Saturday, July 28, 2012

Ejection 100: Mike Winters (1)

1B Umpire Mike Winters ejected Cubs Manager Dale Sveum for arguing an out call in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Cardinals-Cubs game. With two out and three on, Cubs batter Starlin Castro hit a 1-2 changeup from Cardinals pitcher Brian Fuentes to shortstop Daniel Descalso, who threw to first baseman Lance Berkman as Castro arrived at first base. Replays indicate Castro's left foot contacted first base prior to Berkman catching the ball, the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Cubs were leading, 3-2. The Cubs ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

Castro appears to have been safe.
This is Mike Winters (33)'s first ejection of 2012.
Mike Winters now has -2 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call = -2).
Crew Chief Mike Winters now has 3 points in the UEFL's Crew division (3 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 3).

UEFL Standings Update

This is the 100th ejection of 2012.
This is the 50th Manager ejection of 2012.
This is Dale Sveum's first ejection since May 18 (Marty Foster; QOC = Incorrect) and first 2012 ejection not by Foster (3rd overall).
This is Mike Winters' first ejection since May 14, 2011 (Joe Girardi; QOC = Correct).
This is the Cubs' 3rd ejection of 2012, T-2nd in the NL Central (HOU 4; CHC, MIL, PIT, STL 3; CIN 1).
This is the 20th ejection of July 2012.

Wrap: Cardinals at Cubs, 7/28/12
Video: Sveum ejected by Winters arguing missed out call at first base, which had left the bases loaded

Ejection Temper Tantrum: A Case Study of Joe Mikulik

Asheville Tourists manager Joe Mikulik, famous for his 2006 ejection & temper tantrum, has done it again, this time arguing a call on the basepaths. (Video: Mikulik ejected, throws items, steals third, etc.)

Tourists manager Joe Mikulik during his 2006 ejection.
In the top of the 1st inning of Friday's Tourists-RiverDogs contest at Charleston, Tourists baserunner R2 Cito Culver was caught in a brief rundown, declared safe by 1B Umpire Mike Patterson after avoiding the tag of RiverDogs third baseman Dante Bichette enroute to a stolen base (two umpire mechanics were used for this standard Single-A contest, giving Patterson calling responsibility; Alex Ziegler was the home plate umpire). Though replays are inconclusive as to whether the tag was successfully applied or missed—though replays indicate Culver was at no time out of the basepath—Mikulik vehemently argued the call before being ejected by Patterson.

While Patterson calmy shook his head and repeated the word, "no," Mikulik employed histrionic gesture after verbal onslaught, at several points kicking dirt, throwing his hat and dislodging and picking up third base before handing the bag to a spectator and tipping his cap to the crowd before exiting into the Asheville dugout.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bud Selig: MLB Expanded Replay Reluctantly on the Way

Expanded instant replay is coming to MLB, said Commissioner Bud Selig during an interview with ESPN New York on Friday: "We're now going to add it on trapped balls in the outfield and as I call them, bullets hit down the first and third base lines."

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig: Expanded Replay is on the Horizon
During a year in which soccer, international rugby and the NBA all voted to adopt expand instant replay, while the NFL has vowed to give fans a glimpse under the replay hood, showing instant replay angles on jumbotrons and big screens around the league, baseball, long reluctant to the expansion of replay review, might give into peer pressure sooner rather than later.

In December 2011, MLB's proposed labor deal included a provision that would have expanded instant replay to cover Selig-described "bullet" fair/foul calls (supported by 36 percent of UEFL'ers), catch/trap calls (30 percent of UEFL'ers) and the expansion of replay to include all spectator interference calls (68 percent of UEFL'ers). The proposal was ultimately rejected due to a lack of logistical and implementation solutions (e.g., a fifth umpire vs. a booth official, how would runner placement be enforced during a foul-to-fair call reversal?).

Nonetheless, Selig warned, "I'm very cautious in spite of the fact that we've made more changes in baseball in the last 20 years than we have in our history."

Selig continued, citing concerns for disrupting pace of the game, indicating he is "inclined to agree" with those who are opposed to expanding instant replay, stating, "there is little appetite in the sport today for replay."

In regards to umpiring, Selig said, "I read the umpire scores and you'd be surprised how well they do. Nobody second-guessed umpires more than me when I owned the Milwaukee Brewers, I admit it."

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Olympic Soccer Ejection: Wilmar Roldan

Olympic referee Wilmar Roldan ejected Swiss MF Oliver Buff (2nd yellow-red) for flopping in the 78th minute of the Gabon-Switzerland contest Thursday. Dribbling the ball through the top of the penalty box, Buff split two Gabon defenders before tumbling to the ground in search of a penalty shot call. Instead, Roldan immediately issued the simulation-diving (flopping) yellow card, which, by virtue of the card being Buff's second, automatically resulted in a red and an Olympic soccer ejection. Replays indicate Buff was not fouled by either defender and went to the ground on his own, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 1-1. The match ultimately ended in a draw, 1-1.

Wilmar Alexander Roldán Pérez is a 32-year-old Columbian football referee, associated domestically since 2003 and with FIFA since 2008. He officiated the Copa América tournament in 2011.

Wrap: Gabon at Switzerland, 7/26/12
Video: Swiss player Oliver Buff fakes a foul, is penalized and ejected

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ejection 099: Jeff Kellogg (1)

HP Umpire Jeff Kellogg ejected Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly for arguing balls and strikes in the bottom of the 10th inning of the Dodgers-Cardinals game. With one out and none on, Cardinals batter Skip Schumaker took a 3-2 fastball from Dodgers pitcher Josh Lindblom for a called fourth ball. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the plate and below the hollow of the knee (norm_ht of -1.03), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 2-2.

This is Jeff Kellogg (8)'s first ejection of 2012.
Jeff Kellogg now has 4 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 4).
Crew Chief Jeff Kellogg now has 6 points in the UEFL's Crew division (5 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 6).
*A Balls/Strikes Exemption has been applied. Of 6 callable pitches in the b-10th, Kellogg called 5 accurately (all balls). The 6th was a called strike, which benefited the Dodgers and is therefore not eligible for review.
^UEFL'er Heyblue wins 2 points for correctly predicting Prop Prediction Q4: Mattingly Date.

UEFL Standings Update

This is the 99th ejection of 2012.
This is the 49th Manager ejection of 2012.
This is Don Mattingly's first ejection since June 17 (Jerry Meals; QOC = Incorrect).
This is Jeff Kellogg's first ejection since July 10, 2010 (Terry Francona & Mike Cameron; QOC = Correct).
This is the Dodgers' 8th ejection of 2012, 1st in MLB and the NL West (LAD 8; SF, SD 3; COL 1; AZ 0).

Wrap: Dodgers at Cardinals, 7/25/12
Video: Mattingly visits mound for pitching change, "discretely" yells at Kellogg, is ejected arguing balls/strikes

Ejection 098: Bob Davidson (4)

HP Umpire Bob Davidson ejected Royals pitcher Luke Hochevar for throwing at Angels batter Mike Trout in the bottom of the 4th inning of the Royals-Angels game. With none out and none on, and following a home run by Angels batter Bobby Wilson, Trout was hit by a 3-0 fastball from Hochevar. Replays indicate the pitch was considerably inside, the call is irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Angels were leading, 8-0. The Angels ultimately won the contest, 11-6.

This is Bob Davidson (61)'s fourth ejection of 2012.
Bob Davidson now has 2 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable = 2).
Crew Chief Brian Gorman now has 4 points in the UEFL's Crew division (3 Previous + 1 Irrecusable Call = 4).
^ UEFL'er Heyblue wins 2 pts for correctly predicting Prop Prediction Q7: Davidson Reason for Ejection.

This is the 98th ejection of 2012.
This is the 40th player ejection of 2012.
This is Luke Hochevar's first career ejection.
This is Bob Davidson's first ejection since June 2nd (Joe Girardi and Kevin Long; QOC = Incorrect).
This is the Kansas City Royals' sixth ejection of the year.
Video: Down 8-0, Royals' Hochevar plunks Trout on a 3-0 pitch

Relevant Rule
Rule 8.02(d): If in the umpire's judgment, F1 intentionally pitches at the batter, he may be expelled.

Relevant Ejection
Ejections 053, 054: Mark Wegner (1, 2); Quintana ejected for throwing behind Zobrist ("Hawk" Rant)

Case Plays: Passing or Abandoning, Chicken or Egg?

Baseball Riddle: Passing or Abandoning, which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Who is out first? Advancing R2 or returning R3? Or both?
Congratulations to UEFL'ers Bearded Beast, BT_Blue, cyclone14, Josh7377, kickersrule, RadioPearl, RichMSN Turducken for contributing to this Case Play and receiving a Case Play point. Read on for the correct response...

Video: Alexi Casilla out after escaping pickle the long way; Umpires confer to determine runner right-of-way

Play: With one out and two on (R2, R3), the batter hits a ground ball to first base, where F3 fires to catcher F2 as R3 breaks for home plate. As F2 fields the low throw, R3 reverses course and heads back toward third base, determined to stay in the rundown long enough for R2 to assume occupation of third base. As R3 nears third base, R2 has arrived and for a brief instant, both R2 and R3 occupy third base. Yet rather than allow F2 to tag him, R3 continues running past third base, up the left field foul line, as R2 holds his position on the base. At this point, F2 tags R2. F2 never tags R3. Chicken or egg? Who is out and who is safe—or are both out? Or both safe? Is B1's placement at second base proper? How shall play proceed? (1 pt)

Answer: R3 is out; R2 is safe; this play was correctly officiated. Because R3 began the play on third base, Rule 7.01 prohibits him from attempting to return to second base. Therefore, when he passes third base and runs down the line, he is either out for leaving his baseline under Rule 7.08(a)(1) or he is out for abandonment under Rule 7.08(a)(2).
Red Herring Rules: R3 is not out under Rule 7.03(a) for he and R2 were never tagged while both runners were attempting to occupy third base. Had there been a tag, R2 would have been out. R2 is likewise not out for passing a preceding runner as in Rule 7.08(h), for both runners having occupied third base at the same time, they are considered to have pulled even. Because R3 was prohibited from returning to second base, with R2 not advancing past the third base bag, R3 could not have been passed. R3 is also not out for confusing the defense and/or making a travesty of the game under Rule 7.08(i) as the defense did not miss out on the opportunity to make a play based on R3's actions after having touched third base, R2 arriving at third and B1 arriving at second base on the rundown. R3 was out for abandonment or leaving his baseline prior to the necessitation of Rule 7.08(i).

Relevant Rules
Rule 7.01: States that after a runner acquires a base and the play is over, he cannot return to a prior base.
Rule 7.03(a): States that two runners may not occupy a base. If tagged, the following runner is out.
Rule 7.08(a)(1): States that a runner is out when he runs out of the baseline (three feet from position to base).
Rule 7.08(a)(2): States that a runner is out when he abandons his effort to run the bases (advance/retreat).
Rule 7.08(h): States that a following runner is out if he passes a preceding runner before such runner is out.
Rule 7.08(i): States that if a runner runs bases in reverse order for the purposes of confusing the defense or making a travesty of the game, he is out and "Time" shall be called, as the ball is dead.
Umpiring Lingo: "Preceding" runner refers to R3 (Casilla); "Following" runner refers to R2 (Jamey Carroll)
Fun Fact: "Abandoning" is not officially used in OBR outside 7.08(a)(2).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Injury: Eric Cooper (Ilness); Umpire Dehydration

An MLB game saw a three-man umpiring crew grow to four after AAA call-up umpire John Tumpane rushed  in from his minor league assignment Monday night in New Orleans, Louisiana to fill in for Eric Cooper in St. Louis, Missouri on Tuesday evening.

MLB Umpire Eric Cooper cools off. Reuters
Tumpane had worked the plate for Monday's Nashville Sounds at New Orleans Zephyrs contest with 1B Umpire Quinn Wolcott and 3B Umpire Brian Sinclair.

On a day in which St. Louis temperatures peaked at 104-degrees with high humidity at 5:05 p.m. local time, Cooper had fallen ill, necessitating the last-minute phone call. Tumpane arrived in the middle of the third inning and assumed the role of third base umpire, sliding Marty Foster to second base. Jeff Kellogg and D.J. Reyburn remained at 1B and HP, respectively.

MLB Umpiring crews have switched from the four-to-three alignment mid-game before, most recently on June 17, when Andy Fletcher broke his wrist following a wild pitch by the Mariners' Brandon League.

Earlier this summer, MLB Director of Umpiring Randy Marsh and fill-in umpire Mike Muchlinski demonstrated the RiteTemp Athletics cooling vest, worn under the home plate umpire's chest protector as one instance in which umpires employ technology to keep cool in excessively warm environments. Muchlinski had worked that day in Cincinnati, where game-time temperatures flirted with the 100-degree mark. Nonetheless, on-field temperatures tend to be much hotter than that box score figure may let on. For instance, during an especially hot series at Cincinnati's Riverfront Stadium in the 1970s, on-field temperatures were measured at over 150 degrees. Riverfront would not convert from AstroTurf to grass for another two decades.

“George Hendrick used to tell us when he played in St. Louis, he used three pairs of shoes,” Marsh said. “He kept two on a big bucket of ice and would change shoes every inning because it was so hot on that turf.”

Ejection 097: Tim Tschida (4)

1B Umpire Tim Tschida ejected Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler for arguing an out call in the bottom of the 1st inning of the Red Sox-Rangers game. With none out and one on, baserunner R1 Ian Kinsler was picked off by Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz. Replays indicate the tag by first baseman Adrian Gonzalez was applied on Kinsler's right arm before his right hand contacted the first base bag, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 0-0. The Red Sox ultimately won the contest, 2-1.

This is Tim Tschida (4)'s fourth ejection of 2012.
Tim Tschida now has 10 points in the UEFL (6 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 10).
Crew Chief Tim Tschida now has 5 points in the UEFL's Crew division (4 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 5).
*After review, Quality of Correctness has been confirmed by the UEFL Appeals Board (6-0).

UEFL Standings Update

This is the 97th ejection of 2012.
This is the 39th player ejection of 2012.
This the Rangers' 4th ejection of 2012, T-1st in the AL West (OAK, TEX 4, LAA 3, SEA 0).
This is Ian Kinsler's first ejection since June 14 (Eric Cooper; QOC = Incorrect).
Kinsler has never been ejected more than two times in one season (2010; 6/25 [Cooper], 9/10 [Scott]).
Prior to his ejection, Kinsler did not have an official at-bat being hit by a pitch his first time up.
This is Tim Tschida's first ejection since June 19 (Joel Peralta; QOC = Irrecusable).
This is the fifth consecutive ejection by a field umpire and third consecutive by a 1B umpire.

Wrap: Red Sox at Rangers, 7/24/12
Video: Kinsler picked off at first, has words for Tschida, is very promptly ejected

Fighting Ejections: Kelvin Bultron (AAA)

Video of Hill-Exposito Fight: HP Umpire Kelvin Bultron ejected Koyie Hill & Luis Exposito for fighting Friday night during a AAA International League contest between Hill's Syracuse Chiefs and Exposito's Norfolk Tides.

Skipping ahead to the real action in the bottom of the sixth inning, during a series in which Hill and Tides pitcher Brian Matusz alternated stepping out of the batter's box and off of the pitcher's plate, respectively, Exposito and Hill made comments to one another as umpire Bultron stepped in between the two to gauge the situation. After Exposito arose from his crouch and removed his mask to confront Hill, Bultron quickly sidestepped the pending skirmish, finding himself out of harm's way just as Hill made a lunge at Exposito, sending the duo tumbling to the ground to the right of home plate.

Though benches cleared, only Hill & Exposito actually parcipated in the fracas, resulting in both players being ejected on a night marketed by Syracuse as Breast Cancer Awareness Night (note the pink jersey numbers).

Said Chiefs starting pitcher Zach Duke, "Koyie’s got a lot of fire in him. He was a wrestler growing up, he's got a little mean streak in him. It's good to see a little fire."

While working MLB Spring Training 2012, Bultron was listed as "Kevin Bultron."

Video: Koyie Hill Tackles Luis Exposito in Minor League Baseball Brawl

Monday, July 23, 2012

Ejection 096: Jordan Baker (1)

1B Umpire Jordan Baker ejected Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford for Unsportsmanlike Conduct-NEC in the bottom of the 8th inning of the Padres-Giants game. With two out and one on, Giants batter Brandon Crawford grounded out to Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso. Replays indicate Alonso stepped on first base with the possession of the ball well prior to Crawford touching the base; however this call was not in question. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Crawford appeared to have hit a double to right center field; however, on appeal, Baker ruled that Crawford failed to touch first base, thus calling Crawford out. Crawford and Giants Manager Bruce Bochy argued the call at the time, but neither were ejected. Replays are inconclusive as to whether Crawford touched first base, but since the argument that caused the ejection was beyond the half inning immediately after the call in question and a repeat visit, the reason for ejection is Unsportsmanlike Conduct-NEC, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Giants were leading, 7-1. The Giants ultimately won the contest, 7-1.

This is Jordan Baker (71)'s first ejection of 2012.
Jordan Baker now has 3 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 3 AAA + 0 Irrecusable Call = 3).
Crew Chief Dana DeMuth now has 4 points in the UEFL's Crew division (3 Previous + 1 Irrecusable Call = 4).

UEFL Standings Update

This is the 96th ejection of 2012.
This is the 38th player ejection of 2012.
This is Brandon Crawford's first career ejection.
This is Jordan Baker's first career ejection.
This is the San Francisco Giants' 3rd ejection of 2012.

Wrap: Padres at Giants 7/23/12
Video: Up 7-1, Crawford mouths off to Baker two innings after being called out on appeal from Condensed Game; Crawford's double appealed (8:53 to 9:37), for ejection see embedded graphic
Related: Crawford's first inning line drive is reversed from a catch to an RBI single

Ejection 095: Laz Diaz (2)

1B Umpire Laz Diaz ejected Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez for arguing a out call in the top of the 9th inning of the Braves-Marlins game. With none out and two on, Braves batter Jason Heyward grounded into a double play, Marlins second baseman Emilio Bonifacio to shortstop Jose Reyes to first baseman Carlos Lee. Braves R2 Michael Bourn to 3rd. R1 Martin Prado out at 2nd. Replays indicate that Heyward successfully touched first base prior to Carlos Lee catching the ball on first base, the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Marlins were leading, 2-0. The Marlins ultimately won the contest, 2-1.

This is Laz Diaz (63)'s second ejection of 2012.
Laz Diaz now has -4 points in the UEFL (-2 Previous + 2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call = -4).
Crew Chief Tim Welke now has 0 points in the UEFL's Crew division (0 Previous + 0 Incorrect = 0).

UEFL Standings Update

This is the 95th ejection of 2012.
This is the 48th Manager ejection of 2012.
This is Fredi Gonzalez's second ejection of 2012, and his first since May 7th (Chris Conroy; QOC = Irrecusable).
This is Laz Diaz's first ejection since May 17th (Bob Melvin; QOC = Incorrect).
This is the Atlanta Braves' fourth ejection of 2012.

Wrap: Braves at Marlins 7/23/12
Video: Heyward called out on the back end of a double play; Gonzalez and Diaz argue vehemently before Gonzalez is tossed
Video: Animated Laz Diaz ejects Animated Fredi Gonzalez

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Ejections 093, 094: D.J. Reyburn (4, 5)

2B Umpire D.J. Reyburn ejected Royals SS Alcides Escobar and Manager Ned Yost for Unsportsmanlike-NEC (repeat visit argument) in the bottom of the 9th inning of the Twins-Royals game. In the bottom of the 7th inning with two out and two on, Escobar hit a 1-0 slider from Twins pitcher Tyler Robertson to shortstop Brian Dozier who threw to second baseman Alexi Casilla to force out Royals baserunner R1 Chris Getz at second base. Though replays indicate Getz arrived at second base prior to the catch, the ejection occured two innings later and significantly after the call had already been argued, the call is irrecusable.* At the time of the ejection, the Twins were leading, 7-3. The Twins ultimately won the contest, 7-5.

Foot on base, ball not in glove
These are D.J. Reyburn (70)'s fourth and fifth ejections of 2012.
D.J. Reyburn now has 7 points in the UEFL (1 Previous + 2*[3 AAA + 0 Irrecusable Call] = 7).
Crew Chief Jeff Kellogg now has 5 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (3 Previous + 2*[1 Irrecusable] = 5).
*This call is irrecusable pursuant to UEFL Rule 6-2-b-5-b (repeat visits) & is known as the DiMuro Rule.

These are the 93rd and 94th ejections of 2012.
This is the 37th player ejection of 2012.
This is the 47th Manager ejection of 2012.
These are KC's 4th and 5th ejections, T-2nd in the AL Central (DET 7; KC, CLE, CWS 5; MIN 4).
This is Alcides Escobar's first career ejection.
This is Ned Yost's first ejection since June 14 (Dan Iassogna; QOC = Correct).
This is D.J. Reyburn's first ejection since July 8 (Robin Ventura; QOC = Correct).