Saturday, November 2, 2013

MLB Tests Expanded Instant Replay at Arizona Fall League

MLB will conduct expanded instant replay testing at the Arizona Fall League during five games to be televised on MLB Network, starting Tuesday November 5. According to the terms of the test, plays during these games may be challenged pursuant to a modified version of MLB's 2014 plan: unlike the MLB plan, which includes a total of three challenges per game, per team, broken out into one for innings 1-6 and two for innings 7 and later, AFL managers will have an unlimited number of challenges at their disposal and MLB will encourage them to use the appeal system in order to provide MLB with a glimpse at the procedure.

When the AFL plays these games, plays other balls and strikes will be eligible for challenge and instant replay review; the challenges will not be decided in MLB headquarters in New York and relayed to the crew chief, as in the proposed MLB deal. Instead, challenges will be relayed to replay officials in-house, who will decide the calls at the Stadium. Statistics indicate of challenged calls, approximately one in five (20%) will be overturned, give or take several percentage points. For this reason, four of the five televised games next week will be played at the same facility.

Successful challenges do not count against the challenge limit, but unsuccessful challenges will result in the loss of one challenge. Furthermore, reviewable plays may not be argued while ineligible plays (pitches) may still be argued (albeit, by rule, such argument is an automatic ejection...). Because the AFL stadiums do not possess the grandfathered instant replay technology used by MLB stadiums for home run boundary calls, HRs will fall under the purview of eligible challenge plays.

MLB umpiring officials and select umpires themselves will be in attendance to observe the system at work.

Umpires assigned to the 2013 Arizona Fall League include (listed in alphabetical order):
Sean Barber, Seth Buckminster*, Jon Byrne, Tripp Gibson*, Jeff Gosney, Pat Hoberg, AJ Johnson, Gabe Morales, Jeff Morrow, Marcus Pattillo, Stu Scheurwater, Tom Woodring.
*Indicates 2013 MLB call-up umpire.

In a related story, umpires assigned to the 2013 Arizona Fall League All-Star Game (Fall Stars) include HP Umpire Sean Barber, 1B Umpire Tripp Gibson, 2B Umpire Pat Hoberg & 3B Umpire Tom Woodring.

Tune into MLB Network for the following games next week to see the real-world testing at work:
TUE 11/5, 6pm Pacific Time: Mesa Solar Sox vs. Salt River Rafters (Talking Stick);
WED 11/6, 6pm Pacific Time: Salt River Rafters vs. Scottsdale Scorpions (Scottsdale);
THU 11/7, 6pm Pacific Time: Scottsdale Scorpions vs. Salt River Rafters (Talking Stick);
FRI 11/8, 6pm Pacific Time: Glendale Desert Dogs vs. Salt River Rafters (Talking Stick);
SAT 11/9, 5pm Pacific Time: Peoria Javelinas vs. Salt River Rafters (Talking Stick).

News: Instant replays testing to be conducted at Arizona Fall League (MLB Press Release)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

UEFL Year End Award Nominations: 2013 Season

Award Nominations: As the 2013 season draws to a close, the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League prepares to distribute its Postseason Awards to eligible umpires* who, during the past season, have demonstrated significant performances to fit the terms of one of these awards (UEFL Rule 4-4).

a. Umpire of the Year (min. 1 / max. 1 umpire)
b. Noteworthy Umpire of the Year (min. 1 / max. 2 umpires)
c. Honorable Umpire of the Year (min. 0 / max. 2 umpires)
d. Fill-In Umpire of the Year (min. 0 / max. 1 umpire)
e. Most Improved Umpire of the Year (min. 0 / max. 1 umpire)
f. Crew Chief of the Year (min. 0 / max. 1 umpire)
g. Best Ejection of the Year (min. 0 / max. 2 ejections)
h. Worst Umpire of the Year (min. 0 / max. 1 umpire)

Please take your time in consideration of an umpire for as many or as few awards as you prefer; Ballots will be accepted until 11:59 PM PT on Tuesday, November 5; Awards distribution will begin Wednesday, November 6. To cast your ballot, click the below link ("Read more »") to view the entire post.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Forum: 2013 MLB World Series

As the 2013 World Series gets underway, we again open the umpire forum to discussion. Notes include home plate umpire performance according to pitch f/x and UEFL Rules 6-2-b-a (horizontal bound, "Kulpa Rule") and 6-2-b-b (vertical strike zone, "Miller Rule"). Plays include significant plays, if such plays occur. For future games, notes include home plate umpire probables. Call +/- also included/highlighted.

- 10/23, STL@BOS 1, HP Umpire John Hirschbeck: pfx (91/96 Balls, 48/56 Strikes = 139/152 = 91.4%) +1 STL.
- 10/24, STL@BOS 2, HP Umpire Mark Wegner: pfx (112/113 Balls, 45/50 Strikes = 157/163 = 96.3%) +0 NU.

- 10/26, BOS@STL 3, HP Umpire Dana DeMuth: pfx (110/114 Balls, 44/56 Strikes = 154/170 = 90.6%) +2 STL.
- 10/27, BOS@STL 4, HP Umpire Paul Emmel: pfx (111/113 Balls, 46/58 Strikes = 157/171 = 91.8%) +0 NU.
- 10/28, BOS@STL 5, HP Umpire Bill Miller: pfx (74/74 Balls, 35/44 Strikes = 109/118 = 92.4%) +0 NU.

- 10/30, STL@BOS 6, HP Umpire Jim Joyce: pfx (99/101 Balls, 45/52 Strikes = 144/153 = 94.1%) +2 BOS.
Series Complete: World Series Red Sox defeat Cardinals (4-2), net advantage St. Louis, +1 pitch (lost series)

- STL@BOS, WS 1: 2B Umpire Dana DeMuth overturns his erroneous out call; JH: "Our job is to get it right"
- STL@BOS, WS 1: 3B Umpire Paul Emmel rules Robinson safe at third after fielding error in left
- STL@BOS, WS 1: 1B Umpire Mark Wegner rules Freese safe on attempted assist by RF Victorino
- STL@BOS, WS 2: 1B Umpire Dana DeMuth calls Descalso out at first on an off-balance throw by Drew
- BOS@STL, WS 3: 3B Umpire Jim Joyce calls obstruction, DeMuth awards Craig the walk-off score
- BOS@STL, WS 4: 1B Umpire Bill Miller rings up Kolton Wong on Uehara pick off to seal Game 4
- BOS@STL, WS 5: 1B Umpire Jim Joyce rules Kozma out at first as David Ortiz fields Lester's throw
- BOS@STL, WS 5: HP Umpire Bill Miller bangs out Ross on lunging tag by Yadier Molina
- STL@BOS, WS 6: 1B Umpire John Hirschbeck calls Pedroia safe on Michael Wacha's pickoff attempt
- STL@BOS, WS 6: HP Umpire Jim Joyce calls Gomes safe on Victorino's bases clearing double