Monday, August 8, 2022

Ask UEFL - Whoa Nelly! Mets' Nimmo Out After Missed Tag

Despite Replay Review overturning 2B Umpire Jeff Nelson's erroneous out call on a missed tag by Braves infielder Ehire Adrianza, Mets baserunner Brandon Nimmo nonetheless was declared out as a result of shortstop Dansby Swanson's subsequent tag later in the sequence.

With none out and one on, R1 Nimmo ran toward second base when Mets batter Starling Marte hit a ground ball to Atlanta's Adrianza. Upon fielding the ball, Adrianza attempted to tag Nimmo between first and second base before throwing onto first baseman Matt Olson to retire the batter.

However, although Adrianza's glove made contact with Nimmo's body resulting in an out call from 2B Umpire Nelson, Replay Review overturned that portion of the play, having noticed that Adrianza's glove was empty at the time of the tag—the baseball was in his throwing hand detached from his glove.

In the end, although the call was overturned, the result of the play remained an out, with the Replay Official during Sunday's game ruling that Nimmo would nonetheless have been thrown and tagged out at second base had Nelson not called Nimmo out on Adrianza's phantom tag. This is because first baseman Olson, likely sensing that Adrianza had missed the tag, threw the ball back to shortstop Swanson, who dutifully jogged to and tagged Nimmo as he stood between first and second base.

The standard for deciding an outcome of a play in which a portion of the play has been overturned via Replay Review is to determine what would have likely occurred had the final call been made as in the initial call. In this situation, Replay judged that Nimmo would have been out on Swanson's tag based on both the Atlanta infielders' and Nimmo's actions after the original (overturned) out call had been made.

Video as follows:

Sunday, August 7, 2022

MLB Ejections 124-125 - Hickox, Carapazza (NYY x2)

HP Umpire Ed Hickox ejected Yankees manager Aaron Boone (strike one call; QOCN) and 3B Umpire Vic Carapazza ejected Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake (strike three call; QOCN) in the top of the 5th inning of the #Yankees-#Cardinals game. With two out and two on (R2, R3), Yankees batter Matt Carpenter took a 1-0 curveball from Cardinals pitcher Chris Stratton for a called first strike, resulting in Boone's ejection. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the outer edge of home plate and waist-high (px -1.22, pz 2.84), the call was incorrect. Carpenter then took a 2-2 fastball from Stratton for a called third strike, resulting in Blake's ejection. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the outer edge of home plate and thigh-high (px -0.99, pz 2.16), the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejections, the game was tied, 6-6. The Cardinals ultimately won the contest, 12-9.

This is Ed Hickox (15)'s 1st ejection of 2022.
This is Vic Carapazza (19)'s 3rd ejection of 2022.
Ed Hickox now has -2 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 2 MLB - 4 Incorrect Call = -2).
Vic Carapazza now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 2 MLB - 2 Incorrect-Crewmate = 0).
Crew Chief Jerry Meals now has 0 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 0).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
The 1-0 pitch was located 3.67 horizontal inches from being deemed correct.
The 2-2 pitch was located 0.91 horizontal inches from being deemed correct.

These are the 124th ejection reports of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 68th manager ejection of 2022.
This is New York's 9/10th ejection of 2022, 1st in the AL East (NYY 10; TOR 8; BAL, BOS 4; TB 3).
This is Aaron Boone's 6th ejection of 2022, 1st since July 15 (DJ Reyburn; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Matt Blake's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since May 22 (Greg Gibson; QOC = N [Fair/Foul]).
This is Ed Hickox's 1st ejection since July 22, 2021 (Dave Roberts; QOC = N [Check Swing]).
This is Vic Carapazza's 3rd ejection of 2022, 1st since June 5 (Ryan Pressly; QOC = U [Warnings]).

Wrap: New York Yankees vs St Louis Cardinals, 8/7/22 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 123 - Alan Porter (2; Rocco Baldelli)

1B Umpire Alan Porter ejected Twins manager Rocco Baldelli (Replay Review decision that overturned HP Umpire Marty Foster's out call to safe due to a home plate collision violation; QOCN) in the top of the 10th inning of the #BlueJays-#Twins game. With one out and one on (R3), Blue Jays batter Cavan Biggio hit a 0-0 slider from Twins pitcher Caleb Thielbar on a fly ball to left fielder Tim Beckham, who threw to catcher Gary Sanchez as Blue Jays baserunner R3 Whit Merrifield arrived at home plate, ruled out by HP Umpire Foster and overturned to safe due to illegal plate blocking by Sanchez after a challenge by Blue Jays manager John Schneider. Replays do not conclusively indicate whether Twins catcher Sanchez provided Blue Jays runner Merrifield with a pathway to home plate pursuant to the terms of Rule 6.01(i)(2) prior to moving to receive the thrown ball, the decision to overturn the on-field out call to a plate blocking violation (safe) call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Blue Jays were leading, 3-2. The Blue Jays ultimately won the contest, 3-2, in 10 innings.

This is Alan Porter (64)'s 2nd ejection of 2022.
Alan Porter now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (4 Previous + 2 MLB - 2 Incorrect-Crewmate = 4).
Crew Chief Alan Porter now has 3 points in Crew Division (3 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 3).
Official Baseball Rule 6.01(i)(2): "Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as they are attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall call or signal the runner safe. Not withstanding the above, it shall not be considered a violation of this Rule 6.01(i)(2) if the catcher blocks the pathway of the runner in a legitimate attempt to field the throw (e.g., in reaction to the direction, trajectory or the hop of the incoming throw, or in reaction to a throw that originates from a pitcher or drawn-in infielder)."

This is the 123rd ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 67th manager ejection of 2022.
This is Minnesota's 3rd ejection of 2022, T-2nd in the AL Central (CWS 5; DET, KC, MIN 3; CLE 1).
This is Rocco Baldelli's 3rd ejection of 2022, 1st since June 6 (Alex Tosi; QOC = Y [Check Swing]).
This is Alan Porter's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since July 23 (Phil Nevin; QOC = N-c [Check Swing]).

Wrap: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Baltimore Orioles, 8/7/22 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 122 - Ron Kulpa (2; Brandon Hyde)

3B Umpire Ron Kulpa ejected Orioles manager Brandon Hyde (Replay Review decision that overturned HP Umpire Carlos Torres' out call to safe due to a home plate collision violation; QOCN) in the top of the 7th inning of the #Pirates-#Orioles game. With two out and one on (R2), Pirates batter Kevin Newman hit a 1-2 slider from Orioles pitcher Keegan Akin on the ground to shortstop Jorge Mateo, who after recovering the ball in fair territory behind third base, threw to catcher Robinson Chirinos as Pirates baserunner R2 Greg Allen arrived at home plate, ruled out by HP Umpire Torres and overturned to safe due to illegal plate blocking by Chirinos after a challenge by Pirates manager Derek Shelton. Replays indicate that catcher Chirinos failed to provide Allen with a pathway to home plate pursuant to the terms of Rule 6.01(i)(2) prior to moving to receive the thrown ball, the plate blocking violation (safe) call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Pirates were leading, 5-1. The Pirates ultimately won the contest, 8-1.

This is Ron Kulpa (46)'s 2nd ejection of 2022.
Ron Kulpa now has 9 points in the UEFL Standings (5 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 9).
Crew Chief Ron Kulpa now has 5 points in Crew Division (4 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 5).
Official Baseball Rule 6.01(i)(2): "Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as they are attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the umpire, the catcher without possession of the ball blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall call or signal the runner safe."

This is the 122nd ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 66th manager ejection of 2022.
This is Baltimore's 4th ejection of 2022, T-3rd in the AL East (NYY, TOR 8; BAL, BOS 4; TB 3).
This is Brandon Hyde's 3rd ejection of 2022, 1st since July 1 (Ramon De Jesus; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Ron Kulpa's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since July 17 (Jesus Aguilar; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Baltimore Orioles, 8/7/22 | Video as follows:

Friday, August 5, 2022

MLB Ejection 121 - Edwin Moscoso (1; Derek Shelton)

HP Umpire Edwin Moscoso ejected Pirates manager Derek Shelton (check swing ball two call) in the bottom of the 8th inning of the #Pirates-#Orioles game. With two out and the bases loaded, Orioles batter Brett Phillips attempted to check his swing on a 1-0 sinker from Pirates pitcher Yohan Ramirez, ruled a ball by Moscoso and a swinging strike on appeal by 3B Umpire Chris Conroy working from C position to the shortstop side of second base due to this game being played with a crew of three umpires. This play is under review by the UEFL Appeals Board, the call was *PENDING*. At the time of the ejection, the Orioles were leading, 1-0. The Orioles ultimately won the contest, 1-0.

This is Edwin Moscoso (109)'s 1st ejection of 2022.
Edwin Moscoso now has ? points in the UEFL Standings.
Crew Chief Ron Kulpa now has ? points in Crew Division.

This is the 121st ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is 65th manager ejection of 2022.
This is Pittsburgh's 4th ejection of 2022, T-2nd in the NL Central (CHC 8; MIL, PIT, STL 4; CIN 2).
This is Derek Shelton's 3rd ejection of 2022, 1st since July 9 (Roberto Ortiz; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Edwin Moscoso's 1st ejection since Sept 8, 2021 (Matt Blake; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Baltimore Orioles, 8/5/22 | Video as follows:

Thursday, August 4, 2022

MLB Ejection 120 - Will Little (3; Corey Ragsdale)

1B Umpire Will Little ejected Rangers 1B Coach Corey Ragsdale (Replay Review decision that overturned Little's out [catch] call to safe [drop]; QOCN) in the top of the 3rd inning of the #WhiteSox-#Rangers game. With one out and one on (R1), White Sox batter Jose Abreu hit a 1-1 cutter from Rangers pitcher Cole Ragans on a fly ball to right fielder Adolis Garcia, who attempted to catch the ball, ruled an out by 2B Umpire Fairchild and overturned via Replay Review following a challenge by White Sox manager Tony La Russa to no catch. Replays indicate Garcia failed to establish secure possession of the baseball in his glove such that the ball's release was voluntary and intentional, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Rangers were leading, 1-0. The Rangers ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

This is Will Little (93)'s 3rd ejection of 2022.
Will Little now has 9 points in the UEFL Standings (5 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 9).
Crew Chief Chad Fairchild now has 4 points in Crew Division (3 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 4).
OBR's Definition of Terms: "A CATCH is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in their hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it; providing they do not use their cap, protector, pocket, or any other part of their uniform in getting possession...
In establishing the validity of the catch, the fielder shall hold the ball long enough to prove that they have complete control of the ball and that their release of the ball is voluntary and intentional. If the fielder has made the catch and drops the ball while in the act of making a throw following the catch, the ball shall be adjudged to have been caught."

This is the 120th ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is Texas' 1st ejection of 2022, 1st in the AL West (LAA 9; SEA 7; HOU 6; OAK 4; TEX 1).
This is Corey Ragsdale's first career MLB ejection.
This is Will Little's 3rd ejection of 2022, 1st since May 26 (David Ross; QOC = U [Warnings NC]).

Wrap: Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers, 8/4/22 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 119 - Bill Welke (3; Alex Cora)

HP Umpire Bill Welke ejected Red Sox manager Alex Cora (Replay Review decision that upheld HR [out of play fair ball] call by 3B Umpire Gabe Morales; QOCN) in the bottom of the 7th inning of the #RedSox-#Royals game. With none out and two on, Royals batter Salvador Perez hit a 0-0 fastball from Red Sox pitcher Darwinzon Hernandez on a line drive to left field, ruled a home run by 3B umpire Gabe Morales and upheld as such following a challenge by Red Sox manager Cora. Replays indicate the batted ball struck the top corner of the outfield wall/padding adjacent to the foul pole but did not make contact with the foul pole above the fence-line before rebounding into the field of play, the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Royals were leading, 7-3. The Royals ultimately won the contest, 7-3.

This is Bill Welke (3)'s 3rd ejection of 2022.
Bill Welke now has -2 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 2 MLB - 4 Incorrect Call = -2).
Crew Chief Bill Welke now has 1 point in Crew Division (1 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 1).
*The Kauffman Stadium Ground Rules provide that a "batted ball in flight that strikes any portion of the seating area safety fencing, including the railings," shall be considered in play similar to a ball striking the top of an outfield wall. If the ball then bounds over the outfield wall and out of play, it is a home run. If it bounds back onto the playing field, it is considered in play. A ball striking a foul pole below the fence-line shall be considered in play, similar to a ball hitting off the outfield wall.
Pursuant to the universal ground rules, "all yellow lines are in play."

This is the 119th ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 64th manager ejection of 2022.
This is Boston's 4th ejection of 2022, 3rd in the AL East (NYY, TOR 8; BOS 4; BAL, TB 3).
This is Alex Cora's 3rd ejection of 2022, 1st since May 11 (Adam Beck; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Bill Welke's 3rd ejection of 2022, 1st since May 22 (Kevin Cash; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Boston Red Sox vs. Kansas City Royals, 8/4/22 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejections 117-118 - Phil Cuzzi (1-2; Garcia, Kapler)

1B Umpire Phil Cuzzi ejected Giants pitcher Jarlin Garcia and manager Gabe Kapler (Unsportsmanlike-NEC) after the top of the 6th inning of the #Dodgers-#Giants game. With two out and none on, Dodgers batter James Outman took a 1-2 fastball from Giants pitcher Garcia for a called third strike by HP Umpire Dan Bellino. Replays indicate that following the strikeout, Garcia made a gesture directed at the Dodgers; Cuzzi ejected Kapler for arguing Garcia's ejection, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Dodgers were leading, 4-2. The Dodgers ultimately won the contest, 5-3.

These are Phil Cuzzi (10)'s 1st and 2nd ejections of 2022.
Phil Cuzzi now has 6 points in the UEFL Standings (2 Prev + 2*[2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call] = 6).
Crew Chief Dan Bellino now has 4 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 2 Irrecusable Call = 4).

These are the 117th and 118th ejection reports of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 39th player ejection of 2022. Prior to ejection, Garcia's line was 1.0 IP, 0 R, 2 SO.
This is the 63rd manager ejection of 2022.
This is San Francisco's 3/4th ejection of 2022, T-1st in the NL West (SD, SF 4; ARI 3; COL 2; LAD 1).
This is Jarlin Garcia's first career MLB ejection.
This is Gabe Kapler's 1st ejection since Sept 15, 2019 (Gabe Morales; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

MLB Ejections 115-116 - Jerry Meals (1-2; Yelich, Counsell)

HP Umpire Jerry Meals ejected Brewers DH Christian Yelich (strike three call; QOCY) in the top of the 7th inning of the #Brewers-#Pirates game. With two out and none on, Yelich took a 2-2 slider from Pirates pitcher Yohan Ramirez for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer edge of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px -0.78, pz 1.56 [sz_bot 1.73 / MOE 1.60 / MOE 1.52]) and that all other pitches during the at-bat were properly officiated, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Brewers were leading, 3-1. The Pirates ultimately won the contest, 5-4, in 10 innings.

These are Jerry Meals (41)'s 1st and 2nd ejections of 2022.
Jerry Meals now has 6 points in the UEFL Standings (-2 Prev + 2*[2 MLB + 2 Correct Call] = 6).
Crew Chief Jerry Meals now has 4 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 2 Correct Call = 4).
*This pitch was located 0.50 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.

These are the 115th and 116th ejection reports of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 38th player ejection of 2022. Prior to ejection, Yelich was 0-4 (3 SO) in the contest.
This is the 62nd manager ejection of 2022.
This is Milwaukee's 3/4th ejection of 2022, T-2nd in the NL Central (CHC 8; MIL, STL 4; PIT 3; CIN 2).
This is Christian Yelich's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since July 9 (Roberto Ortiz; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Craig Counsell's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since June 10 (Ramon De Jesus; QOC = Y [INT NC]).
These are Jerry Meals' 1st ejections since June 19, 2021 (Alek Manoah; QOC = U [Throwing At]).

MLB's Wagner Says Umpire Schools to be Replaced by Invite-Only Placement Program

When MLB Senior Manager of Umpiring Operations Raquel Wagner reportedly announced at NASO Summit (a convention for sports officials) that the decades-old umpire school-to-Minor League Baseball pipeline will be replaced by an in-house training placement program operated by MLB itself, it came as a surprise to Hunter Wendelstedt, owner/operator of the Wendelstedt Umpire School in Ormond Beach, Florida: "I am shocked and surprised about the tweet and the news from the NASO Conference in Denver.  We are still anticipating working with Major League Baseball (MLB) to provide them with future MLB umpires since that has been the practice since 1938."

A person who wishes to become a big league umpire presently begins by enrolling in Umpire School—either the Wendelstedt Umpire School or the MiLB Umpire Training Academy—for an educational program mostly in January each offseason. The top graduates of each school then advance to an advanced course run by professional baseball, and if all goes well and the graduates continue to impress, they stand to be placed in Minor League Baseball as a full-fledged professional umpire (generally Rookie or Low A to start). Anyone who is interested and meets certain minimum qualifications (e.g., being 18 years old) can fill out a school application, pay tuition/fees (or secure a scholarship/financial aid), and attend either Wendelstedt or MiLB's Academy the following winter.

According to Wagner's statements, MLB seeks to discontinue the school-to-show system and replace it with an invitation-only course and placement program. Only one problem...

MiLB Dealt Evans a Job
...Whereas MLB owns the MiLB Umpire Training Academy, it does not own the Wendelstedt School and thus any such change would effectively kill the private entity which is presently competing with the MLB-owned Umpire Training Academy. We've already seen that MLB can effectively "kill" a competing umpire school by simply refusing to hire its graduates, as it did with the Jim Evans Academy of Professional Umpiring in 2012 after JEAPU staff engaged in racist conduct at a school-sponsored event. Seeing as MiLB hired Jim Evans as an advisor shortly thereafter, one could reasonably conclude that maybe a deal was struck.

If this sounds vaguely like a business engaging in a practice to shut down a competitor, you might possibly be right, although with Wendelstedt School still in the picture, cutting ties with Evans wouldn't result in a monopoly over the Umpire School line of business; getting rid of Wendelstedt School, however, would likely effectively eliminate all competition. Our analysis of this situation indicates this concept could very well be behind the timing of Wagner's announcement.

Since 1922, Major League Baseball has enjoyed a unique protection from adherence to USA anti-trust laws, also known as an antitrust exemption. When the Supreme Court bestowed this exemption upon professional baseball in 1922 (deeming that baseball is not interstate commerce), it reasoned that sports were different than most corporate business since it occurs in one place at a time and thus needed to operate in a way that may not fully comply with all the terms of the various federal anti-trust acts.

Over the years, MLB has cited and relied upon its anti-trust exemption to defend itself from litigation, or to engage in other business practices that may or may not be compliant with anti-trust laws.

With the United States Senate Judiciary Committee recently requesting information from MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred about MLB's anti-trust exemption, perhaps baseball is worried that a bipartisan effort might just strip the league of its exemption, and if that happens, MLB will suddenly have to play by a bunch of rules that they are not used to abiding by.

And, furthermore and most pertinent, perhaps the league hopes that by making this change from an umpire school system (in which MiLB competes with Wendelstedt) to a 100% league-controlled program, it can do so in time, and under the guard of its anti-trust exemption, lest Baseball wind up losing the exemption in the future.

Video as follows: