Saturday, May 25, 2013

MLB Ejection 043: Alfonso Marquez (2; Bruce Bochy)

HP Umpire Alfonso Marquez ejected Giants Manager Bruce Bochy for arguing an out call in the bottom of the 8th inning of the Rockies-Giants game. With one out and one on, Giants batter Pablo Sandoval hit a 0-2
Arenado whiffs on his tag attempt of Scutaro.
fastball from Rockies pitcher Matt Belisle in the air to shallow left-center field, retrieved by left fielder Carlos Gonzalez, who threw to third baseman Nolan Arenado in an attempt to retire the advancing baserunner R1 Marco Scutaro. Replays indicate Arenado failed to tag Scutaro's person prior to his arrival at third base and that Scutaro did not appear to run more than three feet away from his base path, as in Rule 7.08(a)(1), the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 4-4. The Giants ultimately won the contest, 6-5, in 10 innings.

This is Alfonso Marquez (72)'s second ejection of 2013.
Alfonso Marquez now has 2 points in the UEFL (4 Previous + 2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call = 2).
Crew Chief Ted Barrett now has 1 point in the Crew Division (1 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 1).

This is the 43rd ejection of 2013.
This is the 21st Manager ejection of 2013.
This the Giants' 2nd ejection of 2013, 3rd in the NL West (LAD 4; ARI 3; SF 2; SD 1; COL 0).
This is Bruce Bochy's first ejection since April 30 (Bill Miller; QOC = N).
This is Alfonso Marquez's first ejection since April 28 (Ron Gardenhire; QOC = Y).

Wrap: Colorado Rockies vs. San Francisco Giants, 5/25/13

MLB Ejection 042: Joe West (1; Ron Gardenhire)

2B Umpire Joe West ejected Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire for arguing an interference (out) call in the top of the 3rd inning of the Twins-Tigers game. With none out and two on, Twins batter Justin Morneau grounded
To Gardy, from Cowboy Joe: "You've gotta go."
a 1-0 curveball from Tigers pitcher Doug Fister to first baseman Prince Fielder, who threw to shortstop Jhonny Peralta at second base to Fister, covering first, for a double play. Interference was called on baserunner R1 Josh Willingham, who was ruled to have interfered with Peralta pursuant to Rule 7.09(e) as he slid into second base, requiring R2 Joe Mauer to return to second base, Gardenhire was ejected arguing this interference call. Replays indicate Willingham did not make a legitimate attempt to reach second base and in doing so, interfered with Peralta, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Twins were leading, 3-0. The Twins ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

This is Joe West (22)'s first ejection of 2013.
Joe West now has 4 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 4).
Crew Chief Joe West now has 1 point in the Crew Division (0 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 1).

This is the 42nd ejection of 2013.
This is the 20th Manager ejection of 2013.
This the Twins' 2nd ejection of 2013, T-1st in the AL Central (CLE, MIN 2; KC; CWS, DET 0).
This is Ron Gardenhire's first ejection since April 28 (Alfonso Marquez; QOC = Y).
This is Joe West's first ejection since August 5, 2012 (Jim Leyland; QOC = U).

MLB Ejection 041: Marty Foster (3; Chris Getz)

1B Umpire Marty Foster ejected Royals 2B Chris Getz for arguing an out call from a previous inning (unsportsmanlike-NEC) in the top of the 6th of the Angels-Royals game. In the bottom of the 5th inning, Getz grounded a 1-2 changeup from Angels pitcher Billy Buckner into a double play, Angels second baseman Howie Kendrick to shortstop Erick Aybar to first baseman Albert Pujols. Replays indicate Getz's left foot contacted the first base bag prior to Pujols receiving the throw, the call was irrecusable (arguing a call made during a previous inning). At the time of the ejection, the Angels were leading, 2-0. The Angels ultimately won the contest, 7-0.

This is Marty Foster (60)'s third ejection of 2013.
Marty Foster now has -2 points in the UEFL (-4 Previous + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call = -2).
Crew Chief Tim Welke now has 1 point in the Crew Division (0 Previous + 1 Irrecusable = 1).

This is the 41st ejection of 2013.
This is the 19th player ejection of 2013. Prior to his ejection, Getz was 0-3 in the contest.
This the Royals' 1st ejection of 2013, T-2nd in the AL Central (CLE 2; KC, MIN 1; CWS, DET 0).
This is Chris Getz's first ejection since July 8, 2011 (Tom Hallion; QOC = N).
This is Marty Foster's first ejection since May 7 (Joe Maddon, Edwin Encarnacion; QOC = N).

Disputed Double Play: Watching the Ball into the Glove

A brand of slight of hand magic turned a double play in Seattle Friday night as the Texas Rangers practiced their own art of prestidigitation courtesy of pitcher Justin Grimm and first baseman Mitch Moreland. With none out and two on, Mariners batter Jesus Sucre grounded to Moreland, who threw to shortstop Elvis Andrus for the force out at second base, setting the stage for baseball's very own l├ęger de main trick.

Safe or out...or...Who has the baseball?
As Andrus prepared the throw, both Moreland and pitcher Grimm converged on first base in an apparent pitcher's fielding practice play gone wrong—except it ended up switching completely right. For Moreland stretched to receive Andrus' slightly-wide throw, the interplay between Moreland's left foot and the first base bag providing the trick's misdirection element, distracting 1B Umpire Jeff Nelson just enough so that he focused on Moreland's foot rather than on the ball at the critical moment. As the ball arrived at first base, Grimm stepped in front of Moreland, stealing the throw into his glove, Grimm's inadvertent palm creating the simulation that Moreland had received the throw. Cognizant of the error, Grimm huddled with Moreland and walked back to the mound, preserving the illusion and a more unconventional hidden ball trick. Because Nelson too turned away to walk back down the first base foul line, Grimm did not need to ditch the baseball nor load it into Moreland's glove.

This is hardly the first time magic has made an appearance on the diamond. In 2012, Mike DiMuro famously ejected Indians 3B Jack Hannahan after DiMuro ruled a phantom catch by Yankees outfielder Dewayne Wise. Hannahan had confronted DiMuro after viewing a replay that clearly showed DiMuro had been duped by yet another unconventional incarnation of the hidden ball trick: a fan actually held the baseball as a trophy just feet from DiMuro when Mike made his incorrect out call. DiMuro later admitted, "I should have asked him to show me the ball since he fell into the stands and out of my line of vision."

As the Penn & Teller Orchestra with Gary Stockdale sang in the one-hit wonder "Liftoff of Love / Ripoff of Love," "ain't no mystery, it's just trickery." Or in baseball-speak; Keep your eye on the ball.

Video: Nelson rules an out because Moreland's foot was on the base, though Moreland didn't catch the ball

Friday, May 24, 2013

MLB Ejections 039, 040: Dan Bellino (2, 3; Lawrie, Gibbons)

HP Umpire Dan Bellino ejected Blue Jays 3B Brett Lawrie and Manager John Gibbons for arguing a called third strike in the bottom of the 3rd inning of the Orioles-Blue Jays game. With two out and two on, Lawrie
Bellino after ejecting Gibbons.
took a 1-2 curveball from Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located knee high and over the inner half of home plate, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Orioles were leading, 9-3. The Orioles ultimately won the contest, 10-6.

These are Dan Bellino (2)'s second and third ejection of 2013.
Dan Bellino now has 10 points in the UEFL (2 Previous + 2*[2 MLB + 2 Correct Call] = 10).
Crew Chief Wally Bell now has 3 points in the Crew Division (1 Previous + 2*[1 Correct Call] = 3).

These are the 39th and 40th ejections of 2013.
This is the 18th player ejection of 2013. Prior to his ejection, Lawrie was 1-2 in the contest.
This is the 19th Manager ejection of 2013.
These are the Jays' 4th/5th ejections of 2013, 1st in the AL East (TOR 5; TB 4; BAL, BOS, NYY 0).
This is John Gibbons' first ejection since April 25 (Jeff Kellogg; QOC = Y).
This is Brett Lawrie's first ejection since May 15, 2012 (Bill Miller; QOC = N).
This is Dan Bellino's first ejection since May 20 (Andre Ethier; QOC = U).

Wrap: Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 5/24/13
Video: After called third strike to end the inning, Lawrie, then Gibbons, tossed (TOR)

Pitch f/x plot courtesy Brooks Baseball

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

MiLB Ejection of the Week: Will Little (3, 4, 5)

HP Umpire Will Little ejected Pawtucket Red Sox pitcher Pedro Beato for throwing at Indianapolis Indians batter Josh Harrison and Red Sox Manager Gary DiSarcina and first baseman Brandon Snyder for arguing Beato's ejection (Unsportsmanlike-NEC) in the top of the 7th inning of the Indians-PawSox (Red Sox) game.
Little tosses DiSarcina after Beato's heave.
With one out and none on, Harrison took a 1-1 fastball inside for a called second ball. Replays indicate the pitch was located head-high and inside resulting in Beato's immediate ejection, the call was irrecusable. Warnings had not previously been issued; this was an immediate expulsion pursuant to Rule 8.02(d)(1), which states that if, in the umpire's judgment, a pitcher intentionally pitches at the batter, the umpire may elect to expel the pitcher, or the manager and the pitcher, from the game, in lieu of issuing a warning pursuant to 8.02(d)(2). At the time of the ejection, the Red Sox were leading, 6-4. The Red Sox ultimately won the contest, 9-8.

These are Will Little's 3rd, 4th and 5th ejections of the 2013 International League season (Triple-A).

Wrap: Indianapolis Indians vs. Pawtucket Red Sox (MiLB AAA International League), 5/21/13
Video: After a chin music heater, Beato is ejected, producing additional dismissals for arguing

As always, credit to Russ for the continued Triple-A umpire ejection scouting and reporting.

Monday, May 20, 2013

MLB Ejection 038: Dan Bellino (1; Andre Ethier)

HP Umpire Dan Bellino ejected Dodgers RF Andre Ethier for arguing a warnings no-call (unsportsmanlike-NEC) in the top of the 8th inning of the Dodgers-Brewers game. With two out and none on, Ethier took a 0-2
Ethier stares at Dan as Mattingly, Hillman intercede.
fastball from Brewers pitcher Michael Gonzalez high and inside for a called first ball. Replays indicate the pitch sailed well over Ethier's head and back to the screen, the call was irrecusable. Ethier ultimately struck out swinging on the next pitch, a 1-2 slider low and outside, to end the at-bat and half-inning. At the time of the ejection, the Dodgers were leading, 3-1. The Dodgers ultimately won the contest, 3-1.

This is Dan Bellino (2)'s first ejection of 2013.
Dan Bellino now has 2 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call = 2).
Crew Chief Wally Bell now has 1 point in the Crew Division (0 Previous + 1 Irrecusable Call = 1).

This is the 38th ejection of 2013.
This is the 17th player ejection of 2013. Prior to his ejection, Ethier was 2-4 with 2 RBI in the contest.
This is the Dodgers' 4th ejection of 2013, 1st in the NL West (LAD 4; ARI 3; SD, SF 1; COL 0).
This is Andre Ethier's first ejection since May 13, 2012 (Mark Carlson; QOC = Y).
This is Dan Bellino's first ejection since August 26, 2012 (Bobby Valentine; QOC = N).

Wrap: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 5/20/13
Video: After a strikeout in which an 0-2 pitch flies wildly, Ethier ejected arguing pitcher's intent (LAD)

MLB Ejections: Tom Hallion (2, 3; Hawkins, Terry Collins)

HP Umpire Tom Hallion ejected Mets P LaTroy Hawkins & Manager Terry Collins for a repeat visit argument concerning a hit-by-pitch call (unsportsmanlike-NEC) in the top of the 7th inning of the Reds-Mets game. With
HBP, Foul... or both?
two out and two on, Phillies batter Brandon Phillips took a 1-2 fastball from Hawkins for a hit-by-pitch call and first base award. Replays are inconclusive as to whether the pitch hit Phillips' hands or the knob of his bat first (in contrast to the broadcaster's assessment, order does matter); Collins argued the call at the time of the incident, which therefore renders the post-inning argument a repeat visit ejection, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejections, the Reds were leading, 4-3. The Reds ultimately won the contest, 4-3.

These are Tom Hallion (20)'s second and third ejections of 2013.
Tom Hallion now has 6 points in the UEFL (2 Previous + 2*[2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call] = 6).
Crew Chief Tom Hallion now has 4 points in the Crew Division (2 Previous + 2*[1 Irrecusable Call] = 4).

These are the 36th and 37th ejections of 2013.
This is the 16th player ejection of 2013. Prior to his ejection, Hawkins' line was 1.0 IP, 0 ER.
This is the 18th Manager ejection of 2013.
These are the Mets' 1st/2nd ejections of 2013, T-1st in the NL East (NYM, WAS 2; ATL, PHI 1; MIA 0).
This is LaTroy Hawkins' first ejection since August 4, 2010 (Tom Hallion; QOC = U [Intent HBP]).
This is Terry Collins' first ejection since August 21, 2012 (Fieldin Culbreth; QOC = Y).
This is Tom Hallion's first ejection since April 28 (Jeremy Hellickson; QOC = U).

Sunday, May 19, 2013

On the Black: Official Foul Pole Coloring Scheme Explained

When umpires reversed Matt Joyce's double to a foul pole-aided home run call in the top of the 6th inning of the Rays-Orioles game, veteran crew chief Gerry Davis, 1B Umpire Dan Iassogna and crewmates Brian Knight and Mark Carlson employed instant replay review (Knight staying on the field) and some official and ground rule quick thinking to rule a home run pursuant to the functional—yet absolutely rules-correct—yellow-black-yellow color scheme.

Contrary to Rays TV broadcasters Dewayne Staats and Brian Anderson's summation of instant replay review triggers, umpires do not have to call a home run initially in order to initiate a review: The call must concern fair ball boundary call (e.g., a home run), but is not required to be called a home run on the field to be reviewed. As announced in 2008, instant replay may be invoked to determine whether a home run is fair or foul, has left the playing field or whether the play has been subject to fan interference.

Camden Yards' right field corner and foul pole.
As illustrated by the diagram to the right, four unique 'zones' are created by the modern yellow-black-yellow foul pole coloring scheme wherein a foul pole extends upward from atop and behind or flush with an outfield wall.

The following is an MLB universal ground rule: "all yellow lines are in play." For the purposes of this rule, a "yellow line" is defined as a painted marking, as in the line painted on the outfield wall as in Zone 3. The yellow paint which covers the foul pole proper, as in Zone 1, does not constitute a "yellow line." To differentiate between the "yellow line" and the yellow-painted foul pole, both foul poles at Camden Yards and many other baseball stadiums feature a section of black paint at the base (Zone 2).

Meanwhile, in an attempt to reduce confusion, some ballparks have employed different color schemes to replace the yellow-black-yellow sequence. For instance, both Yankee and Dodger Stadiums' painted foul lines on their left and right field walls is white with yellow foul poles, though curiously the Yankees still use the black ridge for a white-black-yellow combination while the Dodgers cut out the middle man with a straight white-to-yellow configuration. The New York Mets experimented with white-orange for a time.

Dodgers' white-to-yellow.
The Oriole Park at Camden Yards ground rules specify that:

>> A fair bounding ball striking the railing above the cement wall down the right field line in foul territory is in play;
>> A batted ball in flight striking on the top of the out-of-town scoreboard in right field or the railing above the scoreboard is a home run;
>> >> A ball striking the facing of the scoreboard and rebounding onto the playing field is in play.

Fenway Park (Boston)'s black mark.
As such, OBR and ground rule working in concert specify that all batted balls, on the fly, striking the Camden Yards RF corner's:

- Zone 1 (above wall, foul pole yellow): Shall be a fair ball and home run;
- Zone 2 (above wall, foul pole black): Shall be a fair ball and home run;
- Zone 3 (wall, fair territory): Shall be a fair ball and in play (if the ball subsequently strikes the foul pole in flight, it is a HR);
- Zone 4 (all areas, foul territory): Shall be a foul ball and out of play (in play only if it is a fair bounding ball and bounces back onto field).

Accordingly, Davis and umpires Iassogna and Carlson correctly awarded Joyce a home run to give the Rays a 3-1 advantage.

Video: Showalter's lobby for a foul ball call backfires, as the umpires reverse course in Tampa's favor (TB)

MLB Ejection 035: CB Bucknor (2; Clint Hurdle)

HP Umpire CB Bucknor ejected Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle for arguing a safe call in the top of the 11th inning of the Astros-Pirates game. With one out and two on, Astros batter Matt Dominguez hit a 1-2 fastball
Bucknor listens to Hurdle's extended objection.
from Pirates pitcher Bryan Morris on the ground to second baseman Neil Walker, who threw to catcher Russell Martin in an attempt to retire Astros baserunner R3 Jason Castro on a slide at home plate. Replays indicate that after his catch, Martin's glove failed to make contact with Castro's person on the swipe tag attempt until Castro's left foot had already touched home plate, the safe call (run scored) was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Astros were leading, 3-2. The Astros ultimately won the contest, 3-2, in 11 innings.

This is CB Bucknor (54)'s second ejection of 2013.
CB Bucknor now has 6 points in the UEFL (2 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 6).
Crew Chief Dale Scott now has 2 points in the Crew Division (1 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 2).

This is the 35th ejection of 2013 and first extra innings ejection of 2013.
This is the 17th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Pirates' 4th ejection of 2013, 1st in the NL Central (PIT 4; MIL 2; CHC 1; CIN, STL 0).
This is Clint Hurdle's first ejection since April 26 (Tim Timmons; QOC = U).
This is CB Bucknor's first ejection since April 6 (Matt Albers; QOC = U).

Wrap: Houston Astros vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 5/18/13
Video: Houston scores the go-ahead run in extras on a fielder's choice grounder to second (HOU)