Monday, June 20, 2011

Ejections: Bob Davidson (4, 5)

HP Umpire Bob Davidson ejected Brewers Batting Coach Dale Sveum and Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke for arguing a hit by pitch call in the bottom of the 6th inning of the Rays-Brewers game. With none out and none on, Brewers batter Nyjer Morgan was hit by a 0-2 fastball on the arm. Davidson ruled that Morgan had the opportunity to avoid the pitch, but did not attempt to. Replays indicate Morgan turned his body away from the pitch with his arms behind his body, the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Rays were leading, 1-0. The Rays ultimately won the contest, 8-4.

These are Bob Davidson (6)'s fourth and fifth ejections of 2011.
Bob Davidson now has 2 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (6 Previous + 2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call + 2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call = 2).
*Quality of Correctness was challenged and confirmed ("Incorrect" => "Incorrect")

Bob Davidson is owned as a Primary Umpire by Bino, who is now in 22nd place in the UEFL with 5 points.
Bob Davidson is owned as a Primary Umpire by BGMTOM, who is now tied for 31st place in the UEFL with 1 point.
Bob Davidson is owned as a Secondary Umpire by BrooklynUmp
, who is now tied for 26th place in the UEFL with 3 points.

These are the 81st and 82nd ejections of 2011.
This is the 44th manager ejection of 2011.
This is Ron Roenicke's first ejection of 2011.
This is Bob Davidson's third consecutive plate game with at least one ejection.


Anonymous said...

Balkin' Bob strikes again...

Anonymous said...

His name is DALE Sveum and he is the brewers hitting coach, not pitching coach.

zcr57 said...

I just saw a replay and the ball CLEARLY hit Morgan. This is just a display of incompetence by B. Davidson.

Anonymous said...

Bob Davidson is the biggest joke to the umpiring profession. He deserves to be yelled at on the field every day just for not announcing his retirement.

JPINFV said...


Looks like a correct application of 6.08(b). That's a rather lame attempt to get out of the way.

Anonymous said...

Looked like Morgan clearly moved his arm in towards his body. He turned his shoulder so that the ball would hit him in the back, not the elbow, a move that everyone who has ever been hit by a pitch in that area has made. This is about as routine as it gets.

Credit Morgan for keeping his cool and staying in the game, and credit Sveum for sticking up for his hitters.

Anonymous said...

zcr57 - Incompetence? Incompetence would be posting something that has nothing to do with this ejection. No one is arguing whether the pitch hit the batter or not. Don't post if you have no clue what the conversation is about.

tmac said...

Did the pitch hit him in the shoulder blade? I'm so confused.. this is such the dirty end of the stick to take by bob... The crew from hell strikes again.

Anonymous said...

By turning backward, he is making an attempt to get out of the way. He did not protrude his arm towards the ball or anything egregious like that. I think Bob got it wrong.

Cricket said...

This is close. Very close. On slow-motion replay from the standard pitching camera, it seems to favor Davidson. In real-time, I don't think there's anyway you could deny Morgan first base. However, I think Morgan stuck his arm out intentionally to attempt to be hit, but ended up taking one in the shoulder which he probably could not have avoided even without the intentional elbow out. In this case...I have to side with Davidson. As Morgan turns away, he does stick his elbow out.

I actually was surprised when Bob did not toss Roenicke when Roenicke first came out...

cyclone14 said...

Marquez made a great call on a similar HBP call a few weeks ago...this one, unfortunately, i believe is clearly an attempt to avoid the pitch and a blown call.

BrooklynUmp said...

I challenge the correctness of this call. Clearly, Morgan turned in and toward the pitch, not "away from the pitch." Furthermore, the rule states that "If the ball is outside the strike zone when it touches the batter, it shall be called a ball if he makes no attempt to avoid being touched." Morgan clearly attempted to get hit.

Anonymous said...

I'd challenge the QoC. Rule 6.08(b) states "The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball".

I will completely agree, the batter did attempt to prevent the ball from striking his arm, but simply turning to let it hit your back is NOT attempting to avoid being touched by the ball. You are just trying to control where it touches you.

As a side note, this may not be the most popular call, but it probably could be called a bit more.

Troy said...

I'm not a very good lip reader, but just before Roenicke leaves the field, he points at Bob and then shrugs his arms, and I can make our "always. always." Anyone else catch what he was saying? He got tossed in a pretty mild argument, so I'm assuming Roenicke got personal, maybe accusing Bob of drawing attention to himself.

It's not quite "you need to retire, old man", but it's another rookie manager calling Bob out on the field.

Anonymous said...

Anyone else shocked by the smug look on Davidson face throughout both encounters with Roenicke? Even after tossing him, Bob has a smirk on his face.

The announcers are right, Bob blew the call and then cost the Brewers

Jeff said...

Look. Everyone is challenging every call again on this website. You people whine more than the ejected players and managers themselves.

Bob4CrewChief said...

Bob handles this well. Nobody should take bickering from the dugout, especially from the hitting coach. He has no right to be yapping from the dugout. Bob took care of him with the ejection. Roenicke was going to get run there. Bob let Roenicke have his say. Bob kept his cool and didn't toss Morgan.

Jon Terry said...

I like this call. Morgan had plenty of opportunity to step back and not get hit. He chose to get hit by the ball, and Davidson called it. That's how things are supposed to work.

Sveum was way out of line, and Roenicke has to expect to get tossed when he goes out twice to argue the same call.

Love how the announcers talk about how much the call cost them. 1-0 game at the time, but 8-1 game before the Brewers found some life.

More distressing is the announcers talking about how everyone in the park is watching, and how that's bad. The message is that the umpire should make the easy call and back down rather than do what is right and risk a little publicity. Umpires can't be invisible when coaches won't let them. We have a baseball culture right now where umpires are targets, and that's what brings them into the spotlight.

Davidson is in the unfortunate position of both being a more well-known umpire, and one with a reputation. Every call he makes that pisses anoyone off will fall under more, and more immediate, scrutiny than the average umpire. In the long run, I think that he handles that extra unwanted attention fairly well. In this case he certainly kept his cool all the way through the process.

Though I have noticed that, in the last week, he has four ejections and part of a fifth, and been hit by a ball in play. Rough week, or open season?

Lindsay said...

This call has been challenged and is under review.

Bill said...

Dear 10:14pm Anonymous:

God knows I am as critical of Davidson as anyone on here...but no man, no umpire deserves the kind of comments you have put up.

Bob is a throw back. He came up as an umpire when guys like Gorman, Donatelli, Chylak, Harvey, et al were the standard setters. He does not quite fit in this PC world that has been created. Bob lost his job in 1999 because the union effed it up for a lot of good umpires and good men...and at age 40+, Bob went back to "A" ball and worked his way back to a MLB of 68. And then someone like you comes on here and calls him a "joke".

I am not excusing this call...Bob does not get a pass from me on this one. Nor do you.

His best years as an umpire may be behind him. But, I believe, at his core, Bob Davidson is a baseball man. He loves this game and being part of a very exclusive fraternity. He bleeds umpire blue.

And for that, to me, he is not, and never will be, a "joke".

Anonymous said...

Just read a great post about the one Bob Davidson at

Worth checking out, especially if you're a Brewers fan.

Anonymous said...

I suppose if you are a Brewers fan it's a good post, but not if you actually know anything about what goes on down on the field. Now go check out the post from "Jon Terry" above - now that is a well thought out post with some obvious knowledge to back it up.

Anonymous said...

Davidson made his own bed, John. He deserves to be scrutinized if he continues to make calls like this and then laughs in the faces of managers daring to question him.

And it must be hard to watch baseball when every hit by pitch is the wrong call... Morgan made more of an effort than players in that situation usually do.

Jon Terry said...

Dude, Nyjer Morgan totally tweeted about this. Check out @Tony_Plush. His stuff is hilarious!

Lindsay said...

This ruling has been challenged.

After review, the Quality of Correctness has been confirmed. The call is now incorrect.

After review, including examination of the real-time play, replays, and alternate angles, the decision of confirming the original Quality of Correctness was made. After review, it is apparent Morgan contorted away from, not towards, the ball. All else equal, Morgan's actions delayed contact with the pitch. This action, under Rule 6.08(b), signifies an attempt to avoid being touched. By Rule, the batter is not awarded first base if he "makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball." Morgan's actions in turning away from the pitch confirmed an attempt to avoid or alter contact. The Rules do not specify any requirement in regards to degree of attempt to avoid contact - just that a batter is not entitled to first base if he makes no attempt. Morgan made some degree of attempt, and therefore, the exemption under Rule 6.08(b)(2) does not apply.


Anonymous said...

You guys want to confirm the call, that's fine. But please use a good rational. "All else equal, Morgan's actions delayed contact with the pitch".

WTF does that have to do with anything. That's like running away from a train, by running down the tracks. How about you just step out side the tracks. Crisis adverted.

I guess it depends on your definition of "attempting to avoid", and the intelligence of players and umpires alike. I don't know about you but if I'm going to "avoid" being touched by a ball I'm going to move out of the path of the ball, not delay the inevitable. Guess Bob and I think alike in the COMMON SENSE of "avoiding".

With this "rational" all a player has to do is move 1mm away from the plate/ball, and you can claim you "avoided" the ball.

Anonymous said...

We are severely misinterpreting the rule here. The rule is not so no player is awarded first base on a HBP unless they jump out of the pitch like a bus is barreling toward them. The rule is meant to apply in a case like it was called by Marquez in the Hit by Pitch, Stay Here! Link. If they INTENTIONALLY STICK A PART OF THEIR BODY INTO THE PITCH, the rule will be used, but if they do not MAKE AN ATTEMPT to get hit, they will be awarded first base. Again, the rule is not meant to deny all hit batters a base because they didn't jump out of their own way like they are doing a back flip for the circus, but simply to punish guys who try to take a free base intentionally, and obviously. That is not the case in this instance. I agree with the decision rendered on this site.

Lindsay said...

@Anonymous, all we have to go on, and all we use to analyze these calls is the Official Baseball Rules (OBR). Per UEFL Rule 4.g., as well as our mission statement, the OBR is the primary and sole source for rules information and citation.

Rule 6.08(b)(2) states a batter shall not be awarded first base if he "makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball." The original (positive) proposition - that is NOT used by the OBR - is "If a batter makes an attempt to avoid being touched, he is awarded first base." Rule 6.08(b)(2) is the inversion of this proposition. The inversion reads, "if a batter does not make an attempt to avoid being touched, he is not awarded first base." The inversion is the only statement that IS used by the OBR, and thus, we are restricted to considering the inversion and the inversion alone. As any logician will tell you, the inversion's truth value is not equal to the original proposition's truth value; we cannot consider the original proposition for it is not guaranteed to be true simply because the inverse is; we cannot assume "if a batter makes an attempt... he is awarded first base."

Next, in judging the Quality of Correctness, we consider the language of Rule 6.08(b)(2). Relevant is "an attempt to avoid." As a jurist will tell you, "avoid" and "attempt to avoid" are two different acts entirely. In this scenario, it is fairly obvious the batter did not avoid being touched by the ball; therefore, the question is whether he attempted to avoid being touched by the ball. Further, since we have already established he did not avoid, we shall consider only whether he made an attempt (we consider the word "attempt" without the word "avoid" attached). Attempt is defined as "make an effort to achieve." It is a "try."

In reviewing the replay of this sequence, it is evident the pitch was a 91mph fastball; the batter cannot be faulted for unsuccessfully moving completely out of the way of a 91mph inside pitch. Delaying contact with the pitch signifies an attempt: the batter alters his physical presence, which is one criteria of an attempt. Combining this with the actual physical movement (turning away from as opposed to into), the entire criteria of "attempt" have been satisfied, regardless of degree of attempt (which, again, is never specified by rule, and therefore may not be considered).

Last, considering the language of the rule, our only hope of calling this "correct" would be to confirm that the batter made no attempt. No evidence conclusively confirms he did not make an attempt; therefore, he must have made an attempt. The reason for this criteria is that we are considering Rule 6.08(b)(2), which is an EXEMPTION to Rule 6.08(b). The standard for exemptions is, by rule, high, and restricted only to those situations explicitly stated. This current play does not fall under such an explicitly stated exemption, therefore, the clause exempted under Rule 6.08(b)(2) does not apply.

In objective analysis (as in the UEFL), it is important to only consider criteria established by rules or guidelines, such as OBR. It is inappropriate to consider other criteria or other rules, and it is also inappropriate to assume or infer a rule not explicitly stated, for this results in subjectivity, which the UEFL is dedicated to avoiding.

Objectively: Batter fails to "make no attempt" => Rule 6.08(b)(2) not applicable => Batter shall be awarded first base under Rule 6.08(b).

Anonymous said...

Ok, you obviously aren't going to budge that movement = attempt to avoid being touched. Despite your flawed attempt at the English language.

I will completely agree to "avoid" and to "attempt to avoid" are completely different, didn't realize this is such a big point. The batter obviously didn't avoid the pitch, and that's fine, one doesn't have to.

However "attempt to avoid" MUST BE looked at as a WHOLE. You can't just prove an "attempt" was made, and then say that that "attempt" was to "avoid". A batter can delay contact and alter physical presence (moves) and still not be an "attempt to avoid". This is where I have a problem, you can disagree with this call, that's fine, but your explanations are flawed and contradict previous calls.

Let's reword this...what if Davidson judged that Morgan's movement was an attempt TO touch the ball. How about we just use what was said in Alfonso Marquez's example "...because, in Marquez's judgement, Downs had the opportunity, but did not attempt to avoid being hit by the ball." Davidson judged that Morgan had the opportunity, but did not attempt to avoid being hit. How can you call this "incorrect". Just because YOU didn't judge that he had the opportunity.

Movement, alone by itself, DOES NOT constitute an "attempt to avoid", neither does delaying contact. Nor does movement AND the delaying of contact (which one would assume movement is needed) constitute, in itself, an "attempt to avoid".

I ask, how can one truly JUDGE that an umpires "check swing" call is correct or incorrect. There is no definition. It was an umpires JUDGEMENT that a swing was made or not. By issuing a QoC on a check swing is a joke. All you are doing is playing umpire yourself, and what YOU judge to be a swing or not.

Anonymous said...

@Gil, I studied logic in college & you're absolutely right. This is a classic inversion, and people are classically succumbing to the theory that the original proposition is true, given only that the inversion is true (by rule). Your logical reasoning is sound.

I'm not sure what the colloquial theory is here, but if the burden is on proving the batter DOES ATTEMPT to move, obviously, we err on the side of keeping the batter at the plate. On the other hand, if the burden is on proving the batter DOES NOT ATTEMPT to move (and honestly, that's what the rules make it sound like - that we're trying to prove the batter does not attempt rather than the batter does attempt, like you say), we err on the side of awarding him first base. The pitch to me looks inside, it's a fastball heater, and it looks to me like the batter inconclusively moved somewhere. That means, just as I explained, that since it looks like the burden is on proving the batter DOES NOT ATTEMPT, the correct call would have been to award the batter first base, for there is not enough evidence to conclusively prove that the batter overtly did not attempt.

Anonymous said...

If you are in the minority that think this was an approiate call to make, please cease umpiring baseball.

As a side note, am I the only one that thinks MLB umpires with a 2 day beard is unprofessional? It's not like Bob has a jam-packed day; one three hour game at best. Get a razor, Bob!

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? He has facial hair and this is unprofessional? I'm sorry, but no. Dale Scott has a permanent 2 day beard and has had it for years. Unprofessional? No. It's a choice one makes for various reasons - health issues (skin issues, etc.), religious, or just plain comfort or preference. I cannot and will not fault someone from choosing to grow a beard! That is absolutely absurd!

Anonymous said...

Yea? Try getting away with that 2-Day beard in any other kind of professional setting and see how long you're employed. Not professional.

Anonymous said...

Bob makes a lot of "bad" calls. I am not sure why. Age? This was not one of them. And Angel Hernandez is the umpire that should be announcing his retirement!

I have only been umpiring for a couple years and am not nearly as good as these guys, and never will be, but sometimes I wonder what is going on in their heads.


Anonymous said...

Hmmm........ 37years of umpiring experience Bob has. In all his years of umpiring, he has seen this many times, in Bob's judgement the batter didn't try to move. Let me see here...... should I listen to guys who have zero years on the field or Bob?

Anonymous said...

I really enjoy this site and the comments; it's good for baseball in more ways than one. I have never commented on this site but this play which seems rather obvious to a former pro umpire like myself and many others in my circle who have officiated at the pro level and discussed this play with me prompted me to shed at least a little bit of light.

Most of you guys are completely off base and missing the point of the rule. Replays show the batter clearly did not attempt to avoid being touched by the ball.

Just because a batter turns his torso does not mean it is intent to avoid being touched. It merely means he was intentionally taking it on a softer part of his body. You guys are reading far much into the rule and basing your decision on the wrong interpretation.

The call is purely a judgment call that only umpires with guts ever call. It didn't surprise me that Davidson called it because he's one of the few MLB umpires who would call this play correctly.

While some of you are berating Davidson he's smiling right now as the MLB front office is slapping him on the back and quietly saying good call, way to go!

Post a Comment