Saturday, November 28, 2015

Australian Baseball Ejections (x2) - Takahito Matsuda

An ABL batter made no attempt to avoid being touched by a pitched ball, resulting in a pair of ejections in Australia. HP Umpire Takahito Matsuda ejected Melbourne Aces 2B Tanner Vavra & Manager Joe Vavra for arguing a ball (no-HBP / failure to attempt to avoid a pitched ball) call in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Heat-Aces game. With none out and none on, Aces batter T Vavra took a 0-1 fastball from Heat pitcher Daniel Schmidt for a dead ball pitch ruled a ball. Replays indicate the pitch made contact with Vavra's left arm, but Matsuda ruled Vavra failed to attempt to avoid being touched by the ball, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejections, the Heat were leading, 4-1. The Aces ultimately won the contest, 5-4.

* OBR Rule 5.05(b)(2)(B) [formerly 6.08] states that the batter is entitled to first base when "he is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless the batter makes not attempt to avoid being touched by the ball." Replays indicate Vavra may have actually 'leaned in' to the pitch by extending his elbow toward home plate, but relevant for Matsuda's ruling is that Vavra simply made no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball.
Note: Contrary to the broadcasters' depiction, Matsuda ruled the pitch a ball, not a strike. Had the pitch been located within the strike zone, the proper call would indeed have been a dead ball strike.

Wrap: Perth Heat vs. Melbourne Aces (Australian Baseball League), 11/27/15
(Click the "read more" link for video of this play)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Australian Baseball Ejection - Bob Crawford (Non-INT)

Australian Baseball celebrated American Thanksgiving with an ejection for an interference no-call. 3B Umpire Bob Crawford ejected Bandits Manager Dave Nilsson for arguing a safe call (non-interference) in the bottom of the 6th inning of the Bandits-Blue Sox game. With none out and two on, Blue Sox batter Alex Howe hit a 1-1 fastball from Bandits pitcher Rick Teasley on the ground to second baseman Mitch Nilsson, who threw to shortstop Riley Unroe as R1 Joshua Strong arrived at second base, Unroe's attempted throw to first base bouncing off Unroe and deflecting into foul territory, allowing Howe to advance to second on the throwing error. Replays indicate Nilsson slid late, as in a rolling block, and did not attempt to reach second base, the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Blue Sox were leading, 3-1. The Blue Sox ultimately won the contest, 5-1.

*OBR Rule 5.09(a)(13) [formerly 6.05(m)] states that the batter is out when: "A preceding runner shall, in the umpire’s judgment, intentionally interfere with a fielder who is attempting to catch a thrown ball or to throw a ball in an attempt to complete any play." The rule's associated Comment states, "The objective of this rule is to penalize the offensive team for deliberate, unwarranted, unsportsmanlike action by the runner in leaving the baseline for the obvious purpose of crashing the pivot man on a double play, rather than trying to reach the base. Obviously this is an umpire’s judgment play."

As specified in the UEFL's October 11 analysis of Dodgers baserunner Chase Utley's takeout of Mets pivot man Ruben Tejada during Game 2 of the 2015 National League Division Series, willful and deliberate interference, as interpreted in the MLB Umpire Manual, occurs when a runner fails to make a "bona fide effort to reach and stay on the base." This is an additional criterion for willful/deliberate interference, which, when combined with the "should be able to reach the base with his hand or foot" guideline, and the rolling block guideline (contacting the fielder before sliding on the ground) confirm that R1 Strong's actions in the ABL game constituted willful and deliberate interference, and, thus, a double play. Note that in MLB/pro, there is no "mandatory slide" rule at second base: only the aforementioned criteria requiring a bona fide effort to reach and stay on the applicable base.

Wrap: Brisbane Bandits vs. Sydney Blue Sox (Australian Baseball League), 11/26/15
(Click the "read more" link for video of this play)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Final Results of the 2015 UEFL Rules Summit

The 2015 UEFL Rules Summit is complete and final results are available. Pursuant to UEFL Rules, the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces the following rules changes for the 2016 UEFL season. The results of the Summit have been referred to the UEFL Rules Committee for formal codification and adoption.

➤ 6-1: UEFL Challenges/Appeals will require a second in order to be reviewed; 73% Yes, 27% No.
➤ 6-1: UEFL Challenges/Appeals may be initiated by the UEFL Appeals Board; 54% Yes, 46% No.
➤ 6-2-b-5: Calls that may be associated with a QOCY or N will receive such status; 51% Yes, 49% No.
➤ 6-2-b-8: Appeals Board may initiate review of MLB Replay Review decisions; 51% Yes, 49% No.
➤ 8-1-h: Penalized commenters may apply for reinstatement; 53% Yes, 47% No.
➤ Appeals Board: Arik G; 81% Yes, 19% No.
➤ Appeals Board: cyclone14; 83% Yes, 17% No.
➤ Appeals Board: RichMSN; 93% Yes, 7% No.
➤ Appeals Board: tmac; 93% Yes, 8% No. (*92.5% and 7.5% were both rounded up to 93/8*)
➤ Appeals Board: Turducken; 87% Yes, 13% No.

2016 UEFL Appeals Board: Gil, Jeremy, RichMSN, tmac, Turducken, Arik G, cyclone14, [2 vacancies].

The following proposals did not receive an absolute majority of 'yea' votes and, therefore, did not pass:
➤ 1-3: Modification of drafted umpire structure; 38% Add ump, 12% +1 cc -1 PRM, 50% No.
➤ 3-3-a: Charge the Crew Chief -1 points per QOCN ejection; 36% Yes, 64% No.
➤ 4-7: Remove Replay Review from league scoring; 33% Yes, 67% No.
➤ 6-1: Institute an automatic QOC trigger based on Quick Vote; 22% Yes, 78% No.
➤ 6-2-b-1|2: Make all Borderline/MOE pitches QOCU [Irrecusable]; 48% Yes, 52% No.
➤ 6-2-b-5-b: Eliminate the DiMuro Rule regarding repeat visits; 46% Yes, 54% No.
➤ 8-5: Require a membership or entry fee; 21% Yes, 79% No.
➤ 8-6: Allow for trades during the season; 35% One Trade, 3% 2+ Trades, 62% No.

The following editorial change has been adopted:
➤ 2-b-1: Modifies the Kulpa Rule to reflect a 20" diameter of home plate, or a 0+.833 range, which corresponds to a |.750| to |.916| MOE range, centered at |.833| feet, which replaces |.768| to |.935|.

Thank you all for joining us for the 2015 UEFL season and participating in the year-end Rules Summit. For those sticking around this offseason, we'll continue bringing you ejections from the Fall and Winter Leagues, including the Arizona Fall League, Caribbean Winter Leagues, and Arizona Baseball League, posting video when available. Make sure to follow the @SportEjections twitter account for ejections in these and other major sport leagues. We are also working on a new educational component for the website and hope to have that launched by next UEFL season.