Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Ejections 033, 034: Bill Miller (1, 2)

HP Umpire Bill Miller ejected Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie and Blue Jays Manager John Farrell for arguing a strike call in the bottom of the 9th inning of the Rays-Blue Jays game. With one out and none on, Blue Jays batter Brett Lawrie took a 3-2 changeup from Rays pitcher Fernando Rodney for a called strike three. Replays indicate that the 3-1 pitch was belt high, but off the outside corner of the plate (px value of 1.158); the 3-2 pitch from Rodney was over the outside portion of the plate, but above the midpoint between the top of the shoulders and top of the uniform pants (Lower Bound, Upper Bound of [1.219, 1.407]), the call was incorrect. At the time of ejections, the Rays were leading, 4-3. The Rays ultimately won the contest, 4-3.

These are Bill Miller (14)'s first and second ejections of 2012.
Bill Miller now has -4 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2*[2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call] = -4).
Crew Chief Dale Scott now has 2 points in the Crew Division (2 Previous + 2*[0 Incorrect Call] = 2).

UEFL Standings Update

These are the 33rd and 34th ejections of 2012.
This is the 12th player ejection of 2012.
This is the 20th Manager ejection of 2012.
This is Brett Lawrie's first ejection of 2012 and of his career.
Brett Lawrie was 1-3, 1K prior to his ejection.
This is John Farrell's first ejection of 2012.
The Blue Jays now have three ejections in 2012.
On May 16th, MLB announced Lawrie would be suspended four games. Lawrie has dropped his appeal.

Wrap: Rays at Blue Jays 5/15/12
Video: Miller rings up Lawrie; Lawrie incensed, gets ejected and then throws at, hits Miller with helmet.
Video: MLB Network analyzes the helmet toss, fan throwing beer cup at Miller as umpires exit field
Pitch f/x courtesy Brooks Baseball


*Note: Brooks Baseball is promoting a Sabermetrics seminar hosted by those at the Jimmy Fund with all the money collected going to cancer research, the link to the seminar can be found here.

How long should Brett Lawrie have been suspended?

88 comments :

Anonymous said...

Two pitches in a row that should have been ball four and the umpire acts SHOCKED that the player is mad. Go figure.

wwjd said...

He can be upset but going nuts and throwing ur helmet at the umpire is extremely unprofessional and uncalled for and if lowrie doesn't get at leat ten games something is wrong Joe Torrie needs to throw the book at him in fact a indefinite suspension would be appropriate as well with anger manegment and a apology to bill miller a requirment of his reinstatement.

Anonymous said...

You are crazy!! Did you even look at the video, he threw the helmet to the ground & it bounced up towards the ump. He did apologize in a interview for the helmet hitting Miller. Indefinite suspension? Ten games? That's absurd! Alomar got less for spitting at the ump. Lawrie, never physically touched Miller. If anything, 3 games at the most. Miller had an obvious vendetta here, & even if that ball was in the dugout, he would have called it a strike. Miller needs to be looked at here as well. This is not the first time he has controversy surround him, & questionable calls. The league is supposed to provide the best, Miller should not be behind the plate, on the lines, okay. Behind the plate, no way. They were two pitches that were balls earlier in the game, in fact closer pitches in the game were being called balls earlier.

Anonymous said...

The call was not only horrible, it was malicious. Miller didn't like how Lawrie strolled to first on the previous pitch and made him pay for it. Absolutely unacceptable. Lawrie went overboard too.

Arik said...

Lawrie will get fined and serve at least a 3 game (after appeals) suspension for spiking the helmet at Miller's feet. And you cant tell me that it wasnt directed at him. Look how he throws it. He doesnt spike it straight down but throws it forward in Miller's direction.

I agree that the previous two pitches were no strikes. But Lawrie's reaction was terrible.

JPINFV said...

Just a quick note, the write up is wrong. What is being called the 2-2 pitch (the one at the very start of the video) should be labeled the 3-1.

SJR said...

It's all well and good that Lawrie apologized, but the fact remains that he spiked his helmet. He is responsible for the consequences when he intentionally ejects his equipment.

Also, you bring up Alomar. Do you realize that when Peter Angelos offered to pay his fine, the umpire union wanted to strike? If Lawrie gets a slap on the wrist, expect the umpire union to be up in arms again.

oki96 said...

Unfortunately, Bill Miller missed both calls, but throwing the helmet was going too far.

Just curious though, how did Miller do the whole game?

tmac said...

hey anon 10:47 miller's been around a long time and doesn't have too mant issues... what are all of the problems he has>??

tmac said...

ok let's make Dan Issogna the CC and jettison Dale Scott to the 3 or 4 guy.... his guy gets hit with a helmet and Dan is in there moving Lawrie out of the way while apparently Dale is eating a sandwich... we've talked about this before Dale struggles in these defining situations he just had a guy get hit with a helmet and he's nowhere to be found!!

Anonymous said...

So Miller missed a call, don't throw the helmet like that. Don't tell me the helmet isn't being thrown at the umpire. This isn't like that coach who flipped the helmet and apologized to the ump after the helmet hit the umpire. Lawrie throws the helmet at Miller, it hits Miller and Lawrie continues charging. Horrible display by Lawrie.

Jon Terry said...

Nice to have a little fireworkds every now and then.

The first pitch was a little outside, but it's a pitch that is regularly called. No one should be surprised. The second pitch, well, that was high. Period. Maybe it was payback, maybe not. Doesn't matter.

Throwing the helmet is an automatic ejection. Sure, he was already out. Doesn't make it somehow ok now. And the helmet was definitely thrown forward, toward the umpire. Whatever Lawrie believed his intent was, in his moment of rage, there are consequences. Anyone who dares defend that move should never speak to an umpire again.

I also noticed that it was Iassogna who walked Lawrie away, and pretty forcefully. Scott came in later, for the Farrell ejection.

http://sports.yahoo.com/news/price-pitches-7-innings-lead-015438033--mlb.html;_ylt=AtECwGY3mDaxG3fExKdfPIQRvLYF

In this yahoo write-up, Lawrie says he thinks the strike three call was 'kinda late'. I can't imagine what he's talking about. It looked right on time to me.

Kinda wish Miller had looked a little tougher when the helmet hit him. I understand, he certainly wasn't ready for it, but he looked kinda girlish the way he lifted his leg at it. It's ok though, he looked plenty tough giving those guys the hook.

Maybe it's something about Toronto. Remember the Jon Rauch ejection last year?

Anonymous said...

I'm looking at the pitch chart and the strike three pitch is sitting on the top line. In fact it looks like it is touching the line. Pitch 6....Way to high? Stop looking at the video boys and go to the chart. It never lies!

Jimmy Jack said...

On the one hand, I want to assume Dale Scott is giving Dan Iassogna the opportunity to play crew chief, like Joe West did with Angel Hernandez when they were on the same crew. On the other hand, it seems as if Dale has absolutely zero sense of urgency in dealing with situations, the ejection where the helmet was thrown and the altercation with fan where the beer was thrown at Miller—both times, Iassogna had to be the one involved.

Anonymous said...

The number 6 is entirely within the strike zone. If the ball is represented by the square, I think it is a strike too. It didn't look like it in the video. It seems like Lawrie really wanted to go to first base and didn't necessarily want to swing. My Dad always told me, with two strikes you better swing the bat.

Anonymous said...

How about pitch number four. That looks like it could have been a strike too. If the square touches the line....is that a strike? or is it the center of the square?

Anonymous said...

There wasn't anyone on base so Scott, working second base, was standing out in the middle of the outfield. Iassogna was at first base. I can see why Dan got there first and Dale ended up there at the end. I personally think Miller showed amazing restraint. When was the last time you have been hit by something a player has thrown?

Jeremy Dircks said...

Anonymous 1:20 AM,

It is actually irrelevant whether the box is touching the strike zone line because it isn't normalized for the batter's height, hence why we use the tabular data and our lower bound, upper bound calculation. Pitch 4 had a lower bound, upper bound of [0.946, 1.134]. Being that at some point there was a value under 1.000, it could have been called a strike-correctly.

Anonymous said...

Guys, Dale Scott was working 2B. There were no runners on base at this point in the game. Use your knowledge of angles and distances to figure out why Iassogna (who was working 1B) beat Scott to the crime scene here. Also, I checked out Miller's zone map on Brooks for this game -- he DID call some pretty high strikes this game, but not super consistently.

Just a paramedic said...

I remember the good ol' days before this was a place for whiny homers to complain how blue screwed their team. Go to the fan forums. Sheesh.

Jim R. said...

Wonder what will happen to the fan that threw a cup of liquid on Miller as the were going into the dugout -- or if we'll ever hear anything else about it?

NKCAUmp said...

This incident is eerily similar to an episode I saw last weekend at a AA game in Northwest Arkansas where a manager who had been ejected flipped his helmet back (much less violently that the incident above) but hit the umpire (who was defending his partner) in the face. Check that one out and see if there's not a sudden epidemic of thrown equipment: http://www.ramblingmorons.com/?p=1263

tmac said...

sigh... middle of the outfield??? 4 man, the 2nd base umpire is a few steps behind 2nd baseman... i know u guys like dale and so on but lets not make it up.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that Delmon Young got 50 games a few years ago for flipping his bat with intent at the umpire after he got tossed. Granted, it was a AAA game. So my view is Lawrie intended to throw his helmet at the umpire.....that should warrant at least 10 games. I wouldn't be surprised if he got 20 and appeal is denied. I'm surprised Eric Hinske has not gotten suspended at least one game after he threw his bat in anger after he got tossed by Muchlinski......but he threw it down away from the umpire at that time.

yawetag said...

Stay classy, Toronto fans.

dwlockman said...

Anyone see this the other day? Almost had a ball put in play during the Nationals game with just the home plate umpire on the field. With the bases loaded no less.

http://mlb.mlb.com/cutfour/article.jsp?content_id=31353070

mnhopper1s said...

NKCAUmp,

I saw that video this morning. I think the biggest difference is the reaction of the offending individual when it happened. The coach quickly jumped with (apparent) remorse when he realized what happened. Did he deserve his suspension? Yes. But it happens. With this player throwing his helmet he showed no remorse after it happened until after the game..

Now in the Springfield incident, maybe that umpire will just let his partner handle it and not get caught up in a situation like that. Why is it that the umpires can "gang up" on a coach or player but the umpires quickly separate a player from the umpire once a coach comes out?

Will said...

Borderline pitches with a batter bolting for 1st before the ball hits the glove. Benefit of the doubt goes to the pitcher on those pitches - I know I don't work in the majors and don't have guys with lasers and stats programs figuring out each of my pitches but I would have rung him up for sure! Just like I'd ball a borderline pitch that a catcher pulls into the zone. If you're bolting to 1st it better be a no-brainer! Having said that, umpires in the majors are professionals and need to make the right call no matter what is going on and the players need to be respectful even when the call goes against them. Hopefully both parties learned a valuable lesson on the field...

Anonymous said...

Strike 2 call was ridiculous - it was in the LH batters box. The chart shows the strike 3 call to be borderline, but watch the tape - this is a pitch that almost never gets called a strike. Miller made up his mind to ring him up if the pitch was even close to the strike zone. Lawrie shouldn't have thrown his helmet, but I would have been just as incensed in the ninth inning of a one-run game after those calls.

Anonymous said...

Lawrie was so far over the line in his toss of the helmet that he deserves a significant penalty. I'm amazed at the people on this forum that would defend that, or claim it wasn't tossed toward the umpire.

Miller's body language was very calm after strike 2; why do we think he had a vendetta for strike 3? I agree with the comment about looking at the f/x, it doesn't lie.

One thing I don't see emphasized here enough is the fan that tossed his drink at Miller. This is the same stadium where a player was arrested for batting a ball into a bird, right? I hope that fan is still sitting in a cell. When we fail to throw the book at people who inject themselves into the game as an act of social disobedience, we lose sight of far too much.

UmpsRule said...

The lesson to be learned here: Don't throw equipment. Ever. Period. It's that simple.

Anonymous said...

I agree that young Lawrie’s behaviour was inappropriate and should be corrected but keep in mind that he was ejected before he threw his helmet. I think most of you are overlooking a more serious issue. The commentators of the American broadcast of this game predicted the 3rd strike call before the pitch was thrown. This demonstrates that a lack of integrity by the umpire fraternity is known and expected. Why isn’t there a mechanism in place to throw the umpire out? It took the enjoyment completely out of the game. Miller’s unprofessional actions must be addressed by the MLB!! I will make a point of not watching any game that this overbearing and dishonest umpire is crouching in his little fiefdom behind home plate.

UmpsRule said...

@ Anon 10:42

Never mind that a) Broadcasters don't know everything and, b) Strike three was very close to being a strike.

Anonymous said...

Granted it's MLB, so I shouldn't be surprised at this, but I'm pretty sure on the tape I saw Miller refer to Lawrie and the fan who threw at him as "f****** a*******". Now, a player throws his helmet at you and you're in the field of play, that's one thing. But I have to think you should be able to hold yourself back while walking back to the dugout. There are about a thousand other fans in the general vicinity who can hear you there. I can't say I blame him, but that is NOT a professional move on Miller's part. Point him out to security and move on.

UmpsRule said...

@ Anon 11:08

I agree with you, but in reality how would most people react to having a beer cup thrown at them?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 7:06 a.m.,

In the minor league game a few years ago, Delmon Young did not "flip" his bat at the home plate umpire -- he threw the bat intentionally with a great deal of velocity.

He was lucky not to face felony assault charges.

kickersrule said...

After reading comments about this ejection on espn.com and mlb.com I just want to say I am thankfull for this site. Also in my opinion Lawrie should get a 10 game suspension which would end up being 7 or 8 after apeal. Also I seriously doubt Lawrie was telling the truth when he said he was sorry. People lie all the time.

UmpsRule said...

@ kickersule

You should be grateful. We all should. The media has made so many people anti-umpire, it's sad.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know what Miller said to the pitcher after strike two was called. The pitcher was saying something to the ump, the ump step forward(past the plate towards the feild), said something and then patted his chest. As if to say don't worry, I will take care of the situation. Have a look at the video. That conversation needs to be explained.

Jon Terry said...

I don't think anyone will doubt that I'm generally on the umpire's side. I think that strike 2 wasn't out of the ordinary. However, looking at the side view of strike 3, there is no way I personally would call that pitch. Ever.

That said, if Miller had been high a lot during this game, then the batter loses his argument in the name of consistency. If it's a strike in the 1st, it's a strike in the 9th.

UmpsRule said...

cbssports.com seems to have invented a new umpire, "Doug Miller": http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/blog/eye-on-baseball/19057753/brett-lawrie-flips-out-on-ump

Anonymous said...

Lawrie is a professional baseball player. If there was an intention to hit the ump with his helmet, there would have been a full-on hit.

The question mlb should be asking is why the delayed call on strike 2. Why the expedient strike 3 call?

There's not much doubt in my mind that the ump showed a lack of professionalism - as did Lawrie with his helmet toss. Penalize them the same. Three day suspension for both.

UmpsRule said...

Anyone who thinks Bill Miller should be suspended for calling a strike on a pitch that was extremely close is going to be disappointed.

Gil Imber said...

When Yorvit Torrealba punched an umpire in the Venezuelan League in December, I wrote a "punishment forecast" examining a brief history of player/coach criminal misconduct (assault & battery) against umpires.

Though many States carry specific provisions of Assault and/or Battery Against Sports Officials, the Criminal Code of Canada does not. In Canada, under §265, the offense is criminally actionable, punishable by summary conviction or liable for a term not exceeding five years.

In 1907, Toronto Maple Leafs player Tim Flood kicked umpire John Conway after Flood's ejection in the 7th inning. At his sentencing, the local magistrate wrote, "That's not part of the game. This sort of thing must be discouraged," and sentenced Flood to 15 days, a long jail sentence at the time. Additionally, Eastern League president Pat Powers expelled Flood from the league for his actions, deeming Flood "not fit to play in civilzed ball."

When Robeto Alomar spit on John Hirschbeck in late September 1996, it occurred in Toronto, with Baltimore in the midst of a playoff run. When Alomar received a paid five-game suspension—which was appealed and allowed Alomar to play in his team's final two regular season games—the umpires threatened to strike, prompting AL President Gene Budig to get a court order requiring the umpires to work. The Orioles made it to the playoffs, but fate caught up with the Birds as RF umpire Richie Garcia and 12-year-old Yankees fan Jeffrey Maier combined to give New York the boost they needed to win the 1996 ALCS and eliminate Baltimore from the postseason.

UmpsRule said...

Nice work, Gil. By the way, Bill Miller's Wikipedia page was a hub of activity last night.

Anonymous said...

C'mon boys, we all know Miller called that third one a strike because Lawrie showed him up. If Lawrie doesn't react to strike two, he walks. Ego from both gentlemen....Pretty quick ejection too, Lawrie's helmet hit Miller after he'd tossed him. I got into it with an ump once, and he called the next pitch I saw a strike. I couldn't have hit it with a step ladder. I turned to him and said "OK, you made your point" and we both got on with it. Lawrie is a competitive kid, and he got carried away. My guess is three games, (no intent) and you'll never see him tossed again.

Anonymous said...

That was not a quick ejection. From his actions and you have no idea what he said to him. I garentee that he will be ejected again in his career. Once a hot head always a hot head.

Anonymous said...

I worked a game last night. The catcher bolted on what he thought should have been strike three outside corner. I called it a ball, and the pitcher looked at his catcher and told him it was because he jumped out. These kids were 15 and 16.
Lawrie was trying to sell the outside pitch as a ball and it burned him. Strike three was in there. Lawrie was only concerned with getting to first on a walk. With one out in a one run game everything is a strike - swing the bat!!!

Jon Terry said...

Four game suspension + fine, and he's appealing. What a load!

Anonymous said...

Lawrie had nothing to do with losing the game,The sloppy play of the Blue Jays was the reason the game was lost.errors after errors does not go with a team that wants to improve! The fact that managment put LYNN back in to the 4th position batting the other nite was also a stupid decision the way Lynn is showing his bad timing & hitting in to double plays & striking out time after time sure helps the team to keep on losing. all & all too many very bad decisions & that makes it impossible to show any improvement!

Anonymous said...

F&@$ Kevin Millar, what a piece of flying fudge, saying that Miller deserved it and pulled off an acting job. How does this idiot have a job? Chris Rose put him in his place on intentional talk and went on a tirade against the stupid fan that threw that beer.

Jon Terry said...

You should hear the guys on Intentional Talk today. I can't even count how many times I heard the phrase 'bad call'. For all they said about Lawrie and helmet throwing in general, they really heaped it on Miller, saying he thought the game was all about him. Clowns.

Anonymous said...

Four games sounds a little severe, GIVEN MLB past punishment. I expect they'll appeal to three or maybe even two. Looks like Joe Torre is up to his old tricks again.

Jeremy Dircks said...

Major League Baseball has just announced that Brett Lawrie has been suspended four (4) games beginning tonight, unless Lawrie appeals.

Jeremy Dircks said...

Oh Jon Terry beat me too it. Just like Jon Terry jinxed Bob Davidson the other day ;).

Anonymous said...

4 games? Should be at least 10, but no. MLB like everything else is all about money. Lawrie is one of the Blue Jays draws, can't suspend him for more. Once again, preferential treatment for MLB's big shots.

Jay said...

I wish MLb imposed discipline consistently, there should be a rule book or guideline. Throwing helmet = x games, on the fly more tha on the bounce, etc. it just seems like they're making it up as they go along. What is the office of the commissioner even doing?

Anonymous said...

Here's an idea. Instead of a former manager being incharge of how many games they are suspended how about a former umpire be incharge of that instead. Joe Torre sucks.

Jeremy Dircks said...

Here is MLB's statement on the incident:

"Third baseman Brett Lawrie of the Toronto Blue Jays has received a four-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his aggressive actions toward Umpire Bill Miller, which included throwing his helmet in Miller’s vicinity, during the bottom of the ninth inning of last night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Rogers Centre. Joe Garagiola, Jr., Senior Vice President of Standards & On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement.

Unless appealed, Lawrie is scheduled to begin serving his suspension tonight, when the Blue Jays are to host the New York Yankees. If appealed, Lawrie’s suspension will be held in abeyance until the process is complete."

Note MLB does not cite hitting Miller, but rather the throwing of the helmet in his vicinity.

UmpsRule said...

Four games?? Four?? I was thinking seven. Four??

Anonymous said...

Miller will be working 3rd base tonight. Lawrie appealed and will be at 3rd tonight as well.

UmpsRule said...

Will they be in the same Stadium?

Gil Imber said...

Yes, although all MLB teams are playing two, two-game series during squeeze week, umpires are staying with the same regional team for the four-day period. In this case, that results in the crew staying with the Blue Jays in Toronto.

wwjd said...

Four games IMO is to lenient thats almost is like saying do what u want we will just give u a slap on the wrist unacceptable behavior getting looked over basically

Anonymous said...

This comment is a reply to John Terry. Nothing is wrong with the Toronto Blue Jays or their fans. It is just a coincidence that both the Alfonso Marquez(Jon Rauch) incident and this happened. I really like Bill Miller as an umpire because he always had an pretty big strike zone and is always consistent with it. I love umpires with big strike zones because the game becomes faster. However I do feel that the called third strike was a little bit too high, but what Brett Lawrie is completely unacceptable and a four game suspension is appropriate. But going back to the comment made by John Terry, I feel that it is even more disrespectful for signalling out the Toronto Blue Jays and its fans than what Brett Lawrie did to Bill Miller, even though I! You should apologize for this inappropriate comment!

Turducken said...

That was an awfully late called second strike by Miller [I mean, two seconds elapsed before he makes the call]. I can see Lawrie would be upset.

Anonymous said...

At umpire school they teach you to wait at least that long to make your calls. I almost always wait that long to make my strike and ball calls.

Anonymous said...

If it's good enough for Tim McClelland and Brian Runge, it's good enough for Bill Miller. Let 'em wait, baseball has no basketball-hockey-football style game time clock.

Jon Terry said...

1. Nope, no apology. What I said had nothing to do with Toronto fans, but with the possibility that John Farrell or his superiors create an environment in the Blue Jay locker room that makes that kind of over the top, violent reaction to umpires seem ok. When multiple incidents come out of one location, people ask questions. And today, I'm the one asking.

2. I have no problem with the timing of the strike 2 call, as long as it is line with the timing of his other strike calls. I know that I have fairly slow timing on most of my calls, and I sometimes get yelled at for it in tense situations. But my first defense is that my timing is the same on all my strike calls, all my out calls, no matter how fast the manager thinks I should be.

3. Jon, not John. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Miller knew what he did or else Farrell wouldn't have been given such a long leash. He clearly motions about the strike zone well before he was tossed. This is probably why the suspension is so short. Whether it was in the zone or not, everyone knew it was going to be a strike regardless.

Turducken said...

Takes Miller less than a half of a second to punch out Lawrie, though. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

@ Jon Terry - I umpired Lawrie when he was playing amateur baseball in Canada; his temper (mind you I never saw it to the point we saw here) hasn't left him.

Nate said...

OK, I'm an umpire, but I'm going to put my league administration hat on for a moment.

Lawrie was charging toward Miller. This is unacceptable on-field behavior and is ejectionable, but alone, never results in suspension. Lawrie is clearly seen to spike his helmet straight down. He is looking at the spot on the ground where the helmet lands. Spiking equipment in reaction to an umpire call is an equipment violation and results in a fine. So far that's all we have. An ejection and a fine.

But then the helmet happens to bounce up exactly where the umpire is standing. It was unintentional that the helmet struck the umpire, but yet still Lawrie must be held accountable for that chance he took.

Four games seems perfectly reasonable. Had he hit the umpire in the air with intent, I can understand 10+. But I don't see that he had any intent to hit the umpire with the helmet at all.

Anonymous said...

Re: Jon Terry. Do you have any evidence that Farrel is creating an "environment" in the locker room? No you don't. By multiple incidents you mean two in two years both of which were not really comparable, Jon Rauch was strongly restrained by the man you are accusing of facilitating aggression, how does that work logically? The jays have a minimal history of onfield incidents, Rauch was not suspended last year, and Lawrie is the first Jay suspended for an onfield incident since Todd Stottlemyer in 1992 so you should probably reevaluate your statement.
2. You can try to take the context out of this situation to excuse miller all you want, but anyone who was watching that game could see these were calls with a purpose, whether Lawrie deserves it and needs to cool his jets is another debate altogether, but miller was obviously not impartial as you are trying to convince us.
3. Just look at the ejection. Miller takes 2 seconds to call a pitch a good 4-5 inches outsides (pitches are callled where they cross the plate not where they end up in the catchers glove) but ejects Lawrie before he even turns around.
No one has defended Lawrie's actions, they are simply pointing out what contributed to the situation and the unprofessionalism of both parties, lawrie more-so than miller granted. Whether you are an ump supporter or not this is a situation (among numerous over the years) that brings into question the integrity of certain onfield officials. Other sports have the same problems and they addressed it by adding checks such as video reply. The dinosaurs in the MLB would rather see incidents like this happen than intervene in anyway that could "undermine the purity of the game." When obvious impartiality like this happens the game is already undermined and this incident needs to be looked at in much more depth than just simply giving Lawrie a suspension and chalking it up to a hot-headed kid.

JRD said...

Gil and Jer:

I think this calls for a Poll Question on the number of games A** H*** Lawrie should have been suspended.

I was for 10+

---

And to those that say the pitches were balls or that Billy showed him up...horse...it does NOT MATTER...when u throw equipment and it hits an official...thats a bfd

Anonymous said...

It's the mlb's own fault, they set the precedent, they judge the punishment. If Robbie Alomar only gets 5 games for spitting in an umps face, why should Lawrie get 10+ for throwing his helmet that bounces and grazes the ump?

tmac said...

baseball and people have changed a lot.... I'm going to take Miller out of the equation for a moment... there used to be a time when showing up an umpire was no good... Now players show up other players and umpires like they pop tic tacs..Maybe if we didn't have ESPN and a pitcher was allowed to throw inside without the possibility of getting suspended there wouldn't be a problem but for some reason we let others dictate the rules.

I don't know about Lawrie personally, BUT I do know that we have fans on here that hate umpires for a call they made two decases ago... So if an umpire is calling a borderline pitch for strike 3 after a player has shown him up and you are all appalled b/c he's holding a grudge for 10 seconds CHECK YOURSELF... Umpires are human and even though they are held to a higher standard you guys need to realize not all are robots and before TV and ESPN THIS way the way players learned and if they didn't they'd have to bring a boating oar to the plate.... ANd if they showed up pitchers they'd have to duck...

Now our society doesn't like it when there are consequences.... We should get to behave badly and get no punishment.... The bottom line is this... If the ones that think Bill Miller isn't that good, then how the heck can he be screwing Lawrie on purpose... And the ones that think he is b/c Lawrie has constantly showed up umpires.. How about the Manager or somebody teaching Lawrie to stop showing guys up!!

It's called becoming a mature adult... something Lawrie is not yet and something we all should aspire to be!

Anonymous said...

That is pretty hypocritical. So we should give umps the benefit of the doubt, but players making mistakes should be held to the old school bean ball standard? What are you talking about? It's called being a mature adult, everyone takes responsibility for their mistakes, including Miller.

UmpsRule said...

Lawrie claims the helmet took a bad hop. Sure...you throw something down at someone's feet and it bounces up and hits them. What are the odds? (sarcasm)

Anonymous said...

Everyone is focusing on only two pitches in the Lawrie situation. How accurate and consistent was Miller? You need to go back and look at pitches earlier in the game. Miller called Edwin Encarnacion out on the same high strike in his first at bat. From what I've heard, MLB sets their heighth for strikes one inch above the belt, but they then have a high buffer which encourages umpires to call the rule book zone, which can be 6-8 inches above the belt. Both the pitch to Lawrie and Encarnacion were within this range. As for Lawrie's at bat, an earlier pitch was at the hollow of the knee and called a ball. The 3-1 pitch, which was outside and called a strike was very similiar to the stirke three in the top of the inning to Jose Molina. I'm not justifying these pitches off the plate but it seems that Miller was very consistent. Do we have an accuracy percentage?

tmac said...

ummm anon 8:28 if you're going to say i don't make sense then essentially quote something i didn't say... I can't help ya...

but i can help anon 10:13 who brings up an excellent point.. Bill Miller's strike Zone... The strike zone has become a partisan thing where if you don't like a guy you can be critical and if you do like him you defend him.... Miller is a pitchers umpire who calls a VERY big zone... If you believe you should call the zone as queztec says you WILL NOT like his pitch graph... if you like umpires who are in general consistant... you will like Miller's chart.

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/zoneplot.php-pitchSel=all&game=gid_2012_05_15_tbamlb_tormlb_1&sp_type=1&s_type=7.gif

For right handed batters he very consistantly had a VERY wide outside corner!!

here is that info

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/zoneplot.php-pitchSel=all&game=gid_2012_05_15_tbamlb_tormlb_1&sp_type=3&s_type=7.gif

But of course Miller must be perfect or else it's kill the ump.. and if he is perfect and you yell at him he must TAKE IT LIKE A MAN and not respond... EVER and you must also dodge helmets that were "unintentionally" thrown in your direction!!

to the regs and great folks we have on this site have you guys noticed most if not all of the negative posters are anon.... It's really a microcosm of society takes a real big man to be tough and then go run and hide!! I've got to go get a haircut... I've decided to bring a batting helmet just in case i'm not satisfied with the job that's done.. then i can spike it and when it hits her claim i'm not sorry for throwing the helmet just sorry it hit her!!

Penwhale said...

5 games would have been the ideal, but I can live with 4.

You are held accountable for the result of your actions, regardless of the cause.

Gil Imber said...

Lawrie has dropped his appeal and will serve his four-game suspension.

Big Marc said...

Sounds to me like the appeal was for strategy purposes. The appeal created a delay, in the start of the suspension. Lawries' absence may hurt his team less, against the oppenents of the next 4 games.

Jon Terry said...

Ah, I do love it when tmac gets going. All kinds of fun watching him rip the rubes in the cheap seats.

Of course, I agree. I make a lot of hay about treating umpires like they're human, which MLB does not do.

There is a limit to how much abuse an umpire should have to stand for doing his job. But we live in a world where umpires are expected to be perfect. This is an unattainable standard, if for no other reason than the fact that there are two teams, each with a different BIASED viewpoint of every pitch and every play. Even if the league views an umpire's performance as perfect, one or both teams and their fans will not.

Too many fans, goaded on by commentators both at the games and on the networks, have reduced their view of umpires to sub-human. They think that every potential mistake is an indicator of complete incompetence, or an indicator of a conspiracy against their beloved team. They heap abuse on the umpires, all from the comfort of their seats. But most who criticize wouldn't know a rule if it bit them, and would never even consider strapping on the gear themselves.

To me, this means their opinions count for very little, if anything at all.

I have said it before, and I will say it again. If you can't even be bothered to log in, your opinion counts less. Stand behind what you say.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Miller is an umpire known to have a wide zone on a consistent basis but it becomes borderline ridiculous when pitches that are four inches of the plate are being called a strike. Its a very frustrating thing for a player to be in a pressure situation and then be cheated out of an at bat because of that. But umpires are judged by perfection and not reality so it was just a bad night behind the plate for Miller.

Anonymous said...

horrible call!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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