Friday, April 4, 2014

MLB Instant Replay Review 025: Marvin Hudson (01)

Instant Replay Review overturned 3B Umpire Marvin Hudson's in play (no lodge/stadium boundary) call in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Braves-Nationals game. With none out and none on, Nationals batter Ian Desmond hit a 0-0 curveball from Braves pitcher David Hale on a line to left field and into the left field corner, where the ball came to rest at the base of the outfield wall in foul territory upon which Braves left fielder Justin Upton raised his hands to signal he believed the ball to be out of play. Upon instant replay review as the result of a challenge by Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez, Hudson's ruling that the ball remained in play, resulting in an inside-the-park home run for Desmond, was reversed, the call was incorrect. At the time of the review, the contest was tied, 1-1.* The Braves ultimately won the contest, 2-1.

This is Marvin Hudson (51)'s first Instant Replay Review/Challenge of 2014.
Marvin Hudson is now 0/1 (.000 Affirmation Rate) in Instant Replay Reviews during 2014.
Crew Chief Jim Joyce's crew is now 0/2 (.000 Affirmation Rate) in Replay Reviews during 2014.
Listed Replay Official Crew Chiefs: Larry Vanover, Jeff Kellogg.
*At the time of the review, the contest was tied by virtue of the inside-the-park home run call. After the overturn, the score reverted to a 1-0 Atlanta lead.

This is the 25th Instant Replay Review of the 2014 MLB Regular Season.
Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez is now 2/2 (1.000 Affirmation Rate) in Instant Replay Challenges/Reviews during 2014.
Umpires are now 16/25 (.640 Affirmation) in Instant Replay Reviews during the 2014 MLB season.

Wrap: Atlanta Braves vs. Washington Nationals, 4/4/14
Video: Call overturned; Ball initially ruled in play is determined to be lodged (ATL)

14 comments :

Gil Imber said...

I count the Braves incredibly lucky for having this one reversed. The announcers are right when they said that once Upton raised his hands, he shouldn't have touched the ball. Then Marvin Hudson could have jogged out and seen for himself whether the ball was lodged.

Gil Imber said...

Agreed. They announced ground rule double per rule 7.05(f), which speaks of a ball "stuck" in a wall, but I don't know how, once the fielder picks up and plays the ball, you can rule from video that it was stuck as opposed to simply sitting there under the padding. Sure looked to me like there was some space between the top of the ball and the bottom of the padding notwithstanding that the padding caused the ball to come to a stop. Is there some rule interpretation somewhere that a ball is stuck if it comes to a stop like that? I guess it ends up as a judgment call by the reviewing umpire and, therefore, not subject to protest, but I tend to think it was a poor use of that judgment.

Gil Imber said...

I also disagree with this call. Let's analyze it under the replay review framework:


1. You've got a call on the field of "in play" by Hudson. The video evidence shows the ball come to rest underneath the outfield wall padding. Before Hudson can inspect, Upton picks up the ball (with relative ease, mind you) and throws it back in.


2. To overturn this call, you need clear and convincing evidence that the ball was stuck under the fence. First, the video shows the ball abruptly coming to a stop under the padding. I'm not sure this is the sort of thing video replay can show you, at least not in this instance. Perhaps if it were lodged in a chain-link fence, the video would prove more convincing. Here, however, I don't see that the video shows any degree of just how stuck or, alternatively, loose, the ball was. Under that circumstance, I'm not sure how this was not at worst a "call stands." Second, regardless of whether Hudson's initial call on the field was correct, Upton picked up the ball. It is my understanding (and hopefully someone out there with an interpretation manual handy can back me up) that once this is done, the ball remains in play. Perhaps that has changed now that replay review is available, but even if that is the case, I don't see enough evidence here to overturn a call of in play.


Moreover, I check the Turner Field ground rules and there is nothing about a ball rolling under the outfield wall padding being out of play. It seemed quite reasonable to me in that situation to wait until the play is over and then see if the ball is indeed stuck under the fence. If it is, Desmond goes back to 2B. If it's not, shame on Upton for trying to fake it and credit Desmond with the HR. Upton didn't give Hudson that chance, which is his error.

Gil Imber said...

I don't understand how the ball could be ruled stuck when the fielder picks it up so easily.

Gil Imber said...

I do not agree with this overturn at all. To me this is similar to Greg Gibson's play when he ejected Robin Ventura last year except it is obviously a different boundary line. To me the ball is in plain sight and even sticking out a little under the wall. Justin Upton got lazy and didn't go get the ball. Also when Upton ultimately picked up the ball it was very easy to pick up so I would not call it lodged at all. If I am Marvin Hudson and looking at this video after the game I am not happy this call got overturned because I think he absolutely made the right call and if I was out there I would have made the same call.

Gil Imber said...

A lodge is a lodge though. When looking at replay there's no opposite reaction to the ball's carom off of the wall. The ball lodges. After looking at the first replay angle, I have no problem with that call.

Gil Imber said...

JD the game was in Washington at Nationals Park. Check their ground rules. I believe they specifically cover balls stuck under the padding. In all the video I have seen of the play, Hudson is just standing there watching the runner round the bases. If he thought that there was any doubt about the ball down the line ( interference , out of play etc.) then he should have gone out on the play and let the plate guy take the runner. He also should have given a signal (safe mechanic) to indicate that the ball was alive and in play. I agree that once Upton raised his arms and then went after the ball, the ball should have been alive and in play. What he shoul have done was just stand there till the play was dead. He went after the ball because no signal was ever given to indicate the ball was still alive. This is more of a ruling than and overturned call as no call was really ever made.

Gil Imber said...

Nationals Park does not have any ground rule for that situation.

Gil Imber said...

Did anyone else notice that it was Doug Eddings who went to the headset, and not Marvin Hudson? I was under the impression that the calling umpire was to be the one to accompany the crew chief to the headsets, unless it was the crew chief who made the call. Anyone have any thoughts?

Gil Imber said...

Although the ball is still visible and can be physically moved by Upton, I feel it still falls under the category of "lodged". The padding pinned the ball in its place, this is why it never moved after hitting the wall.
To use an alternate example. If it was a chain link fence, and the ball struck the fence with enough force to get "caught by the fence", it would still be visible, most likely it would be easily retrieved, but it would still be lodged in the fence and grounds for a stoppage of play.
To the point that he shouldn't have played it... once he noticed that the umpire wasn't going to stop play, he has no other option but to attempt to play it. This should have no bearing on the review process allowing it to be overturned.
An example being, the third out is called at second on a tag play, while a runner is slightly less than half way home. After review, the runner is called safe at second and the run allowed to score. They wouldn't stop the run because of the improper call at second, they would judge where the runner would have gotten to has the proper call been made. In this case, had the proper call of a lodged ball been made, the fielder wouldn't have had to try and play it and the replay official took the appropriate action as what would have happened had the proper call been made.

Gil Imber said...

Eddings looked like he was certain that the ball was wedged and not playable when discussing the call with Joyce, Hudson, and Blaser. The others seemed unsure, which might have been why Joyce summoned Eddings to the review and not Hudson.

Gil Imber said...

It clearly was never pinned. Upton seconds later easily picked the ball up.

Gil Imber said...

By that same logic... It clearly was pinned, otherwise it would have bounce back towards the field when it hit the wall.

Just because it took minimal effort to remove it does not mean it wasn't being held in place by the wall padding.

Gil Imber said...

Not sure how this might affect anyone's opinion: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/nationals-journal/wp/2014/04/05/justin-upton-could-have-picked-up-that-ball-does-that-matter/

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