Sunday, October 21, 2012

Discussions: 2012 ALCS and NLCS

As the ALCS and NLCS get underway, we again open the umpire forum to discussion. Notes include home plate umpire performance according to pitch f/x and UEFL Rules 6-2-b-a (horizontal bound, "Kulpa Rule") and 6-2-b-b (vertical strike zone, "Miller Rule"). Plays include significant plays, if such plays occur. Listed below are home plate umpire probables for each game given MLB Championship Series rotational assignments.

The following games are final and include Pitch f/x-related umpiring statistics
- 10/13/12, DET@NYY, Gm 1: HP Umpire Jeff Kellogg: pfx (134/144 Balls, 70/80 Strikes = 204/224 = 91.1%)
- 10/14/12, DET@NYY, Gm 2: HP Umpire Rob Drake: pfx (87/90 Balls, 36/43 Strikes = 123/133 = 92.5%)
- 10/14/12, STL@SF, Gm 1: HP Umpire Gary Darling: pfx (96/100 Balls, 53/59 Strikes = 149/159 = 93.7%)
- 10/15/12, STL@SF, Gm 2: HP Umpire Chris Guccione: pfx (87/88 Balls, 47/54 Strikes = 134/142 = 94.4%)
- 10/16/12 NYY@DET, Gm 3: HP Umpire Sam Holbrook: pfx (97/104 Balls, 34/44 Strikes = 131/148 = <90%)
- 10/17/12 SF@STL, Gm 3: HP Umpire Bill Miller: pfx (85/87 Balls, 42/51 Strikes = 127/138 = 92.0%)
- 10/18/12 NYY@DET, Gm 4: HP Umpire Jeff Nelson: pfx (96/102 Balls, 49/57 Strikes = 145/159 = 91.2%)
- 10/18/12 SF@STL, Gm 4: HP Umpire Greg Gibson: pfx (102/105 Balls, 46/50 Strikes = 148/155 = 95.5%)
- 10/19/12 SF@STL, Gm 5: HP Umpire Ted Barrett: pfx (91/92 Balls, 50/60 Strikes = 141/152 = 92.8%)
- 10/21/12 STL@SF, Gm 6: HP Umpire Jerry Layne: pfx (86/89 Balls, 38/43 Strikes = 124/132 = 93.9%)
- 10/22/12 STL@SF, Gm 7: HP Umpire Gary Darling: pfx (118/122 Balls, 36/49 Strikes = 154/171 = 90.1%)

Notes & Plays (Video) — Green shade indicates a QOC of Correct / Red shade indicates a QOC of Incorrect
ALCS Game 1: Alex Rodriguez forces out Ibanez at second to end 1st inning (2B Umpire Sam Holbrook)
ALCS Game 1: Ichiro ruled safe on ground ball, infield single to Peralta (1B Umpire Rob Drake)
ALCS Game 1: Cano declared out 1-6-4 on bang-bang play at first base (1B Umpire Rob Drake)
ALCS Game 1: Jackson hits a liner ruled fair/no fan interference for a triple (Drake/RF Umpire Mike Winters)
ALCS Game 2: After rounding second, Infante called safe trying to return (2B Umpire Jeff Nelson)
NLCS Game 2: Holliday takes out Scutaro with hard slide, no interference (2B Umpire Greg Gibson)
NLCS Game 2: Attempting to avoid B1, Carpenter throws ball away, no interference (HP Umpire Guccione)
NLCS Game 2: Craig attempts to tag Blanco for double play, ruled no tag (1B Umpire Bill Miller)
NLCS Game 3: Blanco grounds out, Belt safe at second on beaten tag (2B Umpire Ted Barrett)
NLCS Game 4: Carpenter scores safely on Holliday single, dropped throw (HP Umpire Greg Gibson)
NLCS Game 5: Lance Lynn attempts pickoff of Gregor Blanco, ruled safe (1B Umpire Jerry Layne)
NLCS Game 5: Pablo Sandoval collides with Kozma on error, no obstruction (2B Umpire Gary Darling)
NLCS Game 7: Molina returns to third on Posey's pick attempt, ruled safe (3B Umpire Greg Gibson)

Abbreviations: ALCS = Tigers @ Yankees (on TBS) / NLCS = Cardinals @ Giants (on FOX). Gm = Game #
*Indicates if necessary

131 comments :

Anonymous said...

Doug Fister's second pitch was a strike. Here we go again...

Anonymous said...

No it wasn't, it was correctly called. This is why I don't like the TBS pitch tracker box. It's not especially precise due to its size, not built to scale and due to the proportionally incorrect size of the white dot that's supposed to represent a baseball, whose relative size varies depending on whether the normalized zone is stretched or squished, fans of both teams will think the complete opposite about the same exact pitch.

Umpires have been more consistent than pitchtrax for that reason and this is just one of many reasons why robots and computers will never call balls and strikes.

Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the TBS pitch tracker box. I'm using At Bat '12 on the iPad. It will be interesting to see the position of the pitch, then.

Anonymous said...

Boy, Jeff Kellogg gets a failing grade through inning one.

Russ said...

Sam Holbrook absolutely nailed a call at second base. And the announcers actually gave him credit and didn't once mention the IFF. Kudos to everyone on that.

Anonymous said...

Kellogg isn't doing well so far. He just balled a pitch down the middle, but Laird is doing a very poor job of framing pitches IMO. That makes it tough on the umpire.

Anonymous said...

Should have had postseason ejection #1 right there. You can't let Cano slam the helmet down like that right in front of you. Drake should have tossed him.

Anonymous said...

QOC would have been incorrect, he was safe by a frame (3 one-hundredths of a second). Impressed with Drake letting it slide. Afterwards, he does say something to Cano, probably that the helmet slam would have gotten him tossed in the regular season + equipment violation fine.

Anonymous said...

@anon 5:48 but also remember that umpires usually have a lot longer leashes in the postseason

Russ said...

Sam Holbrook probably would have thrown him out. He ejected John Farrell in 2008 during the ALCS and had way too short of a leash then IMO. Jeff Nelson might have tossed him too. Not surprised Drake didn't, this is only his second postseason assignment ever and he a lot more go this season that he would not have let go in the past.

Anonymous said...

pitch tracking for those who are good with stats

http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=13109#commentMessage

Anonymous said...

How can you misspell the name of one of the greatest baseball legends ever? TBS just had a graphic with the picture of "Willie Mayes"!

Unbelievable!

Anonymous said...

Tell TBS that spectator interference is not an automatic double.

Anonymous said...

I find it ironic that TBS, a southern TV network, is so biased towards the Yankees, a northern team. What would Robert E. Lee say if he were still here...

Russ said...

LOL, Sam Holbrook just called IFF.

Anonymous said...

There's the Infield Fly needle by Ernie!

Anonymous said...

@anon 6:47 - The pro-Yankee bias would be a lot worse if Fox was carrying this series. Joe Buck and Tim McIdiot absolutely love the Yankees.

Anonymous said...

Only if you are a Yankee can you scream at the umpire while throwing your arms up in the air then slam your helmet down and not get ejected. /sigh

SMJ said...

ALCS Umpiring Observations:

1. Drake had an AWESOME game at 1B!!! He nailed all of his wackers (Cano one could have went either way) and made a great call on an unbelievably difficult fair/foul. Btw, if this was a regualr season game, Drake dumps Cano in a second. Although some may not agree, I think he made the RIGHT decision to keep him in the game.

2. Holbrook nailed his wacker too although I'm not a big fan of his "Joe Brinkman" style routine out call... I thought he could have used a whacker mechanic but nevertheless, he got it right :)

3. Despite what the computers say, I think Kellogg did a fine job to open up the series. Game #1 & Game #7 always have a little more pressure and I think he was decent overall. I HATE that blue box... it is definitely off and would be a nightmare if they actually used that to call balls & strikes.

4. I love the selection of umipires for the ALCS - all 6 of the crew members are very solid!!!

5. Anyone notice the key that Jeff Nelson (3rd base umpire) had hanging on a string off his back pocket... like they normally carry a stop watch???? I wonder if that was the key to the batter's box ;) LMAO!

Looking forward to the NLCS Series. Don't know if they announced the selections but I would be SHOCKED if Ted Barrett is not on that crew. MY prediction is that Fonzie will get the WS this year too!

SMJ said...

By the way, forgot to mention the Clueless Broadcaster statement was the imphamis (sp?) "Tie goes to the runner" that was mentioned on one of Drake's wackers.... how do they guys get away with saying that stuff!!!

Anonymous said...

SMJ

People get away with saying that because umpires literally are the only ones that know tie does not go to the runner. fans, players, and managers all think the tie actually does go to the runner. Actually most umpires also think that so you cant really blame anyone.

Anonymous said...

So, for the guys who umpire and "know" you miss only 2 or 3 pitches per game, if that many, and occasionally think you did not miss a pitch at all, and have thought that way for years, think again. All the games being tracked here for their quality are being played out everywhere in baseball. Many umpires who work the "big, big games and are considered the best of the best wherever they work" score up to 96% like some have every now and then, but also below 90% many of the times, just like some have done on here. If pitch/fx where used everywhere, it would prove the same numbers for everyone out there. So when umpires want to get on their high horse for these games or any game, just remember pitch/fx would show the same results for any group of playoff umpires based on merit.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 6:23AM:

The problem with that line of thinking is this:

I count the pitches I know I missed and I've said a few times I've only missed a couple of pitches. But quite frankly, I don't care what pfx would've said -- there are pitches I know are a couple of inches outside, etc. that I call strikes anyway and I know there are pitches that a catcher absolutely butchers that I'm not calling a strike unless it's a cockshot.

Until I'm evaluated on such a system, I couldn't possibly care if that system would evaluate me as correct or not.

SMJ said...

Guys,

Regardless of the level you work (Professional or amatuer), its all about strike zone management. There are a lot of factors that determine WHY a pitch is ruled a ball or strike. Obviously, location is the main component, but the reality of calling a good game is not so black & white. Catcher's influence, score of the game, consistency of the pitching, WHO the player is, count on the batter, timing in the game, presence or style on the call... Right or wrong, these are all factors that can influence our decisions and/or how well we do back there. Pitch FX, Zone Evaluation, animated strike zone boxes are important tools used to judge accuracy & consistency but that is just part of the big picture. To me, it's not how many pitches you miss, but WHEN you miss them. I'll leave you with this "real life" example to illustrate my point(s)...

I had a game where I was "nails" for 8 innings - in fact, NOT ONCE did the either manager and even the pitching coaches ever ask throughout the game "Where's that pitch". It was one of those RARE games when everything was going perfect (ie, pitchers were throwing strikes, catchers were receiving it and I was seeing the ball well)... until the 9th inning.

The home team was winning 3-2 and the visiting team at bat with 2 outs, 2 strikes and a runner @ 1st base. I ball a 2-2 perfect knee pitch on the outside corner (should have ended the inning). Instead the next pitch is hit a mile over the left field fence which made the score 4-3 and completely changed the entire game. In the bottom of the ninth, similar situation except this time I called K3 on a shin burner to end the game. Those may have been the only 2 pitches I missed that game (my Pitch F/X percentage was probably a 98%) but I never felt worse about a plate job in my life.

Anonymous said...

Tie does go to the runner at 1B and forced bases in OBR. They actually changed the rule wording a few years back and this site has a blog about it.

Gil Imber said...

Rules 6.05(j), 7.01 and 7.08(e): Tie Goes to the Runner

As for Pitch f/x and the numbers above, I offer that information for two reasons. First, to see a representation of a plot called over the entire game and second, to allow you to make your own determination as to the reliability or veracity of such a system.

As discussed during the DS thread, the system is prone to calibration error, though I will only take action here where such error is extremely obvious on the umpire plot (e.g., a concentration of called strikes between -0.9 and -1.1 and called balls between +0.7 and +0.9). Keep in mind that calibration can change mid-game depending on stadium movement and other like factors, making such determination subject to oversight.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 5:23

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/numlocation.php?pitchSel=450729&game=gid_2012_10_13_detmlb_nyamlb_1/&batterX=5&innings=ynnyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3

How can you say that the second pitch was a ball and 'correctly called'?

Anonymous said...

And now Sanchez throws strike three to Nix on a full count and the umpire calls it a ball. Unbelievable.

Anonymous said...

Bad call at second base. Jesus Christ...

Anonymous said...

@3:26 PM, when Avila or any catcher doesn't expect the pitch in a location & furthermore cannot so much as get a glove on it, don't expect a strike call.

Anonymous said...

I expect a strike call when it's a strike and a ball call when it's a ball. Plain and simple. (Didn't take long for the apologists to come out.)

Anonymous said...

what happened on the play at 2B with Nelson?

Anonymous said...

How do you guys get the video links up there so fast? The blown call at second base with Infante on the Swisher pickoff type throw happened maybe two minutes ago and already there's video footage of it. Clearly out, called safe. I think umpire Nelson had a terrible angle with which to see the play, the tag was on the outside and he was completely blocked out on the inside. Still, it looks like he called Omar safe at second before really seeing the full play. Definite miss and extremely conclusive replay.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 3:38

Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/9PacN.png

Pitch #6.

Russ said...

Jeff Nelson has ejected Joe Girardi. It will be irrecusible but it was a blown call by Nelson.

wwjd said...

Girardi got ejected so that Cano or Texiera wouldn't ejected because both were hot

Spence1222 said...

Why in major league ball does the base umpire station himself at a 45 degree angle to the base. The Nelson call is a prime example, yes he was in position in terms of distance, but not when it comes to angle. Any experienced umpire will tell you that a greater distance away but with the proper angle will result in more correct calls.As Anon at 3:42 said the angle was totally incorrect. Nelson should have moved about 2 steps to his right, and he would have been at a 90 degree angle to the decision edge of the bag, and would have seen beyond the runners shoulder, to where that tag was applied in plenty of time on the chest.

Anonymous said...

So where are the Cuzzi haters now after the call at 2nd. No difference in a big ball game between that miss and the one down the line in 2009, except in 2009 it was only a DS. And this is one of the highest ranking guys on the staff.
Stuff happens and you have to move on.

Where is the guy who says nobody misses a big call on the Yankees because they are either homers or intimidated. Guess that just ended, huh.

What about that terrible right fielder who just missed the ball over near the wall for another out. That should have been caught and should be an error. Terrible playing, and worse than the call. Make a play and then pop off.

Gil Imber said...

Please see Post-Season Ejection 01: Jeff Nelson (6) for narrative of the Joe Girardi ejection.

Anonymous said...

Jeff Nelson is a great umpire, but he got caught sleeping here. Young umpires, this is why you never take a play on the move. It's more important to get angle than distance (he ended up too close anyway), but it's MOST important to be stopped.

Russ said...

Miller is at second base and Gibson at third. So those two should be flipped.

Anonymous said...

solid plate for drake, better than i thought.

Anonymous said...

A lot of people on this site like to give Darling a bad time (mostly for his performance as crew chief during the regular season) but he is an excellent umpire. Another good job behind the plate.

Anonymous said...

anon at 6:34

So, without pitch/fx to back him up, you would be saying he had a terrible plate job? That's just great.

Anonymous said...

No, I just thought Drake had a good plate, in my opinion, not based on pitch/fx.

Anonymous said...

Great... Guccione calls a strike on a sinker at the knees, Joe Buck and Tim McIdiot say Gooch got it wrong, they show a replay of FoxTrax that shows it WAS a strike and McCarver continues on with how the call is wrong. Hypocritical pieces of crap. Hate FOX.

Anonymous said...

He took the first play with ball coming to chest. After the runner rounded the bag and Can0 for 25 tried to tag him, Nelson couldn't bounce back quick enough. We've all been there if we're honest with ourselves.

Anonymous said...

Ditto

Anonymous said...

agree all the way about fox- joe buck just likes the sound of his own voice and McCarver just overanalyzes every situation- Gooch has had a great zone so far. I am really getting tired of the commentators ripping HP umpires. Ron Darling, John Smoltz on Kellogg, and these two goofballs making a fool of themselves with Guccione's zone. Love to see Buck behind home plate probably back away on a breaking ball.

SJR said...

I find it asinine that Buck would have scheduled two telecasts on the same day yesterday. What if the NFL game would have gone into OT? Would McCarver been in the booth by himself for the first couple of innings? I would have loved to see/hear that.

Russ said...

Yes, if Buck was running late McCarver would have started the game solo. That thought scares me like nothing else. He can barely say anything of use when someone is in the booth with him. I don't even want to imagine him working alone.

SMJ said...

I strongly disaree with the QOC on the Halliday slide @ 2B. Even at the MLB level (where interference on slides are rarely called), this is an illegal & DANGEROUS slide!!!! His slide was so late that no part of his body even touched the baseline between 1st & 2nd base. He basically jumped into Scutaro's left leg which was positioned on the far side of the bag. I am shocked Halliday has not gotten an earhole shot at his next at-bat(s). I think if Gibson's timing was a little slower, he could of called the out AND banged the interference for the DP. That kind of slide can end a player's career and we, as officials, can NOT let that happen... even at the big league level

Anonymous said...

They have no balls to make that interference call. Game not over let's see if they let Giants retataliate.

Anonymous said...

SMJ

I totally agree with you.

SJR said...

I thought the slide looked dirty in real time before they showed the replays. If this was the NFL, Halliday could expect to lose $50-$75k for that hit, but I doubt if anything will happen.

red said...

Wow, what a terrible call by bill miller at 1st. Missed both the tag and the fact that the runner was way out of the base path. Runner goes from almost on the infield grass to sliding several feet wide of first. I'm surprised matheny didn't get tossed on that one.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Bill Miller misses the call despite being stationary and in perfect position to see the tag.

Anonymous said...

Of course, Joe Buck and Tim McIdiot think the runner was out of the baseline, which he clearly wasn't.

Anonymous said...

clear tag...and looked like bill had a straight-line, stationary view of the tag from the camera angle behind him...the only one who could have seen it well wasn't gibson, but more likely guccione or barrett, but he's pretty far away

Burrdawg said...

I thought Roy Halliday pitched for the Phillies? And why would a pitcher be sliding into second base like that anyway? Now if you are referring to when Matt Holliday slid and easily contacted second base as required, so be it. Eat it and get out of the way if you don't want to get run over. That's the point.

Anonymous said...

I think they meant Holliday. Btw, that was not a slide - it looked more like a roll block

Anonymous said...

Gil - please consider changing the color on that slide play from green to RED

Anonymous said...

Having watched it several times now I think Holliday planted his foot well in front of the bag to slide and it stuck in the obviously very wet infield. His ankle rolls over and up resulting in not a slide but a bounce / roll. Was it dangerous yes, was it intentional to cause harm I doubt it. Was it avoidable I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

Holliday's cleat got stuck, it was not a case of intentional interference. You can see this at 0:36 on the replay and you see the mark well in front of the base. It was a good no-call by Gibson, unless you're a Giants fan of course...

Russ said...

Guccione continues to impress me with his plate work. I think it is safe to say, he is a REALLY good Umpire and it was worth the wait for him. interesting that Gooch and Drake, 2 guys who had to wait a long time before becoming full time have been rewarded with an LCS in their 3rd and 4th
year .

This is why it is good to see what these guys have. It may be tough on them, but we can clearly see the hard work paid off. I much prefer this to rushing a guy like Dan Bellino which continues to look like a huge mistake. Despite what others say, I think he is a very average Umpire at best and certainly did not deserve a playoff spot. They should have waited another year before hiring him, but oh well. This is why I would also prefer to hire someone like Estabrook or Muchlinski for one of the openings. They have both put in many years now and would are basically full time without the actual contract. Muchlinski has been in Triple A since 2002 for pete's sake. I think he is ready.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell a non umpire anon what the applicable rule is on the Holliday slide? I know it looks bad, and several comments say it should have been ruled interference, but what does the rule say? On what is the ump supposed to focus in exercising his discretion? Any help would be appreciated.

Dan said...

Doesn't the rule say something about the runner being able to reasonably touch whatever base he's sliding into? Looked like Holliday was able to do that. It was a tough, hard slide, the kind you don't see much in the game anymore. But I don't think it was dirty or illegal. You have to do what you have to do, within the rules, to break up a double play, and that's what he did, in my opinion.

Gil Imber said...

In short, Gibson's call (no-call) was correct. For more information as to why, click here to read of Rule 6.05(m) and the case of intentional interference in an attempt to break up a double play.

Anonymous said...

Why are they getting help all the time at first base or even third base but never 2nd and home. Look at the first base umpire staring right at Nelson's play at 2nd base the other night. Why did they not have a conference to ask what the 1st base umpire had, even if the 1st base umpire had a safe call.
There was one play last year where the 2nd base umpire helped make a swipe tag call at 3rd base or maybe one where the runner over slid 3rd base and they had a conference and the 2nd base umpire saw the play and the out and they got it right.

Why conferences at 1st and 3rd but not 2nd and home on slides and tag plays. These bases should not be immune to help, like they are, even if calls are not overturned.

Of course in this play, if the player was tagged even if not out of base line, the help did not work like it is suppose to, no different then the old way with no help as has happened several times. The help missed also.

Anonymous said...

Well at least Jeff Nelson got to sing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch... Great job TBS

wwjd said...

Jezz 88.5 % for Holbrook not that good

Brett said...

I'm going to respond to separate comments.

Spence - At the MLB level and even upper level college baseball, the supervisors want the umpire to be close to the play. This is directly opposite of how we learn to umpire in the 2-man system. You sacrifice distance for angle and you generally get good looks at most plays. With all the cameras, higher ups think that getting closer to the call will sell it in the eyes of the managers, coaches, players, and fans. Me personally, I'd rather get a good angle as compared to distance and get the call right.

Red - The runner is not required to run in the base path. The runner sets his own baseline from his chest directly to the base in which he is returning or advancing to when a tag attempt is being made. Seeing that there was actually a tag on the play, it would be impossible for the runner to be out of the baseline unless he left his uniform where the tag attempt was or cloned himself. The problem here is that Miller cannot see the tag on the back as he is looking at the front of the shoulder straight-lined. he needs to take a read step and look around the tag. could have reset as the throw pulled Craig into the grass. Just one of those situations where we don't trust our instincts and the play dictate our position.

Russ said...

Can someone remind me why the MLB is so obsessed with Holbrook? This is not a good plate performance at all and every time I watch him he is pretty underwelming, consider all the good assignments he gets. It's not that he's a terrible umpire or anything, but I just don't see him as a top tier guy like the MLB does. His attitude is not very good either and seems to have gotten a lot worse since being on Joe West's crew. Like I said earlier, he is a good Umpire but I don't think he is a great Umpire.

Anonymous said...

Another game lost on player error. Its nice when there is a real won/lost game, but that seems the exception rather than the rule in playoffs so far. Very few games with, no player errors, considering this is the best they got. Shameful.

tmac said...

@ Russ

I like Sam BUT Randy Marsh Loves him.

Anonymous said...

Bottom of the 3rd, the umpires screwed up the base award when the pickoff attempt went out of play. Replay clearly shows Cain stepped off, so the runner should have been awarded third!

Anonymous said...

It became moot due to the HR, but the NLCS crew messed up the base award -- and nobody on the Cards caught it.

SMJ said...

Close enough to a jump turn for me - especially in LIVE speed. I think you're over analyzing it even though you may be "technically" correct. Let me put it to you this way...

Option #1: Award the runner second (pretty much what everyone is expecting) and continue the game with no further incident.

Option #2: Be a "hero", pull a 2 base award out of your a$$, point the runner, who has already stopped at second, over to third, try explaining to an irate manager that the pitcher became an infielder blah, blah, blah, huddle up with the rest of your crew who, like everyone else, is wondering what the hell you just called, and then watch yourself on the highlights 1000 times over the next day or so trying to defend a call that only you and maybe a few other internet umpires about how great of a call it was.

No thanks, I'll take option #1 Yeah, go ahead, call me a wuss and tell me I have no balls...I'd rather take a little crap from a couple of people than get dragged through the mud by everyone else in the world. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, then call it a duck.

red said...

Brett -- Yes, I know the difference between the base path and the baseline the runner takes. My point was that his baseline started at pretty much the infield grass (looks about 6" at 0:10 in the video), and deviated so wide from that to avoid the tag that he slid past the outfield side of first base missing it with his outstretch arm. This, to me, is a good way to judge that he deviated from his baseline more than 3ft, and I think he should have been called out for it.

I also accept that this is unlikely to be called unless it's grossly deviant, but it compounds with the missed tag to make it an egregiously bad call. At least it was in a 5-1 game and didn't really affect the income.

Anonymous said...

I guess the ALCS just loses its off-day/travel day with the rainout. Shouldn't matter.

Anonymous said...

SMJ said:
"No thanks, I'll take option #1 Yeah, go ahead, call me a wuss and tell me I have no balls...I'd rather take a little crap from a couple of people than get dragged through the mud by everyone else in the world. If it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, then call it a duck."

No, you just have no integrity and take the path of least resistance, meanwhile making it harder for other umpires in the future who call this play correctly and then take a whole bunch of sh*t for it. If you don't want people to be mad at you, you're probably in the wrong line of work.

-Zac

Brett said...

I side with SMJ on the base award. I watched it several times and I believe that this is the classic jump spin with a jab step backward. I think he picked his front leg up and moved to first before he disengaged which means he is still a pitcher and not an IFer for the purpose of the base award. It was not obvious as no one argued the award. Had it been obvious, Matheny would have been out to argue especially with his background as a catcher.

Zac, I do not think he cares much about people being mad him. Our job is to enforce the rules and not insert ourselves into games. The chicken/ duck test is sometimes the best test for situations. It often tells us more truth than we glean on our own. If you are worried about what you are going to take for calling a play like you see it, maybe you are in the wrong line of work. Just remember that when you point at someone, you have 3 fingers pointing back at you.

tmac said...

I don't need to see the numbers to know how good Jeff Nelson was... Kudos!!

Anonymous said...

Jeff looked excellent !!!

Anonymous said...

I really hope he is in the running for one of the potential CC positions !!!! If Dale Scott was ready at his age and tenure... Jeff is definitely ready .

Anonymous said...

Just love FOX Sports' umpire butt-cam where you can't see anything that's happening during the game... #saidnooneever

SMJ said...

ZAC wrote: "No, you just have no integrity and take the path of least resistance, meanwhile making it harder for other umpires in the future who call this play correctly and then take a whole bunch of sh*t for it. If you don't want people to be mad at you, you're probably in the wrong line of work"

I forgot to mention the "integrity card" - I knew someone would call me out on that too. With all due respect, I work baseball at the NCAA D-I Post Season level and have pro ball experience as well - I didn't get to these levels by not having intergrity or looking for the easy way out. I'm not trying to big league you, just sharing some valuable insight I've learned over time. Believe me, at one time in my career, I thought like you but our job is tough enough and we have to deal with a lot of crap... I've learned to pick my battles out there. Just my 2 cents - I know it's not worth much ;)

Anonymous said...

Officiating is about picking battles, SMJ is right - the rules might be the rules, but there IS a heck of a lot of political crap that goes on, even within the game. You have to manage coaches and players and like it or not, "hero calls" like awarding two bases because he technically disengaged when the expected call is one base might cause problems where they otherwise would not have existed and if you end up dumping a coach over it, then yes, the call might have been correct, but your game management rating WILL suffer as evaluators and supervisors might just think, "why didn't you just make the expected call?"

SMJ is right, at the more competitive levels like that, game management is huge and play calling drops down because everyone can call games. Not everyone can MANAGE them.

tmac said...

this isn't my fight between sjr and zac but my 2 cents:

1st off get each other's e mails.. you two might be in love :)

2nd college ball is much different.... people can not and do not eject in order to keep moving up... Comparing how you umpire at the college level to a mlb game is like comparing ice creme to horse manure!

Anonymous said...

Props to Greg Gibson on the play at the plate for waiting until R2 went back to touch home before signaling him safe. He's learned from his Padres/Dodgers 9th inning experience LOL. Though I'm not sure how wise it was for Gibson to point at the loose ball Sanchez was looking for during a live ball with B1 still running the bases.

SMJ said...

One last point about "taking the path of least resistance"

If you scroll up to my comment RE: the Greg Gibson no call on the interference, I immediately posted shortly after the play happend that he should have called interference on that play...even at the MLB level. Maybe Gibson took the path of least resistance (although actually, I think it was a case of fast timing on his part). Regardless, those are the type of calls that you stand up for what's right and make the "ballsy" call because you know its the right thing to do.

The Cain spin move/disengage is NOT really the same type of call that I'm going to go out on a limb and stick my neck out there. That, in my opinion, does not mean I don't have integrity or looking for the easy way out. It just means that experience has taught me when I should interject myself into the game and when to lay low and let the game play itself out.

Now, I leave the dead horse alone ;)

The Plumber said...

Anybody else think that Gibby was just about to pull another Munson and call the guy OUT when the ball scooted by to the backstop??

Looked to me like he was about to pull the trigger.

Anonymous said...

Yup - right with you on that one. Why the BIG safe call too??? On top of that, Mr. "Master of the Obvious" then, EMPHATICALLY points to the ball that is sitting on the grass about 10ft behind home plate.

Did anyone notice him clearing the bat early in the game... he frickin' "harpooned" it to the back stop. Don't mean to hate on the guy, but I think he has "short man's complex".

And to pile on... he works the "taint" (some stance in between the box and scissors) and sets up almost as low as the catcher??? :o

Was he one of those that came up in 1999 after the mass resignations? He's not as bad a CB, but not too far behind either

Russ said...

Yes, Gibson did come from the 1999 resignations. Many good Umpires like Culbreth,Barrett,Everitt and O'Nora among others did. Gibson and Bucknor are not even comparable. Bucknor has improved over the last 4-5 years or so, but he is still in the lower echelon as far as I am concerned. Gibson on the other hand is one of the best Umpires in the league. I am not even a huge Gibson fan for a lot of the reasons you mentioned, but I am not going to deny the fact he is a damn good Umpire and has one of the most consistent and accurate strike zones in the league. The one thing I do not love about Gibson is he seems to rush safe-out calls and will almost always call he runner out whether he actually is or not. It did look like he was ready to call Carpenter out, but he stopped himself sooner than in LA. As far as his stance, who really cares? He is still one of the most accurate balls-strikes guys in the league so the stance works for him and that is all I care about.

SJR said...

You mean SMJ =x

Anonymous said...

...and Greg Gibson with the best plate job in the entire LCS, both leagues.

Russ said...

Remember how good he was in both of his playoff games last year. Around 96% both times. I think that validates my response to the anon poster that Gibson is good!

Gil Imber said...

Admin Note: With the ALCS complete, the UEFL Awards Ballot will be available shortly.

Anonymous said...

SMJ said:
"One last point about "taking the path of least resistance"

If you scroll up to my comment RE: the Greg Gibson no call on the interference, I immediately posted shortly after the play happend that he should have called interference on that play...even at the MLB level. Maybe Gibson took the path of least resistance (although actually, I think it was a case of fast timing on his part). Regardless, those are the type of calls that you stand up for what's right and make the "ballsy" call because you know its the right thing to do.

The Cain spin move/disengage is NOT really the same type of call that I'm going to go out on a limb and stick my neck out there. That, in my opinion, does not mean I don't have integrity or looking for the easy way out. It just means that experience has taught me when I should interject myself into the game and when to lay low and let the game play itself out.

Now, I leave the dead horse alone ;):

----------------------------------

First off, I will apologize for the integrity comment. I don't know you and I jumped to conclusions.

I actually agree with you on the Holliday slide. I didn't see it live, but watching the replay I think it is a cross-body block and should have been called INT.

I just don't think you can split hairs between that play and the Cain base award play. Where do we draw the line here? Some things we leave alone and some we make the "ballsy" call on. I'm not arguing, I honestly don't know how we decide what we'll let go and what we won't.

In my opinion, this gets umpires in hot water at times. They let certain things go for the sake of "game management", then they step up and make a big call that's not expected and take all kinds of crap for it.

I disagree also about interjecting ourselves into the game. As long as we make calls supported by the rules and get plays right, it shouldn't matter if we are interjecting ourselves. It seems that the "interjecting" line is used by announcers/fans/coaches who don't like when calls go against their team, whether they're right or not.

-Zac


Anonymous said...

Oh, I forgot this part....

On the Cain play, I think the umpires just thought it was a jab step or jump turn when they saw it in real time. I think at least some MLB umpires would have a disengagement on the play if they saw a replay and/or a slow motion shot. I don't think they were purposefully taking the "path of least resistance", I think their judgment was just different than some of the rest of us.

-Zac

tmac said...

I'm very intersted to see Ted Barrett's performance tonight... He seemed to struggle last year in the post season but i've always thought him to be one of the very best!

SMJ said...

No worries Zac and appreciate your reply back.

I'm glad we agree on the Holliday slide and I understand your point RE: the Cain pickoff move - especially when you look at the replay in slow motion a few times. Unfortunately, we don't have that luxury on the field so we are forced to make snap decisions from one angle at real time speed. That being said, it is my opinion (based on experience) that borderline pickoff moves (seen in real time) should probably err on the side of NOT calling a balk...although Angel, West or Davidson may disagree with me on that ;) lol.

You are also right RE: where do we draw the line because NOT calling certain infractions can make it difficult on the next crew that comes into town. With that said, this is one of those intanglables that separate the good from the great umpires... similar to basketball referees where their ability to judge what to call and what not to call can decide how high they advance in their careers. I'm sure you've heard the old saying that "it's not about balls/strikes, fair/foul & safe/outs, it's how you handle situations"

The Holliday slide and the Cain pickoff are prime examples of these types of situations. Sometimes, there really is no wrong or right call and sometimes you can be right for making the incorrect call (depending on the situation) and vise-versa. Based on my experience, I feel that the MLB guys made the right call by NOT balking Cain despite replays that show they could have given a two base award and "technically" been correct. On the Holliday call, I disagree with Gibson's "no call" on the interference and feel that his quick timing caused him to not process the entire play and therefore, he was forced to stick with just the original out call.

Bottom line, the call is not as important as WHY one makes the call. I have stated my thoughts on these two plays but that doesn't make me right or wrong. Understanding the how and why they came to these conclusions is the most important thing when looking at the big picture. I could go on and on but at the end of the day, you have to decide what's best for you at the level you work at.

Anonymous said...

Jerry Layne: "I'm not always wrong, but when I am, I prefer to be shown as missing the call using a 300 frames-per-second camera. Stay husky, my umps."

Anonymous said...

Haha. Can't really blame Layne here. If it takes super slow mo replays on a really expensive camera to see it.... From a scale of Holbrook/Greinke to Welke/Helton, Jerry looks ok.

Anonymous said...

Oh, goodie. Now for Game 6 with Jerry Layne, who missed 17 pitches during the 2011 World Series, 14 in favor of the, you guessed it, St. Louis Cardinals.

Anonymous said...

excellent consistent game for barrett- i'd say even appeared better than the numbers suggest

SJR said...

I have to give props to all of the LCS plate umpires - there's only been one game below 90%. Yes, Holbrook was below 90%, but if he had gotten 3 more pitches correct, he would have had 90% as well (90.5% to be precise).

Anonymous said...

Don Denkinger retired after 1998 season so I thought Culbreth or Barrett replaced him

Anonymous said...

Gil, can you explain how the video showing the contact at second base is NOT obstruction? He did not have the ball, and was not in the act of fielding the ball. He impeded the progress of the runner. Seems like obstruction to me.

Gil Imber said...

From 2.00 - OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner.

F6 was ruled not have impeded R1's progress as R1 continued toward third base; as F6 was attempting to legally occupy a position allotted to by rule and the contact appeared to occur in one motion with this attempted occupation, it may be ruled incidental, given the outcome.

Anonymous said...

Gil, the ball was in the outfield when contact occurred at the base. The fielder is not in a legally occupied position. The play is over and the fielder unfortunately has to disappear. It's very similar to a 3rd baseman diving for a batted ball and after the ball goes past him the runner from second base must leap over the fielder. This is obstruction as well. It is not judgement. The fielder either has the ball or he doesn't.

The Plumber said...

I haven't even seen the play...but from experience I know that whenever somebody makes an argument for NO OBSTRUCTION, they're wrong 90% of the time.

Anonymous said...

There is no such consideration as "incidental" with obstruction. Ball is past him, its obstruction. Ballsy call but a correct one if you make it...

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that obstruction is written in such a way that if the umpire thinks contact doesn't impede the runner, he can waive it off as a no-call.

Anonymous said...

Is anybody beside myself left wanting even more breakdown of umpiring mistakes? Not an AL fan, so I didn't watch much of the ALCS, but I've watched every pitch of the NLDS and NLCS, and have felt like the Cardinals' hitters (Holliday in particular) seem to have more pitches off the plate called strikes than the Giants. I was hoping to find a breakdown of the umpiring accuracy with regard to each team (if not player), but haven't had luck with that. Using the pitch charts and accuract statistics on this page, I found that the umpiring discrepancy between the two teams is interesting:

Through the first 5 games of the series, 11 pitches in the strike zone have been called balls: 1 to Cardinal hitters and 10 to Giant hitters. Similarly, 36 pitches (conservatively) that were out of the strike zone were called strikes: 26 to Cardinal hitters, and 10 to Giant hitters. I'm not trying to argue that blown ball/strike calls are necessarily going to be the deciding factor, I just find it strange that 77% of all botched calls by the home plate umpire have gone in the Giants' favor.

So is this just a statistical anomoly, or is Buster Posey just amazingly more effective at framing the strike zone than Yadier Molina?

Anonymous said...

It could be an indication of how the catcher is catching/framing pitches if it's a constant tendency favoring one team or another, just as it could be an indication of a pitcher's breaking action if it's one starter/reliever or one game. Game 7 of the 2011 World Series, for instance, had Jerry Layne missing 14 of 17 calls 83% in favor of the Cardinals and against the Rangers. Mike Napoli and Yadier Molina were the two catchers, so you have Molina in a position where he is fine at receiving pitches, though this series, it does look like he is moving that glove after catching balls, and it is noticeable, meaning the umpire would be less inclined to give the pitch to a catcher who, by virtue of continuing to move his glove after receiving a pitch, indicates that he himself thinks the pitch was not a strike. Posey and Sanchez on the other hand tend to stick the glove more often than they move it, so they'll in turn get more calls.

Anonymous said...

Where is the Layne hater from above.

2 more errors. Can't the players play anymore? Guess you don't have to field to make the Big Leagues anymore. Just wait and hope the hitters get hot for one inning and roll with that. Not a lot of 300 hitters anyway. Just hoping that each player gets their one hit per game all in one inning. Pitiful fielding, just pitiful. Little League level fielding.

Anonymous said...

The umpire still must call obstruction by pointing then if he does not believe the runner would have successfully obtained the next base he would leave him where he is. You have to acknowledge the obstruction.

Anonymous said...

McCarver with infinite wisdom again, "On a third to first pickoff, on the step toward third base, the pitcher must step off the rubber. Otherwise, it might be a balk."

SJR said...

He's actually right (for once). But we won't have to worry about the third to first move next year because it'll be a balk.

tmac said...

Wow does Darling look awesome!! If he keeps this up it might be a 95%+!!!

Anonymous said...

Great call by Greg Gibson at third on the Buster Posey/Molina play.

Anonymous said...

Ball touched Pence's bat twice. I know it broke on the first tip, and no one in the world would have seen this but technically a foul ball on the second touch? The broken part was still sorta attached to the bat itself

tmac said...

@ anon 6:27

it actually hit the bat three times... could you imagine if there was replay and that call could be changed to foul ball?

tmac said...

but then again this would still be considered a fair ball as the ball was contacted in fair territory by a broken bat. It should be ruled foud if it was contacted in foul territory Good luck with that!!

The Plumber said...

"Pull the tarp!! Pull the tarp!!" says a bunch of posters on this site.

Am I right?

tmac said...

you just can't pull the tarp you risk a VERY long delay or worse finishing 2 outs tomorrow (today now) with no day off for world series.... it's a tough spot but if footing is ok at all you have to finish it really is a no brainer

Anonymous said...

@Tmac

I know the bat was breaking but seeing as most of the force was still coming from the initial swing I would say that the bat was still together..I'm sure there was some lace of the bat that was still connected. If Instant Replay was implemented I would say Foul Ball. What do you think?

tmac said...

@ anon 9:40

the official interpretation as i read and understand it is if the ball is in fair territory whien contacted it should be considered a fair ball. I'd need someone with the interpretation book to tell me if i'm missing something but have already got pretty solid confirmation on this being accurate!

That's my belief but welcome any dissenting opinion with sources!

Anonymous said...

"Same Anon"

The rule is actually if the ball hits a broken bat in fair territory, it's nothing yet (if it goes foul, it's a foul ball), but if it contacts the broken bat in foul territory, it's a foul ball.

tmac said...

yes anon mis worded on my part by fair ball i meant in play

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