests bandage removal; Barrett directs Benoit to remove the medical item

*Contest was suspended per MLB Rule 4.10 Comment. Randazzo's pre-suspension line was 9-11 CS, 18-18 B = 93.1%. This isn't the first the the Tigers & Yankees have been rained out in New York.
'The UEFL reports all sub-90.0% accuracy games as "<90.0%"
^As noted in this Bleacher Report article, Tony La Russa's complaints over Meals' K-zone were misguided.
ºIndicates a Live Update game. Reload this page during the contest for updated ball/strike statistics.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Roster: 2011 Division Series Umpires

MLB has announced the 2011 ALDS and NLDS Umpires, the first round of the 2011 MLB Playoffs.

Gerry Davis -cc (6 pts)
Tony Randazzo (9 pts)
Eric Cooper (5 pts)
Dan Iassogna (6 pts)
Ted Barrett (9 pts)
Bill Welke (13 pts)

Dale Scott -cc (5 pts)
Mark Carlson (13 pts)
Kerwin Danley (3 pts)
Greg Gibson (3 pts)
Brian Gorman (1 pt)
Marvin Hudson (15 pts)

Jerry Layne -cc (3 pts)
Chris Guccione (14 pts)
Jerry Meals (13 pts)
Angel Hernandez (17 pts)
Gary Cederstrom (1 pt)
Chad Fairchild* (8 pts)

Joe West -cc (15 pts)
Ron Kulpa (9 pts)
Alfonso Marquez (17 pts)
Bruce Dreckman (1 pt)
Jeff Kellogg (1 pt)
James Hoye* (5 pts)

-cc denotes Crew Chief, * denotes first Post-season assignment. Per UEFL Rule 4.c.i, all umpires selected to appear in the Division Series shall receive one bonus point for this appearance; crew chiefs shall receive one additional bonus point for this role (two points total).

News: MLB Releases First Round Playoffs Umpiring List, Announces Division Series Umpires

The UEFL Standings have been updated:

1. kickersrule (West/Wendelstedt) - 38
2. sachmet (West/Bellino) - 33
3. tt49 (Wendelstedt/Guccione) - 32
3. mtn335 (West/Hudson) - 32
5. yawetag (Hernandez/Joyce) - 30
6. cyclone14 (Wegner/Johnson) - 28
6. BONZ_kansascity (West/Hernandez) - 28
8. RichMSN (West/Emmel) - 26
9. BSBALLUMP (Rapuano/Drake) - 25
10. BGMTOM (Davidson/Reynolds) - 22
10. DanNJ316 (West/Kulpa) - 22

Standings: End of Phase v (2011 Regular Season)

Pursuant to UEFL Rule 8.a., as Phase v of the 2011 Season draws to a close, here are the league standings through September 28, 2011. You can view the UEFL Roster and Standings at any time via the Roster and Standings page. You can view the UEFL Ejection List at any time via the Ejection List page.

With 2,429 games played* and 0 regular season games remaining, heading into the postseason...
*The second game of the September 8 Dodgers-Nationals doubleheader was postponed, and, because neither team is within a 1/2 game of a playoff spot, officially cancelled on September 28.

1. kickersrule (West/Wendelstedt) - 36
2. tt49 (Wendelstedt/Guccione) - 31
2. sachmet (West/Bellino) - 31
4. yawetag (Hernandez/Joyce) - 29
4. mtn335 (West/Hudson) - 29
6. cyclone14 (Wegner/Johnson) - 28
7. BSBALLUMP (Rapuano/Drake) - 25
7. BONZ_kansascity (West/Hernandez) - 25
9. RichMSN (West/Emmel) - 24
10. ump_24 (Hernandez/Timmons) - 20
10. BGMTOM (Davidson/Reynolds) - 20

199 Ejections: 98 Manager ejections, 88 player ejections, 13 Coach ejections
Top 3 Reasons for Ejection: Balls/Strikes (101 Ejections), Safe/Out (45), Throwing At (20)
Cumulative Ejection Quality of Correctness: 147 Correct, 52 Incorrect: Accuracy = 73.9%
Most Ejections in a Month: 44 (July) / Least Ejections in a Month: 21 (April and September)
Day of Week with Most Ejections: Sunday (56), Friday (41) / Fewest: Thursday (7), Wednesday (22)
Inning with Most Ejections: 8th (39), 6th (36), 7th (31) / Fewest: 2nd (5), 1st (7), Extras (8)
Ejections by Half of Inning: Top (99), Bottom (100) / By Field: Offense (117), Defense (82)
Ejections by Umpire Position: HP (140), 1B (24), 3B (19), 2B (16)
Most Ejected Team: Rays (14), Red Sox (10), Nationals (10) / Least Ejected Team: Reds (2)
Ejection's Influence on Game: Prior to... W (41), L (107), Tie (51) / After... W (67), L (132) [W +26 / L +25]
Ejected Player's H-AB: 35-187, Batting Average of .187

Umpire Ejection Leaders
1. Rob Drake - 9
2. Bob Davidson - 8
2. Hunter Wendelstedt - 8
4. Joe West - 7
5. Mike Estabrook - 6
5. Mike Muchlinski - 6
5. Brian Knight - 6
5. Dan Bellino - 6
10. Marvin Hudson - 5
10. Chad Fairchild - 5
10. Angel Campos - 5
10. Vic Carapazza - 5

Umpire Points
1. Rob Drake - 30
1. Mike Estabrook - 30
1. Mike Muchlinski - 30
4. Marty Foster - 23
5. Hunter Wendelstedt - 21
6. Dan Bellino - 18
7. Sam Holbrook - 16
7. Angel Hernandez - 16
7. Jim Joyce - 16
7. Alfonso Marquez - 16

1. Mike Estabrook - 100% (6/6)
1. Mike Muchlinski - 100% (6/6)
1. Marty Foster - 100% (6/6)
4. Alfonso Marquez - 100% (4/4)
4. Jim Joyce - 100% (4/4)
4. Angel Hernandez - 100% (4/4)
4. Sam Holbrook - 100% (4/4)
4. Jeff Nelson - 100% (4/4)
9. Chris Conroy - 100% (3/3)
9. Dana DeMuth - 100% (3/3)
9. Jerry Meals - 100% (3/3)
9. Mark Wegner - 100% (3/3)
9. Chris Guccione - 100% (3/3)
9. Mark Carlson - 100% (3/3)
9. Bill Welke - 100% (3/3)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ejections: Dan Bellino (6)

HP Umpire Dan Bellino ejected Indians Manager Manny Acta for arguing balls and strikes in the top of the 1st inning of the Indians-Tigers game. In the top of the 1st, Indians batter Asdrubal Cabrera struck out on a 1-2 fastball from Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello. Previously in the inning, Indians batter Kosuke Fukudome had been called out on strikes and batter Jason Kipnis grounded out after receiving two called strikes (Kipnis attempted a check swing on the 2-1 pitch, but as the pitch was located belt high and over the center of home plate, Bellino called a strike regardless). A Balls/Strikes Exemption has been applied.* Replays indicate Bellino's offensive accuracy rating for the top of the 1st inning was 100%, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 0-0.

This is Dan Bellino (93)'s sixth ejection of 2011.
Dan Bellino now has 18 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (14 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call) = 18.
Dan Bellino is owned as a Secondary Umpire by sachmet, who is now tied for 2nd place in the UEFL with 31 points.
*A Balls/Stikes Exemption has been applied under UEFL Rule 6.e.iv.

This is the 199th ejection of 2011.
This is the 98th Manager ejection of 2011.
This is Manny Acta's second ejection of 2011.

Wrap: Indians at Tigers, 9/28/11
Video: Acta is ejected in the first inning, resulting in Bench Coach Tim Tolman serving as acting manager

Pitch f/x courtesy Brooks Baseball
Dan Bellino's top-1 plot shows an offensive accuracy rating of 100%.

Discussions: 2011 Season Finale Live Chat

Welcome to the first ever UEFL UmpChat Live Chat. Making an appearance in our sidebar yesterday, UEFL UmpChat is a chat room that allows you to effortlessly communicate with other UEFL'ers in real time. Though we plan on permanently keeping UEFL UmpChat on the sidebar, we are going to occasionally feature UmpChat here on the main frame of the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League home page.

Today is one of those days. It's all come down to this: the final day of the regular season for all 30 MLB teams, and perhaps, the penultimate day for four of those teams. The Red Sox and Rays are fighting for the AL Wildcard (they are tied) while the Braves and Cardinals are fighting for the NL Wildcard (they are also tied). Meanwhile, the Rangers lead the Tigers by one game for the No. 2 seed in the American League, while the Brewers lead the Diamondbacks by one game for the No. 2 seed in the NL. Meanwhile, Strasburg is making his first (and last) road start of the season in Florida, the Blue Jays have already come from behind to beat the White Sox 3-2 in Chicago... and did you see Prince Fielder, the Rays' triple play, and the D'Backs' wild six-run come back last night?

Today is the last day of the 2011 season with a full slate of games. Join in on the discussion before, as the Hawk would say, "this season is ova'" (it's #42 on the official Harrelson sound board).

Edit: Well, the regular season is now ova'. UEFL UmpChat has been returned to its sidebar position where the chat lives on.

Umpire Odds & Ends: Instant Replay (Part 38)

For a professional sports league with the most restrictive replay procedure, Major League Baseball has certainly found ways to stir up controversy with its use of the technology.

The MLB instant replay guidelines specify that instant replay only applies to so-called boundary calls - "whether [potential home runs] are fair or foul, whether they have left the playing field, or whether they have been subject to fan interference. The decision to use instant replay will be made by the umpire crew chief, who will also make the determination as to whether or not a call should be reversed."

Why, then, did umpire and crew chief Gary Cederstrom use instant replay review to determine whether a count was 3-2 or 2-2, resulting in a three-minute delay?

Even if Cederstrom's usage of instant replay to determine the count didn't end up affecting a whole lot for two teams that won't be playing in October this year, it is controversial because instant replay review simply cannot be used for a non-boundary call reason.

Here are some other controversial uses of instant replay review which occurred this season:

On September 4, first base umpire Joe West used instant replay to rule spectator interference over a boundary call during a Phillies-Marlins game. The resulting call went against the Phillies, manager Charlie Manuel was ejected and Philadelphia filed a protest with MLB.

Upon review, it appears West got the call right. Accordingly, MLB Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre elected to deny the Phillies' protest and uphold the Marlins' victory.

On August 18, home plate umpire Brian O'Nora ejected Twins manager Ron Gardenhire for arguing a call overturned as a result of the umpires' use of instant replay review.

Twins batter Justin Morneau had hit a long drive into the right field corner and first base umpire Jim Wolf had ruled the hit fair, a home run. After reviewing the video, however, the umpires decided to overturn the call to a foul ball, a decision the video confirms was the correct call.

On August 17, Royals slugger Billy Butler's home run off of Yankees pitcher Bartolo Colon was upheld after umpire Dana DeMuth's use of instant replay review.

Yankees manager Joe Girardi argued vehemently that the umpires had misinterpreted MLB Rule 2.00, which defines the home run boundary, but failed to protest the game. In a followup interview with the New York Times, Girardi expressed regret at his failure to protest the game, while Torre threw umpires DeMuth and company under the bus: "They got it wrong...and the umpires have to live with that."

Because Kansas City's Kauffman field has no ground rules of its own, it is subject to the universal ground rules and official baseball rules. Under those codes, DeMuth and crew did indeed get the call right.

Finally, on May 24, a Chipper Jones fly ball to deep center field was clearly interfered with by an overzealous Pirates fan.

Umpire Jeff Kellogg and his crew used instant replay review to verify the interference and two base award, resulting in Braves baserunner Martin Prado going back to third base. At the time of the interference, he was on his way from first base, and very likely would have attempted to score on the play.

However, as spectator interference immediately kills the play, Prado was sent back to third base.

Clearly, 2011 has been a year of controversial instant replay... but why did Cederstrom use instant replay to determine Dunn's count?

This list/ranking also featured on Bleacher Report: MLB

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ejections: Paul Schrieber (2)

HP Umpire Paul Schrieber ejected Yankees catcher Russell Martin for arguing a ball call in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Yankees-Rays game. With two out and one on, Rays batter Ben Zobrist took four consecutive pitches from Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes for a four pitch walk. Replays indicate all four pitches were located outside the strike zone, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Rays were leading, 4-2. The Rays ultimately won the contest, 5-2.

This is Paul Schrieber (43)'s second ejection of 2011.
Paul Schrieber now has 2 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (-2 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call) = 2.
Paul Schrieber was not drafted in 2011.

This is the 198th ejection of 2011.
This is the 88th player ejection of 2011.
Prior to his ejection, Martin was 1-2 in the contest.
This is the 26th ejection by Joe West's crew. Jerry Layne's crew has 27 ejections.

Wrap: Yankees at Rays, 9/26/11
Video: Martin is ejected arguing balls and strikes after a four pitch walk

Pitch f/x courtesy Brooks Baseball
Note: Pitch #3 was a ball that bounced in the dirt, in front of home plate, and accordingly is absent from the plot.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ejections: Tim McClelland (1)

1B Umpire Tim McClelland ejected Yankees Manager Joe Girardi for arguing a safe call in the top of the 13th inning of the Red Sox-Yankees game. With one out and none on, Red Sox batter Dustin Pedroia hit a 3-2 sinker from Yankees pitcher Aaron Laffey to third baseman Ramiro Pena, who threw to fist baseman Nick Swisher as Pedroia was sliding into first base. Replays indicate Swisher caught the ball and tagged first base prior to Pedroia's arrival, the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 4-4. The Red Sox ultimately won the contest, 7-4, in 14 innings.

This is Tim McClelland (36)'s first ejection of 2011.
Tim McClelland now has -2 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (0 Previous + 2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call) = -2.
Tim McClelland was not drafted in 2011.

This is the 197th ejection of 2011.
This is the 97th Manager ejection of 2011.
This is Joe Girardi's third ejection of 2011.
This is the 56th Sunday ejection of 2011. Sunday has had more ejections than any other day of the week.

Wrap: Red Sox at Yankees, 9/25/11 Game 2
Video: McClelland tosses Girardi on the final Sunday of the regular season

Polls: Incidental Contact

In most sports, such as baseball, the referee or umpire is considered in play, part of the playing area. Baseball's positioning of an umpire directly behind a catcher, straddling or right next to a foul line, or on the fringe of the infield grass occasionally results in a ball hitting an umpire or a player/umpire collision. Sometimes that results in interference & a base reward; sometimes, it doesn't. Anonymous writes:
Also from last night, the Giants second baseman Fontenot, while attempting to field a ball up the middle, ran full speed into an immovable object named Bruce Dreckman...Fortenot should have been called for clipping.
This isn't the first time Dreckman has found himself in between the defense and a routine ground ball.

Previous Poll (Tribute Uniforms) Results: Our previous poll, Polls: Tribute Uniforms, asked what should be allowed or not allowed in wearing a patch or other item of apparel as a tribute. Combining your votes on the blog and on our Facebook page, we note a preference for national, standardized tributes (Total Votes: 111):
  • National tributes allowed, normal size/color/etc restrictions - 31% - The most popular response allows for full-team tributes for national/global reasons, provided proper decorum is maintained.
  • Personal tributes only with league approval - 24% - About 1/4 agree that personal, non-national/global tributes need to receive league permission before they would be allowed.
  • National tributes only with league approval - 20% - 1/5 think national tributes should be subject to this league permission only requirement.
  • Personal tributes allowed, normal size/color/etc restrictions - 17% - Slightly less than half of those who would allow national tributes that maintain proper decorum would allow similar personal tributes.
  • They should always be allowed, no restrictions - 15% - This would mean any uniform alteration would be allowed, as long as tribute is cited as the motivation.
  • Tributes only allowed via league directive - 12% - On the other hand, this means only the league would authorize tributes by telling their teams what to wear.
  • Tributes never allowed - 5% - A clear minority want to preserve standard uniforms, no exceptions.
Current Poll: Have you ever been hit by a ball or player attempting to make a play (select all that apply)? Have you "pulled a Dreckman"? Discussion point: Could Dreckman have done anything differently to avoid this contact while inside at "B" or was he simply unlucky?

Have you ever been hit by a ball or player making a play?

Ejections: Gary Darling (3)

2B Umpire Gary Darling ejected Giants Manager Bruce Bochy for arguing a safe call in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Giants-Diamondbacks game. With none out and one on, Diamondbacks batter Aaron Hill swung at and missed a 0-1 changeup from Giants pitcher Tim Lincecum as Diamondbacks baserunner Gerardo Parra attempted to steal second base; Giants catcher Chris Stewart to second baseman Jeff Keppinger. Replays indicate Keppinger's glove tagged Parra's foot prior to Parra touching second base, the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Diamondbacks were leading, 3-0. The Diamondbacks ultimately won the contest, 5-2.

This is Gary Darling (37)'s third ejection of 2011.
Gary Darling now has 6 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (8 Previous + 2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call) = 6.
Gary Darling was not drafted in 2011.

This is the 196th ejection of 2011.
This is the 96th Manager ejection of 2011.
This is Bruce Bochy's third ejection of 2011.

Wrap: Giants at Diamondbacks, 9/25/11 Wrap
Video (1): Bochy ejected by Darling (Giants broadcast)
Video (2): Bochy argues call, is thrown out (Diamondbacks broadcast)