Saturday, April 20, 2013

MLB Ejections 012, 013: Chad Fairchild (Ross, Gibson)

HP Umpire Chad Fairchild ejected Diamondbacks RF Cody Ross and Manager Kirk Gibson for arguing a strike three call in the top of the 7th inning of the Diamondbacks-Rockies game. With two out and none on,
Gibson restrains an infuriated Ross; Fairchild waits.
Ross took a 0-2 fastball from Rockies pitcher Edgmer Escalona for a called third strike and appeared to toss both his bat and helmet following the strikeout. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer edge of home plate and belt high (px .707, pz 2.984), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Rockies were leading, 4-0. The Rockies ultimately won the contest, 4-3.

These are Chad Fairchild (75)'s 1st and 2nd ejections of 2013.
Chad Fairchild now has 8 points in the UEFL Standings (0 + 2*[2 MLB + 2 Correct Call] = 8).
Crew Chief Jeff Kellogg now has 2 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (0 + 2*[Correct] = 2).

These are the 12th and 13th ejections of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 9th player ejection of 2013.
This is the 4th Manager ejection of 2013.
Prior to his ejection, Ross was 0-3 in the contest including a pop out, lineout and strikeout.
These are ARI's 2nd and 3rd ejections of 2013, T-1st in the NL West (ARI, LAD 3; SD 1; COL, SF 0).
This is Cody Ross' 1st ejection since September 12, 2012 (Alfonso Marquez; QOC = Y).
This is Kirk Gibson's 1st ejection since June 5, 2011 (Rob Drake; QOC = U).
This is Chad Fairchild's 1st ejection since July 30, 2012 (Devin Mesoraco; QOC = Y).
This is Chad Fairchild's 1st ejection outright since Spring Training March 24 (Russell Martin; QOC = U).

Wrap: Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Colorado Rockies, 4/20/13
Video: After he flips his bat and helmet, Fairchild tosses Ross, who proceeds to completely flip out (ARI)

Pitch f/x courtesy Brooks Baseball

Friday, April 19, 2013

Group Case Play 2013-03: Segura's Baserunning Adventure

Milwaukee's Jean Segura had quite an adventure on the bases during the bottom of the 8th inning of Friday's Cubs-Brewers game. With none out and two on—Segura R2 at second base and Ryan Braun R1 at first—Segura attempted a steal of third base, Cubs pitcher Sean Camp disengaging the rubber to trap Segura in a rundown between the bases. As Segura ran back towards second base, trail runner Braun galloped in, causing both baserunners R1 and R2 to occupy second base simultaneously. The ballcarrier, Cubs third baseman Luis Valbuena tagged both Segura and Braun, 2B Umpire Phil Cuzzi ruling Braun out.
2B Umpire Cuzzi rules Braun out; Segura begins his retreat.

Segura, meanwhile, thought he had been declared out and began jogging towards the Brewers first base dugout, staying within the baseline (not to be confused with his base path) between first and second base (or technically, 2nd-1st). As the Cubs were clearly not expecting a play at first base, Segura, upon realizing his error, ran into first base without a throw.

Play continued with one out (Braun) and Segura assuming R1's role at first base. After a Rickie Weeks strikeout, Segura attempted to steal second base and was thrown out to end the inning.

Q: This group case play is worth one point and like Case Play 2013-02 expires Sunday night; to secure your Case Play point, be sure to include your username in your reply (or as your posting name)—Were the umpires correct in their enforcement, both in ruling Braun out, Segura safe and allowing Segura to return to first base? If not, how should play have resumed?

Video: Segura's adventure: R2 becomes R1 before finally being retired attempting to return as R2 (MIL)

Here's a hint (that might equally be a red herring): In the early 1900s, former Milwaukee Brewer (yes, it's true) Germany Schaefer stole first base in his ongoing bid to entertain fans and win a game. According to SABR, Schaefer's antics in stealing first during an August 4, 1911 Detroit Tigers and White Sox game on HOF umpire Tom Connolly's watch led to a key MLB rule change...

MLB Ejection 011: Chris Guccione (1; Dale Sveum)

HP Umpire Chris Guccione ejected Cubs Manager Dale Sveum for arguing a ball call in the bottom of the 6th inning of the Cubs-Brewers game. With none out and none on, Brewers batter Ryan Braun took a 2-2 fastball from Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija for a called third ball. Replays indicate the pitch was located near the outer edge of home plate and at the thighs (px .821, pz 2.491), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Brewers were leading, 4-3. The Brewers ultimately won the contest, 5-4.
#5 was argued

This is Chris Guccione (68)'s 1st ejection of 2013.
Chris Guccione now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (0 + 2 MLB + 2 Y = 4).
Crew Chief Tom Hallion now has 1 point in the UEFL's Crew Division (0 + 1 Y = 1).
*This call is correct pursuant to UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1, the Kulpa Rule (0.768 - 0.935).

Sveum argues with Guccione.
This is the 11th ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 3rd Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Cubs' 1st ejection of 2013, 1st in the NL Central (CHC 1; CIN, MIL, PIT, STL 0).
This is Dale Sveum's 1st ejection since September 5, 2012 (Larry Vanover; QOC = Y).
This is Chris Guccione's 1st ejection since September 20, 2011 (Buck Showalter; QOC = Y).

Wrap: Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 4/19/13
Video: Feeling the umpire taunted or baited his pitcher by removing his mask, Sveum angrily scolds Guccione, earns a shower (CHC)

Pitch f/x Courtesy Brooks Baseball

MLB Ejection 010: Sam Holbrook (5; B.J. Upton)

HP Umpire Sam Holbrook ejected Braves CF B.J. Upton for arguing a strike three call in the top of the 7th inning of the Braves-Pirates game. With none out and none on, Upton took a 3-2 fastball from Pirates pitcher Wandy Rodriguez for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the heart of the plate and at the knees (px -.117, pz 1.868, sz_bot 1.625), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Pirates were leading, 6-0. The Pirates ultimately won the contest, 6-0.

This is Sam Holbrook (34)'s 5th ejection of 2013.
Sam Holbrook now has 12 points in the UEFL Standings (8 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 12).
Crew Chief Sam Holbrook now has 6 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (5 Previous + 1 Correct = 6).

This is the 10th ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 8th player ejection of 2013.
Prior to his ejection, Upton was 0-3 in the contest with two strikeouts.
This is the Braves' 1st ejection of 2013, 1st in the NL East (ATL 1; MIA, NYM, PHI, WAS 0).
This is B.J. Upton's first ejection since September 23, 2011 (Ed Hickox; QOC = Y).
This is Sam Holbrook's 1st ejection since 4/11 (Dodgers Hairston/Greinke/Kemp & Padre Quentin; QOC = U).

Wrap: Atlanta Braves vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, 4/19/13
Video: After looking at strike 3, Upton vehemently argues, gets a second chance and is tossed anyway (ATL)

Pitch f/x courtesy Brooks Baseball

Case Play 2013-02: Battle of the Broadcasters

Case Play 2 features a Battle of the Broadcasters, pitting Jon Miller (SF Giants) against Bill Schroeder (MIL Brewers) in a rules book showdown from the Brewers' walk-off win on April 17, 2013. This Case Play remains open (reply to this post; include your username) through Sunday, April 21 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time. Each question ("a", "b", "c") is worth one point; posts will remain in moderation until Monday.

This is a UEFL Video Case Play. Click the picture to view.
Case Play 2013-02: Battle of the Broadcasters
Play: With one out and a runner on first in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tied ballgame, batter B1 hits a ground ball into the hole between short and third base. Shortstop F6 fields the ground ball and, after R1 has already rounded second base, throws wildly past first base and into the dugout or camera well.

UEFL Video: Case Play 2013-02, SF-MIL Bot. 9

a: Milwaukee's Bill Schroeder and San Francisco's Jon Miller both had unique interpretations of the play as it unfolded and as Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke came out to discuss the events with home plate umpire and crew chief Tim Welke.

Bill Schroeder (Milwaukee Brewers, FSWI): "It's not where he was when the ball goes into the dugout, it's where the fielder gets rid of the baseball...he should be able to score."
Jon Miller (San Francisco Giants, KNBR): "That rule is simply from the base at which they started [on a batted ball, at time of pitch], so he only gets the one extra base no matter where he actually was."

Who is right: Schroeder, Miller or neither? If neither, what would a fully correct transcript have stated?
For this and the following scenarios, where do the runners end up and how shall play resume?

b: Assume F6 Brandon Crawford bobbles the ball—does not field it cleanly—and fakes R1 Josh Prince back to second before throwing to first base, with the same result of a wild throw into dead ball territory (had the throw been accurate, B1 Carlos Gomez may or may not have been retired—it would have been bang-bang at first). Is your answer to part (a) the same? If not, what is the correct ruling?
c: Assume F6 fields the ball cleanly, as in the original play, but the speedy Carlos Gomez had already rounded first base in anticipation of a potential error as Crawford releases his throw in an attempt to "pick off" or catch Gomez by surprise in throwing behind the batter-runner. R2 Prince is standing on second base. As in the original play, this throw enters DBT. Is your answer to part (a) the same? If not, what is the correct ruling?

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Quick Pitch Davidson Rules Hasty Return, Automatic Ball

Inning #12 proved odd as plate umpire Bob Davidson negated an Oliver Perez 0-1 strike during Wednesday's Tigers-Mariners game. With none out and none on, Perez's 0-1 fastball to Tigers batter Victor Martinez was aborted after Perez rushed through his delivery. Though Rule 8.01(b) generally requires a pitcher employing Set Position to hold the ball in both hands in front of his body and to come to a complete stop, Rule 8.01(b) Comment exempts the pitcher from this "complete stop" requirement with no runners on base.
With no runners on base, the pitcher is not required to come to a complete stop when using the Set Position. If, however, in the umpire’s judgment, a pitcher delivers the ball in a deliberate effort to catch the batter off guard, this delivery shall be deemed a quick pitch, for which the penalty is a ball. See Rule 8.05(e) Comment.
Quick pitches with no runners result in an auto. ball
Replays indicate that Perez did satisfy the hands-in-front-of-body requirement and did not come to a complete stop, though Rule 8.01(b) Comment specifies the illegality of a quick return pitch, which is what Davidson ruled Perez was guilty of; Perez was charged an extra ball for his effort.

In 2011, the UEFL held a Quick Pitch discussion after umpire Mike Everitt charged Royals pitcher Bruce Chen with an automatic ball for attempting an illegal quick return pitch.

On August 15, 2012, Everitt ejected Red Sox first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and Manager Bobby Valentine for arguing a quick pitch no-call. Since 2011, quick pitch no-calls have resulted in two other ejections, both occurring during the same week in May 2011 (Rob Drake of Troy Tulowitzki [5/20/11], Ed Hickox of Jerry Hairston, Jr. [5/27/11]).

With no runners no base, the penalty is an automatic ball; with runners on, it is a balk: Rule 8.05(e).*
*Prior to 1964, a complete stop was defined as full cessation of movement lasting at least one second.

Video: Davidson renders Perez's pitch of quick return, adding a ball to the count; Wedge briefly argues

Patience is Still a Virtue: Greg Gibson at Home (Part II)

Greg Gibson gave us a 50-50 out-safe call at home plate in Miami Wednesday night, just over eight months after first going out-to-safe at home in Los Angeles on a wild throw to the backstop.

Gibson points to the plate as Suzuki argues.
During Wednesday's Nationals-Marlins game, Marlins baserunner Chris Valaika attempted to score from second base on a Donovan Solano single as Nationals right fielder Jayson Werth attempted to throw him out at home as Kurt Suzuki attempted to apply the tag.

Though Gibson made a preliminary gesture as if to call Valaika out at the plate, Gibson reversed course and ruled Valaika safe—emphatically crowing, "Safe! Safe!"—ruling Suzuki had failed to tag the runner prior to his touching of home plate. Replays indicate Suzuki's glove may have barely grazed Valaika's helmet just prior to Valaika's hand touching the point of home plate, though other angles camera angles suggest Suzuki missed the tag.

Video: Gibson calls Valaika safe at home as broadcasters ponder replay evidence (4/17/13)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

MLB Ejection 009: Brian Knight (1; Joe Maddon)

2B Umpire Brian Knight ejected Tampa Bay Rays Manager Joe Maddon for arguing an out call in the top of the 5th inning of the Rays-Orioles game. With none out and one on, Rays batter swung at and missed a 3-2 curveball from Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman for a strike three swinging as Rays baserunner R1 Kelly Johnson attempted to steal second. Replays indicate Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy's tag from catcher Matt Wieters appeared to touch Johnson's left shin prior to Johnson's foot touching second base, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Rays were leading, 4-2. The Rays ultimately won the contest, 6-2.

This is Brian Knight (91)'s first ejection of 2013.
Brian Knight now has 4 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 4).
Crew Chief Gerry Davis now has 1 point in the UEFL's Crew Division (0 Previous + 1 Correct = 1).

This is the 9th ejection of 2013.
This is the 2nd Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Rays' first ejection of 2013, 1st in the AL East (TB 1; BAL, BOS, NYY, TOR 0).
This is Joe Maddon's first ejection since September 19, 2012 (Bob Davidson; QOC = N).
This is Brian Knight's first ejection since September 16, 2012 (Jim Leyland; QOC = Y).

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

MiLB Ejection of the Week (April 14): Jon Saphire (1)

HP Umpire Jon Saphire ejected Indians catcher Brian Jeroloman for arguing a catcher's interference call in the bottom of the 4th inning of the Indians-Clippers game. With one out and two on, Jeroloman was called for
Saphire ejects Jeroloman.
catcher's interference against Clippers batter Ryan Rohlinger, allowing Rohlinger to reach base and create a bases loaded situation for Columbus. Jeroloman also was called for catcher's interference in the bottom of the third inning, also while Rohlinger was batting. At the time of the ejection, the Clippers were leading, 2-1. The Indians ultimately won the contest, 12-7.

Wrap: Indianapolis Indians vs. Columbus Clippers (Triple-A IL), 4/14/13
Video: Jeroloman commits catcher's interference, argues and is ejected

In 2012, Durham Bulls batter Hideki Matsui induced catcher's interference calls on consecutive nights against Pawtucket Red Sox catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who was not ejected for arguing those calls.

NBA Ejection: Salvatore/Guthrie/Lindsay

Referees Bennett Salvatore (crew chief), David Guthrie (R) and Mark Lindsay (R2/umpire) ejected Thunder guard Russell Westbrook for a second conduct technical foul in the 4th quarter of the Kings-Thunder game. With 2:28 remaining in the 4th period, Westbrook committed a bad pass turnover and argued he had been fouled, earning his second technical foul and ejection from the game. At the time of the ejection, the Thunder were leading, 100-88. The Thunder ultimately won the contest, 104-95.

This is Bennett Salvatore (15)'s third involvement with an ejection of the 2012-13 NBA season.
This is David Guthrie (16)'s first involvement with an ejection of the 2012-13 NBA season.
This is Mark Lindsay (29)'s second involvement with an ejection of the 2012-13 NBA season.

TFFL Standings Update

Wrap: Sacramento Kings vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 4/15/13
Video: Westbrook again violates the NBA's Respect for the Game guidelines and is tossed (1:00)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Calls of the Call: John Tumpane (Rays at Red Sox)

Triple-A call-up umpire John Tumpane had a whacker of an out call in Boston on Sunday, ruling Red Sox runner R3 Dustin Pedroia failed to beat Rays pitcher Alex Cobb's throw to catcher Jose Molina for the force out at home. Replays indicate Pedroia's lead foot glided over home plate without actually touching the dish; his trail foot only came into contact with the plate after Molina already fielded Cobb's throw. As the "Calls of the Call" video below demonstrates, more than one broadcaster had his doubts about the accuracy of Tumpane's call at first, but after consulting replay, all agreed Tumpane got the call right.

Meanwhile in Anaheim, it was 2B Umpire Tim Timmons who stuck with the play as Brandon Barnes' throw to second retired Angels catcher Hank Conger, whose foot Timmons ruled broke contact with the base as Astros shortstop Ronny Cedeno kept the tag on. [Video: Conger retired after long single]

The Stripes is All-Access Profile of NHL On-Ice Officials

The National Hockey League recently debuted an online feature, "The Stripes: Referee All Access," which follows professional hockey's officials throughout the course of a game during this lockout-shortened season.

With the tagline, "as a ref, there are no shifts, no time outs, no plus/minus" The Stripes takes off, greeting as they arrive at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, home to the Maple Leafs and the NBA's Toronto Raptors.

NFL referees Tim Peel and Brian Pochmara are highlighted throughout the segment as they speak of the officiating atmosphere at North American hockey's highest level. Also present are linesmen Brad Kovachik and Derek Nansen along with a trip to Toronto's video "war room" during which a goal call is upheld.

NHL VP and Sr Dir of Officiating Terry Gregson appears in the dressing room for the officials' post-game.

McCreary is honored before his last NHL game (4/3/2011)
The Stripes and the similar title Behind the Stripes have been used before in connection with officiating-related profiles, including the "Behind the Stripes: A Ref's Life" feature, a 23-minute segment still available online.

That documentary followed AHL referee Ghislain Hebert as he negotiated the minor-to-major league officiating pipeline, hoping for an eventual full-time NHL schedule and appointment to the staff. Also profiled was veteran Bill McCreary, who spoke of his own journey through the sport. Toronto and the Philadelphia Flyers were featured during that segment; referee Dean Morton and linesmen Scott Driscoll and Steve Barton also made an appearance as members of McCreary's on-ice crew in Philadelphia. Linesman Mark Pare and referee Greg Kimmerly join McCreary and Driscoll for Game #2 in Detroit for a Blackhawks-Red Wing fray.

Hebert's second game is a major league call-up affair, an NHL contest with referee Kevin Pollock and linesmen Mark Shewchyk and Kovachik at Buffalo's HSBC Arena where NHL Officiating Manager and former referee Don Koharski drops by for a pre-game, likening his pre-game speech to that of a hockey coach to his team. Both Games #2 ended in shootouts, including an 11-rounder during which the Colorado Avalanche beat the Sabres.

After working one last Stanley Cup Finals, McCreary retired after nearly 30 years on the ice. Hebert since was hired to the full-time NHL staff.

As a profile of professional hockey officials, yes, the videos prominently feature several fight situations.

Videos: The Stripes: Referee All Access ( & Behind the Stripes - A Ref's Life (SwissHabs)

After Instant Replay Review, Fan Ejected due to Interference

A Pirates fan was ejected Sunday following instant replay review that revealed an instance of spectator "fan" interference. With two out and one on in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Reds-Pirates game, Travis Snider
Porter, PIT Manager Clint Hurdle and Layne discuss the play.
hit a fly ball to deep right center field, where 1B Umpire Alan Porter initially ruled the ball alive and in play as it caromed off the upper Roberto Clemente wall (named as such for its 21-foot height). After consultation and instant replay review, 2B Umpire and crew chief Jerry Layne kept Snider's double in order, but changed the reason from a simple hit off the wall to a dead ball caused by fan interference.

Video: Snider's RBI double is technically upheld, though the rationale was changed to interference
Animated GIF: Alternate angles of the reviewed double, ruled fan interference (Compressed size)

As explained in Ball Boy Interference: Judging Intent of Non-Team Persons, Rule 3.16 authorizes umpires to "impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference." Meanwhile, Rule 2.00 [Interference (d)] was modified prior to the 2013 season, with the emphasized text added: "Spectator interference occurs when a spectator reaches out of the stands and over the playing field, or goes on the playing field, and (1) touches a live ball or (2) touches a player and hinders an attempt to make a play on a live ball."

As for the fan guilty of interference, PNC Park's A-Z Guide portrays a "zero tolerance policy regarding fan interference with a ball in play or a player during the game," specifying immediate removal from PNC Park and/or criminal sanctions as possible penalties. All other MLB stadiums have similar policies.

When Joe West ejected Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel in 2011 (Ejections: Joe West 7), it too concerned spectator interference; after review, the offending fans were accordingly ejected from the Florida ballpark.