Monday, July 30, 2012

Rule 5.10: Are Umpires Calling "Time" to Argue?

An umpire may call "Time" for a variety of reasons, but—to argue a call?

Rule 5.10 specifies that an umpire may call "Time," thereby causing the ball to become dead, when:
(a) weather or darkness makes further play impossible (e.g., a dust storm or lightning strike);
(b) light failure (e.g., stadium power outage);
(c) a player or umpire is incapacitated; however, "Time" is withheld while the ball is live;
(d) a manager or coach requests "Time" for a substitution or a player conference (e.g., a mound visit);
(e) an umpire wishes to examine the ball or equipment or consult with a manager, player or other umpires;
(f) a fielder falls out of play after catching a fly ball;
(g) an umpire orders any person removed from the playing field (e.g., an ejection)
(h) Except for light failure & incapacitation during a play in which a player is entitled to a base, umpires shall not call "Time" while a play is in progress.

File: Laz Diaz calls "Time" / Scott Hoehm/Getty Images NA
Yet on Sunday, it appears Rule 5.10(e) made an odd appearance after a failed putout attempt at first base on a bases loaded squeeze bunt, when Nationals first baseman Steve Lombardozzi decided to argue 1B Umpire Tim Welke's safe (pulled foot) call, all while Brewers baserunner R2 Cody Ransom was attempting to score from second base.

Initially kept alive as Ransom crossed home plate, HP Umpire Mike Estabrook gestured "Time," sending Ransom back to third base while Welke entertained Lombardozzi and manager Davey Johnson's argument. Because Welke immediately engaged Lombardozzi while play appeared to have been alive, he inadvertently invoked Rule 5.10(e), which states that time is out and the ball is dead when an umpire wishes to consult with a [player], which is essentially what Welke did, suggesting time was out at this point. However, when Ransom returned to third base, he argued with 3B Umpire Laz Diaz. Replays indicate Diaz had granted "Time" to third baseman Ryan Zimmerman while Ransom was still near third base.

Ransom scored on the very next play, though original R1—Aramis Ramirez—was stranded at second base to end the inning, a significant play in a game the Nationals won 11-10 in 11 innings.

Though not to such an extent, arguments with umpires have prematurely killed plays before.

In June, Tim McClelland ejected Yorvit Torrealba for histrionic gestures following a safe call on a play at home plate while the ball was still live. This invocation of Rule 5.10(g) caused the ball to become dead and forced Angels baserunners to return to bases occupied at the time of the ejection.

Fortunately, this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. That same day, 2B Umpire Ted Barrett and 2B Umpire Marvin Hudson both kept a play alive while Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus argued that a batted ball hit a baserunner.

In 2010, Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett argued a call at first base while a baserunner attempted to score, resulting in a Red Sox run. 1B Umpire Brian Runge correctly kept the play alive and did not engage Burnett while the bases were being run.

Wrap: Nationals at Brewers, 7/29/12
Video: Welke-Lombardozzi dispute negates Brewers' chance at scoring two runs

UEFL Video: 3B Umpire Laz Diaz grants timeout while play is still alive


Anonymous said...

To be fair, if the correct call had been made at first base, the Brewers would have actually had one run fewer than they ended up getting.

It would have been the second out and Ransom would not have scored on the fly out.

UmpsRule said...

Lombardozzi got the bag with both feet. It looked like Roenicke was eventually satisfied with whatever explanation he got from Estabrook. Thanks for the explanation.

UmpsRule said...

To clarify, that thanks was intended for whoever wrote this post, not for Estabrook.

Anonymous said...

in those situations, doesn't the umpire still have to physically call time? (an umpire MAY call time when...). welke didn't call time when consulting with the player in this case...

Anonymous said...

Idiot umpires all around.

Double Down for Donuts said...

Officiating in all sports, but especially the NFL and MLB, has become dubiously suspect the past 2 seasons or so. I am glad instant replay will be expanded in baseball. Long time coming.

"Idiot umpires all around. " I suppose you are apt at recognizing members of your own ilk! How about offering something useful (or if not useful, at least NOT doltish).

UmpsRule said...

@ DDfD

The umpiring is fine. The problem is the fans, the players, the managers, and the media. Some people might not like that remark, but it's true. Being criticized, often without cause, is part of the job description of being an umpire (and really, that goes for any official). A lot of people seem to think the call should go their way every time and if it doesn't, obviously the umpire is wrong. I'm sure that some would argue that point, but it's true.

tmac said...

I'm sick of tim Welke missing calls

Anonymous said...

C'mon UmpsRule

I agree with the tacit point that umps get criticized unfairly and that "comes with the job." But saying the problem is everyone else might just be exposing your own blinders.

UmpsRule said...

Think about it. When you have people (i.e., the fans, players, managers, media) who expect other people (the umpires) to be perfect, if not better, then who is the problem really with? And if you want to say that those people really don't expect the umps to be perfect, then why is it that they are always complaining about missed calls? If the umps aren't perfect, the missed calls will happen. Complaining about it all the time only shows an unreasonable expectation.

Anonymous said...

Imagine this play in a post-season game. Umpires are influencing the outcomes of games. That is not the intent. Expand replay today.

Jim R. said...

Chuck Knoblauch Syndrome, maybe? (Yankees vs Indians, 1998 ALCS Game 2)

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know where I can find the video of Dia calling time?

Eric said...

The problem has become no one can deal with missed calls, because we know in 3 seconds after the play whether the call was right or wrong. I can for sure tell you when I'm watching ball games I am usually wrong more than the umpire when the replay is shown. I am continually impressed at the calls these guys make.

Every team in every sport focuses on the officiating way too much. Rather than trying to adapt to what the official is calling they'd rather bitch about it.

If the umpire has a tight zone, great, let your hitters use that to their advantage. Change your approach to the plate. "No, we'd rather bitch about it cause clearly if we do that the umpire will change his zone to one we like more"

That ref is letting a lot of obstruction go, great you know you can clutch and grab a bit...actually you know what, we'll just yell and scream at him.

There are obviously some good and bad umpires, as officials in all sports, but you have to be able to adapt to that official, and manage them. Don't try to work them as it usually has the opposite effect you want.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous - the photo in this article shows Diaz calling "TIME"...

Anonymous said...

The picture in this article shows Laz Diaz calling time in an entirely different game.

Gil Imber said...

The file photo above features Laz Diaz calling time out during a Brewers contest.

Click here for a UEFL Video showing the 7/29/12 call.

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