Saturday, September 14, 2013

MLB Ejections 166, 167: Fletcher, West (4, 4; Rios, Garza)

3B Umpire Andy Fletcher ejected Rangers RF Alex Rios for arguing an out call in the bottom of the 8th inning and 1B Umpire Joe West ejected Rangers P Matt Garza for arguing a ball (check swing) call by U3 Fletcher in
Crisp attempts to check his swing.
the top of the 9th inning of the Athletics-Rangers game. In the 8th, with two out and one on, Rangers batter Adrian Beltre hit a 1-0 fastball from A's pitcher Sean Doolittle for a line drive single to left fielder Yoenis, who threw to third baseman Josh Donaldson as baserunner R1 Rios attempted to advance to third base. Replays indicate Rios' hand contacted the third base bag before Donaldson's glove tagged Rios, the call was incorrect. In the 9th, with two out and none on, A's batter Coco Crisp attempted to check his swing on a 0-0 slider from Rangers pitcher Jason Frasor. Replays indicate Crisp did not attempt to strike the pitch, the call was correct. At the time of both ejections, the A's were leading, 9-8. The A's ultimately won the contest, 9-8.

This is Andy Fletcher (49)'s fourth ejection of 2013.
This is Joe West (22)'s fourth ejection of 2013.
Andy Fletcher now has 10 points in the UEFL (12 Previous + 2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call = 10).
Joe West now has 5 points in the UEFL (2 Previous + 2 MLB + 1 Correct Call [Crewmate] = 5).
Crew Chief Joe West now has 4 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (3 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 4).

These are the 166th and 167th ejections of 2013.
These are the 73rd and 74th player ejection of 2013. Prior to ejection, Rios was 1-5 in the contest.
This is the Rangers' 4th/5th ejection of 2013, 2nd in the AL West (OAK 6; TEX 5; HOU 4; LAA 2; SEA 1).
This is Alex Rios' 1st ejection of 2013 and first since June 14, 2012 (Jeff Nelson; QOC = Correct).
This is Matt Garza's first career MLB ejection.
This is Andy Fletcher's first ejection since June 8, 2013 (Terry Francona; QOC = Correct).
This is Joe West's first ejection since September 6, 2013 (Joba Camberlain; QOC = Incorrect).

Wrap: Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers, 9/13/13
Video: Oakland ends the Rangers' 8th inning threat with an out at third leading to Rios' dismissal (OAK)
Video: Washington discusses the call at third base, explaining Rios said some "choice words" (TEX)
Video: After Crisp's check, TEX dugout protests, Rob Drake warns Wash and West ejects Garza (Soon)

38 comments :

Gil Imber said...

From the video, Rios slid in feet first and his foot was on the base when he was tagged -- not his hand.

Gil Imber said...

I am 100% certain that Rios' hand did not touch the base before the tag was applied.

Gil Imber said...

And you would be 100% correct,,,his hand did NOT touch the base before the tag.
His foot, however......

Gil Imber said...

If you're a replay expansion proponent (I'm not), the play at 3B should be exhibit 1 in your case play video. That's a really bad miss. Not even a close play.

Gil Imber said...

Real time I thought he was out and Fletcher made a good call. But upon further review...

Gil Imber said...

Here us my question--- although call on Rios was incorrect Rios was objected for bumping Fletcher and not for arguing call. So the incorrect call can be determined to be irrelevant.

Gil Imber said...

Fletcher must have been looking at his hands too.....

Gil Imber said...

Both Eric Wedge and Ron Gardenhire would have been right to protest, had they realized it, because it was a matter of rule, not judgment. Umpires are not supposed to uphold the rules, not change them. I umpired for 33 seasons, and, once I became a veteran and a league umpire-in-chief, I had the opportunity to do some local instructing for new umpires. On the subject of protests, this is how I would put in a nutshell so the new people could remember the principle: Every call involves umpire judgment. But the umpires are bound by rule to enforce the consequences of their judgment.
There are no compromises in this area. I would use a ridiculously extreme situation to illustrate my point. A bang-bang play at first base on the batter who leads off an inning. The umpire has to render a judgment so he calls him out, but he comes up with a compromise in enforcement. The call is "out" so the game will proceed with one out in the inning, but it was "so close" that the runner will be allowed to stay at first base (and possibly later score a run). Ridiculous? Yes, but hopefully the point is made. It's all or nothing. The batter-runner is either "out" and the out is recorded and he vacates the basepaths or he is "safe" and no out is recorded and he remains at first base. In the case of the young umpire a few years (I think Chris Guccione, who is now fulltime MLB) or Bill Miller a few nights ago, the original judgment, by rule, rendered the ball dead. The rule book specifically spells out how the ball is made live again, and there is no provision for correcting a misjudgment in the process of making the ball live again once it has become dead. It amazed me that in both cases, the crew chief, the one who is supposed to sort things out especially when he himself did not make the call, endorsed the changing of an uncorrectable call.
Thanks again, MarkCanada. As you can tell, I like diving into questions about the rules.

Gil Imber said...

...and, of course, Joe West is involved...

Gil Imber said...

Fletcher probably missed the call because he was out of position. He got straightlined on this play for some reason, and I'm not sure why. There was plenty of time to get where he needed to be but for some reason he didn't and ended up with the action going right at his face which is the absolute worst place to have it going when you're trying to make a call. If he's standing where the third-base coach was standing he probably nails this one.

Gil Imber said...

I challenge the check swing. Please refer to this as the "BillUnit Rule" -- I will challenge every check swing.

Gil Imber said...

I'm not sure this was all that close. Poor positioning and an inexcusable miss.

Gil Imber said...

That is not a good call for replay. Competent umpires would be a good start. If this call "wasn't even a close play" then he is incompetent to miss it.
The other night in the Cardinals game there was a line drive down the right field line. It hit with lots of green between the ball and the yellow foul line on the wall. The umpire, after the game, said it was a "close call" but it wasn't really even close!

Gil Imber said...

One mistake does not equate to incompetence.

Gil Imber said...

The umpire's job is to get the call right. I'm not sure what rule you are quoting when you say the umpire's cannot switch a call from wrong to right. Miller has to make a call. He is not allowed to not make a call and watch the ball go down the line and hope the plate guy decides to take it. That is ludicrous thinking. He guessed foul and was wrong. You do not have to die with the call anymore, that was the thinking of umpires 15 years ago. Their job is to get the call right and in this situation they did. They got together and decided what would have happened if the correct call was made. Yes, you might not like this way of thinking but that is the reality we now live in. With your thinking, there would be no way to overrule a call in the outfield if the umpire ruled no catch, and it actually was, with runners on base. But as we have seen this is done by changing the call to a correct call and placing runners where the umpires thought the runners would have ended up, taking into account runners having to tag up. Of course, the team the call goes against will not be happy. They never are. But at the end of the day you wind up with the correct call. Imagine this call happening in the World Series. You're telling me the umpires should just get the call wrong and move on. These men live in a world of high def television and if they have to lean on one another to get calls ultimately correct so be it. You obviously are mistaken when you say Gardenhire should have protested, because there is not a rule in the book that states the umpires cannot get together and correct a missed call and place runners where "in their judgement" would have ended up. Praise the umpires for having the balls to get the call correct instead of castrating them for being too stubborn to get help. I can see your reasoning in a Little League game or High School game where there is no television to prove you wrong, but this is not the case here. By the way, you probably aren't privy to the memo sent out to all MLB umpires that state they will do everything in their power to get calls right, this includes fair/foul, swipe tags, catch/no catch etc. It makes no reference to whether the ball was fair or foul. You might want to go to a clinic that is taught be MLB umpires, so you can be enlightened on what is going on at the Major League level, instead of reading your rule book each night and professing to know what is expected of MLB umpires.

Gil Imber said...

How long have you been working baseball? What levels have you worked? What pro school did you attend and what year did you go?

Gil Imber said...

I guess you don't care for Joe huh!

Gil Imber said...

I love this crew. All three of them are there backing Andy up once he gets bumped. Joe is the best leader in officiating.

Gil Imber said...

Actually, Frank, you're preaching to the choir about desiring to get the calls right. What cannot be compromised are the rules of the game. Umpires are not authorized to change the rules. So, yes, unless and until the rules are amended in writing, an umpire who incorrectly calls "foul" on a batted ball will just have to eat the call.

Gil Imber said...

The comment was somewhat sarcastic. Joe does have the reputation for sticking his nose where it doesn't belong in order to bait a manager or player into an ejection. But in this case, I think Joe was the right umpire to eject Garza. Rob Drake was the one who was out of focus, as per the video, switching his attention from the Rangers dugout to the next pitch and back again. As the Athletics announcers pointed out, Drake was fortunate the pitch was right down the middle and taken by the batter. Either call time and address the dugout chirping or ignore the chirping until the result of the next pitch is reached. As the first base umpire, West could clearly hear that Garza was unrelenting in his loud vocal criticism of Andy Fletcher. Drake should have let West handle it from the get-go.

Gil Imber said...

One of two things can happen:

a) Players react to erroneous signal [ball killed -- OBR mechanic -- remains foul]. I'd argue that BR did not react until he reached 1B [in reality -- that's a single whether F9 plays the ball with extraordinary effort]. At that rate, you can give him 1B and place runners. You could use discretion and hand him second and then talk about runner placement as Gil did.

b) There's no rule in OBR governing F/F reversal. 9.01(c) governs discretion.

Gil Imber said...

Rules 5.02 and 5.11 govern. They specifically cover what happens when the ball becomes dead and how to make the ball live again. Since 9.01(c) says "not specifically covered," it does not apply in this case since the written rules specifically cover the situation. So the proper placement of runners on the play in question would have been for the runners to return to the bases they occupied at the time of the pitch, and for the batter to resume his at-bat.

Gil Imber said...

Off-topic, but I'd be curious to read a write-up on here of the officiating travesty that ended the Wisconsin-Arizona State game.

Gil Imber said...

Ouch. Not sure how a crew at that level lets that happen.

Gil Imber said...

CHALLENGE

Gil Imber said...

Tough call, especially at this point in the season. But shit happens.

Gil Imber said...

I've seen worse. It happens. If one guy is having a bad day, it can be overcome. Much tougher when a myriad of folks on a crew have a tough day.


Shit happens, get a helmet! =-)

Gil Imber said...

Are you kidding me? We get to see it in slow motion. I'd like to see some of you folks make that call 9/10 times right, much less every time. Pencils have erasers. So does memory. People make mistakes. And this play is VERY close. Was he out of position? A bit, but the play was still damn close.

Gil Imber said...

Depends on your job. What if you're a heart surgeon? =-) LOL

Gil Imber said...

Actually, Joe has been GREAT since being split from (arguably one of the worst MLB umpires) Angel "Where's my hat?" Hernandez. Actually, the last episode I can recall for Joe being a douche bag was with Angel against these very Rangers (Ron W. and Gary Pettis). Joe takes a lot of crap because he's haughty and a showboater, but he knows his shit. And I like his West Vest! LOL

Gil Imber said...

LOL, I never ordered a WestVest chest protector but I had partners who swore by it. And that is quite an astute observation about the separation of Joe West from Angel Hernandez; I wasn't reading this site then, but it was incredible that season and a half they were together because hardly a series went by without an ejection from one or both of them or one of the two other members of the crew. And you're exactly right; Joe gets his calls right, and, before he started slipping a little with age the last couple-three years he was one of the very best on strike zone consistency. It's not because of his calls per se but because of his attitude that he brings the scorn upon himself.

Gil Imber said...

In re: 165: Miller 3;

After review, the Original Ruling has been affirmed in a 4-0-0 decision by the UEFL Appeals Board. Three Appeals Board members voted to confirm the Original Ruling while one elected to uphold it.

Majority Opinion, Turducken:
I do not think an incorrect mechanic is incorporated. In the 087 Scott 3 (2012) decision, "...it is apparent that Scott did not employ incorrect mechanics, as he properly gestured "out" when he believed the fly ball had been legally caught." I concur, here. There's no evidence to suggest that Miller ever intended to call this a fair ball. The UEFL seeks a determination of the end result, which is confirmed under rule 6-2-b-7: "Quality of Correctness for an ejection that occurs after umpire consultation, wherein the initial call was correct or incorrect, and after consultation, the initial call was changed to incorrect or correct, shall be adjudged as to whether the call after consultation is correct or incorrect." Replays indicated that the ball had made contact with the chalk line, indicating that the ball landed in fair territory. After the consultation, the call on the field was reversed from foul to fair ball. At the conclusion of the consultation, the correct call was made. Therefore, I confirm.

Per Curiam Opinion:
The Board clearly differentiates between a "mechanic" and a "call" its its decisions 006 Scott 1 (2012) and 087 Scott 3 (2012). In 006, the Board found that a false mechanic followed by a gesture of the opposite (in 006, "Time" followed by fair ball) in real-time which led to a triple play wherein the defense continued to play but the offense did not was enough to render the QOC incorrect even though replays indicate fair ball was the correct call. The 006 Scott 1 opinion established the "caused ejection due to an incorrect mechanic" standard.

In 087 Scott 3 (2012), wherein a fly ball out call was reversed after crew consultation, the Board found this reversal was proper (it was a trap) and that this did not meet the aforementioned "caused ejection due to an incorrect mechanic" standard. UEFL Rule 6-2-b-7 additionally mitigates the crew conference and demands QOC for a post-consultation ejection be taken from the post-consultation call, rather than the initial call. This ruling also supported the umpires' invocation of Rule 9.02(c) in declaring certain runners out while placing others at bases they would have achieved had the correct call been initially made.

Therefore, the Board affirms the Original Ruling.

Confirm: yawetag, BT_Blue, Turducken
Uphold: tmac
Overturn: -
Defer: -
Abstain: Gil (Posted Original Ruling), Jeremy (deployment), RichMSN (owns Miller)

Gil Imber said...

Your correct in stating that 9.01(c) does not apply in this situation, but 5.02 and 5.11 are not the governing rules either.


The rule that applies is 9.02(c) and it does not distinguish foul vs. fair. It allows umpires discretion to overturn ANY ruling and utilize their discretion in finalizing the play.



9.02(c)...If the umpires consult after a play and change a call that had been made, then they have the authority to take all steps that they may deem necessary, in their discretion, to eliminate the results and consequences of the earlier call that they are reversing, including placing runners where they think those runners would have been after the play, had the ultimate call been made as the initial call...all in the discretion of the umpires.

Gil Imber said...

I can understand how Dale Scott, Bill Miller and crew could feel that the wording of 9.02(c) would give them the loophole to reverse Miller's misjudgment. However, I cannot see how "all steps necessary" includes changing the other rules of the game.
To wit:
9.01(b) -- "Each umpire is the representative of the league and of professional baseball, and is authorized and required to enforce all these rules" (including 5.02 and 5.11).
9.02(b) -- "If there is reasonable doubt that any umpire's judgment may be in conflict with the rules, the manager may appeal the decision and ask that a correct ruling be made." Umpires concocting a live ball situation after THEY called the ball dead is in conflict with the rules and presents more than a reasonable doubt as to correctness of the "corrected" ruling, which, while correcting a misjudgment violated 5.02 and 5.11, plus the aforementioned line in 9.02(b).
9.02(c) -- "No player, manager, or coach shall be permitted to argue the exercise of the umpires' discretion in resolving the play and any person so arguing shall be subject to ejection." What needs to be clarified by Major League Baseball is the hierarchy of the rules. Which principle of rule has higher rank? On the one hand, it's good that Rule 9.02 has been amended to spell out the fact that the umpires are well within their authority to take corrective measures. But one clause needs to be added, "where possible according to these rules." I maintain that 9.01(b) has higher rank because it lays out a principle whereas 9.02(c) describes procedure.
I'm taking a hard line on this because I see the revision of 9.02(c), if left as is, as a seeming good for the game that will have unintended bad consequences. For example, what if a similar situation as this play occurs, and, after the reversal, the manager, instead of ranting and raving and getting ejected simply insists on placing the game under protest because to concoct a live-ball situation with utter disregard for 5.02 and 5.11 is a violation of the rules, which, as representatives of MLB and professional baseball, the umpires are required to uphold, as per 9.01(b)? Additionally, if left unclarified, that is, without regard to a hierarchy in the rules, 9.02(c) will tempt the umpires to be less accountable because they believe the rule book allows them to use their discretion, even to the point of revising the rules on the fly, to cover their heinies on misjudgments. This will lead to more tensions, not less, more ejections, not fewer.

Gil Imber said...

This is a ridiculous argument. The rules serve the game; the game does not serve the rules. MLB's emphasis is on umpires getting the call right, and they did. If Gardenhire had protested the game, I'm certain it would have been denied. You'll see more overturned calls like with replay next year, so get used to it.

Gil Imber said...

It is not a ridiculous argument, it is based on solid principles in rules. And that is because as you put, "the rules serve the game; the game does not serve the rules." I fail to see the need for the use of terminology like "ridiculous argument" and "get used to it." We're having a discussion on the rules of the game of baseball here, and we're not going to be deciding anything. We both love the game of baseball, and want the umpires to have the opportunity to be more efficient and accurate.
I notice you didn't even attempt to refute my points on merit but jumped to the dismissive route. If you bothered to sort through my post, you would see that you and I thoroughly agree on an emphasis of umpires getting the calls right. I welcome the amending of 9.02(c). My stickling point is only that principles of rule being respected even when, and perhaps especially when giving the umpires wider discretion on correcting errors. And, even though I would disagree with such a change because you simply cannot make a dead ball live again without ignoring 5.02 and 5.11, if MLB's rules committee and Commissioner want to go in that direction, they should at least make that as explicit as possible in the rules before we "get used to it."
An umpiring calling a batted ball "foul" being tantamount to an umpire calling "time" is a rule that has served the game very well. All I am saying is that if there are any changes to that, let's make sure the change serves the game equally well or better.

Gil Imber said...

In re: 167: West 4;

After review, the Original Ruling has been affirmed in a 3-0-2 decision by the UEFL Appeals Board. Three Appeals Board members voted to uphold the Original Ruling while two elected to defer it.

Majority Opinion, BT_Blue:
Without video replay, nor a photo showing conclusive evidence that Crisp did not check his swing, I vote to Uphold the original ruling.

Concurring Opinion, tmac, joined by Gil:
There is precedent for upholding with no video in 130 Eddings 2, in which the Board opined, "Due to the lack of any new information or videos, I have to concur that this call would be inconclusive at best. Thus, I too will vote to Uphold."

Dissenting Opinion, Turducken:
Given the nature of the check swing, the ruling is entirely subjective [and could be subject to board review]. I think that the evidence provided is insufficient and elect to defer.

Therefore, the Board affirms the Original Ruling.

Confirm: -
Uphold: tmac, BT_Blue, Gil (Casting Vote)
Overturn: -
Defer: RichMSN, Turducken
Abstain: Jeremy (deployment), yawetag (owns West)

Gil Imber said...

Well if you dont think that was a close call then you need glasses. Its very easy to see it was the wrong call when your watching it in slow motion. Fletcher didnt have that luxury. Im sure ive missed calls too but you have to make a call. He doesnt have time to sit there and think "now lets see, did his foot get their first or not". You have to make a split second decision. Ive done that as an umpire and knew I missed it but you stick with your call and you sell it. Fletcher is not one of those umpires who is known for screwing with guys. In slow motion its obvious he missed the call. But in real time you cant tell, and if you say you can then your a liar.

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