Thursday, August 6, 2020

MLB Ejection 07 - Jerry Meals (1; David Bell)

HP Umpire Jerry Meals ejected Reds Manager David Bell (strike three call; QOCN) in the top of the 6th inning of the #Reds-#Indians game. With two out and two on (R1, R3), Reds DH Jesse Winker took a 2-2 changeup from Indians pitcher Carlos Carrasco for a called third strike.

Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner half home plate and below the hollow of the knee (px 0.31, pz 1.27 [sz_bot 1.61 / RAD 1.49 / MOE 1.40]), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejections, the Indians were leading, 3-0. The Indians ultimately won the contest, 13-0.

This is Jerry Meals (41)'s first ejection of 2020.
Jerry Meals now has -2 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 2 MLB - 4 Incorrect Call = -2).
Crew Chief Jerry Meals now has 1 point in Crew Division (1 Previous + 0 Incorrect = 1).
*This pitch was located 1.56 vertical inches from being deemed a correct call.

This is the seventh ejection report of the 2020 MLB regular season.
This is the third Manager ejection of 2020.
This is Cincinnati's 1st ejection of 2020, T-1st in the NL Central (CIN, PIT 1; CHC, MIL, STL 0).
This is David Bell's 1st ejection since July 30, 2019 (Larry Vanover; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Jerry Meals' 1st ejection since August 28, 2019 (Bud Black; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Cincinnati Reds vs. Cleveland Indians, 8/6/20 | Video as follows:

CPBL Demotes Umpire After Infield Fly Call

A controversial bases-loaded infield fly rule call overseas resulted in a 10-minute delay and, after the game, the calling umpire's demotion from the CPBL to Taiwan baseball's minor leagues. Was the call correct and why or why not? We dive into the rules to answer this question.

Starting with the definition of Infield Fly Rule would be most helpful: "An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule."

According to Official Baseball Rule 5.09(a)(2)(5), "A batter is out when—An Infield Fly is declared." and an umpire shall declare an infield fly when "it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly."

To summarize, an umpire has three key checkmarks to dole out in determining whether the infield fly criteria has been satisfied and should only declare an infield fly after all three boxes are marked.
(1) First & second base must be occupied with less than two out (third may or may not be occupied).
(2) The batter must hit a fair fly ball (a ball hit into the air), which is not a line drive nor a bunt, that;
(3) In the umpire's judgment, can be caught by an infielder (F1 - F6) employing ordinary effort.

Compare to Sam Holbrook's 2012 INF Fly.
Gil's Call: Back to the August 6 CPBL game between the Fubon Guardians and Rakuten Monkeys, I've color-coded the three criteria above as to my personal judgment as to their satisfaction. Yes, this is clearly a potential infield fly situation: runners are at first and second base with one out. Criteria number two is where I start to lose my willingness to call an infield fly: The batter definitely hits the ball into the air, but its trajectory and low arc suggests it may not quite fit the fly ball mold.

Even with room for interpretation as to this rule's second point, the third criterion—can be caught by an infielder employing ordinary effort—should seal the deal. Recall that "ordinary effort" is defined as, "the effort that a fielder of average skill at a position in [CPBL in this case] should exhibit on a play, with due consideration given to the condition of the field and weather conditions."

An extended argument from the home team.
Based on this definition, I do not believe the second baseman could have caught this ball with ordinary effort. Accordingly, even if we were to have deemed fair fly ball criterion two as satisfied, we would be prohibited by rule from calling 'infield fly' due to failure to satisfy the rule's ordinary effort clause.

The second part of the analysis pertains to game management. When 2B Umpire Qiu Jingyan made the infield fly call, 1B Umpire Ji Huawen, after observing his partner call infield fly, mirrored the point mechanic. That's fine.

This bump-the-ump produced a warning.
When the crew conferred to discuss the call, this would have been the prime opportunity to reverse the call and load the bases...IF any of the other umpires A) saw that it wasn't an infield fly and B) the calling umpire were to have allowed such an overturn [remember, umpires by rule cannot unilaterally overturn another umpire's judgment call...see OBR 8.02(c)'s "no umpire shall criticize, seek to reverse or interfere with another umpire's decision unless asked to do so by the umpire making it"].

When HP Umpire Luo Junhong, who appeared to be our crew chief, made the crew's final call, the crew entertained Rakuten's manager—fine. But once the manager began walking back toward his dugout, only to turn around and physically push through multiple umpires enroute to physically bumping the calling umpire, that should have been addressed.

Umpire Odo in Star Trek cites the USC rule.
Physical contact with an umpire in the course of an argument is not a warning, it's grounds for immediate ejection. The rule is 6.04(a)(4) Unsportsmanlike Conduct and reads, "No manager, player, substitute, coach, trainer or batboy shall at any time, whether from the bench, the coach’s box or on the playing field, or elsewhere make intentional contact with the umpire in any manner...PENALTY: The offender shall be removed from the game and shall leave the playing field, and, if a balk is made, it shall be nullified."

The following article from 2019 provides more insight on the infield fly rule and its implications for both the offense and defense.
Related PostYankees Doubled Up on Infield Fly - Learn the Rule! (3/28/19).

In 2018, we discussed the issue of reversing calls made during a potential infield fly situation.
Related PostForgetful Infield Fly - Reversing Calls Across Levels (3/21/18).

And in 2017, we discussed IFR situations and how to judge a batted ball as an infield fly or not.
Related PostKnowing the Situation - Infield Flies and Time Plays (9/15/17).

And there's a lot more where that came from.
Related PostOrioles Turn Triple Play on Contested Infield Fly No-Call (5/3/17).
Related PostInfield Fly and a Double Play - Back to Basics for Phillies (4/11/16).

Video as follows:

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

MLB Ejection 06 - Mark Ripperger (2; Jayce Tingler)

HP Umpire Mark Ripperger ejected Padres Manager Jayce Tingler (strike two call; QOCY) in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Dodgers-Padres game. With two out and two on (R1, R3), Padres batter Manny Machado took a 1-1 slider from Dodgers pitcher Blake Treinen for a called second strike as baserunner R1 Trent Grisham stole second base. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the heart of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px -0.03, pz 1.45 [sz_bot 1.60 / RAD 1.48 / MOE 1.39]) and that all pitches during the at-bat (including the preceding strike two call to Tommy Pham) were properly officiated, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Dodgers were leading, 7-4. The Dodgers ultimately won the contest, 7-6.

This is Mark Ripperger (90)'s second ejection of 2020.
Mark Ripperger now has 11 points in the UEFL Standings (7 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 11).
Crew Chief Brian Knight now has 1 point in Crew Division (0 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 1).
*This pitch was located 0.72 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the sixth ejection report of the 2020 MLB regular season.
This is San Diego's 1st ejection of 2020, T-1st in the NL West (ARI, SD 1; COL, LAD, SF 0).
This is Jayce Tingler's first career MLB ejection.
This is Mark Ripperger's 2nd ejection of 2020, 1st since July 26 (Torey Lovullo; QOC = Y [HBP]).

Wrap: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres, 8/5/20 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 05 - Angel Hernandez (1; Phil Nevin)

HP Umpire Angel Hernandez ejected Yankees 3B Coach Phil Nevin (strike three call; QOCY) in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Phillies-Yankees game. With one out and two on (R1, R2), Yankees batter Mike Ford took a 3-2 sinker from Phillies pitcher Trevor Kelley for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner edge of home plate and thigh-high (px 0.82, pz 2.24) and that all other pitches during the at-bat were properly officiated, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Phillies were leading, 11-7. The Phillies ultimately won the contest, 11-7, in 7 innings.

This is Angel Hernandez (5)'s first ejection of 2020.
Angel Hernandez now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 4).
Crew Chief Angel Hernandez now has 3 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 3).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
*This pitch was located 1.13 horizontal inches from being deemed an incorrect call.
(In other words, Robo Ump would have ruled this pitch a strike)

This is the fifth ejection report of the 2020 MLB regular season.
This is New York's 1st ejection of 2020, 2nd in the AL East (TOR 2; NYY 1; BAL, BOS, TB 0).
This is Rowdy Tellez's first career MLB ejection.
This is Phil Nevin's 1st ejection since April 11, 2018 (Hunter Wendelstedt; QOC = U [Fighting]).
This is Angel Hernandez's 1st ejection since July 28, 2019 (Rick Renteria; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Yankees, 8/5/20 | Video as follows:

MLB Debut of Umpire Adam Beck

Umpire Adam Beck made his MLB debut Wednesday in Philadelphia during the Phillies-Yankees doubleheader, joining Chief Angel Hernandez and his crew of Will Little and Nic Lentz. Beck served as third base umpire for Game 1 and worked second base for Game 2.

Beck graduated from the MiLB Umpire Training Academy and began his professional career in the 2013 Appalachian League, followed by stops in the South Atlantic, Carolina, Southern, and International Leagues, as well as the Arizona Fall League.

He officiated the 2016 XM All-Star Futures Game in San Diego, 2019 International League Championship Series, and is an instructor at the MiLB Umpire Training Academy. He also officiated the 2018 AFL "Fall Stars" Game.

Beck is the sixth rookie umpire to have an MLB debut during this 2020 regular season.
Related PostMLB Debut of Umpire Randy Rosenberg (8/4/20).
Related Post: MLB Debut of Umpire Jeremy Riggs (7/28/20).
Related Post: MLB Debut of Umpire Jose Navas (7/24/20)
Related Post: MLB Debut of Umpire Edwin Moscoso (7/23/20).

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

MLB Debut of Umpire Randy Rosenberg

Umpire Randy Rosenberg made his MLB debut during Tuesday's Red Sox-Rays game in Tampa Bay alongside Chief Joe West and his crew of Stu Scheurwater and Hunter Wendelstedt.

After graduating in 2011, Rosenberg officiated in the Gulf Coast, Appalachian, South Atlantic, Carolina, Eastern, and International Leagues.

He officiated the 2018 Eastern League All-Star Game in Trenton, NJ.

Rosenberg, who wears sleeve number #113, is the fifth rookie umpire to make his MLB debut during the 2020 regular season.
Related PostMLB Debut of Umpire Jeremy Riggs (7/28/20).
Related PostMLB Debut of Umpire Jose Navas (7/24/20)
Related PostMLB Debut of Umpire Edwin Moscoso (7/23/20).

Beloved Minor League Admin Lillian Patterson Dies

A welcoming face for all aspiring professional umpires, longtime Minor League Baseball administrative assistant Lillian Mary Patterson died in Florida at the age of 71. Patterson, reads her obituary, "was ejected, without any warnings, from the game of life and sent to the showers in heaven."

Patterson joined Major League Baseball Umpire Development in 1992 and transitioned to Minor League Baseball's Professional Baseball Umpire Corp (PBUC) in 1998, serving the organization until her retirement 20 years later, in 2017.

Major League umpires Dan Bellino and Manny Gonzalez both commented on Patterson's remembrance page, with Bellino recalling her genuine nature: "She looked at all of us umpires as her children, and she relished in our successes and she cried in our failures," and Gonzalez noting that, "Lillian was the first person to welcome me to this beautiful country that now I have the privilege to call home. Was to many of us a mother away from our homes, always in the other side of the phone caring about our travel and our wellness."

Both Holy Family Catholic Church and UmpsCare Charities are accepting donations in Lillian's name.

As her obituary concludes, "No good reason can be given for the ejection, and the game continued without further incident...but will never the be same without her."

Monday, August 3, 2020

Podcast - Weekly News for 8/3 as Cardinals Postponed

 and Gil discuss weekly baseball umpiring news, including triple-digit rookie umpire debuts, Joe West's one-inning bloody injury in DC, Mark Wegner's admonishment of Boston's Alex Verdugo, a few tag-up plays of the week, and MLB's recent decision to postpone Cardinals games due to positive COVID-19 tests within the St. Louis organization.

In MLB's opening 1.5 weeks of the delayed 2020 season, umpires Edwin Moscoso, Jose Navas, Jeremy Riggs, and Lew Williams made major league debuts.

Meanwhile, Joe West took a bat off the side of the head in the 1st inning in Washington, resulting in a bloody temple, but returned to work at third base in the third inning.

In Boston, Alex Verdugo—having taken second base on a wild pitch—casually walked to third base during a pitching change...then stayed on the base until 3B Umpire Mark Wegner instructed him to return to second...and after which a post-inning argument erupted as Verdugo reportedly took issue with Wegner's directive.

Video as follows:

Sunday, August 2, 2020

MLB Debut of Umpire Lewis "Lew" Williams III

Umpire Lewis "Lew" Williams III made his MLB debut during Sunday's Rangers-Giants game, taking the place of injured ump Jim Wolf, who suffered a head injury on Saturday. Williams joined chief Jim Reynold's crew, alongside Lance Barrett and John Libka.

Williams began his Minor League career in 2011 after graduating from the Wendelstedt School, officiating his way through the Arizona, Northwest, South Atlantic, California, and Southern Leagues, before his current stop in Triple-A's Pacific Coast League.

Williams, who is serving on an umpiring "taxi squad" in the west division, is the fourth new umpire to make an MLB debut during the 2020 regular season.
Related PostMLB Debut of Umpire Jeremy Riggs (7/28/20).
Related Post: MLB Debut of Umpire Jose Navas (7/24/20)
Related Post: MLB Debut of Umpire Edwin Moscoso (7/23/20).

Wolf is sitting out after reportedly enduring a concussion during his collision with Giants catcher Tyler Heineman, who upon arriving at the ballpark on Sunday and learning of Wolf's absence, tweeted, "My thoughts and prayers go out to you Jim Wolf. I’m very sorry and I hope you recover fast."

Down But Not Out - Jim Wolf Sticks with Play & Makes Safe Call After Being Knocked to Ground (Injury Scout)

3B Umpire Jim Wolf was knocked over during a rundown in San Francisco Saturday, but stuck with the play to make a safe call from the ground as the Texas Rangers opened up scoring vs the Giants at Oracle Park, reportedly suffering a concussion discovered after the game.

Eye on the ball is a common refrain for umpires embodied in Official Baseball Rule 8.00 [General Instructions to Umpires]—"Keep your eye everlastingly on the ball while it is in play"—and Wolf proved his dedication to that directive in the top of the 1st inning when Rangers baserunner Elvis Andrus dove back into third base.

With two out and runners at the corners, Giants pitcher Drew Smyly attempted to pick off Texas' trailing baserunner R1 Joey Gallo at first base, throwing to first baseman Brandon Belt, who chased Gallo toward second base before throwing to second baseman Donovan Solano, at which time Rangers baserunner R3 Andrus started toward home plate.

Wolf focuses on the play at third.
Solano then threw to third baseman Evan Longoria to trap Andrus in a rundown, and threw to catcher Tyler Heineman, who ran Andrus back to third base before throwing to Solano, who attempted to tag Andrus as he slid into third base.

Wolf, intently focused on the play at the bag, didn't have a chance to see—much less avoid—Heineman, who crashed directly into Wolf, knocking the veteran umpire to the ground as both clubs gestured for a ruling.

Now on the ground, Wolf, from his back, spread his arms and said "safe" (the correct call) before retrieving his hat and glasses as he stood up and returned to his position on the left field foul line, smiling as crew chief Jim Reynolds journeyed over from second base to check on him. The Rangers scored two runs on the very next pitch.

Wolf reportedly suffered a concussion as a result of the incident.

Injury Scout Information
Relevant Injury History: Wolf had head injuries on 5/31/19, 9/11/15, and 6/9/14.

Last Game: Aug 1 | Return to Play: TBD | Time Absent: TBD | Video as follows: