Thursday, June 13, 2013

MLB Ejections 077, 078: Hirschbeck (2), Reynolds (3)

1B Umpire John Hirschbeck ejected Rockies pitcher Wilton Lopez and 3B Umpire Jim Reynolds ejected Rockies Pitching Coach Jim Wright for arguing a balk call by 2B Umpire Bob Davidson in the top of the 7th inning of the Nationals-Rockies game. With two out and one on and Nationals batter Steve Lombardozzi at
Davidson calls balk.
the plate, Nationals baserunner R2 Ian Desmond was awarded third base and subsequently home plate on two successive balk calls (the first by HP Umpire James Hoye) on Lopez for violations of OBR Rule 8.01 ("any natural movement associated with his delivery of the ball to the batter commits [the pitcher] to the pitch without alteration or interruption" [applicable to both Windup and Set Position]). Rule 8.05(a) declares such a motion violation with failure to deliver the pitch a balk. Prior to coming set, "the pitcher shall have one hand on his side; from this position he shall go to his set position as defined in Rule 8.01(b) without interruption and in one continuous motion." Replays indicate that in both instances, Lopez's actions violated Rule 8.01 and were correctly officiated as balks pursuant to Rule 8.05(a), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 3-3. The Nationals ultimately won the contest, 5-4.

This is John Hirschbeck (17)'s second ejection of 2013.
This is Jim Reynolds (77)'s third ejection of 2013.
John Hirschbeck now has 7 points in the UEFL (4 Previous + 2 MLB + 1 Correct Call [Crewmate] = 7).
Jim Reynolds now has 9 points in the UEFL (6 Previous + 2 MLB + 1 Correct Call [Crewmate] = 9).
Crew Chief John Hirschbeck now has 5 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (3 Previous + 2 Correct Call = 5).
*A Post-Inning Exemption has been applied.

These are the 77th and 78th ejections of 2013.
This is the 36th player ejection of 2013. Prior to his ejection, Lopez's line was 1.0 IP, 1 ER.
This is the Rockies 1st/2nd ejection of 2013, T-4th in the NL West (LAD 8; ARI 7; SF 4; COL, SD 2).
This is Wilton Lopez's first career ejection.
This is Jim Wright's first career ejection.
This is John Hirschbeck's first ejection since May 5 (Bryce Harper; QOC = Y).
This is Jim Reynolds' first ejection since April 25 (Curt Young; QOC = U).

Wrap: Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies, 6/13/13
Video: Summary of the two balk calls that led to the ejections and the unsporting behavior following (COL)
Video: Desmond is awarded third base on a balk called by HP Umpire James Hoye (WAS)
Video: Lopez's back-to-back balks results in a tie game, courtesy Balkin' Bob at second base (WAS)

55 comments :

Gil Imber said...

Both balks. Good call by Bob. The phiten necklace and no under shirt is pretty bad arse too. Love Me some Bob Davidson.

Gil Imber said...

I got to say I was at the game and I had a pretty good view of the pitchers mound and ditdn't think Lopez did anything wrong. That being said these look like good calls but I still think they deserve a second look and I challenge these rulings because i don't think Lopez was going into his glove on the second balk and on the first balk it looks like he never came to the set position thus he couldn't be getting ready to throw a pitch

Gil Imber said...

I wish we could see the ejections and I also wish we could see the Colorado feed. I bet they were throwing a fit.

Gil Imber said...

Save your breath. These are both balks and the first one was worse. Two easy start/stop balks.

-Zac

Gil Imber said...

Both balks. All day, everyday. Twice on Thursday.

Gil Imber said...

The Rockies did not televise Today's game

Gil Imber said...

Oh come on...I'm not even that great at calling balks, but both of these were obvious.

Gil Imber said...

Easy call(s). Can't start and stop. Bob Davidson has had a great season, thus far.

Gil Imber said...

Good to see that the Chief RAT is back. Where's Curt Crowley when you need him?

Gil Imber said...

Is the Baker/Butler ejection being reviewed?

Gil Imber said...

Still not a great video but at least it shows what Lopez did to get ejected:http://wapc.mlb.com/play/?content_id=28004235

Gil Imber said...

My apologies, Zac. I shouldn't be calling people names, it is childish and inappropriate. If I could edit my comment I would, but alas, as I am posting as a guest, I cannot. I meant to tell you that I felt that perhaps the "save your breath" sentence was a bit unnecessary, as it adds an unwelcoming tone of hostility to your post.

Gil Imber said...

Do you happen to be a Rockies fan Michael? I'm sorry, I don't like to argue with posters very much but they both look like clear balks to me. And do you really think you have a better view from the stands than Davidson or Hoye on the field? C'mon man.

Gil Imber said...

Yes

Gil Imber said...

Shouldn't this be a repeat visit ejection?

Gil Imber said...

According to the rule, I think so. It was likely not listed as such since at the time of the original post the link to the video showing the time of Lopez's ejection was not available.

Gil Imber said...

It appears as though Lopez's pitching hand was in constant motion. Therefore shouldn't rule 8.01(b) apply: "Before assuming Set Position, the pitcher may elect to make any natural preliminary motion such as that known as “the stretch.”

Gil Imber said...

I was telling him to save his breath and not bother challenging these ejections.

Gil Imber said...

Both are balks, well done to the crew to pick both of them up. That said, isn't it about time someone changed the rules to allow flinches or brief moments of indecision prior to coming set be allowed. To my understanding, the reason the balk rule was created was to prevent pitchers from trying to unnaturally trick either the runner or batter. A flinch or moment of indecision before coming set really isn't fooling anyone. They made the third to first move a balk because it can be seen as tricking a runner, so why not get rid of the one that isn't tricking anyone.

Gil Imber said...

I like the call, I just wish umpires were more consistent in calling it (like they should the oversliding of bases simply to take out an opposing defender). We need MORE of that.

Gil Imber said...

While start/stop is accepted in all codes as a balk. If protested what rule penalty is listed in OBR?

Gil Imber said...

The second balk was pretty questionable. The intention of the balk rule is certainly not to ensure that pitchers come to the glove fluidly.

Gil Imber said...

I agree - when I work pro games I call all that stuff, but when I go back to amateur I only call really big "pre-set" mistakes as balks, like a full bob before coming set. Not like you're going to trick a base runner into getting them out when they are only 1/2 a step off the base...

Gil Imber said...

The problem with doing this is that as it stands now it's an easy call. Change the rule to allow "brief moments of indecision" and now the umpire has to judge whether or not that was a moment of indecision or meant to trick the runner, leading to even more inconsistency in whether or not these types of things are called as balks.


Same thing with flinches. While the ones here were almost certainly not intentional, if you make them legal you'll probably start to see them happen all the time and they WILL be intentional.

Gil Imber said...

Yeah, I guess I never thought of the ramifications of making them all legal. As a former pitcher, I used and abused the rules as much as I could without getting caught to try and gain an advantage. If I were allowed a pre set flinch, I'd have used and abused that one as well. What about having first and second level balks? First level would be a standard take your base balk, second level would be for these sorts of things, and it's counted as a balk with no base runners (automatic ball). Think something like that would work?

Gil Imber said...

That's a little harder to predict, but it might. I'm sure you'd find a few pitches who were comfortable enough to add a ball or two to the count for the sake of messing with the baserunner, but you might deter most players.

Gil Imber said...

While both balks were legit - I might have given a "game management pass" on the second one and not called it (may have saved a couple of EJs). Ofcourse, Davidson probably felt that his own partner (Hoye) showed him up by getting the first one... so Balkin' Bob had to even it up - lol

Sometimes... you just gotta let 'em play. Balkin' Bob just doesn't get it so he chooses to enforce the letter of the law... the result was 2 EJs, negative face time on SportsCenter and another smidge on an already tarnished reputation. Does Bob get stuff right on the field.... yes; would I want a guy like him on my crew.... no thanks.

Gil Imber said...

And I wouldn't want you and your "game management" on mine.

Gil Imber said...

Being willing to make calls like this because they are the right call, even though you know you're going to get crap for it, is the mark of a good umpire. Making the right call only tarnishes an umpire's reputation with people who are so against umpires to begin with that they don't care if it was the right call or not.

Gil Imber said...

The balk may have been the "correct" call but the timing was brutal... kind of like Davidson's reputation. Sometimes, you can be right but still make a bad call - this was one of those times. IF Davidson doesn't call that balk, what do you think would have happen......... let me answer that - NOTHING!. No visits, no arguments, no EJs and play goes on with no one says a word. Instead, he chose to call a ticky tak balk and his partners ended up taking the bullet(s) for the sh!t house that he created. That kind of judgement reminds me of the time an NCAA umpire called a no-stop balk on an INTENTIONAL WALK to score the winning run and end the game :0 Tell ya what, you can take that guy on your crew as well so that all of you get some good practice writing EJ Reports. C'mon guys...sometimes, you just gotta use a little common sense.

Gil Imber said...

Making the wrong call because you don't want to deal with coaches is the mark of a bad umpire.

Gil Imber said...

True.....however, choosing to NOT making a tiky-tac call in the 9th inning that decides the outcome of the game is the mark of an umpire who has good "judgement". You guys just don't get it... do ya?

Gil Imber said...

An umpire with good judgment makes the right call. What decided the outcome of the game was the fact that Lopez balked, not once, but twice, in the same way both times. Davidson just called it and he was correct to do so. If you don't want a balk to be called, DON'T BALK.

Gil Imber said...

The issue is not whether he balked or not - it's choosing to make an UNNECESSARY call at the worst time possible. Yes, Lopez balked twice in a row and the crew got the first one.... however, if I'm Hirshbeck (the CC), the first thing I would say to Davidson after the game is "C'mon Bob, did you REALLY have to make that call at THAT time of the game" ????

Gil Imber said...

Will:


I don't disagree with you but my chapter is very hardline "See a Balk, Call a Balk"

Gil Imber said...

Conroy has been officially named full time. Awesome news for him.

Gil Imber said...

SMJ:




Umpires should see what they call and call what we see. The more worried we are about "game management" (aka COACH APPEASMENT), the less effective we are going to be at our jobs. The more we worry about the coach appeasement you are supporting, the worse product we put out.



Do me a favor, trade in your chest protector for a coaches clip board because if you said that to me after I NAILED a balk like Bob did, I would tell you where you could stick it.

Gil Imber said...

Its an absolutely necessary call. You can't call it once, and then let the exact same thing go a second time. The other dugout will see that, and you'll have absolutely no excuse. What are you gonna tell the opposing coach? I didnt call the second one because I would have had to run someone? Well now youre running him. Ejections happen. You cant run from them, or you'll lose respect.

Gil Imber said...

Congratulations to Chris Conroy: http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20130614&content_id=50618020&vkey=pr_mlb&c_id=mlb ... Always good when your sources pan.

Gil Imber said...

elvis andrus got ejected by eric cooper

http://gyazo.com/6ba95dd586c24a15d94a442f0608391c

Gil Imber said...

Iif im balkin in the tieing run in the 9th inning, there better be atleast one or two other guys on the crew that are banging that balk at the same time. The second balk was definitely less noticable than the 1st one - in fact, if bob passed on it like Hoye did, we probably wouldnt even be having this conversation. There's only 2 other MLB umpires who would be dumb enough to make a call like that (West & Hernandez). The phrase "people dont come to watch you umpire" came from guys that wanna make the big call at the wrong time in the game. One thing's for sure, Davidson grabbed the sh!tty end of the stick & unfortunately, two of his partners got the crap on them too.

Gil Imber said...

You could really argue both sides here. At college level or higher they both should be called. In my opinion if you call that at the high school level or lower coaches are going to think you are a horrible umpire because no one will think that is a balk. They will not be thinking he is a good umpire because he is making a tough call. In my experience at the high school level when you make the hard call even if its the right call they think you are a bad umpire. That is of course in the state of Wisconsin where high school ball is not very good.

Gil Imber said...

Copied from my other post
The website says "start-stop" viloates 8.05(a):

"The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery;"

Coming set is not a motion naturally associated with his delivery. In fact, while coming set, the pitcher can step off or step and throw to a base. 8.05(a) only comes into play once he starts his motion to pitch.

Wendelstedt says a balk is: "The pitcher starts and stops his motion to deliver a pitch (8.05a), bring his hands together in either pitching position, or to disengage the pitcher's plate (8.01b).

This is from the 2010 WUM.

Bolding is mine.

Note Wendelstedt references 8.01(b). The problem is there is no balk penalty in 8.01(b). I used to think that I could reference, in the unlikely event that somebody questioned why it was a balk, 8.01(b) or ©, as starting and stopping is basically a feint without a step. Later, from believable sources, and from WUM I've learned that this particular 8.01(b) violation is a balk by custom and practice (and JE balk video) although the other violation mentionioned in this situation's paragraph is still a "do not do that'.

For additional rumination I add the following verbiage from 8.01(b): "After assuming the set position,any natural motion associated with his delivery of the ball to the batter commits him to pitch without alteration or interruption."

Again, bolding mine.

Gil Imber said...

I'm an umpire in Wisconsin and I'd balk both of those when working HS varsity games. Without a second thought, BTW.

Gil Imber said...

Continuous motion.

Gil Imber said...

What city you live in? Maybe I know you!

Gil Imber said...

My username is a hint. :)


I agree with you. The coaches wouldn't understand. What's more, I work small college baseball and I'm not sure all of *those* coaches would understand, either.

Gil Imber said...

Are these ejections being reviewed

Gil Imber said...

Certainly not a better but good enough view especially considering my ability to distinguish a balk from a non balk

Gil Imber said...

This ruling has been challenged and is under review by the UEFL Appeals Board.

Gil Imber said...

In re 077 Hirschbeck 2, 078 Reynolds 3:

After review, the Original Ruling has been affirmed in a unanimous 4-0-0 decision by the UEFL Appeals Board. Four Appeals Board members voted to confirm the Original Ruling.

Majority Opinion, RichMSN:
When I hold our baseball umpires clinic next year, I will probably use these as examples of start-and-stop balks. Confirm.

Concurring Opinion, BT_Blue:
Both of these are classic "start-and-stop" balks. Perhaps the easiest Confirm I will have all season.

Concurring Opinion, Turducken:
Waste of time, confirm. 8.01(B) -- have to come in a CONTINUOUS motion.

Therefore, the Board affirms the Original Ruling.

Confirmed: tmac, RichMSN, BT_Blue, Turducken
Upheld: -
Overturned: -
Deferred: -
Abstained: Gil (posted Original Ruling), Jeremy (deployment), yawetag (owns Hirschbeck)

Gil Imber said...

You obviously don't know what "Grabbing the sh!tty end of the stick"means.

Gil Imber said...

"You can't call that now" a phrase that I only hear from coaches or coaches trying to be part time umps. I hear it most on balk calls and t is almost universally followed with "you have to give a warning first." My response is "this should warn you to not do it again."

The last time I heard that insulting phrase was calling the final out (tying run on 3rd, bases loaded) on a batter fouling a ball while stepping on the plate. It was also followed by the almost obligatory claim for a warning and a subsequent post-game ejection. Funny thing, in the 1st I told that coach his boys were stepping completely out of the box on their swings and if they touch the ball they are out.

Still got the ridiculous "can't call that now" crap. If you are willing to call it when it "doesn't matter" then you better call it all the time. Otherwise you're taking sides.

I mean, what's the line? Eventually you can't call a close 3rd strike to end the game with a significant run on base? Can't call interference on the clean hitting tying run? There's a phrase to describe that kind of umpiring: bush league.

Gil Imber said...

Yes, we do 'get it', you are the one that seems not to understand. An umpires job is not to sit on the field and consider, "How will making this call affect the game and will it cause any ejections?" His job is to see a call and make a call based on what happens. If you were on my crew and missed making calls because you were 'afraid' of the repercussions I'd do everything in my power to make sure you didn't get back out on that field.

Gil Imber said...

Your eyes must be horrible if you think that second balk was less noticeable than the first one. It was the exact same movement. As I stated before, an umpires job is to call what he sees, not to contemplate the degree of what he sees and whether it was more or less of a balk than the previous balk. A balk is a balk and should be called. If I'm a team with a runner on 3B and the pitcher balks and it's not called, especially if the same movement was called to move my runner to 3B, I'm going to be furious and you better believe you're going to hear about it.

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