Saturday, June 22, 2013

MLB Ejection 082: Mark Wegner (1; Mike Redmond)

1B Umpire Mark Wegner ejected Marlins Manager Mike Redmond for arguing a fan interference: runner placement call in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Marlins-Giants game. With two out and one on, Giants
Wegner ejects Redmond for arguing Zito's score.
batter Gregor Blanco hit a 1-2 curveball from Marlins pitcher Jacob Turner for a fly ball to deep left-center field, the baseball bouncing on the warning track before being contacted by a fan at the wall. Replays indicate a spectator reached over the wall and onto the playing field to interfere with a live ball; Zito likely would have scored from first base and Blanco likely would have ended up on second base, pursuant to OBR Rule 3.16 governing spectator interference, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 1-1. The Giants ultimately won the contest, 2-1, in 11 innings.
Fan reaches over wall.

This is Mark Wegner (14)'s first ejection.
Mark Wegner now has 4 points in the UEFL (0 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct = 4).
Crew Chief Mike Winters now has 5 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (4 + 1 Y = 5).

This is the 82nd ejection of 2013.
This is the 36th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is Miami's 1st ejection of 2013, 5th, NL East (NYM 3; ATL/PHI/WAS 2; MIA 1).
This is Mike Redmond's 1st ejection of 2013 and first since May 28, 2009 (Todd Tichenor; QOC = U).
This is Mark Wegner's first ejection since May 30, 2012 (Jose Quintana, Robin Ventura; QOC = U).

Wrap: Miami Marlins vs. San Francisco Giants, 6/22/13
Video: Blanco's double, interfered with by a fan while still in play, drives in pitcher Zito from first base (SF)
Video: Redmond disputes messieurs Wegner, Winters, Diaz and Timmons' ruling and is tossed by U1 (MIA)

A Double By Any Other Name: Fan Interference Allows Run

A fan interference double in New York gave the Yankees a 7-5 lead over Tampa Bay, highlighting a key difference between the commonly accepted "ground rule double" (technically, a Rule 6.09(e) double) and spectator interference after 1B Umpire Alan Porter ruled fan interference on a two-out Vernon Wells-batted ball that bounced at the warning track and subsequently came into contact with a bleacher creature's glove, a call upheld after consultation with 2B Umpire Mike Estabrook, 3B Umpire Greg Gibson and HP Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, the umpire-in-chief celebrating his 42nd birthday behind the plate.

Estabrook signals interference.
The more commonly applied Rule 6.09(e) states:
A fair ball, after touching the ground, [and that] bounds into the stands, or passes through, over or under a fence, or through or under a scoreboard, or through or under shrubbery, or vines on the fence, [entitles] the batter and the runners to advance two bases;
However, with spectator interference ruled, Rule 3.16 came into play: "When there is spectator interference with any thrown or batted ball, 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."

Rule 3.16 Comment obliges umpires to consider the difference between the case of a ball that journeys into the stands, touching a spectator and the case of a spectator who reaches over a barrier and touches a ball in play. The Rule specifically authorizes umpires to place runners where "in the umpire's judgment they would have been had the interference not occurred."

This past offseason, the MLB Playing Rules Committee modified the definition of spectator interference to indicate such interference occurs when (underlined words were added):
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.
Rule 1.04 defines the outermost boundary of the playing field as the nearest obstruction to home plate (e.g., the outfield wall) while Rule 2.00 [FAIR TERRITORY] defines the end point as "the bottom of the playing field fence and perpendicularly upwards."

Armed with that knowledge—and knowing that instant replay review cannot be used to revisit such a bounding ball play—the umpires determined that baserunner R1 David Adams would have scored from first base if not for the interference. Wells was awarded second base and the Yankees took a 7-5 lead before Brett Gardner struck out to end the inning.

Rays Manager Joe Maddon briefly argued the call, but seemed satisfied with Gibson's explanation. The Yankees ultimately won the contest, 7-5. As a UEFL bonus, the offending fan was ejected from the Stadium.

Wrap: Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees, 6/22/13
Video: Wells hits a bases-clearing double to right center, a play made possible by fan interference (NYY)

Friday, June 21, 2013

MLB Ejection 081: Angel Hernandez (2; Buck Showalter)

HP Umpire Angel Hernandez ejected Orioles Manager Buck Showalter for arguing a reversed foul ball-to-swinging strike three call in the top of the 2nd inning of the Orioles-Blue Jays game. With none out and none on, Orioles batter Chris Davis swung at a 1-2 pitch from Jays pitcher RA Dickey. After consultation with crewmates 3B Umpire Jordan Baker, 2B Umpire Doug Eddings and 1B Umpire Paul Nauert, the call was
Hernandez shows restraint before dumping BS
reversed to a swinging strike, resulting in a strikeout. Replays indicate Davis' bat did not make contact with the baseball, the reversed call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Orioles were leading, 2-0. The Blue Jays ultimately won the contest, 7-6.

This is Angel Hernandez (55)'s second ejection of 2013.
Angel Hernandez now has 2 points in the UEFL (-2 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 2).
Crew Chief Angel Hernandez now has 1 point in the UEFL's Crew Division (0 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 1).

This is the 81st ejection of 2013.
This is the 35th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Orioles' 2nd ejection, 3rd in the AL East (TOR 6; TB 4; BAL 2; BOS, NYY 1).
This is Buck Showalter's 1st ejection of 2013 and first since August 17, 2012 (Marty Foster; QOC = N).
This is Angel Hernandez's first ejection since May 8 (Bob Melvin; QOC = N).

Wrap: Baltimore Orioles vs. Toronto Blue Jays, 6/21/13
Video: After Dickey and John Gibbons plead resulting in an overturn, Showalter tossed, goes berserk (BAL)

Thursday, June 20, 2013

MiLB Ejections Recap: Mid-June Update & Jon Byrne Ej

Time for another MiLB AAA umpire ejections update. Since June 6, Triple-A has experienced the following ejections (with the argument or reason for ejection in parentheses), thanks again to our AAA reporter Russ:

¤ HP Umpire Adam Hamari ejected PawSox P Allen Webster/M Gary DiSarcina (HBP after warnings), IL.
¤ HP Umpire Adam Hamari ejected Pawtucket Red Sox 1B Drew Sutton (arguing the Webster ejection), IL.
¤ HP Umpire Adam Hamari ejected PawSox Pitch Coach Rich Saveur (arguing non-ejection later in game), IL.
¤ HP Umpire Tom Woodring ejected Iowa Cubs C Steve Clevenger (Gerard Ascani check swing call), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Kellen Levy ejected Iowa Cubs Mgr Marty Pevey (arguing warnings after intent HBP), PCL.
¤ 1B Umpire Shaun Lampe ejected Iowa Cubs C Steve Clevenger (arguing HBP warnings), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Tom Woodring ejected Salt Lake City Bees DH Kole Calhoun (called third strike), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Jeff Andrews ejected Peoria Chiefs P Thomas Lee/M Dann Bilardello (intent HBP), PCL.
¤ 1B Umpire Stephen Barga ejected Sacramento River Cats LF Scott Moore (double play out call), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Brian Hertzog ejected Albuquerque Isotopes SS Justin Sellers/LF Jeremy Moore (fighting), PCL.
¤ 3B Umpire Hal "Tripp" Gibson ejected ALB Isotops M Lorenzo Bundy (fighting/brawl), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Greg Stanzak ejected Reno Aces CF Tony Campana (balls and strikes), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Gerard Ascani ejected Tacoma Rainiers 1B Rich Poythress (called third strike), PCL.
¤ 1B Umpire Stephen Barga ejected Las Vegas 51s LF Eric Campbell/M Wally Backman (USC-NEC), PCL.
¤ 1B Umpire Stephen Barga ejected Las Vegas 51s RF Andrew Brown (out call at first base), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Adam Schwarz ejected ALB Isotopes Manager Lorenzo Bundy (safe call at home plate), PCL.
¤ 1B Umpire Jon Byrne ejected Indianapolis Indians Mgr Dean Treanor (during pre-game conference), IL.
¤ 3B Umpire Sean Barber ejected Norfolk Tides Mgr Ron Johnson (obstruction call during rundown), IL.
¤ HP Umpire Max Guyll ejected Louisville Bats OF Felix Perez (balls and strikes), IL.
¤ HP Umpire Jon Saphire ejected Toledo Mud Hens Manager Phil Nevin (check swing strike call), IL.
¤ 1B Umpire Kellen Levy ejected Round Rock Express CF Engel Beltre (out call turned to advance), PCL.

* IL = International League / PCL = Pacific Coast League *

Our minor league featured ejection is 1B Umpire Jon Byrne's toss of Indianapolis Indians Manager Dean Treanor during the pre-game umpires' conference at home plate on Sunday June 16. Treanor was reportedly upset about a game-ending out call at first base on Saturday night and attempted to argue the call with plate umpire Doug Vines during the lineup card exchange. With two out and two on and the Durham Bulls leading Indianapolis 4-2 on Saturday night, Indians batter Jared Goedert grounded to Bulls second baseman Mike Fontenot, who threw to first baseman Vince Belnome ahead of Goedert for the final out of the ballgame.

Video: Treanor tries to reignite argument over a previous day's call and is sent back to the locker room (6/16)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cubby Call: Double Play Interference Ends Cubs-Cards

Umpire Fieldin Culbreth's interference call on Cardinals runner Shane Robinson ended Tuesday night's Cubs-Cardinals game in a textbook application of OBR Rule 6.05 under similar circumstances to CB Bucknor's game-ending interference call in Philadelphia on August 29, 2007. QOC for both calls? Absolutely correct.

Freese interferes with Castro on DP, ending game.
That day, it was Mets baserunner Marlon Anderson who slid into Phillies turn-man Tadahito Iguchi significantly wide of second base, preventing the tying run from scoring from third. At the time, crew chief Joe West explained, "Marlon Anderson went after the second baseman to break up the double play and did not, and could not reach the base, which is what he argued. He went out of his way to interfere with the play that created the interference. CB made a great call, made a gutsy call and he didn’t back down from the call at all."

Back to June 18, 2013, Cardinals batter David Freese, serving as the tying run, hit a roller to second base, Darwin Barney pitching to shortstop Starlin Castro as baserunner Robinson slid into Castro's person, as opposed to second base, effectively preventing Castro from throwing the ball onto first base, but drawing the interference call from Culbreth, resulting in Freese's third GIDP of the game.

Though argued vociferously on the field by Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny following the play, the skipper later admitted, "[Culbreth] made the right call." Starlin Castro's take, as the pivot man getting crashed, was more humorous: "[It wasn't] even close. I couldn't throw the ball because he tried to kill me."

In a more somber tone, Castro accused Robinson of sliding in "cleats up."

Robinson was still in shock: "It's a shame it had to end like that. I didn't think it was that bad of a slide. I didn't contact him at all. I was a little surprised, but it wasn't my call to make."

Video: Shane Robinson crashes the pivot man in a textbook case of 6.05 to end the ballgame (CHC)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

ESPN Baseball Quiz: Media Scores Low, Players Run Gamut

ESPN distributed a baseball rules quiz to 20 players, one manager, four coaches and seven media analysts in which the sports giant and former high school, college and independent leagues umpire Rich Marazzi conceptualized 10 plays that require a thorough understanding of the rules book to answer correctly.

Because the test was in true-or-false format, one might expect the average to be five (50%). Au contraire.
The UEFL's score. Gil sez, "Really, Aaron Boone?"

First, the score results.

Players: 5.5/10 average. Of the 20 players who took the exam, one (Brad Ziegler of the Diamondbacks) received a perfect score, while David Ross of the Red Sox scored 9/10, JJ Putz (Arizona) 8/10 and Andrew Bailey (Boston) 8/10. Low on the players' totem pole were Adam Dunn, Jimmy Rollins, Greg Burke, Jeremy Guthrie, Elliot Johnson, Skip Schumaker and Josh Collmenter (all 4/10) and Michael Young and Sam Fuld (3/10).

Ziegler, by the way, was drafted in the 2002 MLB Draft, though elected to return to Missouri State University for his senior year. He joined the Philadelphia Phillies after graduating. See, kids? Always stay in school.

Manager/Coaches: 6.6/10 average. Manager John Farrell (Boston) led the group with a 9/10 score, followed by Bob Geren with 8/10. Tom Foley and Derek Shelton (both Tampa Bay) bottomed out at 5/10, which is still more than the media's average and almost as high as the players' average.

Media: 4.4/10. Though's Dave Schoenfield (7/10) and Jayson Stark (6/10) led the pack, Tim Kurkjian and Doug Glanville (5/10) were the only other members of the media group to reach the coaches' minimum score. At the bottom of the pack were Jerry Crasnick (3/10) and Aaron Boone, who, with a one-out-of-10 score, should probably stay out of the rules game.

Fans: 3.7/10. Predictably the lowest rules knowledge lies with those not actually in the game of baseball.

Click here to take the quiz, here for the ESPN article and the "read more" link below for the correct responses with UEFL analysis and rules citations.

Monday, June 17, 2013

MLB Ejection 080: DJ Reyburn (2; Dale Sveum)

HP Umpire DJ Reyburn ejected Cubs Manager Dale Sveum for arguing a safe call in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Cubs-Cardinals game. With one on and two out, Cardinals batter Pete Kozma hit a 0-2 fastball
Sveum disputes Reyburn's ruling.
from Cubs pitcher Travis Wood on the ground to third baseman Luis Valbuena, who threw towards first base in an attempt to retire Kozma. The throw in the dirt was blocked by Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who then threw above catcher Welington Castillo's head and off of the backstop, where Castillo fielded the carom and threw to pitcher Wood, covering home, as Cardinals baserunner R3 Yadier Molina attempted to score. Replays indicate Wood's glove tagged Molina's upper thigh prior to Molina's left foot contacting the corner of home plate, the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Cardinals were leading, 3-0. The Cardinals ultimately won the contest, 5-2.

This is DJ Reyburn (70)'s second ejection of 2013.
DJ Reyburn now has 3 points in the UEFL (5 Previous + 3 AAA - 1 Penalty + -4 Incorrect Call = -2).
Crew Chief Fieldin Culbreth now has 1 point in the UEFL's Crew Division (1 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 1).

This is the 80th ejection of 2013.
This is the 35th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Cubs' 3rd ejection of 2013, 2nd in the NL Central (PIT 6; CHC 3; MIL, STL 2; CIN 0).
This is Dale Sveum's 3rd ejection of 2013 and first since June 1 (Joe West; QOC = N).
This is DJ Reyburn's first ejection since May 14 (Bob Melvin; QOC = Y).

Wrap: Chicago Cubs vs. St. Louis Cardinals, 6/17/13
Video: Incredibly sloppy play by Cubs capitalized by Molina slide into home plate, safe call and run (STL)
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