Sunday, June 10, 2012

Ejection 065: Greg Gibson (3)

HP Umpire Greg Gibson ejected Rockies Manager Jim Tracy for arguing a safe (no catch) call in the bottom of the 9th inning of the Angels-Rockies game. With none out and one on, Rockies batter Carlos Gonzalez hit a 1-1 sinker from Angels pitcher Scott Downs on a line drive back to the mound, where Downs threw to shortstop Erick Aybar (force out at second) to first baseman Albert Pujols (force out at first) for a double play. Replays indicate Downs appeared to have caught the comebacker and dropped the ball in an attempted transfer from glove to hand—release appeared voluntary and intentional as prescribed by Rule 2.00 [Catch], the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Angels were leading, 10-8. The Angels ultimately won the contest. 10-8.

This is Greg Gibson (53)'s third ejection of 2012.
Greg Gibson now has 6 points in the UEFL (8 Previous + 2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call = 6).
Crew Chief Gerry Davis now has 2 points in the UEFL's Crew division (2 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 2).
*After review, Quality of Correctness has been affirmed by the UEFL Appeals Board, 6-0.
*The Appeals Board's historical decisions may be consulted via the UEFL Portal.


This is the 65th ejection of 2012.
This is the 34th Manager ejection of 2012.
This is the Rockies' 1st ejection of 2012, tied for 3rd in the NL West (6; LAD / 2; SD / 1; SF).
This is Jim Tracy's first ejection since August 26, 2011 (Hunted Wendelstedt; QOC = Correct).
This is Greg Gibson's first ejection since April 17 (Denard Span/Ron Gardenhire; QOC = Correct).

51 comments :

Anonymous said...

I love it when Gibson throws people out. A little bit of a short fuse, reminds me of Jerry Crawford a little

JPINFV said...

Well, this got posted quickly. The video, and the associated commentary, is going to be interesting.

wwjd said...

I was watching and the root sports slow mo replay shows that Downs clearly caught the ball and lost it on the transfer Gibson has no business making this call as thw pitchers back is to home plate thus there is no way gibson can see whether that was caught that should be crew chief Gery Davis making that call as he can see that it was caught this was a case where Tracy wasn't leaving till he got ejected i would have been ejected if i was the manager i dont blame tracy for getting the hook

Anonymous said...

"So you know how they say that some really good plays should be worth two outs? Well, that's one of them right there."

Anonymous said...

No doubt, that's traditionally the home plate umpire's call. Action that happens directly in front of him -- namely, plays involving the battery, pitcher or catcher, are his call. Phil Cuzzi at second base could have helped, but ONLY if Gibson asks for it. It looked like while Tracy was arguing the call, Gibson looked over his shoulder in the direction of Cuzzi, perhaps to get confirmation of his original call.

Jimmy Jack said...

Mechanically, this play is solid. Gibson indicates safe straight away, Cargo should have been running on that. No matter what, there's at least one out on that play, but because Gonzalez gave up without paying attention to the call, it was an easy double play. Halos win.

Zac said...

wwjd said:
"I was watching and the root sports slow mo replay shows that Downs clearly caught the ball and lost it on the transfer Gibson has no business making this call as thw pitchers back is to home plate thus there is no way gibson can see whether that was caught that should be crew chief Gery Davis making that call as he can see that it was caught this was a case where Tracy wasn't leaving till he got ejected i would have been ejected if i was the manager i dont blame tracy for getting the hook"

Except for the fact that mechanically, Gibson was as good as he could be on this play. Line drives/pop ups to the pitcher are the plate umpire's responsibility. Tough call and he doesn't have three replays. The batter should have ran instead of standing around with his thumb in his backside.

Anonymous said...

I challenge the ruling. Doesn't he have to transfer the ball completely for it to be considered a catch?

Anonymous said...

I think the requisite criteria is "secure possession" and "voluntary release". I could see Gibby mouthing something about these...It's tough to tell whether both have been met in this case.

Anonymous said...

What clueless commentary here. This is not a Dale Scott situation whatsoever; that's not the issue, and you can see that through Tracy's hand gestures!

Anonymous said...

Aaron Boone on ESPN said that the crew got the call correct. That a catch of a BATTER ball requires a clean transfer to the throwing hand. They mentioned the outfielder who caught a sinking line drive, slid on his chest for 10 feet and then had the ball fall out of his glove. No catch was ruled.. It would seem that a cagey infielder could muff a transfer and get a double play - even though there is a rule against intentionally dropping it

I think most of the confusion is that a thrown ball can be caught with less rigorous criteria if the ball if subsequently muffed on transfer. Boone did say the Rules Committee is looking at this/

Anonymous said...

At 1:56 in the video, it appears that Downs clearly caught it and made a clear transfer. The 2B umpire should have had the best look and I'm surprised that there was no conference.

Gil Imber said...

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

tmac said...

wow what a fascinating play.... When outfielders catch a fly ball and lose the ball on a transfer they don NOT have to have the ball in the bear hand so that is flat out wrong. If you believe he was voluntarily releasing which i do then you have a catch. This play is an explosion. Based on where Gibson is i think most umpires will rule no catch.

This is one of those that Tracy should have asked Gibson to get help and hope that Cuzzi didn't bet the wrong side of the game (j/k). Gibson has to take the call otherwise you could potentially have three umpires with varing calls and cadences and that WOULD be a disaster. It never helps a managers case when he makes **** up. Saying Gibson called time or waved his hands in the air is jokeworthy.

One thing is for sure.. we'll be talking about this one for a while!!

SJR said...

I say he caught the ball and lost it on the transfer. Secure possession is one of those gray areas in the rules. Poll 100 umpires and there would probably be a 70-30 split on this play.

Anonymous said...

Boone (like most broadcasters) seems to have no idea what he's talking about. There is no magical difference between catching a batted and thrown ball. The difference that he SHOULD HAVE cited was that the outfielder, who slid on his chest and had the ball fall out of his glove, never gained secure possession and the release was clearly never voluntary nor intentional. See Rule 2.00 "It is not a catch if he falls down and as a result of falling drops the ball." In this play, Downs clearly didn't lose the ball due to falling.

Jay said...

I don't know. I just think if you call this a no catch, you set a dangerous precedent for all quick thinking pitchers and infielders to do this type of a delayed drop in order to set up a cheap double play.

Anonymous said...

@anon 5:33
There really is a distinction between the CATCH of a THROWN ball versus a BATTED ball. For a thrown ball all you need is control/secure possession. For a batted ball you need both control and voluntary release.

MattAB said...

Upon replay this looks like a ctach, and an incorrect call, but in real-time it definately looks lik a drop. I can how Gibson would get this wrong, the way it played out in real-time, and he did everything mechanically correct under the circumstances. Had CarGo hustled to first you still only have one out on the play. That's who Jim Tracy should really be yelling at, as it was CarGo's giving up on the play that turned it from one out into two.

UmpsRule said...

For a guy who can be quite a hothead, Gibson did a good job of keeping his cool here.

Anonymous said...

Right Matt, because you're supposed to run it out regardless of what you see or hear. We'll see how long until umpires get tired of the delay waiting for the batter and runners to come back..

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:41, incorrect. You need secure possession OR voluntary release. This is an error in OBR. With your definition then a batted ball could be accidentally dropped by an outfielder after the 3rd out of the inning is made as he is crossing the foul line towards his dugout and would be ruled a no catch because he did not have secure possession AND voluntary release.

JPINFV said...

@Anon 8:50:

If I catch the ball for out number three and then voluntarily release it from my glove as a flip to the mound for the other team's pitcher, then is it not a voluntary release from my glove? Why does a voluntary release have to be from my hand?

JPINFV said...

Challenge:

I think the first thing we need to do is know what the definition of a catch is. From OBR rule 2.00:

"A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; providing he does not use his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession. It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball.
It is not a catch if a fielder touches a fly ball which then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire and then is caught by another defensive player. In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional. If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught."

Here's what we know. A line drive was hit. The ball entered into the glove of F1 as F1 was trying to simultaneously duck and catch the ball. Due to the rapid speed of the ball and the general mechanics of pitching, the glove normally windmills backwards regardless of if F1 is trying to transfer the ball or back.

The act of putting the hand at the top of the now inverted glove can serve 2 separate purposes. 1st can be to transfer the ball to his free hand in order to throw the ball. Second is to secure the ball in the glove. These two intentions results in the same action, but force a different ruling in this play.

The second important thing is the following line from the definition of a catch. "In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional." F1 in this case did not hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control, nor that his release was voluntary and intentional given the fact that his hand could be at the top of the glove primarily to secure the ball.

Since there are two competing possibilities of what happened, and those possibilities (hand trying to secure the ball vs hand trying to transfer the ball) result in different quality of correctness, the ejection should be ruled inconclusive (UEFL rule 6.5(b)) and points shall be rewarded as if the ejection was correct (UEFL rule 7.1(b).

DR73 said...

@Anon 8:50
How in the world can an anonymous poster of a blog charge the OBR with an error? Care to cite this claim with an official interpretation?
Section 2.00 CATCH clearly states "the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary AND intentional." This isn't to say your scenario is incorrect, but what your missing is that is he can "hold the ball long enough" to meet both criterion simultaneously.

DR73 said...

@JPINFV
I challenge your challenge.

If his hand was merely trying to secure the ball, how did the ball manage to travel in an arc over his head and land 10 feet in front of him? Everything I've ever been taught from pro umpires says if the ball flies away after he reaches in, he was probably pulling it out.
They also never taught me the "inconclusive" signal.

On a side note, I think that may have been the point Jim Tracy was trying to make (and perhaps explains the gestures that were so comically lost on the broadcasters).

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:50
We learned at umpire school this year that you ALWAYS need secure possession. You prove this by the momentum of the catching action ending and/or voluntary release.

Anonymous said...

There is an intentionally dropped ball rule to prevent that though. You can argue he may have lost it on the transfer, but he certainly didn't intentionally drop it to get a double play.

Anonymous said...

I was just going to say Boone of espn said they got the call right.

Big Marc said...

The ball came out of the glove directly into the hand. Was this on purpose? I'm not so sure that in the attempt to catch the ball, he may have started to use 2 hands to secure the ball, and then the ball just dropped into his open hand.

The action is so quick during the slo-mo replay, I cannot honestly say that just because the ball dropped from the glove into the open hand, that it was a transfer. It sure looks like a transfer, but it may well be totally accidental.
To further add to my thinking that this was an accidental transfer, once the ball was in his open hand, he acted like it wasn't in his hand. He acted like he was trying to gain posession of a ball, he already had in his hand.
That's why he did the weird fling thing with his arm and hand. I think he felt the ball hit his hand, but didn't realize he still had it, so he attempted to judge where the ball was and grab it quickly, but it was still in his hand, and then that's why the ball got tossed weirdly into the air.

red said...

I think credit really goes to greg gibson on this one. The interesting rules discussion notwithstanding, in real time this can pretty convincingly appear to be a dropped ball (possession not secured), and gibson makes a very clear emphatic call. There's no way anyone can confuse the ruling with anything other than no-catch. Was the ruling correct? Not sure, and there'll be a lot of debate for a long time. Did he handle it well? Absolutely. Good umpiring in a tough situation.

Zac said...

You guys challenging are hilarious. This was a catch. He had secure possession and was reaching in to pull the ball out (voluntary release). Like I said though: In real time, this was a no-catch, hence the call.

Anonymous said...

All the anons, DR73, and others refering to my 8:50 post. DR73, I understand what you are saying, but before you call me out as just another anon, realize that some of us have to be anons. And the last anon, yes, I learned from school too, many years before you, and I'm still here in the game. I don't know what it is at this point in time but when I went to school there were over 230 mistakes in OBR, this being one of them. Idk if they have fixed it, but all I was giving was a scenario where firm and secure possession AND voluntarily release was not needed, aka, that one word screwed the rule up. Jimmy can spend an hour talking about that one word. I was not commenting on the QOC in this play, I have not even watched it yet. I was simply pointing out one of OBR's mistakes. I hope this clears up my intentions. Also see the VERY FIRST rule in OBR if you don't believe me that the book is full of mistakes. Hint, baseball is not played between 9 players on each team.

Will said...

OK,

I did not read all of the posts so maybe this has already been said - but the player needs control of both the ball and himself to have a catch. I do not think this player had control over himself during these "maneuvers" even if he had control of the ball. I like the call and think it is the right one to make - I would to have liked more emphasis given to the "no catch, no catch - he never had control" call.

Anonymous said...

Golden rule of officiating...see what you call and call what you see. Gibson didn't see the ball; shouldn't have made a call on the ball. In MLB this is even worse because the 2B and 1B umps both have a view...

RichMSN said...

Golden rule? That's a joke. A line drive to the pitcher is the plate umpire's call and REQUIRES a call. Imagine what would've happened had no call been made AT ALL, which is what would've happened had Gibson done nothing.

Gibson did exactly what he was supposed to do. He let everyone know IMMEDIATELY how he ruled. It's not his fault the BR chose not to run after that.

Anonymous said...

One look at this in real time, from a straight- lined position would indicate this was a " no catch". Gibson did and excellent job on the call and handling Tracey. Shame on the B- R for not running out the play. You can't blame the umpires for this one!

MattAB said...

@Anon 7:48 "Right Matt, because you're supposed to run it out regardless of what you see or hear. We'll see how long until umpires get tired of the delay waiting for the batter and runners to come back.."

So, your sarcasm reveals either that you didn't watch the video, or that you didn't understand what you were watching when you said that. The problem with this assesment is that CarGo could NOT possibly have seen or heard anything that would lead him to believe that this was ruled a catch, because Greg Gibson did absolutely NOTHING to signal that this was being ruled anything other than a drop. Also, what "delay for the batter and runner to come back" could there have been on this play? It was a fair batted ball. There is absolutely no way that CarGo running this out could "delay" the game. Further, that "delay" that you mention happens all the time in baseball, everytime a hitter fouls off a hit and run, or the batter runs out a close foul ball, or any other similiar scenario. It is part of the game. Regardless of whether this should have been ruled a catch or not, there is absolutely nothing that you can say to defend CarGo giving up on this play. Had he run it out, like every little leaguer in the world is taught to do, he would have been safe at first, there would have been one out on the play from the force at second, and there would have been no argument necessary.

DR73 said...

@Anon 8:17

I never said that that wasn't one of Jimmy's 246 problems (or is it 244? I can never remember). I just asked you to cite your claim. I knew exactly what you were going to say (It takes an Academy alum to know one). Unfortunately though, not all of Jim's problems have been implemented into official interpretations, which is still the challenge I make to you.... What says the PBUC manual (Or even the MLB manual if you have one) on the issue?

Anonymous said...

Apply what constitutes a catch to 2 similar cases. Case 1: R1 with no outs. Batter drops a bunt down fielded by F3 who makes an underhand toss to F1 covering. The "force" play is made in time at 1B but F1 gets tangled up with BR and falls to the ground without transferring the ball to his throwing hand. He takes 3 or 4 stumbling steps and them falls to the ground, bracing his fall with his outstretched hands. On impact, the ball comes out if the glove.
Case 2: 0 outs F3 comes charging in for a bunt. Batter pops it up over F3. F1 sprints off the mound to make a great "catch" below his knees. He is stumbling but runs towards first to double off R1. He trips over the bag after he gets there in time. But, like Case 1 the ball comes out as he hits the ground.

How would you rule?

Jon Terry said...

I don't think I've ever seen Gibby so calm during an ejection. Wonder if he had taken note of the Davidson suspension?

Right or wrong, Gibson's mechanics are dead on. He made a definitive call and stuck to it. With all those histrionics, I sincerely doubt that Tracy actually asked for a conference. And yes, Gonzalez should have run.

Jon Terry said...

And just to put it out there, Bob Davidson's crew called a ballk in Atlanta Friday night. But not Bob, cause he was on vacation all week. David Rackley in his spot for the first series, Chris Conroy for the second.

Anonymous said...

@Jon Terry- Davidson actually worked on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. Not sure where he was on Tuesday or the weekend. Also, the balk was called By Dan Bellino from first base. Looked like a correct call to me.

DR73 said...

@Anon 1:13
Case one: obviously no out as he didn't hold the ball long enough to prove firm and secure possession while tagging 1st base.

Case two: One out on the catch but no double play. He held the ball long enough after the catch to meet both criterion and his responsibilities to the initial catch ended with the intervening play (Tag of 1st).

We're arguing the same rule interpretation, I just don't agree with the rationale. Basically, I dont see a problem in how it's worded. Especially seeing as they just revised it for 2012. I think it means what it says. Now, the fact that Section 2.00 TAG doesn't mention voluntary release is a problem. As when a fielder drops the ball after the transfer on a double play, the rules call the runner safe as the fielder did not "hold the ball long enough to prove firm and secure posession" which is all Section 2.00 TAG calls for.

Anonymous said...

@DR73 from Anon 1:13.

Very interesting. In constructing the cases, I had an out in Case 1 (control needed for a tag) and safe / safe on Case 2 which needed control and voluntary release to constitute a catch of a BATTED BALL. Please recall the play made by the Atlanta left fielder about a decade ago where he caught the ball in fair territory as he crossed the foul line and ran 3 or 4 strides to the railing. When he braced himself the ball came out of his glove and into the stands for a rule-book double since there was no voluntary release.

Anonymous said...

I saw on the YES Network that Matt Diaz go tossed but it is not in the box score

Anonymous said...

Yup, Alfonso Marquez had indeed ejected matt Diaz for arguing balls and strikes.

Jeremy Dircks 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.

Per Curiam Opinion:
At issue in 065: Greg Gibson (3) is the Quality of Correctness. The Original Ruling was an "Incorrect" Quality of Correctness by Gil. Gibson had made the ruling of a no catch by Downs.

The issue at hand here is whether the ruling of no catch was correct or not, and specifically the issue of voluntary and intentional release.

The relevant rule at hand is Rule 2.00 [Catch]:
"A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; providing he does not use his cap, protector, pocket or any other part of his uniform in getting possession. It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball. It is not a catch if a fielder touches a fly ball which then hits a member of the offensive team or an umpire and then is caught by another defensive player. In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that he has complete control of the ball and that his release of the ball is voluntary and intentional. If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught." (Italics added for emphasis)

The Appeals Board has determined that the release of the ball was both voluntary and intentional. Furthermore, the Board determined that it was determined the ball was lost during the transfer activity, which was considered to be made during the act of throwing the ball immediately after the ball was caught by Downs. Because there was voluntary and intentional release of the ball, and the ball was lost on the transfer activity, the Board has determined that a catch and air out should have been ruled.

The Board also determined that this was correctly Gibson's call to make, as it was the activity directly in front of him, while the three other umpires are behind the pitcher. Plays made by the battery are typically that of a call that should be made by the plate umpire. The Board indeed recognizes the difficulty of the call made in real time and the angle Gibson had, however this has no such bearing on the Quality of Correctness.

Tmac wrote concurring:
"It appears conclusive that we have secure possession and voluntary release on this play. And after deciding more importantly that we have completed the momentum of the catch, we have an out. It's quick, but the pitcher catches the ball, and in his haste to garner a double play he loses the baseball. Why would Downs try to quickly throw to first if he had not caught the ball? He's quick enough to see the no catch signal, that he recoups and throws to 2nd. We must invoke common sense here. In summary, my opinion is this is a catch and an out."

Therefore, the Board affirms the Original Ruling.

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

Quality of Correctness has been affirmed, 6-0.

Will said...

I see what you are saying but I disagree. I feel you have "zoomed in" on his glove and ignored the fact that his body is doing some really weird - totally out of balance maneuvers. A person who is in the process of doing a backward cartwheel does not voluntarily release the ball. His hands may have - on autopilot - come together at the glove but it was not an intentional maneuver - it was an instinct that quickly changed when he realized he was about to bail...
Ultimately, we are both trying to be mind readers and my take differs from yours. The point I would make is that
"It is not a catch, however, if simultaneously or immediately following his contact with the ball, he collides with a player, or with a wall, or if he falls down, and as a result of such collision or falling, drops the ball"
he was falling down and the ball came loose.

Anonymous said...

Does 4 or 5 running strides taken before an outfielder collides with a wall after an apparent "catch" constitute "simultaneous or immediately after" making contact with the ball??

Big Marc said...

Anon6:27,

To answer your question, yes.

@Will,

I totally agree, that was my point in my previous post.
However, the statement from the B.O.A. is clear and consistent.
My common sense tells me that on a normal transfer situation, the hand goes into the glove. On this play, the ball was dropped into the open hand. I think if the drop was on purpose, he better damm well complete the transfer, and catch and throw the ball cleanly to prove to me, Yes indeed the entire action was on purpose. To me he failed on the easiest portion of the play. The catch was hard. To drop in the open hand was not easy. And now after he performs 2 hard tasks, and when he now has the most control of the ball, he cannot hold onto the ball, after it clearly was in the open hand.

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