Monday, July 18, 2011

Discussions: Unsportsmanlike Conduct

In the baseball world and in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League, "tension" has become a trending topic. Indeed, after Umpire Odds & Ends: All-Star & July Ejections and Umpire Odds & Ends: West & Hernandez; Say it Ain't So, Joe, this is our third thread with related overtones. This time, we exclusively examine the issues of fighting and throwing at batters in baseball. Since 2008 and through July 17, 2011, there have been a total of 699 ejections in baseball. Of these, 80 ejections (or 11.4%) have been because of fighting or throwing at a batter. At the UEFL, these two Unsporting ejections under Rule 6.b.ii.e. are our bread & butter. As their incidence appears to increase, stay tuned for our end of the year Rules Summit to see if Rule 6.b.ii.e. is tweaked just a little.

One of our commenters recently asked "Why is it that the Red Sox have been involved in so many fights and unsporting acts and plays in the past season?" Another UEFL'er responded, "[I] think you are a bit biased on that, not saying the Red Sox havn't had their share of incidences, can't say it's a whole lot more than others though." Well, as we often do, let's take a look at the numbers, shall we?

Regarding Fighting/Throwing At incidents this season (there have been 17 such ejections):
Fighting: 2 BOS / 2 BAL
Throwing At: 3 BAL / 2 BOS / 2 AZ / 2 HOU / 2 WSH / 1 CLE / 1 FL

Regarding Fighting/Throwing At incidents last season (21 ejections):
Fighting: 1 BOS / 1 CIN / 1 FL / 1 SD / 1 STL / 1 WSH
Throwing At: 3 LAD / 3 WSH / 2 ATL / 2 FL / 2 MIL / 1 BAL / 1 BOS / 1 CLE / 1 SEA

Regarding Fighting/Throwing At incidents in 2009 (15 ejections):
Fighting: 1 BOS / 1 DET / 1 NYY / 1 TOR
Throwing At: 2 CLE / 2 DET / 2 FL / 2 LAA / 1 BOS / 1 LAD / 1 PIT

Regarding Fighting/Throwing At incidents in 2008 (27 ejections):
Fighting: 2 CLE / 2 CWS / 2 DET / 2 TB / 1 BOS / 1 COL / 1 KC / 1 LAA / 1 LAD / 1 NYY / 1 SEA
Throwing At: 2 KC / 2 NYY / 2 STL / 1 ATL / 1 BAL / 1 BOS / 1 MIL / 1 MIN / 1 TOR

Totals (2008-Present):
Boston Red Sox - 10 Ejections
Baltimore Orioles - 7 Ejections
Cleveland Indians - 6 Ejections
Florida Marlins - 6 Ejections
Washington Nationals - 6 Ejections
Detroit Tigers - 5 Ejections
Los Angeles Dodgers - 4 Ejections
New York Yankees - 4 Ejections

The Red Sox undoubtedly lead all teams in Fighting/Throwing At ejections since 2008, and the Red Sox are the only team that have been active in both the Fighting & Throwing At reasons for ejection every season since 2008; however, with 12.5% of all fighting/throwing at ejections involving the dismissal of Red Sox personnel, does this mean they are significantly more unsportsmanlike than other teams (if all 30 teams were represented equally, the figure should be 3.3%; the #2 team, the Orioles, make up 8.8% of these ejections... is 3.7% significant?)? Are the American League 
East and Central more prone to unsporting competition (AL East & Central teams have combined for 40% of fighting/throwing at ejections since 2008)? As we usually do here, we present you with the facts; it is up to you to form your own conclusions.


Anonymous said...

So in other words, I was right. The Red Sox do get ejected for fighting more - and I would say significantly. 10 compared to 7 as the next closest, 6 as the third, etc. That's a jump of 3. If it was 8 to 7 or even 9 to 7, I would concede the point, but 10 to 7 is just too big a margin considering the percentages.

Jack said...

It is a disproportionate # of AL Central & East teams, must be their proximity to Canada & hockey.

Anonymous said...

Well... I'll give it to you they've had more ejections over past 4 years. I guess when tempers flare, they go boom with the Sox. Now looking at ejections ONLY, I'll give that too you.

However, your post said "so many fights and unsporting acts and plays in the past season". I see nothing of ejections, or for that matter 4 years. If you must why not look at this season as quoted...this year. Orioles are on top by a 5-4 margin. Significant, nope. Now you mention "unsporting acts", not sure what you mean, whether UEFL definition or a generalized definition. For semantics, I would consider an ejection itself, no matter the reason as "unsportsmanlike". If thats the case, I believe the Red Sox has 8 ejections this year, while TB has 12. That's a difference of FOUR.

Also, how many times these days do things get that bad, there have been many benches cleared where nobody has been ejected, and becomes some massive get together and quite honestly looks pretty stupid. I'd consider that "unsportsmanlike" too. So while this is a neat FWIW moment, courtesy of the UEFL, that's it.

Now if we really want to get into it...If you are smart enough, you can make "statistics" support just about anything you want. It's then up to smarter people to realize what was actually done. Now I have a problem with "percentages" when we are dealing with such small numbers. It's like one saying, such and such is 200% more likely to get thrown out than this and that. When our original numbers are 3 and 1. I mean really... To the average personal they'll see 200% and be floored, but then see 3 vs. 1 and think ah, that's that not bad.

So what we are talking 10 ejections over 4 years. 2.5 ejections/year for fighting/throwing at. Compared to say the Orioles with 7 over 4 years or 1.75/year. Spread that out over 4 years, so say about 580 games. So there has been an ejection for those things in 1.72% of the games. For the Orioles, that comes to 1.21% of games. Now we are talking a 1/2%. See what I mean about "statistics" and percentages. You can make up just about anything.

I think it's a wash. Yes the Red Sox have more for specific reasons, is it significantly more, I don't think so.

Anonymous said...

I think a better quantification would be to talk about specific players VS a specific team. Unless a historical reference can be given, and I can think of only 1 in professional sports, and that would be the (NFL) Raiders. Al Davis has made it a point to be the dirtiest team in the league, year after year, good record or bad. I think it's a non-issue with regards to the RedSox. Unless, like I said, you can show a pattern from ownership, or team manager, it's all luck of the draw. Although it does make sense the RedSox are at the top, with the Yankees close behind because they play more national TV games, their in the pennant race more often than not, and plus you factor in the scrutiny and pressure in those cities, it makes sense frustration from players against umpires would happen. Not much pressure in K.C. these past 20yrs.

Jon Terry said...

The Rex Sox - Orioles series continued last night, apparently quietly. But there is likely still bad blood, wonder if there will be fireworks tonight or tomorrow?

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