Saturday, August 4, 2012

Ejection 106: Brian Gorman (2)

HP Umpire Brian Gorman ejected Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle for arguing warnings in the top of the 2nd inning of the Pirates-Reds game. With two out and none on, Pirates batter Josh Harrison was hit by a 1-1 fastball from Reds pitcher Mike Leake, resulting in a bench warning incident. Replays indicate the pitch was located inside and the hit by pitch designation was proper, the call is irrecusable. On Friday, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen was hit by an Aroldis Chapman pitch. At the time of the ejection, the Reds were leading, 2-1. The Reds ultimately won the contest, 5-4.

This is Brian Gorman (9)'s second ejection of 2012.
Brian Gorman now has 0 points in the UEFL (-2 Previous + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call = 0).
Crew Chief Brian Gorman now has 5 points in the Crew Division (4 Previous + 1 Irrecusable Call = 5).

UEFL Standings Update

This is the 106th ejection of 2012.
This is the 53rd Manager ejection of 2012.
This is Clint Hurdle's first ejection since June 24 (Marty Foster; QOC = Correct).
This is Brian Gorman's first ejection since July 17 (Lance Berkman; QOC = Incorrect).
This is the Pirates' 4th ejection of 2012, T-2nd in the NL Central (MIL 5; HOU, PIT 4; CHC, STL 3; CIN 2).

Wrap: Pirates at Reds, 8/4/12
Video: After an early HBP with words exchanged, Gorman issues warnings, resulting in Hurdle's ejection

Friday, August 3, 2012

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Playing Under Protest

Tonight's Los Angels Angels of Anaheim-Chicago White Sox game is being played under protest by the Angels filed by Manager Mike Scioscia. In the bottom of the first, with three on and none out, Paul Konerko grounded into a force out, Angels third baseman Alberto Callaspo to catcher Chris Iannetta. White Sox R3 Alejandro De Aza out at home. R2 Kevin Youkilis to 3rd. R1  Adam Dunn to 2nd. BR Paul Konerko to 1st. On the throw from Iannetta at home to first baseman Albert Pujols, the ball was thrown wide, pulling Pujols off first base. Scioscia argued that Konerko was out of the 45 foot running lane to fair territory side, but Konerko was ruled safe. After arguments with 1B Umpire Paul Nauert and HP Umpire Lance Barrett and multiple umpire consultations, the call stood. Scioscia then lodged a formal protest, to which the call to the press box was made during the half inning. Crew Chief Dana DeMuth directed Barrett to note the protest on the lineup card. According to the official reasoning by the Angels for the protest, they contend that Konerko was out of the 45 foot running lane.

The Angels have 24 hours to file a follow up and full report with the league office for the protest to be considered. Judgement calls made by umpires are not calls that can be protested and be upheld by the league office. Only protests that are the result of a misapplication of a rule may be upheld. Unless the Angels' protest has more to it than the official explanation given, the protest will be denied, since whether Konerko was in or not in the running lane is a judgement call.

Update: Following the conclusion of the game, Scioscia spoke about the protest. Scioscia said, "I know we're filing it with the league and I think it's a very clear case in our favor. The umpire set the parameter and told us that Konerko was running well inside the line. All of the umpires agreed with that. The dispute was not, 'Was he running inside the box or outside the box?' They all said he was running well inside the line. He was inside the line, which makes it a virtual impossibility for him not to affect the throw from Iannetta and puts him in the lane of Iannetta trying to throw to first base very clearly. It's quite obvious. They put him there. They said he was inside the line, which puts him in jeopardy, which affects the throwing lane of our catcher. They're the ones who set those parameters. Once they set those parameters, Konerko is out."

The Angels ultimately lost the contest to the White Sox, 8-6, in ten innings on an Alex Rios walk-off home run.

Wrap: Angels at White Sox 8/3/12 
News: Angels play Friday's contest versus White Sox under protest
Opinion: Umpires Get it Right: Mike Scioscia's Angels will Lose Protest over Call vs. CWS
Video: Scioscia argues, protests game

Ethics at the Olympics: When Immorality Means Expulsion

Created in 1999 by the Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Olympic Ethics Commission is a nine-member body whose purpose is to be "guardian of the ethical principles of the Olympic Movement," also known as the IOC's Code of Ethics, whose values include Dignity and Integrity and whose principles range from transparency to fair play, equity to accountability.

Ethical principles are a serious issue for the IOC, whose Olympic Games in the past have been marred by the male-competing-as-female Stella Walsh controversy in 1932 and 1936, the 1980s performance-enhancing drugs (steroids) scandal involving the East German team, Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson's doping scandal in 1988 and the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan rivalry's "Whack Heard Around the World" leading up to the 1994 Games.

Athletes were—and still are—willing to discard virtue in favor of their zeal for superficial success, as evidenced by several instances of unethical behavior during the 2012 London Games. From badminton to boxing and athletics (track & field) to gymnastics, the 2012 Olympic Games is not without its fair share of depravity:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Press Box Ejections: MiLB Umpire Mario Seneca Orders DJ Removed From Single-A Cubs Game

"HP Umpire Mario Seneca ejected Daytona Cubs DJ Derek Dye for playing 'Three Blind Mice' after a close call at first base, #MiLB A Advanced," so read the SportEjections twitter feed's most recent (and most favorited + retweeted) tweet at 6:38 PM on August 1.

File: Professional Baseball (MiLB) Umpire Mario Seneca
With none out and none on in the top of the 8th inning of Wednesday's Florida State League contest between the Fort Myers Miracle and Daytona Cubs, Miracle batter Andy Leer hit a ground ball off of Cubs pitcher Scott Weismann to shortstop Tim Saunders, who threw low to first baseman Taylor Davis. After Davis attempted to snare the dirt-bound ball, which at some point fell out of Davis' glove, 1B Umpire Ramon Hernandez ruled Davis had bobbled the ball, resulting in a throwing error charged to Saunders and batter-runner Leer arriving at first base safely.

As Cubs manager Brian Harper visited Hernandez to argue the lack of possession call, Daytona Cubs deejay intern Derek Dye cued up a baseball organ version of "Three Blind Mice" to play over the Jackie Robinson Ballpark P.A. system. While Hernandez was engaged with Harper, his partner, umpire-in-chief Mario Seneca recognized the childhood tune and knew exactly what he had to do. (Video: Inappropriate Song Plays, Dye Tossed)

If only Dye—an intern from the University of Illinois—was a bit more experienced or versed in stadium entertainment audio operations, he would have known that "Three Blind Mice" was a baseball no-no, a discipline-worthy offense backed by nearly three decades of precedent and past practice.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ejections 104, 105: Brian Knight (3, 4)

HP Umpire Brian Knight ejected Brewers Bench Coach Jerry Narron and Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke for arguing a ball call in the top of the 9th inning of the Astros-Brewers game. With none out and one on, Astros batter Justin Maxwell took a 1-2 curveball from Brewers pitcher Francisco Rodriguez for a called ball two. Replays indicate the 1-2 curveball was thigh high and well over the outer portion of the plate when it crossed the plate, the call was incorrect (px value = 0.588).* At the time of the ejections, the Brewers were leading, 10-1. The Brewers ultimately won the contest, 10-1.

These are Brian Knight (91)'s third and fourth ejections of 2012.
Brian Knight now has -2 points in the UEFL (2 Previous + 2*[2 MLB] + 2*[-4 Incorrect Call] = -2).
Crew Chief Mike Winters now has 3 points in the Crew Division (3 Previous + 2*[0 Incorrect Call] = 3).
* The 1-2 pitch had a px value of 0.588, which, assuming compliant vertical location, must be a strike.
**After review, Quality of Correctness has been affirmed by the UEFL Appeals Board (6-0).

These are the 104th and 105th ejections of 2012.
This is the 52nd Manager ejection of 2012.
This is the 11th non-Manager coach ejection of 2012.
This is Jerry Narron's first ejection since May 30, 2007 (Bill Welke).
This is Ron Roenicke's second ejection of 2012, and first since July 7th (Sam Holbrook; QOC = Correct).

These are Brian Knight's first ejections since July 5th (Bud Black; QOC = Incorrect).
These are the Milwaukee Brewers' fourth and fifth ejections of 2012.
Video: Up nine runs in 9th, Narron and Roenicke argue a ball call and get ejected by Knight 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ejection 103: Chad Fairchild (1)

HP Umpire Chad Fairchild ejected Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco for arguing a ball call in the top of the 3rd inning of the Padres-Reds game. With two out and one on, Padres batter Chase Headley took a 1-0 fastball from Reds pitcher Alfredo Simon for a called ball two. Replays indicate the pitch was located navel high, but off the outside corner of the plate (px value of -0.905). There were no incorrect callable pitches in the at bat prior to and after Mesoraco's ejection and tirade, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Padres were leading, 9-3. The Padres ultimately won the contest, 11-5.

This is Chad Fairchild (75)'s first ejection of 2012.
Chad Fairchild now has 4 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 4).
Crew Chief Tom Hallion now has 5 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (4 Previous + 1 Correct = 5).
*The second pitch of the at bat to Headley had a px value of -0.905, in the borderline range.

UEFL Standings Update

This is the 103rd ejection of 2012.
This is the 42nd player ejection of 2012.
This is the Cincinnati Reds' second ejection of 2012.
This is Devin Mesoraco's first career ejection.
This is Chad Fairchild's first ejection since August 28, 2011 (Dusty Baker; QOC = Incorrect).
This is the third ejection in two nights for Tom Hallion's crew.

Wrap: Padres at Reds 7/30/12
Video: Mesoraco argues pitch and gets gets ejected; pokes and bumps Chad Fairchild in tirade

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.

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)

Ejection 101: Brian O'Nora (1)

HP Umpire Brian O'Nora ejected Red Sox Manager Bobby Valentine for arguing a strike (bunt attempt) 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 Brian O'Nora (7)'s first ejection of 2012.
Brian O'Nora now has 4 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 4).
Crew Chief Tom Hallion now has 3 points in the UEFL's Crew division (2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 3).
*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."


This is the 101st ejection of 2012.
This is the 51st Manager ejection of 2012.
This is Brian O'Nora's first ejection since August 18, 2011 (Ron Gardenhire; QOC = Correct).
This is Bobby Valentine's first ejection since June 10 (Al Porter; QOC = Incorrect).
This is the Red Sox's 5th ejection of 2012, 1st in the AL East (BOS 5; TOR 4; NYY 3; TB, BAL 2).

Fighting Ejections: Spencer Flynn (AA Braves vs. BayBears)

Flynn's actions likely kept
pitcher Tarsi in the game.
AA Braves-BayBears fight: HP Umpire Spencer Flynn ejected Mobile BayBears catcher Rossmel Perez & Manager Turner Ward and Mississippi Braves catcher Christian Bethancourt & second baseman Alden Carrithers for fighting in the top of the 9th inning of the Braves-BayBears game. With two on and two out, Braves batter Ryan Strieby took a 3-2 fastball from BayBears pitcher Michael Tarsi inside for ball four, the wild pitch sailing back to the screen with catcher Bethancourt in pursuit as baserunner R3 Perez broke for home plate. As Tarsi arrived to cover home plate, Perez had begun his feet-first slide, resulting in a collision at home, Perez sliding across the plate while upending Tarsi, who did not have the baseball. Replays indicate that because Perez had legally scored, there was no obstruction. As Tarsi then stood up, he and Perez became entangled, separated by Flynn before Bethancourt ran into the fray and attempted to tackle Perez, provoking a bench-clearing brawl and the ejection of two persons from each team. Braves pitcher Cory Rasmus had been ejected two batters earlier for intentionally throwing at Perez. At the time of the Rasmus ejection, the BayBears were leading, 7-2. At the time of the fighting ejections, the BayBears were leading, 7-3. The BayBears ultimately won the contest, 7-3.

Wrap: Braves at BayBears, 7/28/12
Video: One strike away from game's end, Perez takes out Tarsi, Bethancourt pushes Perez, benches clear