Saturday, October 4, 2014

MLB Ejections P-1|2: Vic Carapazza (P1|2; Cabrera, Williams)

HP Umpire Vic Carapazza ejected Nationals 2B Asdrubal Cabrera and Manager Matt Williams for arguing a strike three call in the bottom of the 10th inning of the Giants-Nationals game. With none out and none on, Cabrera took three consecutive fastballs on three ball counts from Giants pitcher Jeremy Affeldt for called first, second and third strikes. Replays indicate the 3-0 pitch was located over the outer half of home plate and belt-high (px .643, pz 2.526), the 3-1 pitch was located over the outer half of home plate and midpoint-high (px .549, pz 3.464 / sz_top 3.38 [MOE 3.46]), and the 3-2 pitch was located over the heart of home plate and midpoint-high (px -.014, pz 3.315 / sz_top 3.34 [MOE 3.42]), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 1-1. The Giants ultimately won the contest, 2-1, in 18 innings.

These are Vic Carapazza (19)'s first and second ejections of the 2014 MLB Postseason.
Vic Carapazza now has 33 points in the UEFL Standings (23 Prev + 2*[3 MLB Post + 2 Correct] = 33).
Crew Chief Mike Winters now has 7 points in Crew Division (5 Previous + 2 Correct Call = 7).

These are the 1st and 2nd ejections of the 2014 MLB Postseason.
This is the 1st player, 1st Manager ejection of the postseason. Prior to ejection, Cabrera was 1-4 in the contest.
This is the Nationals' 1st/2nd ejections of the post season, 1st in the NL (WAS 2; LAD, PIT, SF, STL 0).
This is Asdrubal Cabrera's first ejection since Aug 11, 2013 (Vic Carapazza; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Matt Williams' first ejection since June 23, 2014 (Mark Wegner; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Vic Carapazza's first ejection since August 23, 2014 (David Ross; QOC = Y [Check Swing]).
This is the first postseason ejection since October 14, 2012 (Jeff Nelson; QOC = U [Safe/Out; DiMuro]).

Wrap: San Francisco Giants vs. Washington Nationals (National League Division Series), 10/4/14
Video: Carapazza tosses Cabrera for bat & helmet spike, flagrant display; Williams dumped, too (FS1)

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Discussions: 2014 AL, NL Wild Card Games, Division Series

As the 2014 AL and NL Wild Card Games and Division Series get underway, we again open the umpire forum to discussion. Notes include home plate umpire performance according to pitch f/x and UEFL Rules 6-2-b-a (horizontal bound, "Kulpa Rule") and 6-2-b-b (vertical strike zone, "Miller Rule"). Plays include significant plays and instant replay reviews, if such plays occur. For future games, notes include home plate umpire probables. Call +/- also included/highlighted.

- 09/30, OAK@KC: HP Umpire Bill Miller: pfx (124/129 Balls, 61/72 Strikes = 185/201 = 92.0%) +0 NU.
Game Complete: ALWC Royals defeat Athletics (1-0), net advantage Neutral, +0 pitches (-).

- 10/01, SF@PIT: HP Umpire Brian Gorman: pfx (86/87 Balls, 39/54 Strikes = 125/141 = <90.0%) +10 PIT.
Game Complete: NLWC Giants defeat Pirates (1-0), net advantage Pirates, +10 pitches (lost game).

- 10/02, DET@BAL 1: HP Umpire Paul Schrieber: pfx (96/101 B, 45/47 S = 141/148 = 95.3%) +5 BAL.
- 10/02, KC@LAA 1: HP Umpire Paul Nauert: pfx (119/120 B, 42/48 S = 161/168 = 95.8%) +1 LAA.

- 10/03, SF@WAS 1: Laz Diaz: pfx (113/115 B, 35/40 S = 148/155 = 95.5%) +3 SF.
- 10/03, DET@BAL 2: Scott Barry: pfx (99/101 B, 33/40 S = 132/141 = 93.6%) +4 DET.
- 10/03, STL@LAD 1: Jerry Meals: pfx (103/107 B, 39/47 S = 142/154 = 92.2%) +4 STL.
- 10/03, KC@LAA 2: Chris Guccione: pfx (110/114 B, 39/45 S = 149/159 = 93.7%) +4 LAA.

- 10/04, SF@WAS 2: Vic Carapazza: pfx (171/172 B, 64/81 S = 235/253 = 92.9%) +4 SF.
- 10/04, STL@LAD 2: Rob Drake: pfx (92/94 B, 26/34 S = 118/128 = 92.2%) +4 STL.

- 10/05, BAL@DET 3: Jeff Kellogg: pfx (90/92 B, 34/40 S = 124/132 = 93.9%) +2 BAL.
- 10/05, LAA@KC 3: Jeff Nelson: pfx (105/108 B, 45/51 S = 150/159 = 94.3%) +1 LAA.
Series Complete: ALDS Orioles defeat Tigers (3-0), net advantage Orioles, +3 pitches (won series).
Series Complete: ALDS Royals defeat Angels (3-0), net advantage Angels, +6 pitches (lost series).

- 10/06, WAS@SF 3: Tom Hallion: pfx (67/78 B, 37/44 S = 104/122 = <90.0%) +5 SF.
- 10/06, LAD@STL 3: Dale Scott: pfx (86/88 B, 30/41 S = 116/129 = 90.0%) +5 STL.

- 10/07, WAS@SF 4: Hunter Wendelstedt: pfx (90/92 B, 36/43 S = 126/135 = 93.3%) +1 SF.
- 10/07, LAD@STL 4: Eric Cooper: pfx (86/89 B, 42/47 S = 128/136 = 94.1%) +2 STL.
Series Complete: NLDS Giants defeat Nationals (3-1), net advantage Giants, +13 pitches (won series).
Series Complete: NLDS Cardinals defeat Dodgers (3-1), net advantage Cards, +15 pitches (won series).

Instant Replay Reviews (R-QOC Coloring: Green [Confirmed]Yellow [Stands]Red [Overturned]):
1) DET@BAL, ALDS 2: RF Umpire Paul Schrieber's HR call is confirmed after Orioles' request to -cc
2) SF@WAS, NLDS 1: 2B Umpire Tom Hallion's out call is overturned on Giants' challenge
3) SF@WAS, NLDS 2: HP Umpire Vic Carapazza's out call on Posey is upheld on Giants' challenge
4) STL@LAD, NLDS 2: 2B Umpire Eric Cooper's tag call is overturned after Dodgers challenge
5) BAL@DET, ALDS 3: 1B Umpire Jim Wolf's out call stands after Tigers' challenge in the 2nd
6) LAD@STL, NLDS 4: 3B Umpire Jerry Meals' safe call on pickoff is overturned on Cards' challenge
7) WAS@SF, NLDS 4: HP Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt's Rule 7.13 no-call at home plate is confirmed

Other Plays (Green [Correct], Yellow [Irrecusable or Inconclusive] or Red [Incorrect]):
- OAK@KC, ALWC 1: 1B Umpire Gerry Davis rules Hosmer's grounder foul in front of the bag
- OAK@KC, ALWC 1: 2B Umpire Dan Iassogna, U3 Welke call 7 Royals safe on steal attempts
- DET@BAL, ALDS 1: 2B Umpire Jeff Kellogg declares the forceout to end Detroit's 5th inn threat
- KC@LAA, ALDS 1: HP Umpire Paul Nauert K's Aybar on the half swing, Scioscia furious for check
- DET@BAL, ALDS 2: HP Umpire Scott Barry calls Hardy safe at the plate for Orioles' 7th run
- DET@BAL, ALDS 2: 1B Umpire Jeff Kellogg calls Cabrera out on dazzling DP in Baltimore
- STL@LAD, NLDS 1: HP Umpire Jerry Meals issues warnings after bench clearer at Dodger Stadium
- KC@LAA, ALDS 2: HP Umpire Chris Guccione's foul tip K is affirmed after crew discussion
- KC@LAA, ALDS 2: HP Umpire Chris Guccione calls Freese's chopper foul as U3 Ted B mirrors
- KC@LAA, ALDS 2: 3B Umpire Ted Barrett bangs the back end of the Royals' 8th inning double play
- KC@LAA, ALDS 2: 1B Umpire Jeff Nelson declares Cain safe on key extra inning infield single
- BAL@DET, ALDS 3: 1B Umpire Jim Wolf's pickoff call rules the day as O's opt not to challenge
- BAL@DET, ALDS 3: 2B Umpire Fieldin Culbreth calls Kelly out on grounder to short (CP)
- LAD@STL, NLDS 4: 1B Umpire Jerry Layne bangs Kemp out to complete double play
- LAD@STL, NLDS 4: 1B Umpire Jerry Layne's safe call is not challenged by Mattingly
- LAD@STL, NLDS 4: HP Umpire Eric Cooper keeps dead ball alive with no help from the corners

MLB to Test Pace of Game Proposals at Arizona Fall League

MLB's Pace of Game Committee tapped the 2014 Arizona Fall League as its playground for experimental pace of game initiatives, allowing the AFL to serve a similar role as real-world laboratory that it did for expanded instant replay review in 2013. According to the Pace of Game Committee's plan, the following initiatives will be rolled out come November in the AFL:

>> Batter's Box Rule [OBR 6.02(d)]: MLB is effectively looking to adopt the National Association Leagues (Minor League Baseball)'s Rule 6.02(d) for Major League play, requiring the batter to keep at least one foot in the batter's box throughout his entire time at bat, unless (i) the batter swings at the pitch, (ii) the batter is forced out of the batter's box by a pitch, (iii) a member of either team requests and is granted "Time," (iv) a defensive player attempts a play on a runner at any base, (v) the batter feints a bunt, (vi) a wild pitch or passed ball occurs, (vii) the pitcher leaves the dirt area of the pitching mound after receiving the ball, or (viii) the catcher leaves the catcher's box to give defensive signals. The penalty for unauthorized exit from the batter's box is a dead ball strike.

>> No-Pitch Intentional Walk: Hoping to eliminate time wasted, and assuming that MLB pitchers are accurate, managers will signal to the umpire with four fingers when he wishes to intentionally walk a batter. Instead of throwing four balls, the batter will simply be awarded first base without seeing any pitches. This proposal effectively eliminates the catcher's balk.

>> 20-Second Rule: Not-withstanding Doug Eddings' controversially correct 2007 enforcement of the 12-second pitcher's Rule 8.04, all games at Salt River Fields will feature synchronized 20-second clocks in the outfield, both dugouts and behind home plate operated by a third party whose purpose shall be to start the clock when the pitcher receives the ball, regardless of whether the batter is in the box or otherwise ready to play (albeit, the clock starts when the batter is alert to the pitcher for the first pitch of the AB only). After a foul, the clock begins when the umpire puts the ball in play. Penalties: If the pitcher fails to begin his pitching position within 20 seconds, the umpire shall call a ball. If the batter steps out or fails to appear in the box at any time during the 20-second countdown, the pitcher may pitch the ball for a called strike.

>> 2:05 Inning Break & 2:30 Pitching Change Break Clocks: The only difference from previous timing rules is that if the batter fails to enter the box by the 1:45 mark, the umpire may call an automatic strike. Likewise, if the batter is ready and the pitcher fails to throw a pitch by the 2:05 mark, the umpire shall call a ball (2:05 is 20 seconds after 1:45, see the 20-second rule). Insofar as the 2:30 pitching change rule is concerned, the time from the new pitcher crossing the warning track or foul line from the bullpen until the first pitch is thrown, no more than 2:30 may elapse (penalty: ball).

>> Three "Time Out" Limit: Baseball wants to institute conference provisions similar to lower level regulations. Each time will be allowed only three "time out" conferences per game, inclusive of any extra innings which might be played. This includes the catcher going out to conference with the pitcher, manager or coach mound visits and offensive/base coach conferences with a batter. Pitching change, injury and other emergency time out conferences will not count toward this three "time out" limit. The penalty for a fourth conference is a warning not to engage in the fourth conference, but the game is to continue uninterrupted ("offenders may be subject to discipline").

-- Instant Replay Review: Though not technically part of the Pace of Game Committee's plan, MLB will experiment with offseason replay review tweaks during the 17 home games at Salt River Fields (including connectivity to New York's MLBAM Replay Operations Center). Replay's scope, initiation, time limits and similar procedures will be under the gun.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

MLB Ejection & Replay Stats: 2014 Season Sabermetrics

Ejection & Instant Replay Review Statistics and Sabermetrics for MLB's 2014 regular season are now available. Close Call Sports and the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League presents our season's-end strategic statistics reporting, the first measure of umpire-centric sabermetrics in professional baseball. Visit Instant Replay Review Statistics 101: Week 1 Sabermetrics for an introduction to Ejection & Replay Review definitions and terms, including Review Affirmation Percentage (RAP), also known as QOC (Quality of Correctness), Replay Percentage of Success (RPS), alternatively, 1.000 - RAP = RPS, and Manager's Challenge Success Percentage (CSP). Also included is Team Success Percentage (TSP), which includes all Replay Reviews; both Manager's Challenges and Crew Chief Reviews.

With the 2014 MLB Regular Season in the books, the UEFL recaps the year's traditional ejections, plus professional baseball's "this time it counts" inaugural season with Instant Replay Reviews.

Summary, Ejections.
>> 199 Total Regular Season Ejections, an increase of 19 ejections (11%) over 2013's 180 ejections.
>> Umpires were 71.7% accurate on calls associated with ejection, an increase over 2013.
>> The Red Sox were ejected more often than any other team; the AL East led all MLB divisions.
>> The Nationals were ejected less often than any other team; the AL West trailed all MLB divisions.
>> Managers Renteria (CHC), Gardenhire (MIN) and McClendon (SEA) led all managers.
>> Umpires Bellino and Nelson led all umpires; Carlson was the most accurate ejector (highest E-QOC).
>> Bill Miller and Joe West's crews led all of baseball in ejection activity.
>> Most ejections occurred in the 8th inning; Ejections from 6th and on comprised 63% of all tosses.
>> Most ejections occurred on Sundays. Weekend series (Fri-Sun) featured 52% of all heave-ho's.
>> The most common reason for ejection was Balls/Strikes, followed by arguing a Replay Review.

Summary, Replay Reviews.
>> 1274 Total Replay Reviews, of which calls were affirmed 53% of the time (47% overturned).
>> The Chicago Cubs used replay more than any other team; the Brewers less than all others.
>> Manager Renteria (CHC) led all managers in filing challenges, but was fairly inaccurate.
>> Manager Girardi (NYY) filed less challenges than most managers, but led the league in accuracy.
>> The league average manager was successful in challenging a play 53% of the time.
>> Umpire Reyburn saw 24 of his calls reviewed, more than any other umpire.
>> Bill Miller's crew led all of baseball in replay activity.
>> Umpire Guccione led the league in accuracy with most of his calls affirmed by replay.
>> A trio of call-ups had all calls overturned, but only had two reviews apiece (very small sample size).
>> Most reviews occurred in the 8th inning. Reviews from 7th and on comprised 41% of all reviews.
>> Most reviews occurred on Saturdays; Calls were most often overturned in daytime conditions.
>> The most common reason for review was Safe/Out, followed by HR/Not HR and Rule 7.13.

For detailed sabermetric analysis of MLB umpire ejections and instant replay review outcomes for the 2014 regular season, follow the "read more" link below. The advanced data below includes team and individual (by manager/player/umpire) ejection and replay review leaders and statistics, including manager's challenges and crew chief reviews. Complete listed ranking of least and most successful managers in challenging, most successful teams (manager's challenges + crew chief reviews) and review percentages by umpire are included.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Rosters: 2014 Wild Card, Division Series, Replay Umpires

MLB has announced the 2014 Wild Card, ALDS and NLDS Umpires, the first two rounds of the 2014 Playoffs.

Wild Card A (ALWC/OAK@KC)
Gerry Davis -cc (1 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game + 1 Crew Chief Assignment Bonus = 3).
James Hoye (0 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game = 1).
Dan Iassogna (7 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game = 8).
Bill Miller (12 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game = 13).
Todd Tichenor (4 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game = 5).
Bill Welke (1 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game = 2).
Replay Officials Phil Cuzzi & Tim Timmons.

Wild Card B (NLWC/SF@PIT)
Joe West -cc (10 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game + 1 Crew Chief Assignment Bonus = 12).
Doug Eddings (0 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game = 1).
Paul Emmel (10 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game = 11).
Andy Fletcher (12 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game = 13).
Brian Gorman (3 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game = 4).
Mark Wegner (3 Previous + 1 Wild Card Game = 4).
Replay Officials Phil Cuzzi & Tim Timmons.

Mike Winters -cc (4 Previous + 2 Division Series + 1 Crew Chief Assignment Bonus = 7).
Vic Carapazza (21 Previous + 2 Division Series = 23).
Laz Diaz (8 Previous + 2 Division Series = 10).
Tom Hallion (9 Previous + 2 Division Series = 11).
Brian Knight (7 Previous + 2 Division Series = 9).
Hunter Wendelstedt (17 Previous + 2 Division Series = 19).
Replay Officials CB Bucknor, Chris Conroy, Ed Hickox, Brian O'Nora.

Dale Scott -cc (8 Previous + 2 Division Series + 1 Crew Chief Assignment Bonus = 11).
Jerry Meals (0 Previous + 2 Division Series = 2).
Rob Drake (8 Previous + 2 Division Series = 10).
Eric Cooper (4 Previous + 2 Division Series = 6).
Jerry Layne (-4 Previous + 2 Division Series = -2).
Alan Porter (19 Previous + 2 Division Series = 21).
Replay Officials CB Bucknor, Chris Conroy, Ed Hickox, Brian O'Nora.

Ted Barrett -cc (11 Previous + 2 Division Series + 1 Crew Chief Assignment Bonus = 14).
Lance Barksdale (2 Previous  + 2 Division Series = 4).
Chris Guccione (23 Previous + 2 Division Series = 25).
Paul Nauert (2 Previous + 2 Division Series = 4).
Jeff Nelson (20 Previous + 2 Division Series = 22).
Jim Reynolds (7 Previous + 2 Division Series = 9).
Replay Officials CB Bucknor, Chris Conroy, Ed Hickox, Brian O'Nora.

Jeff Kellogg -cc (12 Previous + 2 Division Series + 1 Crew Chief Assignment Bonus = 15).
Scott Barry (9 Previous + 2 Division Series = 11).
Dan Bellino (28 Previous + 2 Division Series = 30).
Fieldin Culbreth (19 Previous + 2 Division Series = 21).
Paul Schrieber (-6 Previous + 2 Division Series = -4).
Jim Wolf (6 Previous + 2 Division Series = 8).
Replay Officials CB Bucknor, Chris Conroy, Ed Hickox, Brian O'Nora.

-cc denotes Crew Chief, BOLD TEXT denotes first Post-season assignment. Per UEFL Rule 4-3-c, all umpires selected to appear in the Wild Card games shall receive one bonus point for this appearance. Umpires assigned to the Division Series shall receive two bonus points for this appearance; crew chiefs shall receive one additional bonus point for this role (two or three points total).

AP: MLB to Use 7-Man Umpire Crews for LCS, World Series

MLB will assign seven-man umpire crews to the League Championship and World Series according to an AP source. The reason for this, according to the anonymous source, is to accommodate baseball's instant replay technology.

The seventh umpire will begin each series at New York's MLBAM Replay Review HQ, rotating onto the field for Games 3 to replace an on-field umpire, who will head to New York for the series' remainder. The seventh umpire's starting position upon joining the crew for Game 3 will be left field, setting up a potential plate job for Game 7 (the Crew Chief role, circa 1964-2013).

According to this new arrangement between the World Umpires Association and Major League Baseball (remember the Crew Chief series in New York this year?), MLB will assign a replay official to every postseason game with a second umpire serving in the role of assistant replay official. During the League Championship and World Series, the assistant will remain at the command center for the entire series.

This format is covered by UEFL Rule 4-3-c-5-b regarding Replacement Umpires: "The Replacement Umpire shall receive points equitable to those prescribed by 4-3-c-1 through 4-3-c-4.  Approved Ruling: A Postseason Replacement Umpire is defined as any umpire who officiates a postseason contest in the capacity as an on-field umpire at the RF, LF, 3B, 2B, 1B or HP positions."

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 No-Hitter 5: Alan Porter (1; Jordan Zimmermann)

Jordan Zimmermann's no-hitter with plate umpire Alan Porter presiding Sunday afternoon in Washington, D.C. marked the fifth and final no-hitter of the 2014 MLB regular season. Porter was joined for the Marlins-Nationals game by crew chief Gary Cederstrom (1B), Mark Ripperger (2B) and Lance Barksdale (3B). This is Zimmermann's first career no-hitter, a 10-strikeout, one-walk performance.

Sunday was Porter's first plate no-hitter, the first MLB no-hitter since September 1 2014 (Jordan Baker 1; Hamels, Diekman, Giles, Papelbon) and the first single-pitcher no-hitter since June 25, 2014 (Adam Hamari 1; Tim Lincecum). Crewmate Gary Cederstrom has also called a no-hitter (June 1, 2012; Johan Santana).

Porter received 39 callable pitches, a total of 25 balls and 14 called strikes; the look:

Balls: 25 called balls outside of strike zone / 0 called balls within strike zone = 25/25 = 100% Accuracy.
Strikes: 13 called strikes inside strike zone / 1 called strike outside strike zone = 13/14 = 92.9% Accuracy.
Total Raw Accuracy Score = 38/39 = 97.4% Accuracy (+1 For Zimmermann).
In other words, Porter came within one pitch of calling a perfect game for Zimmermann's no-no.

Pitch f/x plot courtesy Brooks Baseball. NOTICE: This non-normalized plot is not the basis for analysis!

MLB Instant Replay Reviews 1272-1274: Sept 28, 2014

September 28, 2014 featured the following MLB Instant Replay Review decisions:

R1272HPBarrett, Ted21CWS44Robin Ventura4OutStands
r1273HPBarrett, Ted22CWS45Robin Ventura7OutConfirmed
R12741BHallion, Tom9SF43Bruce Bochy7OutOverturned

MLB Instant Replay Review Videos (MLB Advanced Media):
Video 1272: KC@CWS: Sox challenge out at home in 4th, call stands PU Barrett
Video 1273: KC@CWS: Call at plate confirmed in the 7th PU Barrett
Video 1274: SD@SF: Giants challenge out in 7th, overturned U1 Hallion