Saturday, March 17, 2012

UEFL Draft 2012: Secondary Umpires and Prop Predictions

Welcome to the 2012 UEFL Draft for Secondary Umpires. As per Rule 1, the Pre-Season (Spring Training) Draft has been established to distribute crew, primary and secondary umpires. Here's how the process works: Now that we've selected Primary Umpires, we shall select Secondary Umpires. During this round only, you have the option of participating in the Standard (non-live) or Live Secondary Draft.

Important: Several members have not yet submitted their Primary Umpires. If this describes you, please submit your Primary Umpires as soon as possible. Because of the private nature of the Standard Secondary draft this year, we are able to accommodate late Primary selection submitted prior to the Live Secondary draft. (Exception: Those RSVP'd for the Live Secondary Draft have the option of submitting their Primary Umpires during the Live Draft). Failure to submit umpires timely will result in the absence of an Umpire on that member's roster. If you have any questions about this, please e-mail the Office of the UEFL Commissioner. Please note that the Crew round is currently excepted from this rule, as the Crew deadline has been extended through April 1. If the Crew List is still not available at that time, the Crew deadline only will be extended again. If this is to occur, the UEFL will make an official announcement prior to April 1.

The Live Secondary Draft is scheduled for 2:00 PM Pacific Time (5:00 PM Eastern) on Sunday, April 1. This is a day off during the March Madness NCAA Basketball Tournament. If you plan to participate in the the Live Secondary Draft, please send an e-mail RSVP to the UEFL Commissioners. If you will not attend, be advised the non-live Standard Secondary round will run from March 17-30. Prop Predictions will be made concurrent with the Standard Secondary round, from March 17-30. As previously announced, since the Umpire Crew list is not yet available, the Crew round shall remain open through April 1.
SecondarySECTION 4. Prior to the start of the year's regular season, and after the primary umpires have been chosen, league members select two additional umpires.
a.     This round shall be conducted privately (Standard) or publicly (Live). Accordingly, two UEFL members may not choose the same permutation of two umpires, though individual selections may duplicate.  
b.     Please reference the UEFL Member Roster / Results for Secondary draft order. 
c.     Umpires classified as AAA call-ups are not eligible for draft in the Secondary round.
Please read on for important procedural information, for Prop Predictions information including the first round of Prop Predictions and for important injury information.

Notre Dame Lane Violation Proves Costly Against Xavier

Talk about déjà vu, not 24 hours after a lane violation against UNC-Asheville stunted a late-game upset attempt, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish have been burned by the same exact violation of this NCAA basketball rule.

Just as was the case during Asheville vs. Syracuse, the late game lane violation call during Xavier vs. Notre Dame was the Correct Call (CC). Combined with an intentional foul called against Notre Dame seconds later after a ND defender grabbed and yanked a Xavier player's jersey before and during an inbounds pass (another Correct Call (CC)), the 2.8 second mark of March Madness' second round Xavier-Notre Dame game was devastating for the Fighting Irish.

In the blink of an eye, Notre Dame squandered its chance to shoot bonus free throws and saw a workable 65-63 deficit turn into a 67-63 hole with Xavier in possession of the basketball.
Both calls were correct, though this fact did nothing to quell the ire of...the...Irish. [editor's note: Come on, really???]

Still, with Notre Dame's lane violation Friday and UNC-Asheville's violation on Thursday on very similar plays, we must wonder whether rules knowledge is really poor outside of the officiating community or whether nerves and the prospect of scoring a huge upset interfered with both teams' players from thinking rationally. At the very least, we know at least two referees were not deterred from making this very gutsy call at crucial moments in their respective ball games.

Regardless, here's NCAA Basketball Rule 9, Section 1, Article 2, Provision g.
Players not in a legal marked lane space shall remain behind the free- throw line extended and behind the three-point field-goal line until the ball strikes the ring, flange or backboard, or until the free throw ends
Keep on calling those rules as written, folks. It is an official's job to enforce the rules, not to rewrite or ignore them. Well done by our March Madness officials these past two days in achieving that goal.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pre-Season Ejection 002: D.J. Reyburn (1)

HP Umpire D.J. Reyburn ejected Mets Manager Terry Collins for arguing a batter's interference call in the top of the 8th inning of the Mets-Marlins game. With one out and none on, Mets batter Jordany Valdespin bunted a fastball from Marlins pitcher J.D. Martin to catcher Kyle Skipworth. As Skipworth was attempting to field the bunt, Reyburn called Valdespin out for interfering with Skipworth's attempt to play the fair ball. Video replay is unavailable, this ejection does not carry a Quality of Correctness. At the time of the ejection, the Marlins were leading, 3-1. The Marlins ultimately won the contest, 3-1.

This is D.J. Reyburn (70)'s first pre-season ejection of 2012.
No points are awarded for ejections during the Spring Training period (Phase i), as per Rules 2 and 4.

This is the 2nd Spring Training ejection of 2012.
This is the 2nd Manager ejection of the 2012 pre-season.

Wrap: Mets at Marlins, 3/15/12
Video: None

Reviewing the Officials' Calls at the end of No. 1 Syracuse vs. No. 16 UNC-Asheville

NCAA Basketball Referee Ed Corbett was thrown under the bus by Director of Officiating John Adams Thursday afternoon after a series of controversial calls and perceived missed calls went against underdog No. 16 UNC-Asheville, a team that had tried to defeat No. 1 Syracuse during the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament colloquially known as March Madness.

Throughout the UNC-Asheville vs. Syracuse contest, fans complained of several close calls they felt were gross misses. Let's go to the tape, it's time for a video analysis. The following three plays shall be discussed:
  1. Goaltend, Basket Interference or No-Call
  2. Lane Violation Against UNC-Asheville or No-Call
  3. Foul Against UNC-Asheville, Ball Awarded Out of Bounds to UNC-Asheville or Syracuse

Exclusive: Umpire John Hirschbeck to the Disabled List

According to a source, MLB umpire John Hirschbeck will miss the 2012 season—and potentially more—due to illness.

Hirschbeck was one of several umpires who suffered injury or illness and missed significant time during the 2011 season. After Hirschbeck worked first base during the Nationals-Padres game on June 12, he did not return to action until July 8's Pirates-Cubs contest. He also suffered through a few painful deflections while a plate umpire, once on April 12 and again on July 24. Prior to deflection, the second pitch had been clocked at 95 MPH.

While most full-time crew chiefs worked between 127 and 136 regular season games in 2011, Hirschbeck worked just 112 due to back pain. Only Tim Tschida (81 games) worked fewer.

Hirschbeck previously missed the entire 2008 MLB season due to back surgery to repair a ruptured disk, while Hirschbeck was diagnosed with testicular cancer in mid-2009. August 2 was his last game that season and oncological surgery shortly followed.

The offending tumor was removed and doctors at the time predicted a 10 percent chance of the cancer returning.

At the time, Hirschbeck had predicted a retirement in the near future: "I'm 55 and I don't plan on working a whole lot longer."

Hirschbeck was the first president of the World Umpires Association and concluded the 2011 UEFL season with zero ejections and zero points. His younger brother, former MLB umpire Mark Hirschbeck, was also bitten by the injury bug, suffering a career-ending injury when his artificial hip shattered during a game. In April, Hirschbeck settled his lawsuit with Wright Medical Technology of Arlington, Tenn. for several millions of dollars.

Umpire Bill Hohn was on MLB's Disabled List in 2011 before retiring prior to 2012.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Pre-Season Ejection 001: Tim Timmons (1)

1B Umpire Tim Timmons* ejected Marlins Manager Ozzie Guillen for arguing a foul ball call made by HP Umpire Fieldin Culbreth** in the top of the 6th inning of the Marlins-Red Sox game. With one out and two on, Marlins batter Terry Tiffee hit a 0-0 fastball from Red Sox pitcher Andrew Bailey up the first base line. When fielded by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, the ball was ruled foul. Replays indicate the ball was first touched by Gonzalez in foul territory, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Red Sox were leading, 3-2. The Red Sox ultimately won the contest, 5-3.

This is Tim Timmons (95)'s first pre-season ejection of 2012.
No points are awarded for ejections during the Spring Training period (Phase i), as per Rules 2 and 4.
*Though Tim Timmons is listed as the 2B Umpire in the box score, he is deemed the 1B Umpire for the purpose of this ejection, as he was working the 1B position at the time of the ejection.
**Though Timmons ruled the ball foul, the foul line between home plate and the front edge of first base is the HP Umpire's responsibility. Accordingly Culbreth had primary jurisdiction on the play and is therefore the calling umpire.

This is the 1st Spring Training ejection of 2012.
This is the 1st Manager ejection of the 2012 pre-season.

Wrap: Marlins at Red Sox, 3/12/12
Video: Ozzie Guillen's First Ejection as Miami Marlins Manager, Bobby Valentine Waves Goodbye