Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ejections 045, 046: Paul Emmel (1, 2)

1B Umpire Paul Emmel ejected Tigers First Base Coach Tom Brookens and Tigers Manager Jim Leyland for arguing a balk no call the top of the 5th inning of the Tigers-Indians game. With none out and one on, Tigers batter Andy Dirks hit a 1-0 changeup from Indians pitcher Justin Masterson for a pop out to Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis. Replays indicate on the 1-0 pitch to Dirks, Masterson failed to come to a complete stop from the set position prior to delivering the pitch to home plate, as required by OBR Rule 8.01(b); the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejections, the Indians led, 2-1. The Indians ultimately won the contest, 2-1.

These are Paul Emmel (50)'s first and second ejections of 2012.
Paul Emmel now has -4 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2*[2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call] = -4).
Crew Chief Gary Darling now has 7 points in the UEFL's Crew division (7 Previous + 2*[0 Incorrect Call] = 7).
*After review, Quality of Correctness has been affirmed by the UEFL Appeals Board, 6-0.

These are the 45th and 46th ejections of 2012.
This is the 26th Manager ejection of 2012.
This is Tom Brooken's first ejection of 2012.
This is Jim Leyland's second ejection of 2012.
These are Detroit's third and fourth ejections of 2012 (second and third of the series).
This is Paul Emmel's first ejection since July 2, 2011.

53 comments :

kickersrule said...

I understand how you miss this call with a 2 man crew but how do 4 guys miss this? Also with a RHP the 1st base ump has the worst view to call this balk but they chose to argue with him. Seriously the 2nd and 3rd base ump have a much better view. At least argue with the right ump. Thats probably what Paul Emmel was thinking but he would never tell Leland that.

Jon Terry said...

I tried to look at this replay on the Tigers broadcast. But the genius broadcasters interrupted with freeze-frame and slo-mo, and drew all over the screen. How is someone supposed to see a balk with all that crap going on? Not the way to make your point, guys.

tmac said...

ok let's break this play down from an umpire by umpire perspective and then look at how it was handled post-ejection.

1b umpire: There is no way the 1st base umpire can make a no stop balk call in which the hands come together. Unless Paul Emmel is superman and has X ray vision.

hp Umpire: I'm going to defend Darling a little bit. If Masterson has a great move and by all accounts he doesn't always step to 1st or breaks his leg Darling has a lot to focus on. He can not always be on top of a no stop even though in this case it was obvious. Sometimes at this level of game it can take a HP umpire by surprise.

2nd Base Umpire Scott Barry takes plays from the 1st base side with a runner on first only and there is just no excuse for him not having a complete perspective of this play. Especially if Masterson has been known to not stop. These are things umpires pregame about.

3rd base Umpire Meals: Must have been having a sandwhich.... Is totally responsible for nailing this. But in a 140 game umpire season Meals was clearly not paying attention and it cost his crew.

Meals in my eyes is starting to be racking up the lazy points and in this case the whole crew looks poor and the one guy who should not have to wear the call picks up two EJs. Hopefully Emmell doesn't pay for a meal for amonth.

Onto the post ejection.... We all know Darling is a passive crew chief, but for him to let Emmel wear this for as long as he did shows he must know there was a balk. if you can read lips you can see Darling say when confronted by Leyland, "I didn't see a balk". For a majority of the post ejection of Brookens and Leyland Darling isn't around.... we shouldn't be shocked but I am disapointed.

Dave D said...

@tmac - I agree with you on all counts, however, I want Darling up the line to deal with what will eventually be the wrong end of the stick for Emmel here. Like you said, he knows he missed it (and I don't disagree that he's not really looking for a no-stop balk so it exploded on him...) so he should make the extra effort, especially when both Brookens and Leyland are on top of Emmel to diffuse the situation and/or eat the EJ.

Obviously, Emmel can take care of himself, but I'd prefer to see Darling be more aggressive or at least active in this case, especially since it was another member of the crew who left Emmel holding the bag. I may be incorrect, but in my mind, that's the value-add of being a Crew Chief.

kickersrule said...

@ tmac

That is basically what I said execpt just not in a 2 page report. Mine was short and sweet haha.

James said...

I agree, if you look at crew chiefs around the league, it looks like Gary Darling and perhaps Dale Scott are the two most laissez-faire when it comes to crewmate arguments. I mean, give Jerry Layne credit, when Bob Davidson or Hunter Wendelstedt screws up a call and has to eject (or, because of their reputations, gets a call right and has to eject), Layne is right in the middle of it, defusing a situation and getting the coach or player away. When it comes down to it, the biggest thing we learned from Davidson and Wendelstedt being put on the same crew is how much of a crew chief Layne really is.

Jim Joyce has also proven himself quite the crew chief, but it just seems lazy for Darling not to be involved in post-ejection arguments.

Anonymous said...

In most of the ejections Darling's crew has had this season (10), Darling has been right there to break it up. I'm not sure why he didn't Today as they were way more heated than McClendon was Yesterday, but Darling has been better this year. He broke up both of Lance Barrett's ejections as well as Jerry Meals ej yesterday.

His crew also has by far the most ejections this year. The second most is Scott with 6 and three of those have come from AAA ump Angel Campos and then Layne's crew has 5. Funny that the above poster mentioned those three CC's as examples of lazy vs not lazy. I guess when a crew ejects a lot it is more noticeable. ie, Dana Demuth, Brian Gorman and Tim Welke are terrible at breaking arguments up, but those guys have mild mannered crews. Gary Cederstrom and Gerry Davis on the other hand are excellent at breaking arguments up but it goes unnoticed because their crews usually have very few ejwctions as well.

RichMSN said...

It's really unfair Emmel has to eat this, IMO.

Will said...

I want to play devils advocate for a second and raise a question i have in interpreting the "1 stop" (I umpire a lot and at a high level so I may be making myself look like an idiot - but I'd rather do it here than on the field...).
At the beginning of his "set", he brought his hands together and they stopped. Yes - that is normally where pitchers are doing their "momentary adjustment", but where does it say you need to do a momentary adjustment AND stop once?!
He blew right through the bottom and his legs were moving and all sorts of "balk like" behaviors were happening - but he had already brought his hands together and they were stopped and his body was stopped - is that not a stop?
I had another pitcher who - on every pitch did the same thing (except his stop at the top was very long and pronounced) but started his pitching motion by moving his hands down and blowing through the bottom. I didn't balk it - was I wrong?
It might just seem like I am trying to make an argument where there is no argument but I am asking a serious question - the bottom part is "obviously" a balk - but did he stop at the top?

Anonymous said...

IMO, Emmel was being argued with because he was closest to Brookens. It was the most convenient umpire for him to argue with. It is unfortunate and unfair but it happens. Leyland was obviously just sticking up for Brookens here. His beef seemed to be more with the quick hook by Emmel, which I don't think was actually that quick, than the no balk call.

Anonymous said...

I had a pause when he brought his hands together. Then he started his pitching motion by dropping his hands. The pause was borderline and I look for this balk with pitchers that don't stretch and bring their hands together and kick their leg right away. Seeing a lot more of it lately.

tmac said...

@ will: there are pitchers who when they bring their hands together come to a set.. as in they don't move the hands up and down at all... this isn't the case here... I do appreciate the thoughtful discussion as The only way you get better is discussing a play like this!

UmpsRule said...

It's possible that more than just this specific call came into play during the argument.
You have the case yesterday when Meals cost Detroit at least one run, maybe more. Also, the Tigers are under-performing significantly and it has to be wearing on the coaching staff, making them more edgy.

Anonymous said...

He also went to his mouth on the rubber. Isn't that a balk as well?

Anonymous said...

True, if he went to his mouth while on the pitching plate, it's not a balk, but it is an automatic ball under Rule 8.02(a). The only thing is I'm not 100% sure he actually goes to his lips or mouth, he might be at his nose or chin, side of the face or cheek. The going to the mouth issue isn't really obvious on the replay since he might be elsewhere, but the balk itself is pretty clear.

Anonymous said...

If every balk were called, there would be 62 in each game.

Jimmy Jack said...

Any umpire can call a balk, it just looks like this was one where the umpires fell asleep—one momentary lapse and sure enough, this happens to be the one play and one pitch where the defense violates the rules.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who say's gary darling the crew chief should have came in and broke up the argument, is crazy, Paul emmel could take care of himself. If it was a rookie ok prob, but as for the call, it was a balk. Incorrect call.

Jon Terry said...

Now that I can see things at full speed, yes, that is a balk all day long. Meals must have been watching a girl in the crowd to miss that one. But there is no way in hell that Emmel can see that call. Brookens deserves to go for putting all the heat on Emmel, cause he knows best what the first base ump can see. And Leyland should be slapped for running to Darling after Emmel has dumped him.

Anonymous said...

Neither of these individuals should be fined, but we all know they will. You think the umpiring crew will?

UmpsRule said...

@ Jon Terry

If Emmel couldn't see it, then how did Brookens?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, as soon as players get fined for striking out or managers get suspended for losing one game, then umps can be fined for missing a call.

Anonymous said...

If the umpires don't miss this call, coach and manager don't get ejected. But they'll get the fine for being correct.. Hmm that makes sense..

Brett said...

I do not see a balk here. hands come together for brief stop and then he delivers to the plate. I challenge the QOC. I think it should be correct.

Anonymous said...

I dont see why everyone is going with incorrect?? There's clearly a stop even though his other actions immediately before and after admittedly somewhat disguise it. (That's what pitchers are trying to do, people!!) His stop might only have been for a millisecond, but that's all it has to be! Rule 8.10(b) (Ooooh... rulebook evidence..any of you ever think of that? Of course not, like your broadcaster leaders, you prefer what you think the rule is.) calls only for a "complete stop" but there is no rulebook definition for "complete stop", However, the standard practice at higher levels is "discernible stop" and trust me, to a trained eye, that stop was discernible.
-C.A.G.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Brett. If you want to nitpick about no stop - no balk calls at the MLB level we have a bunch of video to pull up. They are bitching about a pitcher who they have the video on. The stop should not be a problem.They know what he does and how to run on him. One millisecond less and I have a balk but I've seen much worse in MLB and nobody blinks an eye.

Gil Imber said...

This ruling has been challenged and is under review by the UEFL Appeals Board.

Jon Terry said...

@umpsrule

I don't actually think Brookens saw it either, though his angle is somewhat different. On the video, the batter is clearly upset and saying something. I think the batter spoke out, and his coach took up the battle cry.

For the record, I'm an umpire, and I can't discern a stop. I would balk this at every level I've ever called. And most coaches consider me easy on this particular balk, judging from the amount of time they spend telling me pitchers aren't stopping when I think they are.

Anonymous said...

Don't see a balk here. I see a brief pause. That's all there needs to be.

Cricket said...

@Jon Terry

I am with you 100% on this, both from observation of this play and in my own umpiring.

Anonymous said...

Easily a balk - there is constant movement throughout the delivery. No
"discernible" nor "complete" stop to be found.

Big Marc said...

It's a balk. Now the real question, why are they talking to Emmel? Is it because Brookens thinks he saw it?
Wow, Leyland looks out of touch on this play. He's really upset, maybe he was acting, but it looked real. He has to know Emmel cannot, and would not ever make this call, EVER.
I'm shocked at Leyland, his arguements, right or wrong, are usually always valid baseball wise. In this case he might as well have run out to center field and yelled at the wall. Sad really.

Brett said...

If you balk this, then every MLB pitcher balks on just about every pitch with runners on. he did not deceive, did not quick pitch, and did not commit a further infraction. If anything, this call should be irrecusable because as we all know, balks are on of the 3 things you cannot argue according to the rulebook.

Anonymous said...

@Big Marc- He was most likely just sticking up for Brookens

@Brett- No, this shouldn't be irrecusible. It's either a balk or it isn't. Balls and strikes you cannot argue and that is not irrecusible.

@whoever challenged this play- You really don't see this as a balk? I hope you never ump one of my games. I was taught that this was a balk when working 5th grade games. This is the MLB. Come on now.

Brett said...

I think we should turn off the ability to post anonymously. If you want to criticize my opinion, you should not hide behind anonymous. I never ump games, I umpire them. There is a big difference. The guy in your local little league is an ump but, someone who has attended umpire schools or camps are true umpires. We have a computerized tool to analyze balls and strikes, but balks depend solely on umpire's judgement. Each umpire is different in judging a complete and discernible stop. For me, when judging a balk, I always look to see if he deceives. If I call this every time it happens MLB games would have the tendency to be 5 hours long with about 60 balks a game.

RichMSN said...

I umpire at the HS and college level and this is an easy, easy balk call that just happened to get missed. I'm not fond of Emmel getting the minus points, though -- it's simply not his call (ever) to make.

Jon Terry said...

Once again, someone feels the need to be elitist. Hey Brett, you're an idiot.

I highly resent the implication that someone who hasn't attended a training event hosted by MLB or PBUC isn't a 'real umpire'. I don't have that kind of time, or that kind of money. Period.

But I take my training and my umpiring very seriously. I do attend local clinics, always taught by current minor leaguers (we have several in the area), former minor leaguers, and current Division I umpires. We get quality training, we study the rules, we learn our craft. To imply any different just shows what an ass you really are.

This balk (yes, it's a balk) would and should be called at every level of the game. I watch more than my share of baseball on tv when I'm not on a field, and what we saw on this tape is not nearly as prevalent in the major leagues as a couple of our posters would have us believe. This is a balk. If you don't call it, you will have to dump someone.

Gil Imber said...

After review, the original Quality of Correctness of "Incorrect" has been affirmed in a unanimous 6-0 decision by the UEFL Appeals Board. Six Appeals Board members elected to Confirm the Original Ruling and zero elected to Overturn it.

Per Curiam Opinion:
In reviewing this ruling, the Board considered two factors: First, the Board reviewed whether the pitch was legal or whether a balk should have been called (Core Argument); Second, the Board reviewed whether perceived lax enforcement of the Rule 8.05(m) balk shall be a contributing factor in the determination of QOC.

In determining pitch legality, the Board identifies the pitcher as having employed the Set Position, as defined by 8.01(b). Because the pitcher was confirmed to have employed the Set Position, he was found to have been subject to the requirements set forth in Rule 8.01(b): "The pitcher, following his stretch, must (a) hold the ball in both hands in front of his body and (b) come to a complete stop." Rule 8.05(m) codifies a failure to satisfy criteria (b) as a balk.

Rule 2.00 [Quick Return] specifies a Quick Return Pitch is "one made with obvious intent to catch a batter off balance. It is an illegal pitch." Rule 8.05(e) codifies a Quick Return Pitch as a balk.

Replays indicate the pitcher did not satisfy the requirement set forth in 8.01(b)(b); the pitcher failed to execute a complete stop as prescribed by rule. Though the pitcher himself admitted, "I did do a quick pitch right there," this post-game confession did not influence the Board's decision that the pitcher violated Rule 8.01(b)/8.05(m).

The Board also finds that perceived lax enforcement of 8.05(m) or other balk provisions shall not influence the determination of whether a pitch was legal. QOC is established by a play's own merits, not by a perceived League norm. Rule 8.01(b)(b) reports, "This [rule] must be enforced. Umpires should watch this closely. Pitchers are constantly attempting to “beat the rule” in their efforts to hold runners on bases and in cases where the pitcher fails to make a complete “stop” called for in the rules, the umpire should immediately call a “Balk.”"

Concurrent Opinion, Gil:
This bifurcated ruling is significant and establishes precedent that although umpires may not generally enforce—or are perceived not to generally enforce—a certain provision of the MLB Rules Book, this does not exempt the umpire from QOC liability in the event their ruling overtly runs in contrast to the MLB Rules Book.

Therefore, the Board unanimously affirms the Original Ruling.

Confirmed: Gil, tmac, Albertaumpire, BillMueller, RichMSN, yawetag
Upheld: None
Overturned: None
Deferred: None
Abstained: Jeremy (Posted Original QOC)

Quality of Correctness has been affirmed, 6-0.

tmac said...

Ok, Brett I can speak as someone who has been very fortunate to spend nine glorious years on a minor league baseball field. I'd guess that I called about five balks a year. and about two times a year you get one this blatent.... I managed to never call 60 balks a game. And i'm not a fan of name calling. I am always disapointed when an umpire who umpired AAA looks down on one who only made it to AA and so on... but it's a nature of overcompensating. I can show you umpires who never went to school who could go on a AAA field and out shine any AAA guy and i can show you an umpire at AA that i wouldn't want on a 14 year old game. it's the nature of the beast. I'm sure every company has people who are underemployed and some that are overemployed. It's a misnomer to think Jon Terry can't umpire as well as me b/c he never was on a professional field. frankly it's WRONG. While i have never met jon and i'm sure he can defend himself I am embarrassed that a fellow "professional" umpire would downgrade an intelligent conversation based on another umpire not being as good becasue he didn't achieve your status. Perhaps if your attitude wasn't so poor you would have made it to the big leagues.

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

I would like to see a second review of the fact that Emmel is getting stuck on the hook on this play. Let's review, 1st the idiots talk to the wrong umpire, and now the A.B. is doing the same. 2 wrong don't make a right.
The Board should assign responsibilty percentage wise to each umpire on this play. I suggest the board would assign Emmel the least amount of the pie. I think the C.C. should take the minus at the very least if a percentage of responsibiliy cannot be confirmed.
Right is Right.
Emmel is on the hook because of the rats. He was the only one who couldn't see the pitchers hand, yet he's on the hook? C'mon! Seriously.

Senario:
What if, on a rotation play, an umpire falls down? And doesn't see the play he's responsible for and has to ask for help. The call is ruled incorrect after a conference, safe or out it, really doesn't matter for my point.
After all of this the manager gets ejected by the C.C. Is the UEFL going to tag the C.C. for a minus ejection, and not put the responsibility on the umpire who fell down and missed seeing the play?
Emmel took the heat for someone else, and ejected for someone else. I can find nothing wrong with Emmel, yet he's a minus?
Doesn't the umpire have to be wrong to get a minus?
I've only gone on so long becuase I seen that this case will now be used as precedent.
Please re-re-review this again before you finalize and make this a precedent case.

tmac said...

marc,

one thing you have to realize is this is a "fantasy" league... It doesn't have the same ideals that actually occur on a professional baseball field. Gil, jeremy and I have had discussions about calling umpires at length, on such things as balks and check swings... IMO they do a great job running the league and we shouldn't get too carried away in something like this. For the purposes of the league it works fine... and while it might not be fair to Emmel it makes the league fun.

UmpsRule said...

No, Emmel is not on the hook because of the "rats." (And rest assured, that really makes your case sounds so well-reasoned)

Emmel is on the hook because of his crewmates.

wwjd said...

While Emmel can't see the hands this balk is so obvious he should be able to see it and call it plus it's so obvious i could call this balk from the nose bleed section of the stadium

UmpsRule said...

Alan Porter has tossed out Ron Gardenhire and someone else. It may be Jamey Carroll or Jerry White (if not both).

wwjd said...

While Emmel can't see the hands its so obvious he should make the call hell i could make it from the nose bleed section of the stadium

UmpsRule said...

Apparently it was Carroll who Porter got.

Anonymous said...

@umpsrule and Gardy

wwjd said...

It was Carroll i just checked the box score

Big Marc said...

tmac, really this is a fantasy league? Thanks.
Telling me gil and jeremy do a fine job really doesn't answer the fundamental question.
Let me say it anohter way.
If umpires are wrong let's say it, and let's give a reason. How was Emmel wrong on this play? I suggest any MLB review of Emmel's actions would NOT mirror the UEFL's decision.
tmac, 9yrs in the minors, you be the league UIC on this play for MLB, give us your evaluation, what did Emmel do wrong and what should he have done?
Saying this is a fantasy league, and this is the way were going to do it is really cop out.
I do not expect an overturn, I'd like to hear a better explanation other than the QOC was confirmed, incorrect, and then a minus on Emmel.
As far as I'm concerned with this UEFL ruling, it's very lazy, and un-insightfull. You have chance to educate on this play, and it's being missed.

Anonymous said...

Here's a question. How did morales not get tossed in the sox rays game tonight

Anonymous said...

"Though the pitcher himself admitted, "I did do a quick pitch right there," this post-game confession did not influence the Board's decision that the pitcher violated Rule 8.01(b)/8.05(m)"
I hope not, because without a runner this pitcher did not have to stop and quick pitching does not depend on runners on base or not.
This guy got away with a marginal balk which I and 3 pros (U1 didn't have a clue)didn't, would not have called. He now has hung some guys out to dry. I suspect he will have to have a complete and complete and complete and discernable and discernable and discernable stop from now on.
Why would you put that comment in there as it has no bearing on the ruling?

Anonymous said...

BTW, 8.01(b) requires a complete and discernable stop only if the pitcher stretches which this pitcher does not. 8.05 (m) does require a stop from the set position but doesn't make it complete and discernable.
Is there a difference?

From same anonymous guy just to lazy to figure out you posting requirements.

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