Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Ejection 173: Bob Davidson (6)

HP Umpire Bob Davidson ejected Mets left fielder Jordany Valdespin for arguing a strike three call in the bottom of the 9th inning of the Phillies-Mets game. With none out and none on, Valdespin took a 1-2 fastball from Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located thigh high and off the outer edge of home plate (px = -1.303), the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Phillies were leading, 3-2. The Phillies ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

This is Bob Davidson (61)'s sixth ejection of 2012.
Bob Davidson now has 4 points in the UEFL (6 Previous + 2 MLB + -4 Incorrect Call = 4).
Crew Chief Brian Gorman now has 7 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (7 Previous + 0 = 7).

UEFL Standings Update

This is the 173rd ejection of 2012.
This is the 77th player ejection of 2012. Prior to his ejection, Valdespin was 0-1 in the contest.
This is the Mets' 9th ejection of 2012, 1st in the NL East (NYM 9; ATL, MIA, WSH 4; PHI 3).
This is Jordany Valdespin's first career MLB ejection.
This is Bob Davidson's first ejection since September 3 (Joe Maddon; QOC = Correct).

Wrap: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets, 9/19/12
Video: After striking out, Valdespin protests Davidson's strike zone and is ejected (12:30/NYM)
Pitch f/x plot courtesy Brooks Baseball


Anonymous said...

i'd like to see incorrect pitch compared to utley's 3-2 pitch which looked like a strike from behind the plate at the if anyone has that plot, it would be appreciated....

Russ said...

Utley at-bat

Valdespin at-bat

he pitch to Valdespin was not even close to being a strike. The Pitch to Utley had the same height but was closer to the plate than the Valdespin at-bat. I don't know how to do the math for pitch fx values, but the Valdespin pitch obviously should have been a ball and the Utley pitch was probably correctly called a ball.

Troy said...

Did anyone see where the Twins were on the wrong side of an overturned call, and Ron Gardenhire argued with Joe West and did NOT get ejected? Must be September in a meaningless game.

Anonymous said...

They all mean something.......

Russ said...

12:30 mark of this video. You see everything and hear a lot as well.

DD4D said...

Bob has his strong traits, but man, this call was not even close. That's unfortunate, but it happens. In every sport!

(I thought the refs in the Giant game last night were essentially allowing overaggressiveness all game....Too much pushing and shoving.)

Anonymous said...

Completely embarrassing - MLB needs to show him the door if he thinks that is a strike.

Anonymous said...

I'm not going to pile on Bob - yes, it was a bad miss and the timing of it didn't help any either.

For those of you who do umpire, outside corner pitches on LEFT HANDED batters seem to be a little more difficult to call. I noticed that Davidson did not adjust or slide over with the catcher, who was lined up off the plate. I know that some guys prefer to stay in the same spot as much as possible (for consistancy), however, I have found that moving with the catcher (NOT necessarily as far as they go), has helped me see that outside corner a little better...especially on left handed batters.

I think they're are two schools of thought on this but personaly, I think if he would have adjusted his position a little bit, he may have had a better look at the pitch? I'm not criticizing... just throwing that out there.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone hear what the last comment that came out of the batter's mouth was (12:40 mark). I turned up the volume on my computer and didn't really hear anything that warranted an ejection (at the Pro/MLB level anyways). Here's what I could make out:

Batter: "No way"!
Davidison: "That's a good pitch"
Batter: "No, that's not a good pitch. That's bullshit.

As Davidson is shaking his head in a "yes" motion, the batter says "No, that'sa horseshit" (pardon the latin accent). Immediately after that, he said one more thing which must have been the magic words but I can't understand what it was? It was probably a personal comment b/c he was thrown out right after but wish I could make out what exactly he said to get run.

Up until that point, the batter did NOT do anything that warranted an ejection, again, at the Pro/MLB level. If anyone has good enough speakers and that can make out what that last comment was at the 12:40 mark, please share it with the rest of us.

tmac said...

@ anon 7:35 am

Umpires at the mlb level and throught pro ball have different tolerances for players arguing balls and strikes.... you do NOT need to get "personal" when disputing balls and strikes. He was warned and then ejected... Bob is very old school and despite being toned down a little of late he still will not tolerate a rookie shoving it uo his a$$ on a pitch!

Anonymous said...

tmac -

Even though he missed the pitch badly. Somehow this is the rookie batters fault?

Anonymous said...


Thanks for the reply! That is interesting and I didn't think about the whole rookie/veteran dynamic there. I think you hit the nail on the head - especially with Davidson.

Unfortunately, I don't think we can get away with that at the NCAA level. Since we have to submit reports for every EJ and they get FWD: to not only your supervisor, but also school administrators (Athletic Directors, etc), we have to be a lot more careful now a days

tmac said...

@ anon 8:03

you misunderstand me completely. There are old school unwritten rules such as rookies keep their mouths shut to veteran umpires... these unwritten rules are slowly going out the window... for example it used to be unheard of to ask for help, now umpires get together all the time. I just am pretty sure Bob isn't going to take ANY crap off a 1st year player even if the pitch bounces. It doesn't make it right i'm just commenting on the situation as a whole!

tmac said...

@ anon 8:24 you're welcome!

as i have said quite a bit every level is different in its own way. College is MUCH different then pro ball .... and high school is different etc.... AN umpire MUST take more BS at the amateur level in order to survive. Does that mean letting people walk over you... NO but it's a fine line.

Communication (situations) is key, often more key then the calls on the field!

Anonymous said...

Well said tmac! Obviously, you have a "clue".

Anon 8:24, 7:35 & 7:09

DD4D said...

Agreed....Having only been an official for about 4 years, there is not a whole lot of arguing (slight, but I've VERY rarely seen it get vehement) at that capacity, LOL. I am more "advanced" in soccer, so the highest level I have done for baseball so far is high school, so obviously that has something to do with it. I think (and I know this is obvious!) it is easier to diffuse those situations with kids than it is with adults!

Anonymous said...


You are correct that you have to take more crap at high school level. I cant stand doing that so I found that if I just dont file an ejection report then the coaches dont care. They all talk about how they are going to give me a bad ranking and I dont care. I cant handle how high school coaches think they can get away with anything just because we are high school umpires. Then when we throw them out we are a horrible umpire even if it was the right thing to do.

Russ said...

Valdespin's last comment was surely ejection worthy!

"You f$&@/: up" this is an ejection if you are a rookie, a veteran, anything. Especially with Bob. I was able to see this comment from the Phillies feed A's they had the camera right on Valdespin's mouth.

Anonymous said...

The trade off with "crap" is that the higher you go, the less you have to deal with HOWEVER, the stakes are greater so when it comes, you have to know how to manage it.

At the lower levels, you usually have a lot more BS to deal with because the experience level of both the officials and coaches, as well as the players, is lower. Thus, you have players that can't make plays, clueless coaches who think they know the rules & dont know how/when to argue a play and ofcourse, lessser experienced umpires that are still learning how to deal with all of this (ie, mainly don't know when to eject... they either do it too soon or not soon enough). Hey, we've all been there and it's part of getting experience.

Anonymous said...

Russ wrote "You f$&@/: up" - this is an ejection if you are a rookie, a veteran, anything"

Thanks Russ for clarifying that! I do agree with you b/c anytime a player or coach says the word "you", the next few words are usually not very nice in nature.

I will say this though...I've had coaches (at NCAA and PRO ball) tell me "You fu#ked up the call" and I did NOT dump them. Telling me I missed (fu#ked up) a call is NOT an automatic EJ in my book. The fact that they "DISrepectfully" do not agree with my call doesn't bother me too much. Now if that say that I am horsesh!t b/c I missed the call, well that's another story.

Some of you may disagree with me on this however, if I'm Bob Davidson in that same situation (9th inning of a 1 run ball game) and I miss a pitch THAT badly for strike 3... I might have let that comment go on deaf ears. Given the fact that I just took away a crucial at bat on a pitch SIX inches off the plate, I probably deserved to hear that last comment. Right or wrong, just my opinion... but that's probably why Davidson is a MLB Umpire and I'm just an amateur.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the UEFL picture (view from the top), I'm not sure why the batter was so upset. The picture clearly shows the ball was on the white........ oh, that's actually the white of the BATTER'S BOX, and not the plate ;)

Cricket said...

I also thought I heard Valdespin say "You f*cked up" on the audio. I think that is one reason he just turned and walked off - he knew he was getting tossed for that.

Troy said...

Anon 11:18, that assumes that Bob knew that he blew the call. He called it a strike because he thought it was and may not have realized that he missed it until after the game.

I wonder if his beef was more that he thought it was down, rather than out. Watching the clip above, that was my first thought.

Anonymous said...

How could he have possibly not known this was a ball - look where the catcher is set up. If he is set up that far off the plate, he would have to catch the ball outside is frame for it to be over the plate.

I am guessing he thought he could pull one over on the rookie, and then got surprised and embarrassed when he stood up to him.

Good for Valdespin.

Anonymous said...

This website has helped me understand the umpires' perspective a great deal. But, wow, this is so bad. I understand all the excuses (how the catcher framed it is especially lame unless Davidson will concede that the catchers dictate the zone), but let's just admit that it was an unbelievably bad call, which should not be forgotten in evaluations, and then move on because there is no other option.

tmac said...

@ anon 5:10 & 4:56

While more then half of the eligible umpires will work the playoffs i suspect Davidson will not so you won't have to worry about Davidson. This wasn't that bad of a call; it was a miss due to quick timing and perhaps not tracking the pitch to competion.... the pitch's late life causes the miss.

If one thinks Davidson was "trying to pull one over on a rookie" or missed the call on purpose or whatever has been incinuated you probably have a lot more conspiracy theories on life.

Davidson just missed the call. He thought it was a strike and missed it.. But in order to keep getting better you have to understand there is a reason for just about every missed pitch. Since many of you believe MLB umpires are the best in the world there must be a reason for the miss. and it's not b/c he wanted to end the game. Laughable!!

Anonymous said...

Classic old school umpiring ...classic old school national league umpiring at that. Folks this pitch was called a strike all day in the national league up through the mid to late 90's when the increased camera angles, overhead plate cameras, etc began being implemented. Not justifying this pitch call-just stating the facts. Pitchers that could stick it in the catchers glove without the MIT moving got a good 3-4 inches off the plate and sometimes 6 like this call. Ask Greg Maddox and I am sure he could explain.
With regards to the ejection-I am sure the magic words were stated but trust me even if they weren't the fact this is a rookie player having words with a guy who was in the national league full time probably before the kid was born more than likely weighed in on the ejection.
About 10 yes ago on the last day of the season a aaa guy came in to pinch hit in a meaningless game -it was like the 7th inning. Joe west called a borderline pitch for strike two -very similar pitch to Davidsons by the way. The player turned and went ballistic yelling at Joe, gesturing, cursing him, etc. Joe did nothing but stand there and listen and smile--with his mask off. Both dugouts were like " omg wtf". Obviously the pitcher and catcher were smart enough to know that Joe would appreciate the next pitch -count was now 3-2- to be right down the middle of the plate preferably sternum high -like a high little league strike guys. Joe proceeded to gently pull the chain for strike 3 and then turned and dumped the guy too and by the way told him to go f--himself on his way back to winter ball. The guy retreated to the dugout to silence from manager, teammates, coaches. Now this is old school but unfortunately now with pitch trax , questec, and every other technological advance guys can't do this anymore-what a shame. Baseball is not necessarily better with all this technology folks. Trust me on this.

Anonymous said...

tmac - obviously anon 4:56 is a FAN and not an umpire (which is ok) and his "theory" is laughable from our perspective.

Once again, you hit the nail on the head by attributing the possible reason(s) for the missed call: quick timing, not tracking all the way to the glove and I might also throw in a little head movement(dip) at the end.

With that said, I respectfully disagree with it "wasn't a bad call". While we as umpires understand the "why" behind missed calls, players don't necessarily care... especially in crucial parts of the game. Fair or unfair, when we "badly" miss a K3 pitch in the late innings of a tight ball game, we deservedly are going to catch some grief.

Don't get me wrong, this same situation has happened to me a few times durning my career and I used to say "What the heck, I'm solid for 8 innings and miss one pitch in the 9th, and they are all over me". Unfortunately, I've come to realize that it's not the # of pitches you miss but rather WHEN you miss those pitches that dictate how good of a plate job you had.

While you are correct with why he missed the pitch, I will say that the major reason for his err in judgement is a lapse in concentration. As difficult it may be to keep 100% focus from pitch 1 to pitch 3xx, at the end of the day, we have to eliminate, as much as possible, those costly mental mistakes in important/late innings of the game.

Easier said then done...I'll get off my soap box now ;)

Anonymous said...


Your comments are just adding fuel to the fire for the calls for instant replay.

Anonymous said...

To 12:46 of course it adds fuel to instant replay --but that doesn't make it wrong nor does it make baseball better. Many will call for computers to call balls and strikes as well as safe out--folks will claim baseball will have 100% correct calls but it will also turn umpires into robots which basically has already happened

Anonymous said...

As a side note to my 7:35 post that was the first MLB at bat for the guy---nice---that is called sticking it up a guy's rear end and then breaking it off---1st official MLB at bat--strike out looking and ejection--how about that. Old school--truly old school.

Anonymous said...

anon 7:35: Old school umpiring doesn't fly anymore and old school Joe West war stories are a thing of the past as well. Im all about respect and understand the whole rookie-veteran thing but you can't screw a player like that and then run him for saying "you fu#cked up". That's not old school, that's being a red a$$

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does the plate look a little off centered? lol

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