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Umpire Rosters: 2019 Regular Season Crews | Listen to our Podcast: Episode 12 - Jim Joyce

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Out of It - Calculating a 3-Foot Base Path on the Fly

In lieu of tonight's regularly scheduled ejection, we review Cubs batter-runner Javier Baez's infield single care of a base path consideration no-call, as 1B Umpire Chad Whitson answered Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts’ quest for an out with a conclusion that Chicago's athletic shortstop did not violate baseball's first-and-foremost criterion for declaring a runner out during his journey to first base.

The Play: With one out and none on, Cubs batter Baez hit a 0-2 slider from Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda up the first base line, where the ball was fielded by LA first baseman David Freese. Upon retrieving the batted ball, Freese turned his attention to Baez, who slammed on the breaks and juked to avoid Freese's tag, diving head-first into first base as Freese unsuccessfully attempted to tag his runner.

Call & Question: 1B Umpire Whitson ruled batter-runner Baez safe at first, eliciting a brief argument from Dodgers skipper Dave Roberts, who sought, to no avail, a pronouncement that Baez had illegally exited his base path in order to avoid Freese's tag.

Let's review the rule and the criteria for declaring a runner out pursuant to Rule 5.09(b)(1).

The Rule: OBR 5.09(b)(1) states that a runner is out when: "He runs more than three feet away from his base path to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely."

Baez was called out of his base path in 2016.
Precedent: Baez was previously declared out for leaving his base path to avoid a tag by 1B Umpire Dana DeMuth in 2016. During the May 22, 2016 Cubs-Giants game, Baez hit a ground ball to Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, who attempted a tag as Baez run to his right to avoid the tag.

DeMuth noted that Baez's starting point at the time of Belt's tag attempt was to the left of the fair line, while his point of farthest avoidance was the to the right of the 45-foot runner's lane that appears in foul territory parallel to the foul line.

Because the 45-foot runner's lane is exactly three feet from the foul line, by rule, DeMuth figured that Baez deviated from his base path by at least three feet in avoiding Belt's tag and declared him out of the base path.
Related PostBaez Out of Base Path in Rare Runner's Lane Appearance (5/23/16).

Baez dives to avoid fielder Belt.
SIDEBAR: Remember, the 45-foot runner's lane is, itself, irrelevant here. The only bearing this lane has is that we know, by rule, that it is a three-foot wide space. Therefore, by using a little imagery transposition, we can estimate what three feet may look like. Baez would never be declared out for a runner's lane violation in this situation, but the three-foot space is relevant solely as far as it helps an umpire establish that the runner may have ran more than three feet away from his base path.

SECOND SIDEBAR: From home to first base, the foul line is also known as the "baseline." Note that the proper call here refers to a base path, not a base line. The runner establishes his own base path.

Part 1: Freese fields the batted ball.
Analysis: We're going to use the following color-coding for our analysis. Green represents batter-runner Baez's base path, red represents the straight line from Baez to first base, and yellow represents the distance between the lines, drawn perpendicularly to the green line. As the accompanying graphic, captured at the moment Freese retrieves the ball, indicates, Baez's base path is, essentially, even with the fair foul line (painted white line aka the colloquial "chalk line").

Part 2: Freese attempts to tag Baez.
Here's Our Problem: OBR 5.09(b)(1) doesn't want us establishing the runner's base path when the fielder gains possession of the baseball. The rule wants us to consider "when the tag attempt occurs." Thus, we advance a few frames and find that Freese appears rather unsure of what to do. Upon realizing that Baez is cutting back toward the inside of the line, Freese changes his momentum and appears to initiate a tag attempt.

Freese initiates his attempted tag as Baez leaves the ground in his juking maneuver.

Part 3: Baez jumps to avoid Freese.
To Determine if This is Out of the Base Path: Thus, the answer to the out of the base path question can be solved thusly: If Baez jumped more than three feet laterally to avoid Freese's tag, whose attempt occurred as Baez left the ground on his left-ward leap, then Baez may be declared out for running more than three feet away from his base path. Otherwise, he is safe for having remained legal pursuant to 5.09(b)(1) in avoiding Freese's tag. You make the call.

Video as follows:

2019 UMPS CARE Online Action Live on MLB

Major League Baseball hosts the 11th annual online @UmpsCare Charities auction, running through Monday, April 29, 2019 at 10 PM Eastern. As in years past, the UMPS CARE auction provides unique experiences, signed memorabilia, apparel, and more with the goal of fundraising for UMPS CARE Charities' Build-A-Bear children's hospital events, on-field opportunities such as Blue for Kids, and college scholarships.

This year's Umpire Gift Baskets were donated by Chad Fairchild, Ted Barrett, and Cory Blaser.

The Chad Fairchild basket features several Ohio State University items and several MLB-branded items as well, including a blue long-sleeve plate shirt, hats, and a few 2018 World Series items.

The Ted Barrett basket also contains 2018 World Series memorabilia, mini boxing gloves, Calling for Christ wristbands, and a toy motorcycle.

The Cory Blaser basket comes with 2018 All-Star Game and 2017 World Baseball Classic items, a few MLB umpire shirts, and a few items for the outdoors.

Even The SABR Book of Umpires and Umpiring—which features a chapter entitled "A History of Umpire Ejections by Gil Imber"—is up for bids, as is an apparel package from the NHL Officials Association.

And then there's this bobblehead....

Click here to visit MLB's UMPS CARE Charities Online Auction website | Video as follows:

Monday, April 22, 2019

MLB Ejection 036 - Mark Carlson (1; Bryce Harper)

HP Umpire Mark Carlson ejected Phillies RF Bryce Harper (strike three call; QOCY) in the top of the 4th inning of the Phillies-Mets game. With none out and none on, Harber took two consecutive 2-1 sinkers from Mets pitcher Steven Matz for called second and third strikes. Replays indicate the pitch ruled strike two was located over the outer edge of home plate and at the midpoint (px -0.80, pz 3.23 [sz_top 3.14 / RAD 3.263] [0.396 inches of overlap prior to MOE]) and the pitch ruled strike three was located over the outer edge of home plate and waist-high (px -0.78, pz 2.50), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Mets were leading, 2-1. The Mets ultimately won the contest, 5-1.

This is Mark Carlson (6)'s first ejection of 2019.
Mark Carlson now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 4).
Crew Chief Brian Gorman now has 4 points in Crew Division (3 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 4).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
*The 2-1 pitch was located 1.368 horizontal and 1.392 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.
Related PostTop 10 MLB Hothead Players by Ejection Frequency (2/28/19).

This is the 36th ejection report of the 2019 MLB regular season.
This is the 17th player ejection of 2019. Prior to ejection, Harper was 0-2 (2 SO) in the contest.
This is Philadelphia's 1st ejection of 2019, T-3rd in the NL East (ATL, NYM 2; PHI, WAS 1; MIA 0).
This is Bryce Harper's first ejection since Sept 20, 2018 (DJ Reyburn; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Mark Carlson's first ejection since September 11, 2018 (Kevin Cash; QOC = Y-C [Balk]).

Wrap: Philadelphia Phillies vs. New York Mets, 4/22/19 | Video as follows:

Pizza Delivery Car Drives on Field During Game

Sure, the umpire can eject a player or coach from a ballgame. Umpires can even throw out bad fans, but does the umpire have the authority to eject a mid-sized sedan that drives onto the field during a game?

This play comes to us from New Hampshire's Seacoast Online, where a Winnacunnet vs Alvirne High School baseball game was briefly interrupted when a pizza delivery that the Alvirne Broncos had ordered made its way onto the field in the fifth inning.

Said Winnacunnet coach and athletic director Aaron Abood, "Alvirne coach Mike Lee likes to try exotic pickoff plays and even though we were in the field, I thought it was some sort of play he set up."

Order was quickly restored when the home plate umpire persuaded the delivery driver to leave the field.

For what it's worth, yes, the umpire can eject a car. The relevant rules are as follows:
Professional Baseball OBR 8.01(e): "Each umpire has authority at his discretion to eject from the playing field (1) any person whose duties permit his presence on the field, such as ground crew members, ushers, photographers, newsmen, broadcasting crew members, etc., and (2) any spectator or other person not authorized to be on the playing field."
College NCAA 4-7: "Only the following people shall be allowed on the playing field: players, coaches in uniform, athletic trainers, umpires, team managers, bat persons, authorized news media (at the discretion of the home team) and authorized home-field attendants."
And NCAA 3-6-b: "Each umpire is an approved official of the institution, league or conference
and is authorized and required to enforce each SECTION of these rules."
High School NFHS 10-1-6: "No umpire may be replaced during a game unless he becomes ill or is
injured. His right to disqualify players or to remove non-players for objecting to decisions or for
unsportsmanlike conduct is absolute. Ejections will be made at the end of playing action."
And NFHS 5-1-1l: "The umpire has the authority to remove any member of the media for not staying in or keeping their equipment in the designated dead ball area."

As for spectator interference by a car not authorized to be on the field, refer to the following video:

Sunday, April 21, 2019

MLB Ejection 035 - Paul Emmel (1; Mickey Callaway)

3B Umpire Paul Emmel ejected Mets Manager Mickey Callaway (check swing dead ball strike two call) in the top of the 7th inning of the Mets-Cardinals game. With one out and none on, Mets batter Robinson Cano attempted to check his swing on a 0-1 fastball from Cardinals pitcher Andrew Miller, ruled a hit-by-pitch by HP Umpire Bruce Dreckman and a dead ball strike (pitched ball hitting the batter as he swings) on appeal by 3B Umpire Emmel. Play was reviewed and adjudicated by the UEFL Appeals Board (0-8-1), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Cardinals were leading, 6-3. The Cardinals ultimately won the contest, 6-4.

This is Paul Emmel (50)'s first ejection of 2019.
Paul Emmel now has -4 points in the UEFL Standings (-2 Prev + 2 MLB - 4 Incorrect Call = -4).
Crew Chief Paul Emmel now has -1 points in Crew Division (-1 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = -1).
*OBR Definition of Terms: "A STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which: (e) Touches the batter as he strikes at it."

This is the 35th ejection report of the 2019 MLB regular season.
This is the 15th Manager ejection of 2019.
This is New York's 2nd ejection of 2019, T-1st in the NL East (ATL, NYM 2; WAS 1; MIA, PHI 0).
This is Mickey Callaway's 2nd ejection of 2019, 1st since April 13 (Alfonso Marquez; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Paul Emmel's first ejection since August 24, 2017 (Clint Hurdle; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: New York Mets vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 4/21/19 | Video as follows:

Tumpane, Hudson Weather Easter Eggs to Head

HP Umpires John Tumpane (Pittsburgh) and Marvin Hudson (Baltimore) absorbed foul balls to the mask Sunday, remaining in their respective games after brief medical attention. Tumpane's head-hit highlighted his recent adoption of the umpiring helmet, joining umpire Mike Estabrook as the first MLB full-timers to wear a protective vented base coach's helmet made of the thermoplastic polymer known as acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) underneath the traditional-style facemask, in lieu of a fabric-based short-billed plate hat.

Tumpane's foul ball injury delay in Pittsburgh came during a Brandon Crawford at-bat against Richard Rodriguez in the top of the 6th inning of the Giants-Pirates game. Crawford fouled a first-pitch fastball into the center-jaw portion of Tumpane's mask, bringing Pirates training staff and chief Ted Barrett's crew to home plate to evaluate the plate umpire. Tumpane finished the game.

Hudson's foul ball injury delay in Baltimore came during a Nelson Cruz at-bat against Dylan Bundy in the top of the 4th inning of the Twins-Orioles game. Cruz fouled a 1-2 pitch into the center-jaw portion of Hudson's mask, similarly bringing out attention from the Orioles training staff and chief Gary Cederstrom's crew. Hudson also finished the game.

Video as follows:

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Umpire Jeff Nelson Takes Down Field Intruder Fan

A fan running on the field in Oakland met an untimely demise, as 2B Umpire Jeff Nelson helped take down the assailant, harkening back to the time fellow MLB ump Jeff Kellogg tackled a field intruder in Baltimore during a 2012 Orioles game.

Nelson is a 21-year Major League umpiring veteran and has served as a crew chief since 2014. For Nelson, a history major when he attended Bethel University who grew up wanting to be an attorney and briefly moved to Los Angeles with an eye on attending law school before changing course for umpire school, apprehending a trespassing fan as Kellogg did in 2012 was simply enforcing a precedent of umpires taking care of business.
Related PostUmpire Jeff Kellogg Tackles Fan in Baltimore Field Intrusion (4/28/12).

Video as follows:

Major League Debut of Umpire Brennan Miller (55)

Umpire Brennan Miller made his MLB debut during Saturday's Twins-Orioles doubleheader in Baltimore, joining Chief Gary Cederstrom's crew for a two-game set as the first and third base umpire, alongside Quinn Wolcott (game one plate) and field umpires Marvin Hudson and Adrian Johnson.

Miller is a crew chief on the 2019 International League umpire roster, which is his third year in Triple-A. After graduating from the MiLB Umpire Academy in 2013, Miller officiated in the New York-Penn (2013), Florida Instructional ('13), Florida State ('14), Arizona Instructional ('14-'15), and Southern ('15-16) leagues before his promotion to the International.

He officiated the 2018 Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Game, and a 2018 International League Semifinal. Miller previously worked the 2016 Futures Game at San Diego's Petco Park in conjunction with the MLB All-Star Game.

Miller officiated 2019 Spring Training, where he ejected Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera for arguing a strike three call. He received the sleeve number assignment of 55 following his Spring assignment. #55 was last worn by current MLB umpire Angel Hernandez, who switched to #5 upon Dale Scott's retirement in 2016.
Related PostMLB Ejection S-2 - Brennan Miller (1; Miguel Cabrera) (3/18/19).

Miller is the first rookie fill-in umpire to make his MLB debut during the 2019 regular season.

Miller's most recent MiLB assignment was a doubleheader between the Lehigh Valley IronPigs and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Tuesday, April 16.

MLB Ejection 034 - Jerry Meals (1; Aaron Boone)

2B Umpire Jerry Meals ejected Yankees Manager Aaron Boone (Replay Review decision that overturned 3B Umpire Marty Foster's HR call to a fan interference out; QOCY) in the bottom of the 3rd inning of the Royals-Yankees game. With one out and two on (R1, R2), Yankees batter Gleyber Torres hit a 1-1 fastball on a fly ball to the left field wall, ruled a home run by 3B Umpire Foster and overturned to spectator interference after Crew Chief Review following a request from Royals Manager Ned Yost. Replays indicate that as Royals left fielder Alex Gordon jumped in an attempt to field the descending fly ball, a fan reached out of the spectator area and onto the playing field side of the vertical plane separating the in-and-out of play areas, thus interfering with the fielder's opportunity to field the baseball before the ball left the playing field, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Yankees were leading, 2-0. The Yankees ultimately won the contest, 9-2.

This is Jerry Meals (41)'s first ejection of 2019.
Jerry Meals now has 3 points in the UEFL Standings (-1 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 3).
Crew Chief Jerry Meals now has -3 points in Crew Division (-4 Previous + 1 Correct Call = -3).
*Rule 6.01(e) states, "When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, the ball shall be dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference. APPROVED RULING: If spectator interference clearly prevents a fielder from catching a fly ball, the umpire shall declare the batter out."
*The OBR Definition of Terms entry for interference (d) states, "Spectator interference occurs when a spectator (or an object thrown by the spectator) hinders a player’s attempt to make a play on a live ball, by going onto the playing field, or reaching out of the stands and over the playing field."

This is the 34th ejection report of the 2019 MLB regular season.
This is the 14th Manager ejection of 2019.
This is New York's 1st ejection of 2019, 2nd in the AL East (BAL 3; NYY 1; BOS, TB, TOR 0).
This is Aaron Boone's first ejection since Sept 27, 2018 (Vic Carapazza; QOC = U [Throwing At]).
This is Jerry Meals' first ejection since August 4, 2018 (Rick Renteria; QOC = N-C [Replay Review]).

Wrap: Kansas City Royals vs. New York Yankees, 4/20/19 | Video as follows:

Friday, April 19, 2019

MLB Ejection 033 - Todd Tichenor (1; Ron Gardenhire)

HP Umpire Todd Tichenor ejected Tigers Manager Ron Gardenhire (ball four call; QOCY) in the top of the 5th inning of the White Sox-Tigers game. With two out and the bases loaded, White Sox batter Yoan Moncada took a 3-1 curveball from Tigers pitcher Jordan Zimmermann for a called fourth ball. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the inner edge of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px 0.95, pz 1.67 [sz_bot 1.60]) and that all other balls during the at-bat were properly officiated, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the White Sox were leading, 2-1. The White Sox ultimately won the contest, 7-3.

This is Todd Tichenor (13)'s first ejection of 2019.
Todd Tichenor now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 4).
Crew Chief Phil Cuzzi now has -1 points in Crew Division (-2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = -1).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
*This pitch was located 2.424 horizontal inches from being deemed an incorrect call.

This is the 33rd ejection report of the 2019 MLB regular season.
This is the 13th Manager ejection of 2019.
This is Detroit's 1st ejection of 2019, T-3rd in the AL Central (CWS, KC 2; DET, MIN 1; CLE 0).
This is Ron Gardenhire's first ejection since August 31, 2018 (Paul Nauert; QOC = N [Check Swing]).
This is Todd Tichenor's first ejection since August 3, 2017 (Billy Hamilton; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Chicago White Sox vs Detroit Tigers, 4/19/19 | Video as follows: