Saturday, April 27, 2013

Brian O'Nora Leaves Game With Serious Medical Condition

Originally deemed flu-like symptoms, Brian O'Nora's reason for departing the Phillies-Mets game in the bottom of the first inning was inaccurately reported as : "the press box said that O'Nora swallowed his chew" before MLB Public Relations set the record straight and upgraded the initial report of flu-like symptoms: "Umpire Brian O'Nora left Fri.'s PHI-NYM game due to serious medical condition. Despite many reports, he does NOT use any tobacco products."

Umpire Brian O'Nora
Though discouraged by MLB, dipping and chewing tobacco are still authorized for use in professional baseball, though many players, coaches and umpires have replaced the practice with chewing gum.

UPDATED: This story initially cited erroneous reports from NBC Sports and Yahoo! Sports alleging O'Nora's use of tobacco products. As announced by MLB_PR, those claims were false.

Swallowing chah has been known to cause esophageal irritation and induce nausea and vomiting.

There was a nine-minute delay as umpire Adrian Johnson exited to the dressing room to don the plate gear; O'Nora did not return.

Video: O'Nora runs off the field in the first, Johnson summoned to replace him at home (NYM)

NBA Playoffs Ejection: D Crawford, M Davis and M Smith

Referees Dan Crawford (crew chief), Marc Davis (R) and Michael Smith (R2/umpire) ejected New York Knicks guard JR Smith for a flagrant foul penalty two during the 4th quarter of the Knicks-Celtics playoff game. With 7:06 remaining in the 4th period, Smith elbowed Celtics guard Jason Terry in the face, causing injury. Replays indicate the contact was excessive and unnecessary, resulting in a correctly ruled flagrant foul type two. At the time of the ejection, the Knicks were leading, 78-59. The Knicks ultimately won the contest, 90-76.

This is Dan Crawford (43)'s eighth ejection of the 2012-13 NBA season and postseason.
This is Marc Davis (8)'s third involvement with ejection of the 2012-13 NBA season and postseason.
This is Michael Smith (38)'s third involvement with ejection of the 2012-13 NBA season and postseason.

Friday, April 26, 2013

MLB Ejections 020, 021, 022: Tim Timmons (1, 2, 3)

HP Umpire Tim Timmons ejected Pirates P Jonathan Sanchez and Manager Clint Hurdle for Throwing At Cardinals batter Allen Craig in the bottom of the 1st inning and Pirates Hitting Coach Jay Bell for arguing a non-ejection in the top of the 3rd inning of the Pirates-Cardinals game. With none out and none on in the 1st,
Sanchez was tossed immediately.
Sanchez surrendered back-to-back home runs to Matt Carpenter and Carlos Beltran before giving up a single to Matt Holliday. Replays indicate the first pitch to the next batter, Craig, was high and inside for a hit by pitch, the call is irrecusable. Hurdle was ejected for arguing Sanchez's ejection With two out and none on in the 5th, Pirates batter Sterling Marte took a 2-2 fastball inside for a hit-by-pitch, the argument concerning ejections or warnings is unsportsmanlike-NEC and is irrecusable. At the time of the 1st inning ejections, the Cardinals were leading, 2-0. At the time of the 5th inning ejection, the Cardinals were leading, 3-0. The Cardinals ultimately won the contest, 9-1.

These are Tim Timmons (95)'s first, second and third ejections of 2013.
Tim Timmons now has 6 points in the UEFL (0 + 3*[2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable] = 6).
Crew Chief Mike Winters now has 3 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (0 + 3 Irrecusable = 3).

These are the 20th, 21st and 22nd ejections of 2013.
This is the 11th player ejection of 2013.
This is the 9th Manager ejection of 2013.
Prior to his ejection, Sanchez's line was 0.0 IP, 2 ER.
The Pirates now have 3 ejections, 1st in the NL Central (PIT 3; MIL 2; CHC 1; CIN, STL 0).
This is Clint Hurdle's first ejection since September 22, 2012 (Tim Timmons; QOC = Y).
This is Jonathan Sanchez's first career ejection.
This is Jay Bell's first ejection since September 9, 2002 (Phil Cuzzi; QOC = U [Intentional HBP]).
These are Tim Timmons' first ejections since September 22, 2012 (Clint Hurdle; QOC = Y).

Rehab: Joe West Sighting in 15 Inn PCL Thriller

Oklahoma City: Joe West worked the plate in a PCL 15-inning thriller Thursday night as the New Orleans
Joe West in Triple-A, @jamesheath
Zephyrs defeated the Oklahoma City RedHawks by the final score of 10-8 in a game lasting 4 hours, 54 minutes. West has not worked an MLB game during the 2013 regular season and crew #2 Sam Holbrook has taken over crew chief responsibilities; incidentally, Holbrook leads all crew chiefs with 6 points in the UEFL's Crew Division. Thursday night's Country Joe sighting was reported by UEFL'ers backjudgejohn and indicates West is one step closer in a return to big league ball. Other umpires who have yet to work an MLB regular season game in 2013 include Brian Gorman and Brian Runge.

Wrap: New Orleans Zephyrs vs. Oklahoma City RedHawks, 4/25/13

Thursday, April 25, 2013

MLB Ejection 019: Jim Reynolds (2; Curt Young)

1B Umpire Jim Reynolds ejected A's Pitching Coach Curt Young for arguing a check swing call (unsportsmanlike: arguing a previous play) in the top of the 3rd inning of the Orioles-A's game. With one out and none on, Orioles batter Noland Reimold attempted to check his swing on a 1-1 fastball from A's pitcher Jarrod Parker. Young was ejected after Adam Jones' double four batters later, the call was irrecusable.* At the time of the ejection, the Orioles were leading, 3-2. The Orioles ultimately won the contest, 10-2.

This is Jim Reynolds (77)'s 2nd ejection of 2013.
Jim Reynolds now has 6 points in the UEFL Standings (4 Previous + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call = 6).
Crew Chief John Hirschbeck now has 3 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (1 + 1 Irrecusable Call = 2).
*UEFL Rule 6-5-c-3 specifies that "Ejections, wherein an argument for a previously ruled play (either correct or incorrect) continues into a later play (i.e., some point after a pitch has been delivered to the next batter), shall be ruled irrecusable under Rule 6-2-b-5, which states that these ejections, which are colloquially deemed 'Unsportsmanlike Conduct-NEC,' are ordinarily not assigned a QOC."
^Prop Bet #2: Date of first non-player/non-Manager ejection winners: Russ (4/24) and wwjd220 (4/26).

This is the 19th ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the Athletics' 2nd ejection of 2013, 1st in the AL West (OAK 2; HOU, LAA, SEA, TEX 0).
This is Curt Young's first career ejection.
This is Jim Reynolds' first ejection since April 13 (Cliff Pennington; QOC = Y).

Wrap: Baltimore Orioles vs. Oakland Athletics, 4/25/13
Video: Young argues a check swing that occurred during Reimold's at bat and is summarily dismissed (OAK)

MLB Ejection 018: Jeff Kellogg (1; John Gibbons)

2B Umpire Jeff Kellogg ejected Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons for arguing a safe call by 1B Umpire Chad Fairchild in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Blue Jays-Yankees game. With one out and one on, Yankees batter Ben Francisco bunted a 0-0 fastball from Blue Jays pitcher Brad Lincoln to third baseman Brett Lawrie,
The final call of safe was correct. Foot on base, ball in air.
who threw to first baseman Edwin Encarnacion in an attempt to retire lead runner Francisco, Brett Gardner advancing to second base. Initially ruled out by Fairchild and reversed to safe upon crew consultation with HP Umpire Paul Schrieber and 3B Umpire Chris Conroy, replays indicate that although Encarnacion cleanly fielded the throw, Francisco's left foot contacted first base before the ball entered the glove, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Yankees were leading, 5-3. The Yankees ultimately won the contest, 5-3.

This is Jeff Kellogg (8)'s 1st ejection of 2013.
Jeff Kellogg now has 3 points in the UEFL Standings (0 + 2 MLB + 1 Correct Call [Crewmate] = 3).
Crew Chief Jeff Kellogg now has 3 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (2 + 1 Correct Call = 3).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-6-a specifies that "any displayed reasoning for such a call...shall not affect the determination of Quality of Correctness. Quality of Correctness is governed by the (in)correctness of the call made, not by the quality of reasoning given for such a call."

This is the 18th ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 8th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Blue Jays' 2nd ejection of 2013, 1st in the AL East (TOR 2; TB 1; BAL, BOS, NYY 0).
This is John Gibbons' first ejection since yesterday, April 24 (Mike DiMuro; QOC = N).
This is Jeff Kellogg's first ejection since July 25, 2012 (Don Mattingly; QOC = Y).

Wrap: Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees, 4/25/13
Video: Reversed call spawns Gibbons' 2nd consecutive ejection, kicked out this time for throwing a hat (TOR)

MLB Ejection 017: Dan Iassogna (1; Charlie Manuel)

3B Umpire Dan Iassogna ejected Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel for arguing an interference no-call by HP Umpire Mark Carlson in the top of the 9th inning of the Pirates-Phillies game. With none out and one on,
Carlson rules incidental contact per 7.09(j) Comment
Pirates batter Clint Barmes attempted a sacrifice bunt on a 1-1 fastball from Phillies pitcher Raul Valdes, the bunt fielded by catcher Erik Kratz, who threw to shortstop Jimmy Rollins to second baseman Chase Utley, baserunner R1 Neil Walker ruled safe at second and Barmes out at first. Replays indicate Barmes and Kratz collided in front of the home plate area with Kratz initiating the contact and subsequently gathering the batted ball (see notes regarding Rule 7.09(j) and Rule 7.09(j) Comment, below), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Pirates were leading, 6-4. The Pirates ultimately won the contest, 6-4.

This is Dan Iassogna (58)'s 1st ejection of 2013.
Dan Iassogna now has 3 points in the UEFL Standings (0 + 2 MLB + 1 Correct Call [Crewmate] = 3).
Crew Chief Dan Iassogna now has 1 point in the UEFL's Crew Division (0 + 1 Correct Call = 1).
*Rule 7.09(j) specifies that a runner shall be declared out for interference if he fails to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball.
Rule 7.09(j) Comment states, "When a catcher and batter-runner going to first base have contact when the catcher is fielding the ball, there is generally no violation and nothing should be called."
*After review, the Original Ruling has been affirmed by the UEFL Appeals Board (5-1).

This is the 17th ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 7th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Phillies' 1st ejection of 2013, T-1st in the NL East (ATL, PHI 1; MIA, NYM, WAS 0).
This is Charlie Manuel's first ejection since May 15, 2012 (Bob Davidson; QOC = Y).
This is Dan Iassogna's first ejection since July 18, 2012 (Joe Maddon; QOC = N).

Wrap: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 4/25/13
Video: Kratz pushes Barmes out of the way in order to field a batted ball, Carlson clears the play (PHI)

Relevant Play: HP Umpire Iassogna rules batter Matt Kemp out for interfering with C Hank Conger (2011)

Batter's Interference Ends Ballgame: Reviewing Rule 6.05(g)

As HP Umpire Paul Emmel ruled Brewers batter Martin Maldonado out for batter's interference to end Milwaukee's nine-game winning streak via a 2-1 defeat to the San Diego Padres, Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke—who you recall was ejected by Gary Darling the night before—ran out to argue the out call, words echoed by Brewers broadcast analyst Bill Schroeder (now where have we heard that name before?).

To begin the analysis of this play, consider Schroeder's factually inaccurate remarks:
And both feet have to be out of the batter's box in order for Maldonado to be out...both feet have to be out, not just one...the foot was in the air, but not out of the confines of the batter's box.
Out for interference, Rules 6.05(g), 7.09(k)
Not surprisingly, FS San Diego easily accepted Emmel's call.

Emmel ruled Maldonado out under the auspices of Rule 6.05(g), which states that a batter is out when:
His fair ball touches him before touching a fielder. If the batter is in a legal position in the batter’s box, see Rule 6.03, and, in the umpire’s judgment, there was no intention to interfere with the course of the ball, a batted ball that strikes the batter or his bat shall be ruled a foul ball;
Ah yes, one of those rules that cross-references another rule. Rule 6.03 simply states, "the batter's legal position shall be with both feet within the batter's box." The attached approved ruling allows for the lines defining the batter's box to be "within" the box. In other words, the batter's legal position shall be with both feet within or extending no further than the outer edge of a line defining the batter's box.

The MLB Umpire Manual further states Rule 6.03 applies when a batter assumes a batting stance, while Rule 6.06(a) is the box position rules reference for when a batter hits a ball. 6.06(a) states that a batter is out for illegal action when "He hits a ball with one or both feet on the ground entirely outside the batter’s box." Accordingly, 6.06(a) allows for a batter to hit a ball when (1) either foot is in contact with the line, but otherwise extends out of the box; and (2) either foot is in the air above dirt fully outside of the batter's box as this is legal as long as the batter's foot doesn't touch the ground.

So what of Rule 6.05(g) and batter's interference by virtue of being touched by a fair ball? The rule cross-referenced, after all is 6.03, not 6.06(a). Why the discrepancy?

Recall that upon hitting fair ball, the batter becomes a runner; his time at-bat is over (Rules 6.04 and 6.09).

Therefore, as a runner, Rules 6.03 and 6.06(a) become irrelevant—except for the specific case of Rule 6.05(g) interference, wherein Rule 6.03—and not 6.06(a)—is referenced as the foul ball exemption.

Accordingly, Emmel correctly declares Maldonado out, as he is not in a legal position within the batter's box, as defined solely by Rule 6.03, when a fair ball touches him. Rule 7.09(k), "a runner is out when a fair ball touches him on fair territory before touching a fielder" confirms the ruling as the batter had become a runner by virtue of hitting the fair ball.

Video: Padres snap Milwaukee's win streak via offensive interference to end the Brewers' 9th inning
Related: Rules 6.05(g) & 6.05(h): Batted Ball Batter's Interference
> Example 1 contains a case of a bunter still squared and legal within the box when struck (no interference);
> Example 1A similarly contains a depiction of compliance with the Rule 6.03 exemption to 6.05(g);
> Example 2 depicts accidental contact with a baseball while outside of the box, this is interference;
> Examples 6 (foul ball) and 7 are also relevant to the adjudication of this particular play.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Boston's Pesky Park Claims Umpire Jerry Layne, A's Rally

Fenway Park proved pesky Wednesday afternoon, as Umpire Jerry Layne suffered a hand injury and was forced to leave the game innings before the Oakland Athletics had the possibility of a potential rally-starting hit neutralized by a most eager of Boston fans.

Fan Touches Live Ball, Greg Gibson Rules it Foul
With the Boston Red Sox clinging to a 6-5 lead with two outs and a 2-2 count in the Oakland 9th, A's batter Jed Lowrie pounced on the deuces wild pitch, hurling a sinking line drive down the right field line and towards the fabled Pesky's Pole corner at Fenway Park. One of the smallest facilities in the Major Leagues, Fenway Park's right field spectator area nearly encroaches on the right foul line, offering a clearance of mere inches
Fan Interference at Fenway.
from line-to-wall. Replays indicate that during this critical play, a female fan in a blue Red Sox cap reached onto the playing field and contacted the ball while it was still in flight. 1B Umpire Greg Gibson ruled the play dead and the drive a foul ball, much to the dismay of A's Manager Bob Melvin, who came out to argue the call while Oakland broadcasters Glen Kuiper and Ray Fosse mused a perceived missed call. After Lowrie struck out to end the game, Kuiper and Fosse admitted that, "if she doesn't touch it, it's going to go foul."

Rule 2.00 INTERFERENCE (d) was modified over the offseason to read, "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." The purpose of this rules change was to clarify when a spectator is considered to have reached out of the stands.

Rule 3.16, which states the ball shall be "dead at the moment of interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference" was not amended. Accordingly, it appears Gibson ruled that had the fan not interfered, the probable result of the play would have been a foul ball. Replays confirm Kuiper and Fosse's postgame analysis: had the fan not interfered, the ball would have landed in foul territory, the call was correct.

The Official Playing Rules Committee this offseason amended Rule 2.00 INTERFERENCE and several other OBR rules. Brian Gorman is the lone on-field umpire representative who sits on this committee, which includes Sandy Alderson (NY Mets, Chair), Sam Bernabe (Iowa Cubs [PCL]), Rod Carew (HOF), Gorman (MLBU), John McHale, Jr. (MLB), Terry Ryan (MIN Twins), John Schuerholz (ATL Braves), Bill Stoneman (Alumni) and Joe Torre (MLB). Gorman has not worked a regular season contest thus far in 2013.

Video: Spectator interferes with Lowrie's bullet down the right field line, precipitating the foul call (OAK)

Kuiper and Fosse mentioned that the umpiring crew's three-person mechanics may have contributed to what they perceived was a missed call. Earlier in the contest, the four-man crew was downsized due to...

Crew Chief Jerry Layne Injured, Leaves Game; Call-Up Estabrook Fills in at Home Plate
With one out in the top of the third inning on a cool afternoon, A's batter Derek Norris fouled a 2-1 90 mph fastball from Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester into the dirt, where it caromed and struck Layne in the left hand. As Layne conversed with crewmates Greg Gibson and Hunter Wendelstedt, Boston broadcasters Jerry Remy and Don Orsillo speculated that Layne may have sustained a fractured index finger, though test results as of yet have not been reported. 2B Umpire Mike Estabrook subsequently left the field and donned his plate gear while Layne completed the third inning. Estabrook took over behind the plate to begin the fourth inning.

Video: Layne injured and leaves game, Mike Estabrook pressed into plate service (BOS)

Wrap: Oakland Athletics vs. Boston Red Sox, 4/24/13

MLB Ejection 016: Mike DiMuro (1; John Gibbons)

HP Umpire Mike DiMuro ejected Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons for arguing a strike three call in the top of the 9th inning of the Blue Jays-Orioles game. With two out and none on, Blue Jays batter Brett Lawrie took a
Toronto's broadcast Pitch f/x indicates K #6 is outside.
2-2 slider from Orioles pitcher Troy Patton for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the outer edge of home plate and thigh high (px="1.149" pz="1.929"), the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 5-5. The Blue Jays ultimately won the contest, 6-5.

This is Mike DiMuro (16)'s 1st ejection of 2013.
Mike DiMuro now has -2 points in the UEFL Standings (0 + 2 MLB + -2 Incorrect Call = -2).
Crew Chief Ted Barrett now has 0 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (0 + 0 Incorrect Call = 0).

This is the 16th ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 6th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Blue Jays' 1st ejection of 2013, T-11st in the AL East (TB, TOR 1; BAL, BOS, NYY 0).
This is John Gibbons' first ejection since June 15, 2008 (Adrian Johnson; QOC = N/A).
This is Gary Darling's 1st ejection since June 26, 2012 (Jack Hannahan; QOC = U).

Wrap: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles, 4/24/13
Video: Gibbons thrown out for arguing a strike three call to end the Blue Jays' chances in regulation (TOR)

Pitch f/x graph courtesy Brooks Baseball

MLB Ejection 015: Gary Darling (1; Ron Roenicke)

HP Umpire Gary Darling ejected Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke for arguing a check swing (no swing) call by 3B Umpire Clint Fagan in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Cubs-Brewers game. With one out and none on,
Headley attempts to check his swing.
Padres batter Chase Headley attempted to check his swing on a 0-0 breaking ball from Brewers pitcher Yovani Gallardo. Replays indicate Headley appeared to have attempted to strike the pitch, the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Brewers were leading, 6-3. The Brewers ultimately won the contest, 6-3.

This is Gary Darling (37)'s 1st ejection of 2013.
Gary Darling now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (0 + 2 MLB + -2 Incorrect Call [Crewmate] = 0).
Crew Chief Gary Darling now has 0s point in the UEFL's Crew Division (0 + 0 Incorrect Call = 0).

This is the 15th ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 5th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Brewers' 2nd ejection of 2013, 1st in the NL Central (MIL 2; CHC 1; CIN, PIT, STL 0).
This is Ron Roenicke's 1st ejection since July 31, 2012 (Brian Knight; QOC = N).
This is Gary Darling's 1st ejection since September 7, 2012 (Clint Hurdle; QOC = N).

Wrap: Milwaukee Brewers vs. San Diego Padres, 4/23/13
Video: After a no-swing call is upheld on appeal by the third base umpire, Roenicke protests, is tossed (MIL)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Solution for Case Play 2013-03: Segura as R2 Steals First

Group Case Play 2013-03 (R2 Segura stealing first base) is now final. Answer appears below.

To refresh: With R1 and R2, F1 sniffed out R2's stolen base attempt and trapped him in a rundown between second and third as R1 advanced to second base. With R1 standing on second, R2 slid safely into second base, ballcarrier F5 tagging both R1 and R2 while both occupied second before again tagging R2 as R2 retreated towards first base before assuming a position on first. "Time" was called and R2 became R1; R1 was (formerly R2) subsequently was thrown out trying to steal second base.
Click the above pic to watch the baserunning chaos unfold.

Answer, Group Case Play 2013-03:
The group noticed F5 Valbuena tagged R2 Segura while R2 was not in contact with any base. As such, R2 could have been declared out for this "simple" reason (7.08[c]). That said...

Rule 7.08(i) was the most cited rule in our group discussion. It states, in part, that a runner is out when he "runs the bases in reverse order for the purpose of confusing the defense or making a travesty of the game." However, as R2 did not appear to be motivated in this fashion (he was confused himself), Rule 7.08(i) Comment, which addresses the case of a decoyed or confused runner, references the case of a runner touching an unoccupied base and then returning to the base he last touched. The unoccupied base referred to here would have been third and the base he last touched would be second, not first. Accordingly, 7.08(i) does not directly apply and R2 is not out pursuant to its terms.

Abandonment 7.08(a)(2) made an appearance as well, though on face value alone, it only directly applies to a runner at first base after an overrun, as allotted by rule. 7.08(a)(2) Comment: PLAY addresses a runner at third base as well, indicating abandonment may be used at other bases ("Runner believing he is called out on a tag at first or third base starts for the dugout and progresses a reasonable distance still indicating by his actions that he is out, shall be declared out for abandoning the bases") Had this been NCAA College ball, R2 would be out because he was heading for his dugout. This unique phrasing regarding the dugout does not explicitly exist in either NFHS or OBR, though such an interpretation is equally valid (9.01[c]).

However, Jim Evans has interpreted it as such, "A player who leaves the infield area abandoning the base paths between 1st base and 3rd base may be declared out once he leaves fair territory. If a play is being made on him, however, he is subject to the guidelines established in 7.08(a.1)...he must be advancing toward a base and cannot go more than three feet out of his direct line to avoid a tag."

R2, though, never left fair territory. However, a play was being made on R2 as F6 chased R2 towards first base. Pursuant to Rule 2.00, the defense could have claimed R2's violation of the rules (appeal) for a violation of Rule 7.01, "If a runner legally acquires title to a base, and the pitcher assumes his pitching position, the runner may not return to a previously occupied base."

However, after assuming his pitching position, F1 disengaged the rubber and "unassumed" his pitching position. Only while F1 was an infielder (as opposed to a pitcher) did R2 return to a previously occupied base. Right?

Well... Rule 7.02 authorizes a runner to both advance and to return to first, second, third and home bases, in order, though 7.02 is subservient to 7.01 and 7.08(a)(1) - assumption and abandonment.

The group noticed Milwaukee first base coach Garth Iorg physically assist R2 to keep him on first base and out of the Brewers' dugout, which is interference pursuant to Rule 7.09(h); however, umpires had clearly ruled "Time" prior to this event.

Lastly, R1 is not guilty of passing preceding runner R2 (7.08[h]) as simultaneous occupation is not passing.

Some commenters mentioned F6 may have been guilty of obstruction when he stood in front of R2 retreating to second base. If your interpretation is that R2 was obstructed in running the bases by F6's action, this is Rule 7.06(a) "Type A" obstruction as a play was being made on R2 at the time of the obstruction. R2 would be awarded third base while R1 would be permitted to remain at second, immediate dead ball.

Notably, Rule 10 (Official Scorer) does not account for such a wild play. Instead, the odd sequence was scored as R1 Braun caught stealing second base and R2 CS third base, as in the case of a pickoff.

As addressed by johnnyg08, the Germany Schaefer play from 1911 was a red herring: Schaefer's intent was to confuse the defense and/or make a travesty of the game; Schaefer furthermore returned to a previously occupied base after the pitcher assumed his pitching position. Segura clearly had no such intent.

And then... there's Rule 9.01(c), the elastic clause. +1 point to all participants.

Solution for Case Play 2013-02: Broadcasters (Base Awards)

The weekend's Case Play (Battle of Broadcasters/Base Awards) is now final. Answers appear below.

A brief refresher: With R1, B1 hit a ball to F6, who threw wildly into DBT. This Case Play asked for base
The original video for this Case Play: click the pic.
awards. a) requested a transcript of a proper broadcaster's description of such a play, b) added that F6 bobbled instead of cleanly fields the ball and faked R1 back to second base before throwing into DBT ahead of B1's arrival at first base and c) added that both R1 and B1 had advanced to their next bases prior to F6's throw.

Answer, Case Play 2013-02:
a) Neither broadcaster is entirely correct. Although Schroeder's pronouncement of a two base award is correct, his description fails to take into account the allotment granted by OBR 7.05(g) concerning the first play by an infielder. While Miller's pronouncement of the time-of-pitch [first play by an infielder] condition is correct, his description fails to specify and or/confuses the award, which is two, and not one "extra," bases.

A proper transcript may have read: "When a thrown ball goes into the stands or a bench, the ball is dead and runners shall advance two bases without liability to be put out. Because this play involved the first play by an infielder, the umpire's award shall be governed by the position of the runners at the time of the pitch. Had this been a second or subsequent play by any fielder, the position of the runners at the time of the throw would govern."

Result: R1 is awarded third base and B1 is awarded second base. One out.

b) A play or attempted play is officially interpreted as a legitimate effort by a defensive player who has possession of the ball to actually retire a runner. A fake or feint is not a legitimate effort to retire a runner. A player who bobbles the ball while trying to field it is not in possession. Therefore, it is not a play or attempted play; therefore, F6's wild throw is still a result of the first play by an infielder. MLB Umpire Manual #37 confirms this interpretation (formerly MLBUM 5.1).

Result: R1 is awarded third base and B1 is awarded second base. One out. (Same as a).

c) Because both R1 and B1 arrived at their respective next bases at the time of the throw, the award is two bases from the time of the throw. Rule 7.05(g) Approved Ruling confirms this unique case.

Result: R1 is awarded home plate and B1 is awarded third base. The game is over (R1 the winning run).

Awarding of UEFL Points: Each scenario (a-b-c) was worth one point. Here's how points were distributed:
+3 points: Boredcravens, clawdad, cyclone14, Drjjulius, gregoryakoch, gkiewitt, kickersrule, JeremyJ, RadioPearl, RichMSN, toss 'em, Ump_24, vatech08, Joe G.umpire87.
+2 points: BT_Blue, hbk314, josh7377, majessa, NorthStarUmpire#2, pamarlowe, SJR, Turducken, TXWrangler, Umpteen.
+1 point: Bob Abouy, FinfanJr, Kevin Nichols, rhodeyump, BB, bwburke94, Mema, Mike.

Congratulations to all who participated, as every participant produced at least one correct response. And an off-the-record (e.g., no additional points :(...) shout-out to the eagle ears of SJR in identifying the opening musical refrain used in the Case Play video (Inspector Gadget).

Italicized = Guests and/or no drafted umpires.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

MLB Ejection 014: Phil Cuzzi (1; Ryan Braun)

HP Umpire Phil Cuzzi ejected Brewers LF Ryan Braun for arguing a strike three call in the bottom of the 8th inning of the Cubs-Brewers game. With one out and none on, Brewers batter Ryan Braun took a 3-2 sinker
Braun's bat nearly hit himself.
from Cubs pitcher Shawn Camp for a called third strike and had previously taken the 3-0 and 3-1 pitches for called strikes as well. Replays indicate the decisive pitch was located off the outer edge of home plate and thigh high (px 1.158, pz 2.491), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Brewers were leading, 4-2. The Brewers ultimately won the contest, 4-2.

This is Phil Cuzzi (10)'s 1st ejection of 2013.
Phil Cuzzi now has -2 points in the UEFL Standings (0 + 2 MLB + -4 N = -2).
Crew Chief Tom Hallion now has 1 point in the UEFL's Crew Division (1 + 0 N = 1).
*This call is incorrect pursuant to UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1, the Kulpa Rule.

This is the 14th ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 10th player ejection of 2013.
Prior to his ejection, Braun was 1-4 in the contest with three strikeouts and a 3-RBI home run.
This is the Brewers' 1st ejection of 2013, T-1st in the NL Central (CHC, MIL 1; CIN, PIT, STL 0).
This is Ryan Braun's 1st ejection since August 19, 2011 (Angel Campos; QOC = N).
This is Phil Cuzzi's 1st ejection since September 3, 2011 (Brian Butterfield; QOC = Y).

Wrap: Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 4/21/13
Video: Braun throws his bat wildly in the air after being called out on strikes and is ejected for hurling (MIL)

Pitch f/x courtesy Brooks Baseball (Pitch #6)