Saturday, May 11, 2013

Culbreth Suspended; Johnson, Welke & O'Nora Fined for Pitching Change Fiasco

Fieldin Culbreth was suspended and umpires Adrian Johnson, Bill Welke & Brian O'Nora fined after incorrectly applying baseball rules regarding pitching changes during the Angels' 6-5 win at Houston on Thursday night.

Culbreth and crew's conference concerning changes.
As explained in "Angels Protest After Wright Exists Without Throwing a Pitch," the umpiring crew improperly allowed a replacement pitcher who was not injured to exit the ballgame without firing a single pitch, much to the chagrin of Angels Manager Mike Scioscia, who argued vehemently but to no avail. Rule 3.05(b) requires such a pitcher to face at least one batter or record the third out, whichever comes first.

MLB announced the discipline as a press release, explaining that because Culbreth was the crew chief during this episode of rules misapplication, he received both a two-game suspension and a fine. As crewmates, Johnson, Welke and O'Nora were fined, but not suspended. Astros skipper Bo Porter apologized while Scioscia largely refrained from comment.

The press release also stated that the Office of the Commission would determine the dates of Culbreth's two-game suspension. On Friday night, Culbreth was the plate umpire in Tampa Bay with his fully intact crew.

Video: Scioscia files protest after alleging umpires, Porter guilty of rules book misconduct (LAA, 5/9/13)

12 comments :

Gil Imber said...

Man, the umpires have had a tough week in the press.

But history was made at Dodger Stadium tonight, the first use of instant replay review and with that, Vin Scully's classic commentary praising the umpires.

"And they didn't have all this equipment, they just made the call...and they were 100% absolutely correct."

@Gil, somehow please pull this audio!

Gil Imber said...

Cubby has been on top of his game for a very long time, and it actually hurts me to see what he is being called by folks on other blogs...moron, idiot, incompetent are some of the "nicer" ones. I hope he has a support system, because MLB threw him under the bus compared to Angel's fiasco.

Gil Imber said...

It's more probable that MLB needed time to fill the crew while he serves his suspension.

Gil Imber said...

My guess is that Estabrook will take Culbreth's place today and Sunday. Estabrook was working in Durham on Thursday but didn't work on Friday. On another note Brian Runge worked last night in New Orleans so we can expect him to join his crew in the near future

Gil Imber said...

This is a new precedent from MLB. I remember when a similar situation was mishandled with chief Tim McClelland, and I think Adrian Johnson was working the plate on that too. Don Mattingly, then a coach for the Dodgers was acting manager after two ejections in the game. He went back on the mound after leaving during a visit. McClelland incorrectly forced a new pitcher to come in immediately. The pitcher should have been forced to face the batter up, then removed. I don't remember any formal discipline, definitely not suspension or any public fines.
I wouldn't be surprised with some pushback from the umpires union.

Gil Imber said...

From what I understand, Hernandez won't be suspended because his was a "judgement call." While Cubby's was a rules misapplication.

Gil Imber said...

Well Cubs is working third-base tonight in Tampa Bay against San Diego so maybe next series

Gil Imber said...

Nate,

In that case, it was (IIRC) deemed a second visit to the mound in the inning. When that happens, the pitcher has to be pulled. It looks like Rule 8.06(b) is the one that controls the situation.

Gil Imber said...

You are correct, pitcher has to be pulled. But he must first face the opponent at bat. This last stipulation was missed.

Gil Imber said...

The more I read the comment on 8.06, the less I'm sure that I'm right...

Gil Imber said...

They can push back all they want. However, like in ANY workforce, you MUST be responsible for your actions. To be honest, I think Angel Hernandez should have been suspended or fined too given this twist, but be it as it might, I like the precedent. NO ONE is above the law, so to speak. I understand the need for being arbitrary, and that is why I think this is a good idea. This is CLEAR mistake. Not an error in judgement on a close call or something like that. It is a downright mistake.

Gil Imber said...

Culbreth left the game tonight with what appeared to be a collarbone injury. The ball lodged between his neck/mask and his chest protector. Pretty good chance he'll be serving his suspension now.

Post a Comment