Monday, May 28, 2012

Ejection 051: Bill Welke (2)

1B Umpire Bill Welke ejected Tigers Manager Jim Leyland for Unsportsmanlike-NEC in the top of the 3rd inning of the Tigers-Red Sox game. In the bottom of the 2nd inning, with two out and one on, Red Sox batter Mike Aviles hit an 0-2 pitch from Tigers pitcher Doug Fister for a called foul ball by HP Umpire Jeff Nelson. Nelson originally ruled that Aviles foul tipped the ball and was successfully caught by Tigers catcher Gerald Laird. 1B Umpire Bill Welke then gave Nelson a no catch foul tip signal, and Nelson changed the call to a foul ball (no catch). Replays indicate Laird successfully caught the ball off the tip from Aviles without the ball touching the ground. The call was incorrect, however Leyland left the dugout at the time of the call and made a visit regarding the call. He was not ejected at the time of this visit, then later during the inning break restarted the argument that lead to his ejection, therefore the call is irrecusable for an Unsportsmanlike-NEC ejection.* At the time of the ejection, the Red Sox led, 4-1. The Red Sox ultimately won the contest, 7-4.

This is Bill Welke (52)'s second ejection of 2012.

Bill Welke now has 0 points in the UEFL (-2 Previous + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call = 0).

Crew Chief Tim Tschida now has 2 points in the Crew Division (1 Previous + 1 Irrecusable Call = 2).

*Unlike the Gene Lamont ejection by 3B Umpire Tim Tschida, Leyland had already made a visit regarding the call when the call was made. When Leyland was ejected, it was during his second visit and argument regarding the call. Under UEFL Rule 6-2-b-5-b (the DiMuro Rule), the second visit makes the reason for the ejection Unsportsmanlike-NEC, and by rule a Quality of Correctness of irrecusable.

This is the 51st ejection of 2012.

This is the 28th Manager ejection of 2012. 
This is Jim Leyland's third ejection of 2012, tops in all of Major League Baseball for non-umpires.
This is the Detroit Tigers' sixth ejection of 2012, tops in all of Major League Baseball for teams.

This is Bill Welke's first ejection since April 24.


43 comments :

Anonymous said...

If I'm right last year Clint Hurdle's ejection last September was similar. He came out to argue went back into the dugout then a couple of minutes later, he stormed backed on to the field and got ejected

OSheaman said...

This might re-ignite some Instant Replay debate. That call should have been (and could easily have been) corrected with a replay.

UmpsRule said...

I thought Leyland was ejected from the dugout. Does that still qualify as a visit?

Of course, the big question is when will Welke and Leyland come out with a new book?

UmpsRule said...

Here's the video: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=21831883&c_id=mlb

There seems to be no mention of the Lamont toss, except in the video description.

Anonymous said...

Seems like everytime Leyland get's ejected the annoucers say "thats as hot as Ive seen Jim in a long long time"

UmpsRule said...

@ Anon 2:17

Yes, they do seem to say that a lot.

Anonymous said...

Leyland is second to only Gardenhire when it comes to their "meltdown mode".

Anonymous said...

You don't need replay here to correct the call, Welke shouldn't have overruled Nelson, who was right on top of it, ready to call the batter out on the foul tip.

Anonymous said...

Welke didn't "overrule" Nelson, he provided new information which Nelson used to overturn his own call. As far as Nelson being "right on top of it", you've obviously never umpired or you would know how often the PU is blocked out on that call. (Almost always)

SteveJ said...

This isn't an isolated incident.

When I was young man, many many many years ago, managers would get thrown out, usually during loosing streaks or just to gripe.

The umpires were right 90 plus percent of the time.

This year, managers are getting thrown out on calls that are not close. And umpires are making fools out themselves.

It just isn't good enough.

Anonymous said...

This appears to be a case of Welke injecting himself into this game. I can see where he might have thought the ball hit the ground as it was pretty close. But unless he is sure, he should have kept to himself.

And Welke then calls "time" to eject Leyland when he's just standing in the dugout. Did he do something to get himself tossed? Maybe, but Welke waited until he was just standing still to do so.

Can we call out the umpire for Unsportsmanlike Conduct?

UmpsRule said...

@ Anon 3:56

You are forgetting that Nelson asked Welke for help.

red said...

Replay shows nelson immediately looking straight to 1B for help on the call. Aviles is backing out of the box and gets in nelson's way, which confuses things slightly. Whatever the correctness of the call, it's pretty clear nelson is looking to welke for help, rather than welke injecting himself into the game.

Anonymous said...

I don't normally like the term rabbit ears, but the first base umpire is thirty feet behind first, ninety home and another twenty or so to dugout. He just ejected Leyland from 140 ft away.

Anonymous said...

He's looking for help and making his own call at the same time? Really? Or is his "looking down to first" a matter of the movement he and the catcher made at the end of the play?

Anonymous said...

@ anon 2:53
The difference between leyland and gardenhire is leyland is actaully a good manager. Gradenhire sucks and just gets ejected to he can go home early.

SJR said...

I think this is one where time should have been called and there should have been a crew consultation. Then Nelson could have asked Welke exactly what he saw.

leeballanfant said...

Nepotism rears its ugly head. Bill Welke, brother of Tim, brother-in-law of Jeff Kellogg

Why don't this just make it a requirement that to get a job in majors, you must be a blood or marriage relation to another ML umpire. That way we can have dozens of Hunter Wendelstedts in the league.
It would also save the time of more deserving Minor league umps trying to pursue their dream, who have no chance as they are not connected.

Pete said...

Credit here to Nelson for actually asking for help on this play. He looked to first immediately, and Welke told him what he saw. It's a shame for Welke, really, since he is about 110 feet away on the play. But in fairness, it took me two replays to determine that Laird had control of the ball. For an instant it looks like the ball is loose in the glove, and I predict from 100'+ Welke thought it was trapped.

Now on to the ejection: Leyland got his say with Nelson, got his chance with Tschida, then continues to bark from the dugout. I don't see how you don't run him in this situation.

I really like the way the crew wasn't afraid to communicate. Nelson has shown that he isn't above asking for helping or calling a conference in an attempt to get the call right, just in this situation Welke was wrong.

Look at it this way, so often do we see the HP umpire say "this is my call" and never ask for help. I like seeing Nelson ask for help. Welke didn't inject himself into the game until he was asked. Even during the ejection, he remains calm and attempts to walk away.

Leyland is grouchy; his Tigers are in a slump; he's looking to push the envelope and get run. We saw it again here.

UmpsRule said...

@ Pete

Where does the video show that Leyland is barking from the dugout?

Pete said...

@UmpsRule,

Live NESN feed had it; unfortunately the MLB.com video didn't include that part.

Anonymous said...

Welke tossed him because he knew he was wrong. He realized he was wrong and was tired of seeing Leyland disagree. So he got rid of him. Might as well as had the 2B umpire do it.. get everybody involved!

Anonymous said...

@ leeballanfant

Well said, I believe Paul Runge is a 2nd or 3rd generation umpire and has relation in the MLB office. Im willing to bet that over half the MLB umpires have relation to high up people. Thats how everything in the world works. You either have to know the right people or be very lucky in life.

UmpsRule said...

Ok, thanks for the clarification, Pete.

Anonymous said...

I like how he asked for help, but why only first base and not a discussion with entire crew. It's not like a check swing where only one umpire has a good view

Dan said...

I just saw this crew for the Mets/Padres series over the weekend, and thought they did a fantastic job throughout the series. They were even praised by the Mets announcers. But I think they could have handled this situation better overall.

tmac said...

@ leeballanfant: here here.. couldn't agree more.. when you let the clan from Kentucky run the umpires you will see what happens.. just wait about 10 years when guys they had get special invites to Pbuc (brent Rice, Brian Reilly) get force fed to MLB how bad it gets. Apparently you can get released but if the Marsh/Reliford crew like you then you're in!! Disaster is looming.... I've said it for years. And i do not want replay... the system of developing umpires is broken and it needs to be fixed... I have solutions.. but they don't jive with Nepotism!!

Anonymous said...

Welke singlehandedly screwed up this play. Nelson would have called an out if Welke hadn't signalled foul ball.

Big Marc said...

I think this is an interesting play, from top umpires. Jeff was about to make the out call based off sound, because he of course couldn't see it. Jeff has superior baseball I.Q. and his umpire instinct is off the chart.
It's a mistake from probably the best crew in the bigs.
I'd like to point out that a lazy 1st base umpire is more likely to get this play right. If your not paying attention, as an umpire, your more likely to let the play go, or keep your mouth shut for lack of better term.
So I'm suggesting Bill was paying attention, and called what he saw. So, his mistake makes him seem like a below average umpire, but really the reverse is true.

Big Marc said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Marc said...

I understand your nepotism point, but to me it's a little transperent. I'd rather say a guy is weak becuase of balls and strikes, or hustle, and not just because of his last name.

Bill said...

It's actually Brian Runge that is third generation...His dad is Paul Runge and his grandfather is Ed Runge. Brian Gorman's dad was Tom Gorman, and we know Hunter's dad. Mike DiMro's dad was Lou DiMuro, who was killed after working a Rangers game when he was struck by a car.

Will said...

I saw the play and disagree with the process a bit (I think the "escalation" was off) but the intentions were honorable and the end result is the best they were able to get given the play and angles they had. The escalation I would have liked to see...
The plate umpire was obviously blocked out on the play - no way he saw the glove - it "sounded" like a catch. I would have liked to see him glance to 1st, I would expect the crew to have a "discrete" - he caught it signal and I would expect the 1st base umpire to give him that signal (my crew uses a clenched fist for a catch, open hand for a trap) - plate umpire makes the call.
If an argument ensues, suggest you could get everyone together and see what the other guys on the crew saw (as no one else on the field would know about your "secret signal", this would be the plate umpire's role).
Call the whole crew in and when you "break" the plate umpire affirms the call. That way you get the best call you can, you show everyone at the park that you care about getting the call right and you are entirely justified in ejecting anyone who still wants to argue.
Having said that - I think this ejection was justified as Leyland wouldn't cut it out even though they let him go on and on for quite sometime...
I can also imagine that it really looked like a trap from 1st - tough call.

Anonymous said...

The Detroit News had a great article on the botched call, including comments from the umpires explaining the call.

Anonymous said...

http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20120528/SPORTS0104/205280365/1004/

Anonymous said...

Doug Eddings just tossed catcher Matt Wieters from the Orioles over Balls and Strikes in Toronto in the 5th inning

UmpsRule said...

Wieters video: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=21868915&c_id=mlb

Anonymous said...

Your clueless.

Anonymous said...

That's a bitter rant of an umpire school guy if I ever saw one. Brian Reilly isn't even in pro ball anymore, get a clue.

Anonymous said...

But the whole point of this is Nelson didn't KNOW????

tmac said...

@ anon 9:51

http://www.milb.com/league1/page.jsp?ymd=20100323&content_id=8880462&vkey=league1_l118&fext=.jsp&sid=l118

i will await your apology on Brian Reilly not being in pro ball.

Big Marc said...

Will, I understand your explanation of your mechanic, sounded correct. But your problem with the "process" is little off base. There's a reason Tim is a C.C. and Jeff is the union rep. Both these guys are far above the average I.Q. It might seem like a good idea to get together on stuff like this, but at some point at the MLB level it works against the crew. Had there been a reason a conference was needed, they would have done it.
Had one of the guys had a good catch, they would have let Tim know somehow.
If your read the Detroit Press article, it sounded like Tim had the ball on the ground, which makes sense as to why the crew would not confer.

Will said...

Big Marc - thanks, I also agree that if you know - you call it. I see too many people ask for help when they had the best angle and then the perception is that "the other guy" messed up as a result. Perhaps it's just in retrospect I would have preferred to see a group huddle to add an appearance that they did everything they could to get the call right. Especially as Leyland was working his way around the crew complaining...
Gathering the crew together needs to be used judiciously - I just think in this case it might have stopped the "discussion" with Leyland from dragging on so long.

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