Thursday, September 12, 2013

MLB Ejection: 165: Bill Miller (3; Ron Gardenhire)

1B Umpire Bill Miller ejected Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire for arguing a fair (reversed) call in the top of the 4th inning of the Athletics-Twins game. With none out and three on, A's batter Jed Lowrie hit a 0-1 curveball
Crew Scott convenes to discuss the play.
from Twins pitcher Josh Roenicke past first base and towards the foul right field wall. Initially ruled a foul ball and changed to a fair ball double with mandatory minimum runner placement of two bases after crew conference (since the batter was awarded two bases, the runners were forced to advance two bases lest be declared out), replays indicate the line drive first contacted the ground in fair territory, on the foul line, before bounding into shallow right field, caroming off the side wall, the call was correct. At the time of ejection, the A's were leading, 8-1. The A's ultimately won the contest, 18-3.

This is Bill Miller (26)'s third ejection of 2013.
Bill Miller now has 4 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 4).
Crew Chief Dale Scott now has 5 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (4 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 5).

This is the 165th ejection of 2013.
This is the 81st Manger ejection of 2013.
This is the Twins' 5th ejection of 2013, 4th in the AL Central (DET 10; CLE 7; CWS 6; MIN 5; KC 4).
This is Ron Gardenhire's 5th ejection of 2013 & first since August 29, 2013 (Alan Porter; QOC = Irrecusable).
This is Bill Miller's first ejection since August 1, 2013 (Don Mattingly; QOC = Irrecusable).

Wrap: Oakland Athletics vs. Minnesota Twins, 9/11/13
Video: Lowrie lines a bullet down the first base line, which appears to hit the line on its way past Miller (OAK)
Video: After umpires Miller, Scott, Tichenor & Bucknor confer and change the call, Gardy is ejected (MIN)

Related Play and Video: After Chris Guccione rules a fly down the line foul, Crew Hallion convenes but ultimately declines to modify the initial ruling, which renders the issue of runner placement moot (STL, 9/11)

22 comments :

Gil Imber said...

Interesting. I knew we were going to see something like this next year with the expansion of instant replay. Can anyone ever recall a foul ball being reversed to a fair ball (other than a homerun)?

Gil Imber said...

Where do you come up with "mandatory minimum runner placement of two bases after crew conference"? There's no such wording anywhere in the rule book.

Gil Imber said...

I saw the play in St. Louis happen last night. It was clearly fair, so I'm wondering if the PU just didn't know for sure, and that's why they didn't overturn it, or if they knew it was fair but didn't want to place runners arbitrarily.

Gil Imber said...

The rule they used is 9.02(c) ...if umpires consult after a play and change a call...including placing runners where they think those runners would have been.


But this is so different from baseball tradition of a foul ball call being unfixable.

Gil Imber said...

In other news, this is going to be the new standard next year with replay. They are going to have to place runners after reversing fouls calls to fair. There needs to be something in the rule about managers not being allowed to argue runner placement or they will be subject to immediate ejection. Otherwise it will turn into a circus.

Gil Imber said...

It should have been phrased as "runner placement of two bases" - 9.02(c) was invoked, the "mandatory" part of the phrasing was inaccurate.

Also, I appeal the ruling of the call being correct, based on historical precedent of foul balls being irreversible.

Gil Imber said...

I have no problem with the umps getting together on this. Obviously, U1 had more important things to take care of than to get into position to see this batted ball. He needed help and if HP saw the chalk fly that's pretty good.


Wondering what Gardy did to finally get tossed? does anyone ready lips? Did he tell U1 to "Go F yourself"?????

Gil Imber said...

Since the batter was awarded two bases, the runners are forced to advance by virtue of the batter's award.

Gil Imber said...

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

Gil Imber said...

I will say, pretty good job by both announcers not freaking out when they reversed it.

Gil Imber said...

9.02(c) already states anyone arguing the umpires decision after a call reversal, including runner placement, is subject to ejection.

Gil Imber said...

A key factor here is that the right fielder played the hit according to the foul-ball call. In other words he didn't play it. If it had been called fair in the first place who knows what would have happened? Somebody might have gotten thrown out.

Gil Imber said...

I am shocked, just *shocked* that Gardenhire got tossed here.



Really, it's a broken record with him. If you can predict when he's going to get tossed, it's not really going to have much of an effect on the troops.

Gil Imber said...

I thought he was pretty controlled. I still haven't seen a replay that shows the ball clearly fair.

Gil Imber said...

Once a batted ball is called "foul" by an umpire, the ball is dead and no runners may advance. An umpire miscalling a batted ball as "foul" is tantamount to the inadvertent whistle in football or basketball. The time a call could be changed from "foul" to "fair" is on a ball that leaves the playing surface -- a batted ball that exceeds the height of the foul pole but remains near the pole as it goes past the fence or a ball that hops immediately into the stands. In this case the ball did not go into a "dead ball" area but was dead because, and only because, it was called "foul" by the first base umpire. When the umpire called "foul," all action ceased; even the batter-runner was arguing the call before he got to first base. Because the ball became dead at the moment the umpire called "foul," the call should have been assessed as uncorrectable. And this should the case, even if replay is allowed on more than home run calls.

Gil Imber said...

In fairness, it's not like this was a lazy fly that he didn't hustle on. I timed it at about 1 second from the time of the hit until he made the call.
I agree, though. This is exactly the situation when you want the umpires to get together and determine if someone saw something different.

Gil Imber said...

I don't want to speak for Dom but I am thinking he os referencing the Dale Scott-Bud Black ejection from last year which was ruled as an incorrect call by Scott due to a confusing signal. However, I think this play is very different and I doubt the appeals board overturns this.

Gil Imber said...

Absolutely, Famijoly. Well put. Took the words right off my fingers. Fair to foul is okay. Foul to fair should never happen. When in doubt, let the play develop. You can undo a play's result, you can't accurately invent one.

Gil Imber said...

He must have said one of the magic words...

Gil Imber said...

Gil, that explanation is MUCH clearer than the "mandatory minimum" whatever you wrote in the original page text. Thank you.

Gil Imber said...

Thank you, MarkCanada. I'm not a member of this league (UEFL) but I enjoy this site for discussions on rules and especially the handling of ejections. I wish I had known about this site a few years ago when a midseason White Sox at Indians game could have been protested, if Eric Wedge, then manager of the Indians, had kept this same principle in mind -- that a ball called foul is dead, and the umpires should not be concocting situations had the ball been live.
On the play, with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning and the White Sox leading 2-0, the batter hit a squiggler up the first base line that was fielded by the Chicago pitcher right on the chalk. The home plate umpire, blocked out by the batter running and the catcher moving out in front of home plate, nevertheless rendered his best guess and vociferously called "foul" and put both hands above his head in the "dead ball" signal. The pitcher went ahead with the throw to first base. The first base umpire gave no signal because the ball was dead.
White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen argued that the ball was field on fair territory (on the chalk). The umpire, a minor league callup, got the crew together. After discussion, they changed the call to "fair" and called the batter-runner "out." All Wedge could think about was getting ejected to take up for his club. Had he come out calmly, he could have ascertained from the crew that the ball had been called "foul," which made the ball dead. He could have then asked, "When the did the ball become live again, for them to record an out?" If the crew had refused to reconvene and wind up determining the original call of "foul" was uncorrectable, Wedge would have been right to place the game under protest.
It amazed me in that case, as well as is this case, that Major League umpires actually ignored this basic principle of baseball rules at all levels of the game.

Gil Imber said...

You're welcome, Famijoly. I give credit where credit is due. I'm not a member of the league either. I am an umpire with 23 years experience who likes discussions about this side of the game. My friends don't get it. :)
As for the Wedge situation, it's a bizarre thing, because these umpires' rulings boggle my mind. I am of the mind that it is ALWAYS important to get the call right, but that the rules must be respected and consequences must be considered. Only reverse a call that is made in order to get the call right, and only when you can be absolutely objective insodoing.
All that to say that in this particular case, Bill Miller shouldn't have made a call at all, seeing as he was moving (JUMPING!) but he did. That call resulted in an immediate dead ball. Nothing happens after a dead ball. The call happened to be wrong. Miller has to take responsibility for the wrong call and eat it, rather than invent a scenario that penalizes the other team to save his ass.

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