Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ejection 102: Tom Hallion (2)

3B Umpire Tom Hallion ejected Boston Red Sox pitcher Josh Beckett for arguing a strike (bunt attempt/check swing) call in the top of the 10th inning of the Red Sox-Yankees game. With none out and one on, Red Sox batter Will Middlebrooks squared to bunt a 0-1 fastball from Yankees pitcher David Robertson. Replays indicate the ball contacted Middlebrook's hand as Middlebrooks himself struck the pitch, the call was correct.*^ At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 2-2. The Red Sox ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

This is Tom Hallion (20)'s second ejection of 2012.
Tom Hallion now has 3 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 1 Correct Call [Crewmate] = 3).
Crew Chief Tom Hallion now has 4 points in the UEFL's Crew division (3 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 4).
*This call is correct pursuant to UEFL Rule 6-2-b-6-a, which states, "Quality of Correctness is governed by the (in)correctness of the call made, not by the quality of reasoning given for such a call."
^Brian O'Nora is the calling umpire, Tom Hallion is the secondary umpire.
`After review, both QOC and Ejector Classification have been affirmed by the UEFL Appeals Board (4-1; 5-0).
*Historical Appeals Board decisions may be consulted via the UEFL Portal.*

UEFL Standings Update

This is the 102nd ejection of 2012.
This is the 41st player ejection of 2012.
This is Josh Beckett's second career ejection, and first since August 3, 2010 (Tim Welke; QOC = Correct).
This is Tom Hallion's first ejection since May 18th (Don Mattingly; QOC = Incorrect [Crewmate]).
This is the Boston Red Sox's sixth ejection of 2012, 1st in the AL East (BOS 6; TOR 4; NYY 3; TB, BAL 2).

Wrap: Red Sox at Yankees 7/29/12
Video: Valentine tossed arguing Middlebrooks hit-by-pitch vs. foul ball vs. attempted strike call
Related Post: Ejection 101: Brian O'Nora (1)


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

There's a bug in the video on MLB's end. Any chance we can get one of those UEFL videos posted for this ejection?

Scott Stevenson said...

Looks like they've fixed the video:

It will say "this video is no longer available", but if you look at the playlist right below the video, it will show a second of the video that seems to work correctly.

Anonymous said...

I'm slightly confused about this, are they saying that Middlebrooks was still trying to bunt the ball?

Cricket said...

First, since the MLB video is edited, how long did Valentine argue for?

Second...correct call. The pitcher's eye view discloses that the ball hits the batter as "he strikes at it."

Anonymous said...

If you're batting and are going to pull a bunt back, you have to show to me that the bunt is off, that you aren't simply doing an adjustment, that you're actually trying to avoid the ball. Middlebrooks does not show this and therefore, he is responsible for the contact that occurs.

James said...

This is what I don't like about MLBAM video editing sometimes. Here's what you don't see:

After O'Nora goes down, Hallion rushes in & picks up O'Nora's mask as the Yankees trainer attends to him. Next in is Chad Fairchild and finally Alfonso Marquez. Middlebrooks then shows all four umpires his wrist, saying he got hit and here is my mark. The umpires then confer... THEY DO HAVE A CONFERENCE... before Hallion and O'Nora explain to Valentine why it's not a hit by pitch. Valentine then starts yelling like crazy and finally, O'Nora dumps him.

Total time from play to ejection: 3 minutes, 1 second. Total time of actual argument up to time of ejection: 2 minutes, 10 seconds.

RP Burke said...

Replay shows (a) ball hit hand, not bat; (b) batter was pulling bat back as the ball hit him. The call, according to the newspaper, was that the ball hit the bat. Clearly wrong call. That said, after 32 years of officiating myself, I find every justification for tossing the player from the bench. But they messed up the call itself and I wonder if the umpires invoked an unwritten "when in question" rule. This isn't like other sports where you can have a "no call", as in baseball most times you have to call something.

cyclone14 said...

I think they got this wrong too...this is Fairichild's call (there is not debate as to whether or not he was hit- the question was offering at the pitch or not). O'Nora didn't make a call, so it goes to the 1B ump. And he was pulling back- he never made an attempt at the ball. Even if the bat was out over the plate when he was hit, there was no forward movement to indicate an attempt. So I challenge both EJs on account of the (1) caller for the ejection and (2) the QOC.

Anonymous said...

The replay from the 1st base dugout camera angle clearly shows the Middlebrooks was pulling the bat back at the time he was hit in the hand. This is most definitely an incorrect call.

mark38090 said...

I'm with anom @ 11:08pm. You have to show me more than that for me to say you were pulling bay back.

Anonymous said...

This play had alot of hair on it. First - did the ball hit the bat or the hand? Second - was he attempting to bunt the ball or was he pulling back? Unfortunately, since O'Nora got smoked on the play, he probably has no clue on either of the two questions. So now, you have 3 umpires that are about 100+ ft away that have to try and straighten this mess out... WITHOUT the aid of instant replay.

Ofcourse, everyone sitting on their lazy boy at home watching the slow motion replay knows that the ball hit the hand but unfortuantely, the 3 umpires seeing it in real time from afar, don't have this luxury and thus, have no clue on this particular aspect. With that said, watching this the first time LIVE from the CF camera angle (similar look that the 3 base umpires had), it appeared that the batter did one of those "self defense" type attempts where he leaves the bat out there (hoping that it makes contact with the ball) but then tries to pull back just as or after he gets hit by the pitch.

If I had to guess, the umps got together and probably told O'Nora "we cant help you on whether it hit the bat or the batter but from where we were standing out there, it looked as if the batter may have tried to bunt at it and if that's the case, then whether the pitch hit him or the bat is a moot point. So, lets just go with our first instinct and call it a bunt attempt/dead ball strike."

Now, after watching the replays a few times (from multiple angles), the "bunt attempt" is questionable as well but the umps don't have these viewing angles and thus, have to go by what they think they saw... not a good situation to be in especially in front of 40,000 screaming people on National TV. Perhaps, this is another reason why the game is too fast to call in real time and the aid of instant replay is needed. Personally, I don't think there is any human that could possibly make the correct call with 100% certainty - it's just happens too fast and overall, is too difficult the rule on in real time. Just my opinion on the play...

UmpsRule said...

Seems pretty weak on the part of Valentine and Beckett to be hollering on a play where the umpire gets drilled by the ball. Then again, consider the sources.

Anonymous said...

This was such an unconventional play that you can't really come down hard on anybody. You can't rip the umpires because O'Nora got taken out by the deflection. You also can't be critical of Valentine, because he was doing what he was supposed to do, especially given the situation in the game. Beckett needs to shut up, however.

The funny thing was how Middlebrooks followed with a single anyway, so none of it mattered in the end.

SPballsandstrikes said...

O'Nora seems to have pretty rotten luck behind the plate. A week or so ago he got taken down in a play at the plate by Ryan Zimmerman. He got a shot off the shin guard last night. A year or two ago he got a shot off the shin guard again and went down,and the infamous gash on head from a few years ago. He doesn't have Kerwin Danley luck,but his isn't much better.

Back to the play.From the view Fairchild was looking,it may not have been a definite call that he was pulling back,as it was a little bit hard to tell,in my opinion. I wish I hadn't of gone to bed so I could have seen it in real time instead of MLB's edited version.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:41am makes some good points because no matter what call the umpires came up with, they probably were going to have to run someone. It's easy for us amateur umpires to use the old logic - "since the defense created this whole mess by throwing a bad pitch, then the benefit of the doubt should go to the offensive team and they should have just awarded 1st base". Well that may be true for the 99% of the umpires on this board that don't work televised games that have 5 different camera angles of every play. Because of this technolgy, MLB umpires can no longer use this kind of "reasoning" because replay, as well as the vast majority of the people watching the games, don't understand this type of thinking (ie, adv/disadv, short end of the stick rationale). Now a days, everyone scrutinizes instant replay and focus in on the one angle that ends up showing the correct call and at the end of the day, that's seems to be the only thing that matters to the viewing public. This, again, is another reason that instant replay (right or wrong) will continue and probably should be expanded in baseball.

MattAB said...

I can't see how this is anything other than a correct call. Middlebrooks doesn't pull the bat back until the ball hits his hand, and he also moves the bat in a downward motion, attempting to strike at the ball. @cyclone14, for me at least, when I see bunt, I'm looking to see if the bat goes up or down towards the ball. If the hitter moves the bat towards the ball that's an offer all the way. Also, because the count was 0-1, it is more or less a moot point as to whether the ball hit his hand or the bat, as it is a strike either way. They nailed this call, perhaps with a lucky guess, but that doesn't really matter, as it was absolutely the correct call.

Anonymous said...


Double Down for Donuts said...

I am surprised none of the field umpires noticed that the bat was pulled back (nullifying the "striking at" part of the the concept) as the ball hit the unprotected hand. Not an easy call to get given the circumstances, but even as a Yankee fan I was surprised it went their way.

SJR said...

Inconclusive at best in my opinion so there's not going to be enough to overturn the original QoC. And also this was a lose-lose situation. If Middlebrooks had been awarded 1st, Girardi and then C.C. would have probably gotten tossed.

UmpsRule said...


C.C. Sabathia? I doubt that. He doesn't strike me as the argumentative type.

Anonymous said...

Middlebrooks was clearly trying to pull the bunt back and the fall hit him in the hand- was the final call that the ball hit the bat?

Gil Imber said...

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

Anonymous said...

Devin Mesoraco just got ejected by Chad Fairchild

chris said...

real hard to tell what the ball hit, hit hand or the bat. the other tough part is if he got the bat back in time,
i could make an argument either way,

Anonymous said...

The call was correct. Middlebrooks made no attempt to withdraw his bunt attempt until the ball was just about to hit him.

Anonymous said...

According to the Boston Globe, O'Nora's call was not that he attempted a bunt but yet the ball hit the bat which quite obviously did not happen. He heard the knick sound that the ball makes when it hits the bat. That sound doesn't mean anything! I have seen this call so many times when an umpire hears something but doesn't see it! You cannot assume that a sound like that hits the bat and doesn't hit Middlebrooks! So how can the call be correct when the umpire's call is not the same as what CCS says!!!

Gil Imber said...

After review, the Original Ruling has been affirmed in a 4-1; 5-0 decision by the UEFL Appeals Board. Four Appeals Board members voted to confirm Quality of Correctness while one voted to overturn it. Five Appeals Board members unanimously voted to confirm Ejector Classification.

Per Curiam Opinion:
The Board considers two separate variables in Ejection 102: Hallion (2), that of (1) Ejector Classification and that of (2) Quality of Correctness.

As it pertains to Ejector Classification, the Board unanimously affirms Brian O'Nora's status as the calling umpire and cites Ejection 027: Mike Muchlinski (1) as precedent: "The Official Baseball Rules does not impose comprehensive nor overt criteria for determining a framework for the check or half swing; this is simply a judgment call by the Home Plate Umpire, whose decision may be appealed to a base umpire if the original call is a ball."

Because the original call was not ball, this decision was not appealable and belongs to the Home Plate Umpire.

As it pertains to Quality of Correctness, the Board affirms O'Nora's call of a dead ball strike. Pursuant to UEFL Rule 6-2-b-6-a, "Quality of Correctness is governed by the (in)correctness of the call made, not by the quality of reasoning given for such a call." Because a "foul ball" and "swinging strike" call in this situation both result in a dead ball, strike two—the exact same outcome—note that for the purposes of this discussion, the two are lumped together as "dead ball strike." Therefore, the Board considers the check swing argument and rejects an incorrect QOC based on a foul ball call.

Concurring Opinion, tmac:
the 1st question is easy.... it is O'nora's call. Whoever is supposed to determine the call originally is the calling umpire.

the 2nd question is not so easy.. Remember what a bunt is and what a swing is.... An attempt at striking the ball as it passes through the strike zone pushing the bat forward before the ball is close to where it would need to be for you to contact the ball does NOT constitute an attempt. That being said in a sacrifice situation the batter will often attempt to deaden the ball. In deadening the ball a batter will often move his bat backwards as he attempts to contact the baseball. That is what I believe is happening here. Therefore I confirm the call and say the batter is atempting to bunt the ball.

Concurring Opinion, yawetag:
To me, the bat makes a motion downward in what I judge is an attempt to strike at the pitch.

Concurring Opinion, RichMSN:
I agree with Tim and Andrew. The bat doesn't have to move forward to attempt to hit the pitch -- likewise, it doesn't have to be pulled back to *not* attempt to hit the pitch.

Looking at the video he attempted to bunt it and only tried to stop the attempt (by pulling the bat back) as/after he was getting hit. Too little, too late.

Dissenting Opinion, in part, BillMueller:
I will take my place in the minority on this play. While I think this is O'Nora's call for the purposes of this league, I don't believe there has been a bunt attempt. After watching it a few times, I see the batter square to bunt and start to try back while being struck. I believe the motion that batter is making to square to bunt is being misconstrued as an attempt to bunt simply because the ball is thrown inside.

Therefore, the Board affirms the Original Ruling on both accords.

Confirmed: tmac, Albertaumpire, RichMSN, yawetag (both); BillMueller (Classification)
Upheld: None
Overturned: BillMueller (Quality of Correctness)
Deferred: None
Abstained: Gil & Jeremy (Posted Original Ruling)

Quality of Correctness has been affirmed, 4-1.
Ejector Classification has been affirmed, 5-0.

Anonymous said...

As a long time follower of this board, I can tell that none of you have been on the business end of a 95 MPH fastball that was running in on your hands - he tried to pull back or he would not have ended up on his back.

This is a completely umpire driven site - which is ok, just admit it

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