Saturday, September 30, 2017

Umpires Add 5th Memorial Patch for Bob Motley

MLB umpires have added a fifth black-and-white memorial patch to their uniform sleeves in honor of Bob Motley, who passed away earlier this month.
Related PostLast Surviving Negro Leagues Umpire Bob Motley Dies (9/15/17).

This is the fifth memorial patch worn by umpires this season, which are each comprised of the two letters that represent that person's initials; the previous four were combined into one sticker worn on the uniform's left sleeve; the newest Bob Motley patch is being worn above the numbers on the right sleeve. The full list of umpire memorial tributes to conclude the 2017 regular season is as follows (with links to each in memoriam article):

Black Memorial Patches Currently Worn on MLB Umpire Sleeves (Late September 2017):
1) MJ - Mark Johnson. Passed away October 26, 2016 at the age of 65. American League (1979-99).
2) RG - Russ Goetz. Passed away March 15, 2017 at the age of 86. American League (1968-83).
3) SP - Steve Palermo. Passed away May 13, 2017 at the age of 67. American League (1976-91).
4) KK - Ken Kaiser. Passed away August 9, 2017 at the age of 72. American League (1977-99).
5) BM - Bob Motley. Passed away September 15, 2017 at age 94. Negro Leagues (1947-1958).

Bob Motley announcement video on FOX as follows:

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Dan Bellino Orders Fan Removed for Tipping Pitches

HP Umpire Dan Bellino ordered removal of a fan ("unofficial ejection") in New York for shouting pitch location information while the Yankees were at bat during Tuesday night's Rays-Yankees game.

Bellino speaks with Yankee Stadium staff.
With two out and two on (R1, R3) in the bottom of the 8th inning, Yankees batter Gary Sanchez worked his way to a 2-1 count against Rays pitcher Austin Pruitt. After Sanchez swung and missed at a low-and-away slider, Rays catcher Wilson Ramos' conversation with Bellino became fairly noticeable. Immediately after the 2-2 pitch was thrown in the dirt, Bellino called "Time," replaced the ball, and walked to the screen behind home plate, summoning Yankees security and guest services personnel before returning to the field to confer with Crew Chief Jerry Layne.

After the game, both Joe Girardi and Kevin Cash confirmed that Bellino had indeed ordered a fan removed—or at least silenced—after a voice from the stands had been calling out pitch locations during Sanchez's at bat.

In 2016, Bob Davidson ordered an apparently inebriated fan removed in Philadelphia for shouting vulgarities. Said Davidson postgame, "I turned around and said, 'You know what, get rid of this guy.'...People cheered me, which is unusual in this town for me." Davidson's fan removal request ultimately won him a UEFL Ejection of the Year award.
Related PostUnofficial Ejection - Bob Davidson Requests Fan Removal (8/2/16).

In 2014, Tim Welke ordered a fan removed in Atlanta for heckling Bryce Harper.
Related PostFan Ejection: Tim Welke Calls for Removal of Harper Heckler (9/16/14).

Official Baseball Rule 8.01(b) authorizes an umpire to "order a player, coach, manager, or club officer or employee to do or refrain from doing anything which affects the administering of these rules, and to enforce the prescribed penalties." By order Yankee Stadium staff to remove the offending spectator, Bellino had invoked his OBR 8.01(b) power.

Video as follows:

Torres' Missing Mask Means Exotic Red-Blue Replacement

MLB's latest case of lost umpire luggage gave Carlos Torres an excuse to wear a most unique red-and-blue mask in Texas. It was actually the second day that Torres and crew had missing gear and uniforms in Texas, though Torres' preference for the hockey-style mask meant that a solid black replacement was not readily available.
Plate umpire Torres wears a colorful mask.

As we'll discuss momentarily, Major League umpires have a long and rich history of wearing makeshift uniforms when their luggage gets delayed or lost.
Related PostTrain Delay: Umpires Stuck in Traffic, Game Stalled 16 Min (4/10/13).

Instead, Torres borrowed a Texas Rangers themed bucket, complete with red and blue paint. Torres' shin guards were also provided by the Rangers, with blue highlights adorning a pair of New Balance plate shoes.

As for the rest of Dana DeMuth's crew, their uniforms didn't timely arrive in Arlington, either. A healthy dose of oversized non-numbered umpire shirts with white piping circa-2016 and adjustable snapback caps first made an appearance during Monday's game. For what it's worth, DeMuth's crew was in Milwaukee over the weekend.

Crew Chief DeMuth's generic shirt & hat.
This isn't the first time in recent weeks and months that umpires have been separated from their luggage.

The Tampa Bay Rays home series which was relocated to New York's Citi Field, for instance, also featured an umpiring uniform oddity as all four umpires on Ted Barrett's crew wore uniform shirts or jackets with John Tumpane's sleeve number 74 on them (including Tumpane, naturally). Due to a cataclysmic hurricane, the crew's gear was delayed. Understandable.

Logistical issues have long plagued umpires, from April 10, 2013's 16-minute delay because Tom Hallion's crew was stuck in traffic to Hunter Wendelstedt ejecting Jim Tracy in 2011 hours after the Layne crew had gotten stuck in traffic en route to Dodger Stadium. Gotta love LA.

Jeff Nelson's makeshift umpire uni.
In 2013, Jeff Nelson wore a generic umpire jacket with white shoulder rings (and snapback cap) due to a luggage delay, likely prompted by Nelson's late flight from Detroit to San Diego for the series (he switched crews). Fortunately, Nelson's gear arrived later on that night, and he changed into his familiar #45 jacket between innings.
Related PostWardrobe Malfunction: Snapback Cap, Top Strike San Diego (5/16/13).

Then there's the ballad of Angel Hernandez and the perpetually-worn snapback cap that Hernandez opted to wear in place of the standard custom-fitted model.

Eric Gregg calls balls and strikes at Wrigley.
As it were, the modern era's spare set of generic umpire uniforms, adjustable hats, and unique headwear is child's play compared to what yesteryear's umpires wore when their luggage failed to show up.

Throughout the years, we've seen CB Bucknor in a generic rain slicker, Eric Gregg working the plate in a Cubs outfit, Larry Young's crew wearing Cleveland Indians hats and jackets, and Ed Montague wearing a full-on Philadelphia Phillies jersey as he officiated at home.

MLB began using DHL as the official shipping company for umpire equipment shortly after the rather comical incidents of the 1970s, 80s, and so forth; is another change on the horizon?

Monday, September 25, 2017

MLB Ejection 184 - Chad Fairchild (3; Jose Bautista)

HP Umpire Chad Fairchild ejected Blue Jays RF Jose Bautista (strike three call; QOCY) in the top of the 8th inning of the Blue Jays-Red Sox game. With none out and none on, Bautista took a 3-2 slider from Red Sox pitcher Carson Smith for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner half of home plate and below the midpoint (px -.477, pz 3.226 [sz_top 3.371]), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Blue Jays were leading, 5-3. The Blue Jays ultimately won the contest, 6-4.

This is Chad Fairchild (4)'s third ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Chad Fairchild now has 14 points in the UEFL Standings (10 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 14).
Crew Chief Larry Vanover now has 10 points in Crew Division (9 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 10).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
*This pitch was located 5.244 horizontal and 2.74 vertical inches from being deemed an incorrect call.

This is the 184th ejection report of 2017.
This is the 83rd player ejection of 2017. Prior to ejection, Bautista was 1-4 (2 SO) in the contest.
This is Toronto's 11th ejection of 2017, T-1st in the AL East (NYY, TOR 11; TB 7; BOS 5; BAL 4).
This is Jose Bautista's first ejection since May 15, 2016 (Dale Scott; QOC = U [Fighting]).
This is Chad Fairchild's 3rd ejection of 2017, 1st since Sept 6 (Justin Turner; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Boston Red Sox, 9/25/17 | Video as follows:

Pawol Donates Hat, Mask to Hall of Fame's Women Exhibit

Jen Pawol donated some of her umpiring gear to the National Baseball Hall of Fame's Diamond Dreams exhibit, which celebrates women in baseball, after the Hall put in a request to "keep that exhibit as fresh as possible to remind people that this is an ongoing story," according to Vice President of Exhibition and Collections Erik Strohl.

Pawol's hat and mask are going to the Hall.
Specifically, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will feature Pawol's mask and a hat from her time at MLB Umpire Camp. The headgear will join several items from Amanda Clement (the first woman paid to officiate men's games in the early 1900s), Bernice Gera (the first woman to umpire Minor League Baseball), Pam Postema (first to Triple-A), and Ria Cortesio (most recent, prior to Pawol) to honor umpires.

Pawol and Emma Charlesworth-Seiler are the only two women presently officiating in Minor League Baseball, and are the first such umpires since Cortesio's 2007 release. Both graduated from Vero Beach's MiLB Umpire Training Academy on scholarships from the MLB Umpire Camps program. Pawol recently completed her season in the Short-A New York-Penn League, while Charlesworth-Seiler worked the Rookie-level's Gulf Coast League.

Video as follows:

Injury Scout - Jeff Kellogg Struck by Flying Bat

An errant bat flew into the side of plate umpire Jeff Kellogg's head, prompting him to leave Sunday's action.

Flying foul bat slams into Kellogg in Arizona.
With two out and one on in the bottom of the 7th inning of Sunday's Marlins-Diamondbacks game, Diamondbacks batter Ketel Marte popped up a 3-2 changeup from Marlins pitcher Chris O'Grady, losing his grip on the bat, which crashed into the left side of Kellogg's traditional-style facemask.

Though Marte's fly ball resulted in the third out of the inning, Kellogg remained behind the plate through the first batter of the 8th inning before leaving the contest. 1B Umpire James Hoye assumed plate duties with 2B Umpire Tim Timmons and 3B Umpire Tom Woodring remaining on the bases. In addition to becoming the new first base umpire, Timmons also served as acting crew chief for the final two innings of play.

Relevant Injury History: Kellogg left a game in Atlanta on April 23, 2016 due to a foul ball injury to the jaw. On September 8, 2012, Kellogg similarly was struck by a foul ball in Anaheim, deemed "a pretty bad migraine" by the Angels training staff.

Last Game: Sept 24 | Return to Play: TBD | Time Absent: TBD | Video as follows:

Sunday, September 24, 2017

MLB Ejection 183 - Will Little (6; AJ Hinch)

HP Umpire Will Little ejected Astros Manager AJ Hinch (check swing strike three call) in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Angels-Astros game. With two out and one on (R1), Astros batter Evan Gattis attempted to check his swing on a 1-2 slider from Angels pitcher Cam Bedrosian for a swinging third strike called by HP Umpire Little. Play reviewed and affirmed by the UEFL Appeals Board (9-0), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Angels were leading, 6-5. The Angels ultimately won the contest, 7-5.

This is Will Little (93)'s sixth ejection of the 2017 MLB regular season.
Will Little now has 24 points in the UEFL Standings (20 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 24).
Crew Chief Brian Gorman now has -1 points in Crew Division (-2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = -1).

This is the 183rd ejection report of 2017.
This is the 86th Manager ejection of 2017.
This is Houston's 9th ejection of 2017, 2nd in the AL West (TEX 10; HOU 9; OAK, SEA 6; LAA 4).
This is AJ Hinch's 3rd ejection of 2017, 1st since Sept 22 (Dan Iassogna; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Will Little's 6th ejection of 2017, 1st since July 27 (Russell Martin; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim vs. Houston Astros, 9/24/17 | Video as follows: