Saturday, July 27, 2013

Different Homer: Scully Grants Third Team Warm Reception

Vin Scully struck again Friday, praising another umpire for a superb call—this one going against his hometown Dodgers to deny Los Angeles its first run in a 0-0 ballgame and prompting an argument from LA manager Don Mattingly. Thanks to KJW for spotting the compliment du jour.

Scully received a standing ovation at
Dodger Stadium Thursday night.
On Thursday, it was Scully who received accolades and affection as the Dodgers celebrated a sold-out Vin Scully Bobblehead Night. Halfway through the game, the club aired a Scully tribute video and when it ended, fans broke into a round of thunderous applause and honored the veteran broadcaster with a minute-plus standing ovation. Even umpire Ted Barrett and his crew of Scott Barry, Mike Muchlinski and Alfonso Marquez saluted Scully for a good 30 seconds.

On Friday, it was Scully honoring the men in black.

With one out and two on (R1, R3) in the bottom of the 4th inning of a scoreless Reds-Dodgers game, Dodgers batter Juan Uribe hit a 3-2 fastball from Reds pitcher Homer Bailey on the fly to right field where it was caught by Jay Bruce and thrown home to catcher Corky Miller as R3 Hanley Ramirez ran from third base to score on the sacrifice fly. Replays indicate Miller missed an initial tag attempt as Ramirez missed home plate. Miller appeared to tag Ramirez's thigh upon an attempted return to touch home.

"High fly—this is going to be interesting—Hanley tags, Bruce with that good arm, here is the throw—up the line, no tag, but he missed home plate I think and he is out at the plate! Corky wouldn't give up. Hanley ran around, missed the plate and Corky came back and got him."

After Dodgers skipper Mattingly argued the call (and gestured wildly with repeated use of the "safe" mechanic) during the inning break, Scully turned his attention to plate umpire Alfonso Marquez:
Always talking about ballplayers—great hit here, great catch there—that was a great call by Alfonso Marquez, the plate umpire. Here is the strong throw by Bruce up the line. You will see no tag, but also no touch at home plate. Hanley was tagged on the foot and again on the leg and Marquez in perfect position...a perfect call by Alfonso Marquez. Way to go Alfonso! Marquez, umpiring in the big leagues for 14 1/2 years, he was born in Mexico and lives in Arizona. First ever Mexican born umpire to make it to the Major Leagues and after watching him circulate around home plate to make the call, you can understand why.
Marquez rules an out at the plate.
About Miller, Scully added: "And bless his mother's heart, with a middle name of Abraham, he can still run for president" though he also pointed out, "with a mustache like that, he could certainly be the villain."

Just as it is on the field and between the lines, for every erroneous broadcasting call (or two/few), there is a gem turned by a true Hall of Famer.

Video: With a gem turned by Cincinnati, the away broadcast calls Bruce and Miller's double play (CIN)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

MLB Ejection 104: Laz Diaz (2; Clint Hurdle)

1B Umpire Laz Diaz ejected Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle for arguing an out call in the top of the 7th inning of the Pirates-Nationals game. With two out and none on, Pirates batter Pedro Alvarez hit a 0-1 fastball from Nationals pitcher Craig Stammen on the ground to shortstop Ian Desmond for a single, retired at first base on
The Pirates argue with umpire Laz Diaz.
a tag by first baseman Adam LaRoche. Replays indicate after touching first base, Alvarez made a motion consistent with an attempt to advance (OBR Rule 7.08(j)), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Nationals were leading, 4-3. The Nationals ultimately won the contest, 9-7.

This is Laz Diaz (63)'s second ejection of 2013.
Laz Diaz now has 8 points in the UEFL (4 + 2 + 2 = 8).
Crew Chief Mike Winters now has 8 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (7 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 8).

This is the 104th ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 50th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Pirates' 7th ejection of 2013, 1st in the NL Central (PIT 7; CHC 4; STL 3; MIL 2; CIN 0).
This is Clint Hurdle's 4th ejection of 2013 and first since June 3 (Dan Iassogna; QOC = Correct).
This is Laz Diaz's first ejection since July 13, 2013 (Bud Black; QOC = Correct).

MLB Ejection 103: Chad Fairchild (6; Fredi Gonzalez)

3B Umpire Chad Fairchild ejected Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez for arguing a live ball (dead ball no-call) in the bottom of the 6th inning of the Braves-Mets game. With none out and one on, Mets batter David Wright hit
Fairchild ejects Fredi, Kellogg not amused.
a triple on a bounce to deep left center. Replays indicate after the ball bounced on the warning track, the ball bounced over the top of the outfield wall and touched the railing in dead ball territory, the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Mets were leading, 6-4. The Mets ultimately won the contest, 7-4.*

This is Chad Fairchild (75)'s sixth ejection of 2013.
Chad Fairchild now has 15 points in the UEFL (17 + 2 + -4 = 15).
Crew Chief Jeff Kellogg now has 7 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (7 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 7).
*A bounding double situation is not eligible for instant replay review, pursuant to Replay Rules governing boundary calls concerning HR/Not HR.

This is the 103rd ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 49th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Braves' 6th ejection of 2013, 1st in the NL East (ATL 6; WAS 5; NYM 4; MIA, PHI 2).
This is Fredi Gonzalez's 3rd ejection of 2013 and first since July 5, 2013 (Angel Hernandez; QOC = Y).
This is Chad Fairchild's first ejection since July 20, 2013 (Jayson Werth; QOC = Y).

Wrap: Atlanta Braves vs. New York Mets, 7/25/13
Video: Wright drives a deep fly ball to left center, resulting in an RBI triple after ball ruled in play (NYM)
Video: Gonzalez is ejected appealing to Fairchild, Kellogg after Reed Johnson stopped playing (ATL)

MLB Ejection 102: Mike Winters (2; Davey Johnson)

HP Umpire Mike Winters ejected Nationals Manager Davey Johnson ejected Nationals Manager Davey Johnson for arguing a strike three call in the bottom of the 5th inning of the Pirates-Nationals game. With two
Winters ejects Johnson for arguing a painted zone.
out and three on, Nationals batter Ian Desmond took a 3-2 fastball from Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located thigh high and over the outer edge of home plate (px 0.862), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Nationals were leading, 4-1.

This is Mike Winters (33)'s second ejection of 2013.
Mike Winters now has 8 points in the UEFL (4 + 2 + 2 = 8).
Crew Chief Mike Winters now has 7 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (6 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 7).

This is the 102nd ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 48th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Nationals' 5th ejection of 2013, T-1st in the NL East (ATL, WAS 5; NYM 4; MIA, PHI 2).
This is Davey Johnson's 1st ejection of 2013 and first since September 15, 2012 (Marvin Hudson; QOC = N).
This is Mike Winters' first ejection since May 26, 2013 (Kevin Frandsen; QOC = Y).

Wrap: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Washington Nationals, 7/25/13
Video: Nationals leave the bases loaded in the 5th that featured two looking strikeouts and a heave ho (WAS)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bernier Burned by Baserunning on Pseudo Infield Fly

At face value, an infield fly no-call during the Twins-Angels game Wednesday proved costly for Minnesota as a no outs, runners on first and second situation transformed into a two outs, runner on third situation after a weak pop fly, legal untouched drop and an ensuing 1-3-6-3 double play.

Runners hold as the ball falls untouched.
With none out in the top of the 9th inning, the Angels held a 1-0 lead while Minnesota threatened with R2 Clete Thomas (BB) and R1 Doug Bernier (HBP). With B1 Justin Morneau at the plate, Angels pitcher Ernesto Frieri fired a 1-0 fastball and induced a shallow pop up near the mound. Replays indicate Frieri allowed the ball to fall untouched, fielding it on the first bounce, and fired to first baseman Mark Trumbo to retire B1 Morneau. At this point, R1 Bernier was stuck between first and second base and, after an abbreviated run down, he was tagged out by Trumbo, R2 Thomas advancing to third on the play.

Oddly enough, had R1 Bernier held his position on first base throughout the play, he would have been safe.

Gardy discusses the play with Muchlinski.
Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire briefly argued the play with HP Umpire Mike Muchlinski. After a wayward fan ran onto the field before being tackled by ballpark security behind first base, Freiri struck out Chris Herrmann to end the game.

After the game, crew chief Ted Barrett told a pool reporter, regarding the pivotal double play: "That one definitely had enough arc, but the fielder has to get comfortably underneath the ball to catch it. That's the criteria that wasn't met."

Gardenhire rebuffed with: "There was a reason he wasn't camped underneath it. He was going to let it fall."

Nonetheless, Barrett alluded to the three considerations for an infield fly (since broken out into 1+3).
(1) Indicator: The rule applies only to situations in which first and second are occupied with less than two out.
** The bases may or may not be loaded, only so far as first and second are occupied at time-of-pitch (TOP) **

[Plus] (1) The batter must hit a fair fly ball, which is not a line drive or bunt (OBR 2.00 [FLY BALL]);
(2) That, in the umpire's judgment can be caught by an infielder (pitcher & catcher = infielders for this rule);
(3) With ordinary effort (skill exhibited compared to league average [OBR 2.00 [ORDINARY EFFORT]).

As color coded above, Barrett's statement indicates consideration #3 (in red) was not satisfied.

This is hardly the first time ordinary effort has caused confusion amongst teams and fans. As the 2012 NL Wild Card Game's infield fly call proved, the "comfortably underneath" principle, also cited as "camped" in some... camps... seems to garner the most misconception amongst those not on the third team.

Wrap: Minnesota Twins vs. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 7/24/13
Video: Frieri fields the bounce, leading to a double play after rookie Bernier takes off for second (LAA)

MLB Ejection 101: Dana DeMuth (1; Dale Sveum)

HP Umpire Dana DeMuth ejected Cubs Manager Dale Sveum for arguing a strike three call in the top of the 3rd inning of the Cubs-Diamondbacks game. With two out and two on, Cubs batter Cody Ransom took a 3-2
Sveum insults DeMuth's conduct and is tossed.
slider from Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located thigh high and over the inner half of home plate (sz_bot 1.600, pz 1.762; px -0.269) and that all callable pitches (three balls, one other strike) during the at bat were officiated correctly, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Cubs were leading, 1-0. The Diamondbacks ultimately won the contest, 10-4.

This is Dana DeMuth (32)'s first ejection of 2013.
Dana DeMuth now has 4 points in the UEFL (0 + 2 + 2 = 4).
Crew Chief Dana DeMuth now has 6 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (5 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 6).
*Sveum appears not to argue the pitch but DeMuth's behavior in simply watching Ransom walk away after Cody throws his bat and helmet to the side. Pursuant to precedent established by the UEFL Appeals Board in In re 011 Guccione 1 [also of Sveum], the reason for ejection is Ball/Strikes, thus correct.

This is the 101st ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 47th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the Cubs' 4th ejection of 2013, 2nd in the NL Central (PIT 6; CHC 4; STL 3; MIL 2; CIN 0).
This is Dale Sveum's 4th ejection of 2013 and first since June 17, 2013 (DJ Reyburn; QOC = N).
This is Dana DeMuth's first ejection since July 1, 2011 (David Price, Elliot Johnson; QOC = Y).

Wrap: Chicago Cubs vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, 7/23/13
Video: Sveum ejected after arguing DeMuth's conduct in watching Ransom throw equipment (CHC)

MLB Ejection 100: Gary Darling (3; Robin Ventura)

1B Umpire Gary Darling ejected White Sox Manager Robin Ventura for arguing an obstruction call in the top of the 1st inning of the Tigers-White Sox game. With one out and one on (R1), Tigers batter Matt Tuiasosopo swung at and missed a 3-2 cutter from White Sox pitcher Hector Santiago for a strikeout while R1 Torii Hunter
Hunter is obstructed via Dunn's impedance.
attempted to steal second base. White Sox catcher Josh Phegley threw the ball down to second baseman Jeff Keppinger who threw to first baseman Adam Dunn, who threw back to Keppinger who ran Hunter back to first base. Replays indicate Dunn positioned himself in such a way that impeded the progress of Hunter and that Dunn was not in possession of the ball nor in the act of fielding the ball at that time (OBR Rule 2.00 [Obstruction]), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the contest was tied, 0-0. The Tigers ultimately won the contest, 6-2.

This is Gary Darling (37)'s third ejection of 2013.
Gary Darling now has 8 points in the UEFL (4 + 2 + 2 = 8).
Crew Chief Gary Darling now has 2 points in the UEFL's Crew Division (1 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 2).

This is the 100th ejection of the 2013 MLB season.
This is the 46th Manager ejection of 2013.
This is the White Sox's 2nd ejection of 2013, T-4th in the AL Central (CLE 5; DET, KC 3; CWS, MIN 2).
This is Robin Ventura's 1st ejection of 2013 and first since September 22, 2012 (Ed Hickox; QOC = Y).
This is Gary Darling's first ejection since June 9, 2013 (Jose Bautista; QOC = Y).

Wrap: Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox, 7/23/13
Video: Unable to maneuver around the impeding Dunn, Hunter is awarded second on obstruction (DET)
Video: Ventura argues Dunn did not hinder Hunter and is thrown out on charges of Hawk's "BS" (CWS)
Video: During postgame remarks, Ventura implies Hunter abandoned his attempt to run the bases (0:53)

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

MiLB Update: Ejections, Wolf and Where is Angel Campos?

Another MiLB AAA umpire ejections update is upon us, courtesy of the @SportEjections twitter feed, the argument or reason for ejection in parentheses, thanks again to our AAA reporter Russ:

¤ 1B Umpire DJ Reyburn ejected Fresno Grizzlies P Dan Runzler, M Bob Mariano (safe call), PCL.``
¤ 3B Umpire Blake Davis ejected Iowa Cubs P Nick Struck (post-HBP warnings by PU Ryan Blakney), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Gerard Ascani ejected Albuquerque Isotopes Bench Player Ian Stewart (strike call), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Max Guyll ejected Louisville Bats 2B Henry Rodriguez (strike call [swinging K3]), IL.
¤ HP Umpire Travis Carlson ejected Syracuse Chiefs 2B Danny Espinosa (strike three call), IL.
¤ 1B Umpire Brad Myers ejected Pawtucket Red Sox Manager Gary DiSarcina (out call), IL.
¤ HP Umpire Pat Hoberg ejected Tacoma Rainiers Manager John Stears (strike three call), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Brandon Misun ejected Fresno Grizzlies CF Gary Brown (check swing strike), PCL.
¤ 1B Umpire Tripp Gibson ejected Nashville Redbirds P Travis Webb (fair ball grand slam home run), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Seth Buckminster ejected Toledo Mud Hens Manager Phil Nevin (check swing strike), IL.
¤ HP Umpire Scott Mahoney ejected Las Vegas 51s 3B Zach Lutz, Manager Wally Backman (strike 3), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Shaun Lampe ejected Tacoma Rainiers 2B Robert Andino (strikeout call), PCL.
¤ 3B Umpire Scott Mahoney ejected Tucson Padres Manager Pat Murphy (foul out catch call), PCL.
¤ 3B Umpire Brandon Misun ejected Sacramento River Cats 3B Scott Moore (safe call), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Seth Buckminster ejected Louisville Bats P Jose Diaz (throwing at/intentional HBP), IL.
¤ HP Umpire Jordan Ferrell ejected Tucson Padres P Coach Bronswell Patrick (unsportsmanlike-NEC), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Andy Dudones ejected Lehigh Valley IronPigs Manager Dave Brundage (strike three), IL.
¤ HP Umpire Max Guyll ejected Rochester Red Wings Manager Gene Glynn (ball call), IL.
¤ 1B Umpire Mark Ripperger ejected Iowa Cubs Pitching Coach Mike Mason (check swing [ball]), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Spencer Flynn ejected Las Vegas 51s 1B Ike Davis (balls and strikes), PCL.
¤ 1B Umpire Angel Campos ejected Salt Lake Bees Manager Keith Johnson (out call), PCL.^
¤ 3B Umpire AJ Johnson ejected Syracuse Chiefs DH Will Rhymes (Jon Saphire foul ball call), IL.
¤ HP Umpire Alex Ortiz ejected Round Rock Express C Jose Felix/M Bobby Jones (ball calls), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Stu Scheurwater ejected Nashville Sounds Manager Mike Guerrero (safe call), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire David Soucy ejected Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Manager Dave Miley (strike three call), IL.
¤ 3B Umpire Angel Campos ejected Colorado Springs Sky Sox Hitting Coach Dave Hajek (), PCL.
¤ HP Umpire Shaun Lampe ejected Memphis RedBirds RF Jamie Romak (strike three call), PCL.

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

``Featured Ejection: With two out and two on (R1, R2) in the 7th inning of the Grizzlies-Bees game, Bees batter Chris Nelson hit a ground ball to Grizzlies first baseman Todd Linden, who threw to Runzler, covering first base. Runzler missed tagging first base with his foot and Nelson was ruled safe upon running through the bag. With runners still moving across the basepaths, Runzler turned to Reyburn and vehemently argued the call while the ball was still live, allowing both R2 Matt Long and R1 Efren Navarro to score. Manager Mariano was ejected arguing the same play. When the argument started, the Grizzlies were leading, 7-6. When the argument ended, the Bees were leading, 8-7. The Bees ultimately won the contest, 9-7.``

Jim Wolf returned to Charlotte after a few days off, serving as first base umpire for Monday, July 22's Indians drubbing of the Knights, 17-1. When Charlotte took a road trip over the weekend, Wolf did not work.

^ Where is Angel Campos? Campos has not appeared in a Minor League box score since a Bees-Grizzlies series in late June; he has not worked a Major League regular season game in 2013. On Thursday, June 27, U1 Campos ejected Bees Manager Keith Johnson. Friday, June 28, 2013 is the last date Campos appeared in the PCL through July 22 [and counting] (Bees-Grizzlies, plate, with U1 Nick Bailey and U3 Greg Stanzak). On Saturday, June 29, Campos' expected U3 spot was occupied by Greg Schoonard (PU Bailey, U1 Stanzak). Schoonard remained at third base on Sunday until Lance Barrett joined Bailey and Stanzak in Las Vegas on Monday, July 1.

A local umpire from the Central Valley, California area, Schoonard has worked games in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and was selected to work the 2013 Babe Ruth World Series. In 2009, Schoonard umpired third base for a four-game 51s-Grizzlies series in Fresno with umpires Mike Muchlinski and Cory Blaser rotating back and forth between home and first (May 4-7, 2009); Muchlinski worked the MLB A's-Mariners game on May 3 while Blaser worked the Round Rock-Isotopes game in Albuquerque with Barry Larson [released post-2012] and Ron McCall [local New Mexico umpire who has worked collegiate games]). Has a midseason retirement befallen Campos a la PCL colleague Stephen Barga?