Monday, August 12, 2013

MLB Ejection 129: Ron Kulpa (1; AJ Pierzynski)

HP Umpire Ron Kulpa ejected Rangers C A.J. Pierzynski for arguing a ball three call in the bottom of the 6th inning of the Rangers-Astros game. With two out and none on, Villar took a 2-2 slider from Rangers pitcher
Kulpa rules a ball on a low pitch.
Yu Darvish for a called third ball. Replays indicate the pitch was located below the hollow of the batter's knee and over the heart of home plate (sz_bot 1.540, pz 1.478) while the ball 1 (px 0.518; pz 0.044), 2 (-1.220; 2.640) and 4 (0.014; 0.531) pitches were also correctly officiated, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Rangers were leading, 2-0. The Rangers ultimately won the contest, 2-1.

This is Ron Kulpa (46)'s first ejection of 2013.
Ron Kulpa now has 4 points in the UEFL (0 + 2 MLB + 2 Y = 4).
Tom Hallion now has 5 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (4 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 5).

This is the 129th ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 56th player ejection of 2013. Prior to ejection, Pierzynski was 2-3 in the contest.
This is the Rangers' 3rd ejection of 2013, 2nd in the AL West (OAK 5; TEX 3; LAA 2; SEA 1; HOU 0).
This is A.J. Pierzynski's 1st ejection of 2013 and first since Aug 25, 2012 (Lance Barrett; QOC = U).
This is Ron Kulpa's first ejection since May 29, 2011 (Matt Kemp/Don Mattingly; QOC = Correct).

Wrap: Texas Rangers vs. Houston Astros, 8/12/13
Video: Kulpa tosses AJ for arguing a ball call during a perfecto-breaking up walk (TEX)

71 comments :

Gil Imber said...

I respect kulpa a lot but why does he have to get more upset and angry than A.J.? Haha kulpa was the one who ejected A.J. I find it some what amusing why umpires are more upset and create such a big scene and fuss about arguing balls and strikes.

Gil Imber said...

Ball and strikes calls are never legit complaints. If it were up to me automated suspension for life for arguing bases and strikes.

Gil Imber said...

I don't blame Kulpa for his reaction here. A.J. turned around and shouted at him from point blank range, and probably after he had been jawing at him for the previous two pitches. Also, A.J. isn't exactly a sympathetic figure. Last year he cursed at Lance Barrett repeatedly in an ejection, and there was no barking back by Barrett. I was kind of glad someone went right back at him. Oh, and I thought the pitch was low.

Gil Imber said...

I'm always for getting the call right, as a fellow umpire, but this time I was like "damn, just give him that pitch" ;) . On screen pitch track showed it exactly on the bottom line of the (non-normalized) strike zone, so a lot of people probably went ballistic. Waiting for the storm of Texas homers coming in for a "Challenge!"...

Gil Imber said...

Umps get pissed because it is their job to determine balls and strikes. If you got 2nd guessed for everything you did at your job, you'd be pissed too!

Gil Imber said...

Pitches worse than this have been deemed correct pitches on this site.



Darvish almost throws a perfect game and all you can remember is Kulpa losing his mind. Good for AJ for sticking up for his pitcher.

Gil Imber said...

Why would the call be correct when ball 3 was clearly in the zone and that was the reason AJ was barking at Kulpa after ball 4??

Gil Imber said...

Are you seriously disputing the PitchFX numbers?

Gil Imber said...

"...clearly in the zone..." -- that pitch was not clearly in the zone. And with the break on the pitch I find it difficult to believe that it went through most of the depth of the strike zone.


IF we assume that it hit the front of the zone (the only thing those stupid boxes on TV show) then that pitch had no chance of staying in the zone for most of the rest of the way to the catcher (which is the width of the batter's stance).

Good call.

Gil Imber said...

I'm missing why nobody is talking about how poorly AJ caught a borderline pitch on 2-2. He stabbed it down and then stood up and tried to sell running off. Why would he do that..... that happens when catchers are trying to sell a pitch and OR show up an umpire.... it's not a good idea b/c it ALWAYS makes the pitch look bad. So the result is AJ f's up then wants to blame the umpire following the walk.. NOT ACCEPTABLE..... If AJ caught that like a professional catcher he likely would have gotten the call... Instead the perception is he's intending to trick the umpire into calling a ball a strike.
Some people on here are complaining about Kulpa going after AJ..... Who spoke 1st? AJ looks back and says something. Kulpa addresses it. If he's at fault for anything it's for walking towards AJ because it comes off as aggressive. However, AJ could have said, "you just f'ed up his perfect game" or something of that nature." Kulpa likely warned him then AJ gave back another response to be ejected. I'm at a loss at how anyone can rip Kulpa for the call on the pitch.... Unless you've had that happen on a very high level you have no idea how tough a call that is when a pitcher has a breaking ball that is that sharp.

Gil Imber said...

I would also be willing to bet that if AJ doesn't jerk his glove, and immediately hop out of his crouch, but instead just holds the pitch for a second and give Kulpa a good look at it, that Darvish is a lot more likely to get that call. I don't think AJ's body movements on this pitch do Darvish any favors.

Gil Imber said...

It's also his job to keep a clear head and not let his emotions get the better of him. If he wanted to run AJ for turning around to dispute after ball 4 I'd have no problem with that; but AJ vented for a couple of seconds and then tried to walk away. It was Kulpa who pursued him to keep the confrontation going.

Gil Imber said...

Brooks shows it on the edge of the plate which by rule puts it within the Kulpa rule

http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/numlocation_io.php?pitchSel=506433&game=gid_2013_08_12_texmlb_houmlb_1/&batterX=42&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3

Gil Imber said...

Sure looked like Kulpa was looking for an argument. He went and confronted AJ

Gil Imber said...

First, the zone in that picture is not adjusted for the batter's height. Second, the Kulpa Rule only applies to the horizontal boundaries.

Gil Imber said...

As Jake said below - we don't know what AJ was doing before, but he surely was jawing with Kulpa, and when he got in Kulpa's face - see ya later! Guess I have to go check the ballpark audio feed of this!
And my first reaction to the pitch was that it was low also..

Gil Imber said...

PitchFX tracks only at the front of the zone as well, and if it did hit the front of the zone then the call would be Incorrect.

Gil Imber said...

Whatever AJ said really pissed off Kulpa! He says to Ron Washington "that's f*cking bullsh*t!"

Gil Imber said...

This has nothing to do with "perfect game" you have to hit the strike zone for a perfect game he didn't end of story.

Gil Imber said...

That the right way, as an umpire when we see catchers move the glove up they know its a damn ball

Gil Imber said...

the ball was in the zone but low below the knees its not a strike open the rule book.

Gil Imber said...

Its not about the call its about respect and what players say.

Gil Imber said...

Because, in all probability, AJK was bitching at him for two pitches. THEN he gets up and gets in his face - goodnight! Its been almost two and a half years since Kulpa ejected someone, so SOMEthing happened to get him pissed..

Gil Imber said...

Really so should players his emotion didn't get better you guys also go after the umpire no matter what always go after the umpire.

Gil Imber said...

I notice he hasn't ejected in so long...

Gil Imber said...

F that.....catcher acts like that after a pitch he brutalizes, you're going to need a shovel to get me out of his arse.

Gil Imber said...

Only if there are also automatic suspensions for umpires blowing calls...

Gil Imber said...

Except those two aren't equivalent at all...

Gil Imber said...

That's a little extreme.

Gil Imber said...

Watched it on MLB.tv, with only the ballpark sound on:


AJ: You f***ed him! You f***ed him!!! No wonder Kulpa got so pissed


SU: ASA? College? High School? 20 years ASA/NYS high school here - and I ALWAYS call a pitch there a ball,don't you? I don't give two s***s what a catcher does after! :)

Gil Imber said...

Because it is within an inch (.0833 on PitchFX) the Miller rule says it may be a ball or a strike so whatever was called would be "correct"

Gil Imber said...

You should thank Kulpa for not letting Darvish get his first NoNo against a LL team who should be in Williamsport instead.

Gil Imber said...

Regardless, ESPN is gonna blow this out of proportion.

Gil Imber said...

Challenge. Pitch 3. Miller Rule. Reasonably changed the outcome of the at-bat, too.

Gil Imber said...

Doesn't the Miller Rule give the call to the umpire though?

Gil Imber said...

If A.J. could receive pitches worth a damn, he might have gotten that pitch. As it stands, he let the ball carry his glove down out of the zone. This isn't 12U baseball, it's the big leagues and you have to stick that pitch.

Gil Imber said...

...so why are you challenging the ruling then?

Gil Imber said...

You are correct. Curt Schilling is horrible.

Gil Imber said...

Its like the umpires think the fans are there to watch them umpire. He made a good call, but had to chase down AJ to get him to say enough to eject him. An umpire with the power to eject is a bit like a someone with a gun chasing down someone else who was walking away from the fight

Gil Imber said...

LMAO. Don't you realize that within a few years we'd be down to little league umpires??? Call me when you're perfect at YOUR job.

Gil Imber said...

Even after the way AJ butchered it and popped up trying to cover it up, showing up Kulpa in the process? Three reasons to call it a ball. If he gives Darvish that in a perfect game bid, the Astros are the ones going ballistic. Even as both a Rangers fan and an umpire, I can see how Kulpa called this a ball.

Gil Imber said...

In re: 129 Kulpa 1;

Challenge summarily denied. With a pz value 1.478 and a sz_bot of 1.540, Pitch 3 was located below the batter's hollow of the knee as it crossed the front edge of home plate, and accordingly, was correctly ruled a ball.

Precedent cited: 098 Everitt 2; 087, 088 Hernandez 3, 4; 059, 060 Iassogna 2, 3; 049 Gonzalez 1; 007 Fletcher 1 [2013]; 125 Campos 5; 115 Nelson 3; 092 Everitt 1, 057, 058 Davison 2, 3; 008, 009 Gibson 1, 2 [2012].

Appeal denied pursuant to UEFL Rule 6-2-b-2 (Miller Rule). Certiorari denied.

Gil Imber said...

No, you've got to look at the numbers NOT the graph. The graph is inaccurate because the line drawn to indicate the bottom and top of the strike zone is for an "average" batter not for the individual. The numbers show the pitch was below the bottom of that individual batter's strike zone.

Gil Imber said...

Don't even have to get into that. The pz was less than sz_bot. That should really be the end of discussion.

Gil Imber said...

AJ has a bad reputation around the league. Ejection? Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy...

Gil Imber said...

Clearly Kulpa awarded the Astros with a solo HR...

Gil Imber said...

You misunderstood my post. I'm 100% in the "ball" camp on this one.

Gil Imber said...

You're right, but since he cited the rule I figured I'd demonstrate how it was within the "umpire is always right" range regardless.

Gil Imber said...

Darvish should have thrown a better pitch. Better luck next time.

Gil Imber said...

A bit off-topic, but is there a way you can report a bug regarding your comment system here? I have found that if you have a page open, and a new comment is added by a registered user while the page is open, and you view it, any comments added by non-registered users while you are still on the page will display as if they were made by the last registered user who posted. Or I think that's what's going on, all I know is I'm seeing comments by users and when I come back later they're made by different users.

Gil Imber said...

Odd. I'll forward that to the DISQUS team.

Gil Imber said...

How many perfect games have been thrown against really good teams? Not many - that is what makes Don Larsen's WS perfecto so special.

Gil Imber said...

Stupid ESPN. When does Fox Sports Channel start?

Gil Imber said...

you expect a FOX channel to be any different??

Gil Imber said...

One can hope.


I will be happy if Fox Sports doesn't do the whole 'create an issue to push the agenda' thing that ESPN is basically built on now.


No network will be umpire friendly. But I would like one that is not biased and constantly grinding their ax. ESPN wants NCAAF playoffs, new QB ratings, expanded instant replay in MLB and they create issues to drive those wants. They wanted modified OT in the NFL and pushed it. Their anchors all beat the agenda-drive drums. It is sickening.

Less agenda, please.

Gil Imber said...

I am not impressed with how Kulpa handled this. Balls/Strikes argument, so he's well within his right to toss F2 at any point. You could have dumped him right then and there, rather than chasing him out there. Add that to the finger print and it just looks confrontational.

Gil Imber said...

I like to move up but I need to do more rec ball first, I am under softball babe ruth. No I only brought up the fact the catcher brought the glove up afterwords. as an umpire if your going to try to sell the call don't move the glove.

I did a middle school game last year... first time yet to get paid but it was fun to do. I do plan to get patch or at least try to get patch for asa next year. I like to get up to high school level college would be cool but I am far from highs/college.

Gil Imber said...

He didn't case him he confronted him. the

Gil Imber said...

I know it was technically a ball when you crunch all the numbers, but it was close, and a call that Kulpa could have really made either way, in my view. Pierzynski definitely deserved the ejection for the way he acted, but I don't think Kulpa handled himself particularly well, either.

Gil Imber said...

What state do you live in? In Wisconsin it is way to easy to do high school ball.

Gil Imber said...

I live in New Hampshire I love doing rec ball though the kids are great, coach's managers are not to shabby. I want to get the right timing to high school ball.

Gil Imber said...

C'mon guys. We all know superior umps will "bend as needed" by the game at hand. If a plate needs to be 21" to get the guys swinging - so be it. Seems to me that the PRIMARY people who matter in the big leagues are the fans. Balls 2 and 3 could have just as easily as not been called for strikes (and probably were at other points in the game). In that "grey area," the ump should consider the spectacular - and the spectacular at that point was an ongoing perfect game. I know a lot of you guys are "by the book" - but, that's just not sport.

Gil Imber said...

Jack, I couldn't agree with you more!

Gil Imber said...

You need to read a couple of the posts up above this. AJ butchered the pitch and then hopped up out of his stance expecting to get the call. If he sticks this pitch like some MLB catchers can and stays down in his stance, Kulpa might have gotten a strike here. Contrary to what fans and the media blabber on about, it does matter how catcher's receive pitches, especially at higher levels.

Gil Imber said...

I understand that. I also understand that someone had to decide on something to use that was a objective as possible and PitchFX is great for that.

I think you understand what I mean that those are only giving a 2D measure on what is actually a 3D zone. As a result there are times when a pitch would be called correctly on the field as something and be deemd incorrect because of PitchFX's dimensional limitations.

Gil Imber said...

You can only hope the sad fact is csn,fox,tbs all have bias towards one team or anther or they just plain stupid announcers.

Gil Imber said...

About 1 out of every 3 perfect games is thrown against a good team:
1908 Addie Joss against Chicago White Sox (Sox finished year 88-64, 1.5 games back of Tigers)

1922 Charlie Robertson against Detroit Tigers (Tigers were not good this year but throwing a perfect game against Ty Cobb (.401 avg) and Harry Heilmann (.356 avg) is a remarkable feat)
1956 Don Larson against Dodgers in World Series
1988 Tom Browning against Dodgers (Dodgers won the World Series)

1991 Dennis Martinez against Dodgers (Dodgers finished year 93-69, 1 game behind the Braves)
2004 Randy Johnson against Atlanta Braves (Braves won the NL East)

2010 Dallas Braden against Tampa Bay Rays (Rays won AL East)

2012 Felix Hernandez against Tampa Bay Rays (Rays finished 90-72)

Gil Imber said...

You know, you have burst my bubble. You could have let Fox bust it instead. Now I will have to go into a depression for a while.


Seriously, yes, announcers are stupid (and the one I work with in St Paul is an exception who wants to be the next Vin Scully). I expect that. I am hoping for some analysts that are less stupid, more fair, etc.


How about a graphic after playing a blown call that shows the number of calls made in a game and the percentage that one call represents over a season. I mean, that kind of senseless crap permeates sports broadcasts already to defend (or attack) everyone else. I would like officials to get a friend on a broadcast.

Gil Imber said...

Aww i didn't mean to burst your bubble now your making me feel bad.... :( I agree with you i love to see announcers be more fair. What my issue is they played the game most if not all they know the rules

Gil Imber said...

Yea well i think the issue is more that mlb union won't allow the umps to talk to announcers but its not like they couldn't talk to other umpires in college/high school etc... or even youth sports

Gil Imber said...

Everyone bitches about the "homer announcers" most of the guys commenting are just as bad. They are just homers for the almighty god gifted umpire who is flawless in his exucution.. Lmao. Get a grip fellas.

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