Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Discussions: Miscellaneous Edition

Over the recent days, we have seen quite a few interesting plays worthy of discussion. This post will address a couple of them; and comments will be open to discuss any of the given plays.

Our first play was brought to our attention by Dan both here on blogspot and on our Facebook page. Dan writes to us:
I thought this might make for a good discussion. It's from Monday night's Mets/Pirates game. Jerry Layne called Jose Reyes for interference on baserunner Jose Tabata, as Tabata was running in between second and third based. I would be curious to see if everyone thinks this was a good call or not.
As Dan mentions, he is referring to the 6/13/11 Mets-Pirates game. In the bottom of the 1st inning, with none out and one on, Pirates batter Xavier Paul singled to Mets center fielder Angel Pagan. Pagan threw to third basemen Justin Turner who tagged out Pirates R1 Jose Tabata. However, 2B Umpire Jerry Layne ruled that Mets shortstop Jose Reyes obstructed Tabata on his way to third base and awarded Tabata third. The play can be seen here. According to Rule 2.00, obstruction is defined as: "the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner." Obstruction is dictated by Rule 7.06, which states, "When obstruction occurs, the umpire shall call or signal 'Obstruction.'" More specifically to our situation, Rule 7.06(b) states, "If no play is being made on the obstructed runner, the play shall proceed until no further action is possible. The umpire shall then call 'Time' and impose such penalties, if any, as in his judgment will nullify the act of obstruction."
Discussion Point: Was Layne's call correct? What standard or guidelines can be used to determine whether obstruction occurred or not, both in general and on this particular play?

Our second play also occurred during the Mets-Pirates series during the 6/12/11 game, which also included an ejection by Bob Davidson and an ejection by Jerry Layne. Anonymous writes to us:
This happens on the play before the ejection [of Hurdle]...
Can anyone see Pagan touch second, or is this a "he went by the base so he must have touched it" type of ruling?
Anonymous refers to a play that occurred during the top of the 7th inning (that can be seen here). Mets batter Jason Bay flied out to Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen. Mets R3 Daniel Murphy tagged up and scored on the play. However, Mets R1 Angel Pagan did not tag up from first base and rounded second base. As Pagan attempted to return to first base, he failed to retouch second base on appeal, thus making the third and final out of the inning. This particular play brings us back to a previous case play (this shows us those case plays our bound to show up!), as well as a previous umpire odds & ends that are quite similar to the situation in this game. This gives us a basis for a discussion. We will leave this as an open discussion on appeal plays and the importance for umpires to be vigilant of the runners, situation (outs, scored runs, etc.) and the rules, but also this particular play with relevant rules 7.10(b) and 7.12.


Cricket said...

There's no obstruction on that play, from the angles the TV replay gives. Perhaps Layne noticed Tabata slow on the play as he neared Reyes, therefore resulting in obstruction? I don't know...

As for the tag-up situation, it is embarrassing for an MLB crew to incorrectly disallow the run; then have to fix themselves. At least they got it right, but this rule should stand-out in their minds for it's potential controversial value.

Anonymous said...

Both good calls...

Anonymous said...

The Layne call on Reyes was brutal. Tabata made a wide turn, and as soon as Jose saw that, he backed up further out of the way. Tabata *NEVER* slowed down or altered is running path once we rounded the bag.

Terrible call by Layne on that play.

On a side note, I'd like to not always post as anonymous, but when I select AIM as an option it says by credentials could not be verified.

Anonymous said...

I do not think the crew took the run off... that was the scorekeeper who was not sure which runner had been called out and really no reason to make a big deal about "the run scores" because it was not even close... the time play is at the time of the appeal and the appeal did not even start until after the run had crossed the plate.

thexfactor264 said...

The obstruction call was a good call. It is a clear case of obstruction without contact, as Tabata slowed down to avoid potential contact.

The other play was a bad call though, but you can't see why from this video. I was watching the live broadcast from SNY (Mets), They showed another angle of the play, which isn't shown in this video because it was played later in the game. In that replay, Pagan clearly kicked second base on his way back to first.

Jon Terry said...

I like the obstruction call. The high view shows the runner stutter and slow, and all views show Reyes put his foot into the runner's path and then remove it, kind of like a threat or a tease. The commentators were much more worried with the timing of Layne's mechanic. But I think that was fine too. He gave himself time to evaluate the play, and then signaled his decision. Slow motion just makes that timing look bad.

I would agree that in the tag-up play, the biggest problem is the assumption by the scoreboard operator. It's not like the umpires signaled up to remove the run. I think the 'mistake' is probably a series of assumptions by people not actually on the field.

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