Saturday, June 25, 2016

MLB Ejection 083 - Tom Hallion (1; Tyler Holt)

HP Umpire Tom Hallion ejected Reds PH Tyler Holt for arguing a check swing (strike three) call by 1B Umpire Phil Cuzzi in the bottom of the 8th inning of the Padres-Reds game. With one out and one on (R2), Holt attempted to check his swing on a 0-2 fastball from Padres pitcher Ryan Buchter, ruled a swinging strike by 1B Umpire Cuzzi. Play was reviewed and adjudicated by the UEFL Appeals Board, the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Padres were leading, 3-0. the Padres ultimately won the contest, 3-0.

This is Tom Hallion (20)'s first ejection of the 2016 MLB regular season.
Tom Hallion now has 7 points in the UEFL Standings (7 Previous + 2 MLB - 2 Incorrect-Crewmate = 5).
Crew Chief Tom Hallion now has 12 points in Crew Division (12 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 12).

This is the 83rd ejection report of the 2016 regular season.
This is the 41st player ejection of 2016. Prior to ejection, Holt was 0-1 (SO) in the contest.
This is Cincinnati's 5th ejection of 2016, 2nd in the NL Central (PIT 6; CIN 5; CHC 2; MIL, STL 0).
This is Tyler Holt's first career MLB ejection.
This is Tom Hallion's first ejection since September 10, 2014 (John Lackey; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: San Diego Padres vs. Cincinnati Reds, 6/25/16 | Video available via "Read more"

Pushed Off - When a Baserunner Moves a Base

What happens when a baserunner pushes a base out of position? We nearly found out in Miami Saturday afternoon when Chicago's Kris Bryant spun third base out of alignment.

With one out and one on (R2), Cubs batter Anthony Rizzo hit a fly ball to Marlins center fielder Ichiro Suzuki, who caught the fly and threw to third baseman Martin Prado as Cubs baserunner R2 Kris Bryant slid into third base. Replays indicate that Bryant overslid the bag, and is inconclusive as to whether Prado's glove touched Bryant's right hand while it was off of the base, 3B Umpire DJ Reyburn's call of "safe" stood.

Replays also indicate Bryant's right hand, in its attempt to return and reclaim third base, actually pushed and slightly displaced the third base bag, possibly causing his hand to break contact with the base as Prado attempted to tag Bryant. In any case, the base appeared to move as a result of Bryant's actions. The following rules govern the case of a dislodged base:

Rule 2.03, The Bases: "First, second and third bases shall be marked by white canvas or rubber-covered bags, securely attached to the ground as indicated in Diagram 2. The first and third base bags shall be entirely within the infield. The second base bag shall be centered on second base. The bags shall be 15 inches square, not less than three nor more than five inches thick, and filled with soft material."

Rule 5.09(b)(4), The runner is out when: "He is tagged, when the ball is alive, while off his base.
APPROVED RULING: (A) If the impact of a runner breaks a base loose from its position, no play can be made on that runner at that base if he had reached the base safely."
APPROVED RULING: (B) If a base is dislodged from its position during a play, any following runner on the same play shall be considered as touching or occupying the base if, in the umpire’s judgment, he touches or occupies the point marked by the dislodged bag."

Thus, we have an interesting situation: Bryant's attempt at retouching the base did appear to displace or dislodge the base from its position (though it didn't "break loose" outright, as in the center of the base appeared to remain secure to the ground: the stake simply appeared to rotate in its underground socket).

Second, Bryant, by virtue of his momentum in sliding past the base, did not necessarily "reach the base safely," as in 5.09(b)(4) AR (A), but possibly did occupy the point marked by "the dislodged bag," as in AR (B). Note that (B) applies to a following runner, though if, in the umpire's judgment, Bryant touched or occupied the point marked by the dislodged bag, he may be declared safe. This is a judgment call, though bear in mind, pursuant to Diagram 2, the bases are intended to be stationary and flush with the foul lines.

Friday, June 24, 2016

MLB Ejections 081|082 - Hernandez, Barrett (TOR-CWS)

1B Umpire Angel Hernandez ejected White Sox Pitching Coach Don Cooper for arguing a balk call in the top of the 6th and 3B Umpire Ted Barrett ejected Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons for arguing a foul ball call by HP Umpire Gabe Morales in the top of the 9th inning of the Blue Jays-White Sox game. In the 6th, with one out and one on (R1), White Sox pitcher Carlos Rodon was called for a balk. Replays indicate Rodon, pitching from Set Position, did not appear to come to a complete stop pursuant to Rule 5.07(a)(2) and 6.02(a)(13) before delivering his pitch to Blue Jays batter Troy Tulowitzki, the call was correct. Play was reviewed and affirmed by the UEFL Appeals Board, the call was correct.* In the 9th, with one out and none on, Blue Jays batter Darwin Barney attempted to strike a 1-2 knuckle curve from White Sox pitcher David Robertson, the ball bouncing away from catcher Alex Avila and into dead ball territory. Initially ruled a swinging strike by HP Umpire Morales, upon consultation amongst the umpires, Morales ruled the play a foul ball. Replays indicate Barney's bat made contact with the pitched baseball, the call was correct. At the time of the Cooper's ejection, the White Sox were leading, 2-1. At the time of Gibbons' ejection, the White Sox were leading, 3-2. The White Sox ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

This is Angel Hernandez (55)'s first ejection of the 2016 MLB regular season.
This is Ted Barrett (65)'s first ejection of the 2016 MLB regular season.
Angel Hernandez now has -1 points in the UEFL Standings (-5 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct = -1).
Ted Barrett now has 6 points in the UEFL Standings (3 Previous + 2 MLB + 1 Correct-Crewmate = 6).
Crew Chief Ted Barrett now has 2 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 2*[1 Correct Call] = 2).
*OBR 5.07(a)(2) states, in part, "The pitcher, following his stretch, must (a) hold the ball in both hands in front of his body and (b) come to a complete stop. This must be enforced. Umpires should watch this closely. Pitchers are constantly attempting to “beat the rule” in their efforts to hold runners on bases and in cases where the pitcher fails to make a complete “stop” called for in the rules, the umpire should immediately call a “Balk.”"
*OBR 6.02(a)(13) states, it is a balk when, "The pitcher delivers the pitch from Set Position without coming to a stop."

This is the 81st, 82nd ejection report of the 2016 regular season.
This is the 32nd Manager ejection of 2016.
This is Chicago's 6th ejection of 2016, 1st in the AL Central (CWS 6; MIN 5; DET 4; KC 3; CLE 1).
This is Toronto's 11th ejection of 2016, 1st in MLB & AL East (TOR 11; BOS 4; BAL 3; TB 2; NYY 1).
This is Don Cooper's first ejection since August 7, 2013 (Greg Gibson; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is John Gibbons' 5th ejection of 2016, 1st since May 22 (Joe West; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Angel Hernandez's first ejection since March 12, 2016 (Stolmy Pimentel; QOC = U [Throwing At]).
This is Ted Barrett's first ejection since July 29, 2014 (Ron Gardenhire; QOC = Y [Replay Review]).

Wrap: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Chicago White Sox, 6/24/16 | Video available via "Read more"

MLB Ejection 080 - Toby Basner (2; Bryan Price)

HP Umpire Toby Basner ejected Reds Manager Bryan Price for arguing a strike three call in the bottom of the 3rd inning of the Padres-Reds game. With none out and one on, Reds batter Tucker Barnhart took a 3-2 fastball from Padres pitcher Colin Rea for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner half of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px .545, pz 1.545 [sz_bot 1.500]) and that all other pitches during the at-bat were properly officiated, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Padres were leading, 3-0. The Padres ultimately won the contest, 13-4.

This is Toby Basner (99)'s second ejection of the 2016 MLB regular season.
Toby Basner now has 9 points in the UEFL Standings (4 Previous + 3 AAA + 2 Correct Call = 9).
Crew Chief Tom Hallion now has 5 points in Crew Division (4 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 5).

This is the 80th ejection report of the 2016 regular season.
This is the 31st Manager ejection of 2016.
This is Cincinnati's 4th ejection of 2016, 2nd in the NL Central (PIT 6; CIN 4; CHC 2; MIL, STL 0).
This is Bryan Price's 2nd ejection of 2016, 1st since May 11 (Jeff Kellogg; QOC = U [Throwing At]).
This is Toby Basner's first ejection since May 21, 2016 (Josh Donaldson; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: San Diego Padres vs. Cincinnati Reds, 6/24/16 | Video available via "Read more"

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Injury - Paul Emmel Cut Badly by Flying Bat in Anaheim

Umpire Paul Emmel was hurt badly by a flying whole bat in Anaheim, forcing the interim crew chief to leave Thursday's Athletics-Angels game with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning.

Emmel bleeds after a bat strikes his head.
With just one out remaining in the contest, Angels batter Jefry Marte swung and missed at a first-pitch fastball from A's pitcher Sean Doolittle, losing his grip on the bat, which flew directly back to and struck Emmel on the top of his head, producing a deep gash and steady bleeding from the anterior scalp, which was beyond the coverage of Emmel's traditional-style facemask.

Emmel was replaced by 3B Umpire Quinn Wolcott, leaving acting crew chief Mark Carlson (1B) and Mike DiMuro (2B => 3B) to work the bases. Marte flew out to end the game nary one pitch after Wolcott took over behind home plate.

According to MLB and Angels reports, Emmel is doing well, having been transported to a local hospital to get stitches.

MLB Ejection 079 - Mike Everitt (1; Brian Snitker)

3B Umpire Mike Everitt ejected Braves Interim Manager Brian Snitker for arguing an out/home plate collision no-call by HP Umpire Jordan Baker and affirmed by Replay Review in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Mets-Braves game. With one out and two on (R2, R3), Braves batter Ender Inciarte hit a 0-1 slider from Mets pitcher Sean Gilmartin in the air to left fielder Michael Conforto, who caught the fly ball and threw to catcher Travis d'Arnaud as Braves baserunner R3 Emilio Bonifacio slid into home plate. Initially ruled out, Baker's ruling was confirmed upon a Manager's Challenge by Snitker, and his home plate violation no-call stood upon Crew Chief review. Replays indicate d'Arnaud tagged Bonifacio prior to Bonifacio's foot contacting home plate, and that d'Arnaud did not illegally block home plate prior to receiving the throw, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Mets were leading, 3-2. The Braves ultimately won the contest, 4-3.

This is Mike Everitt (57)'s first ejection of the 2016 MLB regular season.
Mike Everitt now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Previous + 2 MLB + 1 Correct-Crewmate = 4).
Crew Chief Mike Everitt now has 3 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 3).

This is the 79th ejection report of the 2016 regular season.
This is the 30th Manager ejection of 2016.
This is Atlanta's 3rd ejection of 2016, T-2nd in the NL East (NYM 4; ATL, MIA, WAS 3; PHI 0).
This is Brian Snitker's first career MLB ejection.
This is Mike Everitt's first ejection since May 13, 2015 (Terry Francona; QOC = U [Warnings]).

Wrap: New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves, 6/23/16 | Video available via "Read more"

Officially Speaking - Hanley, an avid Hunter...of Outs

Official Business presents Hanley Ramirez, an avid Hunter...of Outs, a look at 1B Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt's appeal play in Boston on June 17.

The following is commentary from Official Business CEO and former MiLB Umpire Brian Hertzog.

Umpire & Analyst Brian Hertzog.
I’ve been blessed to be able to see a lot of baseball, and see it from a pretty good seat. Do it long enough and you’ll see such a weird play that (any or all of) your partner(s) may simply tell you, “Don’t worry about it, it will never happen again…” Anyone who’s officiated knows exactly the type of play I mean, and a B-R missing 1st base on a ground ball within the infield certainly falls into that category for me.

This is a play I thought I’d never see again, and I mean anywhere, most likely because I’d never seen it at all. Not in person on the field. Not on TV. Not from the stands. Nowhere, before I ended up umpiring the play myself. In the process of seeing this play out in real time, all I could draw on as an actual reference play was my memory during umpire school of Jim Evans’ story of this situation in Detroit with Ken Griffey, Jr running. Looking back at it, I suppose growing up in Seattle could have had something to do with my ears perking up at the right time for his war story.

B1 Cruz runs past his base as the tag is missed.
In the Mariners/RedSox game last week, with Hunter Wendelstedt umpiring at 1st base, there was an appeal play that ended up looking… just about as weird as it feels to call on the field. Process this in real time without missing a beat:

A batted ball grounded deep in the hole, an airmailed throw from the SS, Hanley Ramirez coming off 1st base to field it, Ramirez missing a swipe tag, Nelson Cruz missing 1st base, Ramirez following Cruz and tagging him, a subsequent “safe” call by Wendelstedt, a verbal appeal made by Ramirez to Wendelstedt as to why he was tagging Cruz, and lastly, a properly-officiated “out” call on the weirdest type of appeal play you’ll witness.

Hunter's first mechanic is, properly, "safe."
Speculation started immediately on the Seattle broadcast as to why Wendelstedt would call Cruz “safe” and then “out.” I yelled at them (which was only audible to my wife), buried my head and shook it a few times while I awaited another rule to be misinterpreted. My wife nodded along with me as I discounted their every statement; she’s taught herself to do so while never disengaging from her book.

The analysis of the Seattle broadcast crew was that Wendelstedt had missed the play by ruling Cruz “safe” on the tag after being chased down, only to change it after checking with HP Umpire Jerry Layne. To rule Cruz “out” just after this tag occurred though would also be assuming that Ramirez wasn’t chasing Cruz having seen him round 1st base heading for 2nd, which we commonly see as a tactic.

Yet another thought process can be based on a commonly held misinterpretation that tagging Cruz after missing 1st base would be an automatic out, having never fulfilled his obligation of touching 1st base and removing the force play on himself. Whether Ramirez continued to stand on 1st base after any “normal” play at 1st when the runner misses the base, or applied a tag beyond 1st after the missed base, this is still the same as any other base and needs a proper appeal.

Hanley files his appeal and B1 is ruled out.
Situation: R1, 2 out, base hit to RF. R1 misses 2nd base (force) and coasts into 3rd as B-R rounds 1st, then retreats. As the ball comes into the infield to the cutoff man, he fields the throw and steps on 2nd base as he jogs toward the pitcher. If we were to assume that R1 hasn’t fulfilled his obligation of touching the base he was forced to, this would be an out. It’s pretty clear that you can’t give the defense an out here though, as stepping on 2nd base could very likely have been inadvertent. Nothing changes simply because it’s a play at 1st base. In fact, nothing changes at any base other than a play at the plate. It needs a proper appeal.

Whether you agree that Ramirez chasing down Cruz doesn’t yet qualify as a clear and unmistakable appeal, or you’re with the Seattle broadcast who subscribe to the theory that Wendelstedt didn’t see the initial miss of the base and looked to HP Jerry Layne for a visual cue, either situation requires a lot of patience, communication and proper timing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Injury - Joe West Out After Taking a Fastball to the Knee

Cowboy Joe West sat out Tuesday, a day after MLB's senior umpire took a fastball directly to the knee in Detroit.

On Monday, West took a 93-mph fastball from Tigers pitcher Mike Pelfrey off his right knee; it was a direct shot, as replays indicate that neither catcher James McCann nor batter Kyle Seager deflected the pitched ball.

West remained in the game, finishing Monday's contest alongside Mark Ripperger (1B), Kerwin Danley (2B) and Andy Fletcher (3B). On Tuesday, MiLB call-up umpire Ben May filled in for West, working the third base position alongside plate umpire Ripperger, acting crew chief Danley (1B) and Fletcher (2B).

Unreviewable - Possibility of HBP Key to Replay Review

Two HBP/bat-contact plays produced differing replay results on Monday, when umpires in Miami and Houston encountered two attempted Manager's Challenges on plays at the bat. Read along to find out why one play was reviewable while the other was not.

MIAMI: With none out and none on in the top of the 2nd inning of the Rockies-Marlins game, Rockies batter Trevor Story swung at and attempted to hit a 3-2 fastball from Marlins pitcher Paul Clemens, ruled a foul ball by HP Umpire Ron Kulpa. Marlins Manager Don Mattingly alleged Story's bat failed to contact the baseball and that the ball instead hit Story's shoulder, opting to file a Manager's Challenge. After Crew Chief Jerry Meals consulted Replay HQ, he ruled the play was not reviewable and Mattingly was not charged with a challenge (Replay Regulation V: "If a Manager challenges a call that is not eligible for review, the Crew Chief will inform him that the call is not reviewable, and the Club shall not be charged with a challenge"): the game resumed with a 3-2 count, and the foul ball call stood. Replays indicate the ball missed Story's bat and instead hit his shoulder, the call was incorrect (yet not reviewable).

HOUSTON: With two out and one on (R3) in the top of the 3rd inning of the Angels-Astros, Angels batter Mike Trout attempted to avoid being hit by a 3-2 fastball from Astros pitcher Doug Fister, ruled a hit-by-pitch by HP Umpire Ramon DeJesus. Astros Manager AJ Hinch alleged Trout's bat contacted the baseball and projected it into fair territory, opting to file a Manager's Challenge. Upon Replay Review, the call was overturned to a groundout as replays indicate the pitched ball struck the knob of Trout's bat and never touched his person.

The difference between these two similar plays concerns one—and only one—aspect: the batter's intent. In Miami, Story clearly swung at the pitch, whereas in Houston, Trout had no such intent. (See Replay Review Regulation V.G "Hit By Pitch. Those plays for which there is a possibility that a pitched ball touches a batter, or his clothing.") For this reason, the Miami play was not reviewable and the Houston play was reviewable. Even though in Houston, the end result was a batted ball and groundout, the only reason the play was reviewable to begin with is because of the possibility the play could have been ruled a hit-by-pitch. Conversely, the only reason the play in Miami was not reviewable is because the possibility of a hit-by-pitch did not exist, since no HBP may occur when a batter swings at the pitch.

Monday, June 20, 2016

MiLB Ejections - Eric Gillam (Lloyd McClendon, Weber)

Lloyd McClendon might be a minor leaguer, but his ejection theatrics are still Major League and were on display on Father's Day in the International League, when he and his pitcher were ejected.
Lloyd argues with Gillam & CC Max Guyll

HP Umpire Eric Gillam ejected Mud Hens P Thad Weber and Manager Lloyd McClendon for arguing balls and strikes in the top of the 6th inning of the Red Wings-Mud Hens game. With none out and two on, Red Wings batter Logan Schafer hit 3-1 fastball from Weber for a run-scoring single, resulting in a mound visit and pitching change, during which, Weber and McClendon were ejected. At the time of the ejections, the Red Wings were leading, 2-1. The Red Wings ultimately won the contest, 8-5.

Wrap: Rochester Red Wings vs. Toledo Mud Hens (IL), 6/19/16 | Video available via "Read more"

Sunday, June 19, 2016

MLB Ejection 078 - Gabe Morales (1; Cameron Maybin)

HP Umpire Gabe Morales ejected Tigers CF Cameron Maybin for arguing a strike three call in the top of the 11th inning of the Tigers-Royals game. With one out and none on, Maybin took a 3-2 sinker from Royals pitcher Peter Moylan for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer half of home plate and thigh high (px -.259, pz 2.532) and that all other pitches during the at-bat were properly officiated, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 1-1. The Royals ultimately won the contest, 2-1, in 13 innings.

This is Gabe Morales (47)'s first ejection of the 2016 MLB regular season.
Gabe Morales now has 5 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 3 AAA + 2 Correct Call = 5).
Crew Chief Ted Barrett now has 0 points in Crew Division (-1 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 0).

This is the 78th ejection report of the 2016 regular season.
This is the 40th player ejection of 2016. Prior to ejection, Maybin was 1-5 (2 SO) in the contest.
This is Detroit's 4th ejection of 2016, 3rd in the AL Central (CWS, MIN 5; DET 4; KC 3; CLE 1).
This is Cameron Maybin's first career MLB ejection.
This is Gabe Morales' first ejection since August 23, 2015 (Paul Molitor; QOC = Y [Check Swing]).

Wrap: Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals, 6/19/16 | Video available via "Read more"

Injury - Dale Scott Exits Father's Day Game on Foul Ball

Umpire Dale Scott left the Father's Day Blue Jays-Orioles game due to a groin injury suffered as the result of a foul ball to bottom of the second inning.

With two out and none on, Orioles batter Ryan Flaherty fouled a curveball from Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman into the ground, whereupon the baseball bounced and struck Scott, resulting in a game-ending groin injury.

Umpires Bob Davidson (1B), Lance Barrett (2B), and Dan Iassogna (3B) officiated the remainder of the game in a three-person alignment, as Davidson replaced Scott behind home plate and Barrett moved to first base. On the very first pitch following the 15-minute injury delay, and with only two field umpires, the Blue Jays challenged Barrett's safe call at first base made from the middle-infield, resulting in an overturned ruling.