Thursday, December 29, 2016

Top 20 Ejections of 2016 - UEFL Year in Review

Presenting baseball's best ejections, this is the UEFL's Top 20 Ejections of 2016, a year in review. With assistance from voter input gathered during the 2016 year-end Awards Nomination process, we present the Top 20 Ejections of 2016.

*Quality of Correctness is provided in the following format: Y=Correct, N=Incorrect, U=Irrecusable.

Umpire Ejection Fantasy League Year in Review: The UEFL's Top 20 Ejections of 2016
Note: Click each umpire's name & ejection # to be taken to the associated ejection report from the season.
20: E-107|108: Mark Wegner (1-2); A's 1B Yonder Alonso & Mgr Bob Melvin (K3 Call; QOC = Y).
19: E-067: Tripp Gibson (1); Cubs Manager Joe Maddon (Check Swing Ball Four; QOC = N).
18: E-055: Dale Scott (6); Angels 3B Yunel Escobar (Strike Three Call; QOC = N).
17: E-088|089: Ben May (2-3); Pirates' Branson & Mgr Clint Hurdle (Strike One Call; QOC = Y).
16: E-127: Alan Porter (3); Astros 2B Jose Altuve (Strike Three Call; QOC = N).
15: E-010: Sean Barber (1); Padres LF Melvin Upton Jr (Strike Two Call; QOC = Y).
14: E-141: Mike Winters (3); Nationals RF Bryce Harper (Strike Three Call; QOC = Y).
13: E-023: Chris Guccione (1); Yankees Manager Joe Girardi (Balk No-Call; QOC = Y).
12: E-079: Mike Everitt (1); Braves Interim Manager Brian Snitker (Replay Review; QOC = Y-C).
11: E-024: Cory Blaser (1); Braves C AJ Pierzynski (Strike Three Call; QOC = N).
10E-087: Hunter Wendelstedt (2); Braves LF Jeff Francoeur (Replay Review; QOC = Y).
#9: E-062|063: Adam Hamari (1-2); Mets P Syndergaard, Mgr Collins (Throwing At; QOC = U).
#8: E-049: Doug Eddings (1); Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus (Strike Three Call; QOC = N).
#7: E-199: Jeff Kellogg (5); Mets Manager Terry Collins (Replay Review; QOC = Y).
#6: E-090: Bill Miller (2); Padres Manager Andy Green (Runner's Lane Interference NC; QOC = N-C).
#5: E-042-47: Scott & Iassogna; Blue Jays and Rangers (Fighting, Throwing At; QOC = U).
#4E-139: Scott Barry (3); Red Sox 3B Coach Brian Butterfield (Ball Two Call; QOC = Y).
#3E-032: Brian Knight (1); Nationals RF Bryce Harper (Strike Three Call; QOC = Y).
#2: E-142-145Mike Everitt (3-6); Tigers' Martinez x2, Joyner, Ausmus (Strike CallsQOC = & N).
HONORARY: Unofficial: Bob Davidson; Philly spectator (Vulgar/Obscene Conduct; QOC = U).
#1: E-159: Joe West (5); Cubs Manager Joe Maddon (Stalling/Pace of Play Enforcement; QOC = U).

Total Correct: 10.5 / Total Incorrect: 6.5 / Total Irrecusable: 3 = 61.8% Accuracy (Compare to 66.7% in 2015).

Links to previous year's Top Ejections countdowns: 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

ABL All-Star Game Umpires - Taka Leads Off

MiLB and veteran ABL umpire Takahito Matsuda served as All-Star Game crew chief in the Australian Baseball League's Summer (our Winter) Classic on Thursday, where he was joined by fellow ABL umpires Stewart Howe at first base, David Milton at second base, and Greg Howard at third base for the sixth annual World vs Team Australia All-Star Game at Melbourne Ballpark.

Streamed live on YouTube and simulcast on MLB Network, this season it was Team Australia that prevailed against a World All-Star Cast as the home team walked off for the second year in a row, drawing its historical record to 4-2 over the World.

Due to ABL's unique configuration as an international offseason league in partnership with Major League Baseball, the ABL All-Star Game features a World vs Australians matchup without regard to team affiliation (for instance, Aces pitcher Jeremy Guthrie played for the World squad while teammate Allan de San Miguel fielded the catcher's position for Team Australia).

The 2016 ABL All-Star Game is available on demand from ABL.TV on YouTube.

Friday, December 2, 2016

Non-Video ABL Ejections; Clark Ejected Twice

Melbourne's 11-inning victory in Game 1 of the Aces-Bite doubleheader wasn't televised, but featured two ejections, including one we would have especially liked to see. Adelaide also logged one ejection two games later, which we would really liked to have seen, in which Rangers prospect LeDarious Clark allegedly charged an opposing ABL player after Clark's time at bat.

Click here for the ABL homepage.
In the top of the 2nd inning, with one out and two on (R2, R3), Aces batter Josh Davies hit a ground ball toward shortstop Bite Josh Altmann, who was hindered in his ability to field the batted ball due to interference by Aces baserunner R2 Mike Walker. As the penalty for this brand of interference is a dead ball out, B1 Davies' award of first base due to the fielder's choice out, and the return of runner R3 Allan de San Miguel to third base, Aces Assistant Coach Damian Shanahan was ejected by Field Umpire Blake Halligan for arguing the interference call. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 0-0.

In the bottom of the 11th inning, with one out and none on, Bite batter LeDarious Clark was ejected by HP Umpire Ian Reval for arguing a strike two call: Clark drew a line in the dirt following the call. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 2-2. The Bite ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

During Adelaide's subsequent game against Canberra, Clark was ejected once again, this time by 1B Umpire Takahito Matsuda in the middle of the 6th inning after flying out to Cavalry first baseman Boss Moanaroa. According to the Cavalry, Clark was ejected for "charging down" Moanaroa as he attempted to field the pop fly. At the time of the ejection, the Cavalry were leading, 5-4. The Cavalry ultimately won the contest, 8-4.

The 2016/17 ABLTV schedule features one televised/streamed game per time slot, meaning that some ejections, such as those above, may not be available via video.

Wrap: Melbourne Aces vs. Adelaide Bite (Australian Baseball League), 11/26/16
Wrap: Adelaide Bite vs. Canberra Cavalry (Australian Baseball League), 12/2/16

Sunday, November 27, 2016

ABL - Trent Thomas Ejects Grattan in 32-Run Game

Australian Baseball League Umpire Trent Thomas ejected Sydney P Todd Grattan for throwing at Canberra batter David Kandilas in the midst of a 32-run ballgame at the maiden Wollongong Classic: that would be 21 runs for Canberra and 11 for Sydney; Blue Sox relief pitcher Grattan was thrown out of Sunday's game in the 8th inning, when the score was only 17-11.

With none out and none on in the top of the 8th inning, Cavalry lead-off hitter David Kandilas took a 3-0 pitch from Grattan for a called fourth ball, resulting in Grattan's ejection as the offending pitch sailed over Kandilas' head, after which the benches half-heartedly cleared. Grattan, who only faced batter Kandilas, was charged with one earned run when Kandilas subsequently scored on teammate Kyle Perkins' double off of emergency reliever Michael Campbell (position player pitching). At the time of the ejection, the Cavalry were leading, 17-11. The Cavalry ultimately won the contest, 21-11.

Trent Thomas previously ejected Blue Sox DH Trent D'Antonio in January for arguing a ball call.

Wrap: Sydney Blue Sox vs. Canberra Cavalry (ABL), 11/27/16 | Video via "Read More"

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Umpire Roberto Moreno Injured in Venezuelan League

Venezuelan Umpire Roberto Moreno suffered a head injury during a Venezuelan League game on Thanksgiving Thursday, reportedly losing consciousness as the result of a foul ball to his right jaw area. Moreno also officiated Triple-A's International League during the 2016 Minor League Baseball season.

Roberto Moreno, in his 2013 ejection of Asdrubal Cabrera.
Moreno served as home plate umpire during Thursday's Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional game between the Lara Cardinals and Margarita Braves when Cardinales batter Carlos Rivero fouled off pitcher Luis Ramirez's fastball into Moreno's traditional-style facemask, resulting in Moreno's collapse and subsequent delay during which paramedics placed Moreno on a stretcher; an Ovation Sports report stated that Moreno was admitted to a local clinic after losing consciousness as a result of the trauma.

MiLB's box score indicates that 2B Umpire Manolo Alejandro completed the game behind home plate, with corner umpires Jhonatan Biarreta (1B) and Osmel Pimentel (2B) joined by standby official Luis Gonzalez (2B).

Gonzalez and Heriberto Diaz subsequently joined Biarreta and Pimentel over the weekend (where the crew ejected three Lions and Tigers on Saturday, including Leones del Caracas 1B Coach Yorvit Torrealba, whose ejection was allegedly very demonstrative. Torrealba has a history of misconduct, including a 2013 ejection in which Torrealba shoved HP Umpire Dario Rivero Jr., which itself followed a 2012 histrionic ejection in Anaheim over a Tim McClelland safe call. If video surfaces of his most recent escapade, we'll share it).

Moreno is the sole Triple-A umpire on the 2016-17 Winter Leagues officiating roster.

Video: Plate umpire Moreno takes foul ball to face and must be removed from the game
A video posted by Beisbol Al Día (@beisbolaldia) on

Baseball Rules Guru Carl Childress Passes Away

Baseball Rules Differences author & umpire Carl Childress passed away over Thanksgiving week.

Longtime Rulebook Umpire Carl Childress has died.
Childress began officiating baseball in the 1950s—that would be his teens—and eventually worked his way into NCAA Division I baseball, at which time a March 1978 Referee Magazine article outlining 38 differences between Federation and Professional baseball led Childress to think about how to bridge the gap created by discussing the difference between high school and pro rules—which left college baseball out of the picture entirely.

As a rules educator, Childress had a way with words: humorous, while clearly and concisely conveying important concepts. Here is one of my favorite Childress-isms (from an article):
Here's what you're supposed to say on a foul ball: "Time!" Generally, we amateurs just say "Foul!" 
Here's what you're supposed to say on a fair ball: "            !" The blank space means you're supposed to say nothing. A friend read it and didn't get it.
Still from Officiating YouTube Video: Controlling the Game.
After joining Referee Magazine as a Contributing Editor in March 1982, Childress' first Baseball Rules Differences (BRD) took its initial form one year later as a short publication in Referee outlining the NCAA/Pro differences.

Since then, Childress wrote, edited, and otherwise journaled material for Referee,, and Childress' own He renamed the mechanic known as "Position 1" to the now-commonly used "Position A," served as a trainer in Texas, and—yes—continued working his slate of D1 college games. He collaborated with all manners of officials, and tabbed Hunter Wendelstedt as official OBR interpreter for his BRD, which he continued publishing annually through 2016.

Speaking to the longevity and gravitas of "Papa C" in baseball officiating circles, Carl's BRD reached 34 editions under his authorship: It is the UEFL's book of choice for deciphering rule differences for FED/NCAA/PRO Case Plays matters.

Carl Childress was 79 years old (April 23, 1937).

Thursday, November 24, 2016

2016-17 Winter League MiLB Umpire Rosters

Each year as part of the Minor League Baseball Umpire Development program, MiLBUD (formerly PBUC) supports certain umpires to develop and officiate in off-season professional leagues.

In October, Minor League Baseball assigned 12 umpires (nine PCL, three IL) to the 2016 Arizona Fall League (roster available via this link). AFL assignments have recently featured mid-to-high level Triple-A umpires on track for work at the Major League level (e.g., four 2016 AFL umpires also officiated MLB games in 2016).

Before getting that coveted AFL assignment and informal domestic tryout, many umpires—especially those from other parts of the globe—take the international route by officiating one of pro baseball's Winter Leagues. The following is a roster of the 2016-17 Winter League umpires and regular season dates. Our Minor League Scout MLBumpireobserver has additionally identified which of these officials also served in Minor League Baseball this past season; they are identified at the top of their respective league in bold text with their 2016 MiLB league in parentheses. Minor League Baseball officiating is most strongly represented this winter in the Venezuelan League with six umpires officiating that league's games:

Australian Baseball League (ABL, 11/17/16 - 1/29/17) - Two 2016 Minor League Umpires
Takahito Matsuda (Single-A, California League) - From Seiyo Ehime, Japan
Tom West (Single-A, South Atlantic League) - From Queensland, Australia
Barry Barnes
Riley Barrington
Andrew Bell
Lou Bonomi
Peter Bowie
Gavin Carson
Bob Crawford
Michael Cumming
Blake Halligan
Geoff Hallmann
Ryan Harder
Greg Howard
Stewart Howe
Paul Hyham
Greg Kent
Paul Latta
Michael Lyons
Mal Mackay
David Milton
Ian Reval
Brett Robson
James Shields
Payne Sowter
Jordan Taylor
Trent Thomas

Dominican Winter League (10/20 - 12/21/16) - One 2016 Minor League Umpire
Hardlen Acosta (Rookie Short, Gulf Coast League) - From Sanchez, Dominican Republic
Santo Castillo
Nelson De La Cruz
Juan Diaz
Felix Leguisamo
Verman Mejia
Miguel Mercedes
Domingo Paulino
Edward Pinales
Domingo Polanco
Juan Manuel Rodriguez
Santos Silvestre
Felix Tejada
Simeon Vasquez
Mariano Vizcaino

Puerto Rican / Roberto Clemente League (10/27 - 12/30/16) - Two 2016 Minor League Umpires
Jean JC Velez-Morales (Single-A, Carolina League) - From San Juan, Puerto Rico
Kelvis Velez Caminero (Rookie Short, Gulf Coast League) - From Ensenada, Puerto Rico
Kelvin Bultron
Delfin Colon* (Former MiLB and MLB Fill-In Umpire)
Jorge Davilla
Edwin Hernandez
William Lopez
Ivan Mercado
Vincent Morales
Carlos Rey
Charlie Rivera

Venezuelan Winter League (10/6 - 12/29/16) - Six 2016 Minor League Umpires
David Arrieta Quintero (Double-A, Southern League) - From Maracaibo Zulia, Venezuela
Gabriel Alfonzo (Rookie Short, Gulf Coast League) - From Guacara, Venezuela
Jhonatan Biarreta (Rookie Short, Gulf Coast League) - From Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela
Roberto Moreno (Triple-A, International League) - From Cumana, Venezuela
Jonathan Parra (Single-A, Carolina League) - From Valencia, Carabobo, Venezuela
Jorge Teran (Double-A, Eastern League) - From Barquisimeto, Venezuela
Manolo Alejandro
Heriberto Diaz
Mayhue Edwards
Luis Gonzalez
Juan Gomez
Edwin Jimenez
Emil Jimenez
Carlos Leal
Yosman Mendez
Jose Navas
Leo Nieves
Edward Pacheco
Osmel Pimentel
Jesus Santiago
Rainiero Valero

Mexican Pacific League (10/11 - 12/30/16)
Ulises Dominguez
Eliseo Favela
Jair Fernandez
Jaime Gutierrez
Demian Hernandez
Abraham Lopez
Jesus Lopez
Orlando Lopez
Roberto La Madrid
Socrates Marin
Oswaldo Meza
Marco Nava
Felipe Romero
Daniel Rubio
Michael Salazar
Pablo Soto

Hometown information is from

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

2016 Rules Summit - Results

The following contains results of the 2016 UEFL Rules Summit. Items which have gained passage (indicated in green highlight) will become rules for the 2017 UEFL season. Text of items which did not pass are indicated in red highlight.

Rule 1 - Selection of Umpires
Prop 1-1: Addition of Drafted Crew Chief - 46.2% YES.
> Would have increased total umpires drafted to six (2 cc + 2 PRM + 2 SEC); Crews continue to be 5.

Prop 1-2: Pre-Season Replacement due to Bereavement - 83.6% YES.
> Bereavement will be added as a reason for pre-season replacement in Rule 1-2.

Prop 1-5: Mid-Season Replacement - 61.8% YES.
> UEFL'ers may now replace an umpire midseason under certain circumstances with a replacement whose total points at the time of exchange are less than points held by the umpire to be replaced.

Prop 1-6: Manager Division - 29.1% YES.
> Would have incorporated the draft of one manager. Present rule (no managers) will be maintained.

Rule 2 - The Season
Prop 2-1: Monthly Phases - 54.0% YES.
> Seasonal phases will be realigned and replaced with monthly intervals.

Prop 2-x: Divisions and Trades - 18% YES/Divisional Trades & 12% YES/Narrow the Field.
> Would have split UEFL into Divisions and allowed trades within them; no trades will be permitted.
> Would have eliminated all but two UEFL'ers at ~ Game 130; no players will be eliminated.

Rule 3 - Crew Division
Prop 3-3: Penalty for Incorrect Ejection - 47.1% YES.
> Would have deducted one point (-1) for an incorrect crew ejection; zero points will be given to -cc.

Prop 3-7: All-Star Game Points - 66.0% YES.
> All-Star Game ejections and replay reviews will now count toward UEFL points and standings.

Rule 4 - League Scoring
Prop 4-2: QOC Component for Incorrect Ejections - 24.1% YES.
> Would have changed points for QOCN/Calling to -6 and /Crewmate to -4; Points continue to be -4/-2.

Prop 4-4i: Fill-In Umpire Award Eligibility - 50.9% YES.
> Fill-In umpires may now be written in for all Year-End Awards (except for Crew Chief of Year).

Prop 4-4ii: Award Voting Procedure - 55.4% YES/As is + Commish & 25% YES/Restrict Voting.
> Commissioner is now authorized to review and modify suspicious votes; no restrictions will apply.

Prop 4-4-b: Promising Umpire of the Year - 87.0% YES.
> "Noteworthy Umpire of the Year" is renamed & hereby known as "Promising Umpire of the Year."

Prop 4-4-i: Most Declining Umpire of the Year - 75.4% YES.
> "Most Declining Umpire of the Year" Award will be added to the Year End Award list.

Prop 4-5: Blind Case Play Requirement - 42.6% YES.
> Case Plays continue to be set to public or private, subject to Commissioner discretion.

Prop 4-8: Waiver of Points - 35.7% YES.
> No rule will be added to the UEFL Rule Book to address the issue of a member waiving points.

Prop 4-9: Community Contribution Points - 37.5% YES.
> Would have allowed awarding of contrib. points throughout yr; no such points will be authorized.

Rule 6 - Challenges and Appeals
Prop 6-2-b-5i: Throwing At Ejection QOC - [49.2% for all YES options, combined].
> Would have determined Throwing At QOC differently; such ejections will continue to be QOCU.

Prop 6-2-b-5ii: Check Swing Ejection QOC - [45.6% for all YES options, combined].
> Would have changed Check Swing QOC; such ejections continue to be Appeals Board-referred.

Prop 6-2-b-5-b: Ripperger Rule - 77.2% YES.
> Refers all disputed reasons-for-ejection to the UEFL Appeals Board (no challenge required).

Prop 6-2-b-6: QOC During Replay/Meeting - 83.0% YES.
> Changes the language of 6-2-b-6 and -7 to bring rules closer together.

Rule 8 - Umpire Odds & Ends and Community Issues
Prop 8-1: Restrict Commenters - 47.3% YES.
> Would have required all commenters register with DISQUS; guests will still be allowed.

UEFL Personnel Issues
tmac as Assistant Commissioner - 86.8% YES.
> tmac is now the UEFL Assistant Commissioner.

Appeals Board Charter Members - 60.8% YES.
> Board Charter Members will have permanent seats on Appeals Board (only applies to RichMSN).

UEFL Appeals Board (The Following Members Sought Re-Election to the Appeals Board)
Arik G - 75.0% YES. Arik G has been re-elected to the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board.
cyclone14 - 75.5% YES. cyclone14 has been re-elected to the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board.
Dennis - 68.8% YES. Dennis has been re-elected to the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board.
MarkCanada - 71.2% YES. MarkCanada has been re-elected to the 2017 UEFL Appeals Board.
RichMSN - 86.8% YES. VOID - Charter Member vote supersedes this re-election vote.
tmac - 92.5% YES. VOID - Assistant Commissioner vote supersedes this re-election vote.

Friday, November 18, 2016

2016 UEFL Rules Summit Ballot and Voting

Voting is now open for the 2016 UEFL Rules Summit, following our discussion phase.

The following ballot includes a list of proposals for the 2017 UEFL Rules, including descriptions of each measure and the opportunity to cast a vote. Upon Commissioner approval, all proposals receiving a majority of votes, or a plurality where prescribed by Rule 8-3, will become rules for the 2017 UEFL season.

The Rules Summit ballot will close Tuesday, November 22, at 11:59 pm PT. A run-off ballot and/or election, if necessary will follow.

The 2016 Rules Summit includes 21 Rules proposals, one personnel issue, and six Appeals Board retention polls. Carefully consider the below options before submitting your ballot. You may vote in as many or as few polls as you wish; we will review voting records to determine ballot authenticity and adjust the record accordingly to account for suspicious or fraudulent activity or conduct. Click "read more" to access the ballot.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Former AL Umpire Mark Johnson Passes Away

20-year American League umpire Mark Stephen Johnson passed away on October 26, 2016 in Hawaii, reportedly as the result of a heart attack. He was 65 years old and would have turned 66 on Friday.

Card for AL Umpire Mark Johnson
Born on November 18, 1950 in Louisville, Kentucky, Johnson hired into the Gulf Coast League in 1971, whereupon he traveled through the Florida State, Southern, and Pacific Coast Leagues before promoting to the AL full-time in 1984, having served as a fill-in since his first big league game in August 1979.

Johnson, who ejected 43 players and coaches in his 1,994 regular and postseason games, officiated the 1996 American League Division Series, 1991 League Championship Series, 1993 World Series, and 1990/'99 MLB All-Star Game, before the umpires' collective bargaining strategy cost him his job midway through the 1999 season.

Following his retirement, Johnson moved to Oahu.

In December 2004, Johnson was awarded $325,000 from baseball as part of a settlement that saw three umpires rehired (Bob Davidson, Tom Hallion, Ed Hickox), and six more receive severance pay and health benefits (Jim Evans, Dale Ford, Eric Gregg, Ken Kaiser, Johnson, Larry McCoy).

Johnson, whose obituary was published this weekend in the Honolulu Star Advertiser, died in Oahu, Hawaii and leaves behind wife Lilia and son Kyle.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Arizona Fall League Experiments with Mud-less Baseball

Baseball used the 2016 Arizona Fall League to try out a new kind of baseball that doesn't require a pre-game mud-rub, which might come as a welcome sign for the progressively inclined, while signaling a departure from tradition for that which is considered "old school" with the nearly 75-year use of New Jersey's Lena Blackburn Baseball Rubbing Mud.

According to's Jim Callis, reporting from the AFL's Salt River Fields in Scottsdale, baseball selected several games at Salt River in which the League swapped out the traditional mud-treated balls with the new, "tackier," factory-treated model in a limited test of new technology.

In speaking with several AFL players, Callis drew the following observations:
> Comparable in performance, including StatCast spin rate and similar measurements, to current ball;
> Untreated ball is slippery, but pitchers say that applying rosin to the ball is enough to neutralize this.
> Seams are less prominent than on the ball currently used in Major and Minor League Baseball.

Benefit for Pitchers:
> Ball appeared to give more life to sinkers, cutters, and breaking ball action.

Benefit for Hitters:
> Ball appeared brighter due to lack of mud, increasing visibility at home plate;

Saturday, November 12, 2016

2016 UEFL Rules Summit Discussion

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces its 2016 Rules Summit, the annual forum for discussion of controversial issues which may have surfaced during the past season and to set forth a framework for rectifying these issues by amending the existing UEFL Rules Book ahead of the 2017 UEFL season.

This discussion thread is an open forum for proposal, discussion and debate of potential rules changes. This thread will remain open through Thursday, November 17, which will provide ample time for the proposal and subsequent discussion of possible rules changes for the 2017 season. If necessitated by certain below decisions, a Summit runoff ballot may be presented after the initial voting closes.

You may propose a rules change by replying in a comment to this post. I will accordingly update the list below to reflect such proposals. Nonmaterial proposed modifications are underlined, deletions are strikeout and material additions are bold. Individual propositions are preceded by the ">>" bullet point symbol.

Rule 1 (Selection of Umpires)
>> 1-1-b. ...Six umpires shall be drafted by each UEFL member in the form of two (2) crew chiefs per Rule 1-2...
ALSO Rule 1-2. Prior to the beginning of the year's regular season, and during the spring training period of the pre-season, each member of the league shall select two MLB crew chiefs to serve as UEFL crew chiefs.
RATIONALE: Proposal affords members opportunity to draft a second crew chief, for a UEFL crew of six.
>> 1-2-b. In the event of injury to the designated crew chief, wherein the chief is officially placed on the Disabled List or on Bereavement, the replacement umpire shall be whoever is appointed by MLB to replace the injured umpire as crew chief or acting crew chief of his MLB crew. This announcement must be public and requested by the affected UEFL member(s) to take effect.
RATIONALE: Adds bereavement as a condition of replacement for events that occur prior to the beginning of the year's regular season (applicable to Crew Division).
>> 1-5. If an umpire injury, bereavement, or significant personnel modification occurs prior to the beginning of the regular season, the Office of the UEFL Commissioner may authorize designated affected members the opportunity to alter their Crew, Primary and/or Secondary Umpires.
RATIONALE: Adds bereavement as a condition of replacement for events that occur prior to the beginning of the year's regular season (applicable to all drafted umpires).
>> 1-5-a. If a significant personnel modification (hiring, firing, release or retirement, except as exempted by Rule 1-4-d) occurs after the pre-season, no UEFL roster may be modified, unless such modification would result in the requesting member losing points in the UEFL Standings as the replacement umpire's score fully (and retroactively) replaces the injured/fired/etc. umpire's score. For instance, Members X, Y, and Z have all drafted identical crews that include Primary Umpires A and B, Secondary Umpires C & D, and Crew Chief E. One week into the season, Umpire A suffers a catastrophic injury. At the time of A's season-ending injury, A has 5 points in the UEFL Standings. Member X requests to replace Umpire A with Umpire F, while Member Y requests to replace Umpire A with Umpire G and Member Z requests replacement of A with H. At the time of this request, F has 4 points in the UEFL Standings, G has 5 points in the UEFL Standings, and H has 6 points in the UEFL Standings. RESULT: Member X's request shall be granted and Member Y/Z's request shall be denied. X's request is legal, as proposed replacement Umpire F has fewer UEFL points than does injured Umpire A; Y and Z's requests are illegal, as proposed replacement Umpires G and H do not have fewer UEFL points than does injured Umpire A at the time of replacement.
APPROVED RULING: If Umpire G subsequently effects an ejection with QOCN, and loses UEFL points such that G now has fewer points than injured Umpire A, Y's request to replace A with G will be granted only if Y files a new request to replace A with G at a time when A's UEFL points are greater than G's.
RATIONALE: Allows a member to replace a significantly injured, fired, or otherwise absent umpire during the regular season, while ensuring that this transaction does not create an unfair advantage for the member requesting such a replacement.
>> 1-6. Members may also draft one manager to complete their crew. Managers shall receive +1 points for an incorrect ejection, +1 points for an overturned Replay Review, and +0 points for all other actions.
RATIONALE: Introduces Manager Division to the UEFL.

Rule 2 (The Season)
>> 2-1-a. The following phases of the season shall be used to organize ejection statistics. Standings and sabermetrics shall be posted at the conclusion of Phases (ii), (iii), and (v) monthly, with Final Standings to be posted at the conclusion of the UEFL season.
(1), (2), (3), (4), (5), and (6) shall be eliminated.
RATIONALE: Eliminates a confusing 'seasonal phases' structure wherein phases were created ambiguously and replaces it with a much easier to understand monthly reporting period.
>> 2-1-a-(2) APPROVED RULING. If Opening Night (one or two games) is in one month and Opening Day (six+ games) is in another, the following month governs. Opening Day is defined as the first calendar day upon which at least half of all teams have played at least one game.
RATIONALE: The concept of an Opening Night with one or two games is no longer accurate to modern schedules, as for a second consecutive season there will be more than two games on the Sunday in which the traditional Opening Night game is held.
SPECIAL VOTING CONSIDERATIONS FOR 2-1-a and 2-1-a-(2) AR: If proposal 2-1-a is approved, proposal 2-1-a-(2) is nullified.
>> 2-5. In the event of an umpire entering the DL or otherwise becoming absent and remaining on the DL absent for the remainder of the season...
RATIONALE: Applies Rule 2-5 to any injured/bereaved/absent umpire, regardless of the reason for vacation.

Rule 3 (Crew Division)
>> 3-3. Each non-incorrect ejection committed by a UEFL crew chief's crew shall result in the addition of one (1) point toward a UEFL member's overall score. Each incorrect ejection under a crew chief's purview shall result in the deduction of one point (-1) from that UEFL score.
RATIONALE: Proposes that crew chiefs should be penalized for incorrect ejection calls, just as the ejecting umpire is.
>> 3-7. Special Events Limitation. Points may not be accrued for crew division during the All-Star Game, any AL/NL Wild Card or Divisional Tiebreaker contest, nor any other non-postseason special event as defined by MLB.
ALSO Rule 2-2-a. The All-Star game counts as 1 additional point for each umpire that appears in that game. The All-Star Game crew chief receives a total of 2 points for this appearance. No points are awarded for ejections are during the All-Star game period.
RATIONALE: Removal of 3-7 allows Umpires to earn ejection and replay review points for events that occur during the All-Star Game, and any additional AL/NL Wild Card or Division Tiebreakers played to determine standings for the postseason (e.g., "Game 163").

Rule 4 (League Scoring)
>> 4-2. QOC component...(3) -4 -6 points for each ejection [QOCN / Calling]...(4) -2 -4 points for each ejection [QOCN / Crewmate].
RATIONALE: Creates a more severe punishment for incorrect ejections such that correct calling = +4 (total) and incorrect call = -4 (total).
>> 4-4. Fill-In umpires that work a minimum of 115 games over the course of the season shall be eligible to receive awards a-e, and g-h.
RATIONALE: Grants Triple-A status umpires eligibility to receive every UEFL award, other than Crew Chief of the Year.
>> 4-4. Postseason Award voting shall be restricted to UEFL members who have drafted umpires.
RATIONALE: Allows only those who have drafted umpires/vested interest to vote for year-end awards.
>> 4-4-b. An umpire recognized as Promising Umpire Noteworthy Umpire of the Year (min. 1 / max. 2 umpires) will receive 3 bonus points.
RATIONALE: Changes title of award to better exemplify this award description, which states: "This Umpire has been dedicated, professional, and has worked hard. Perhaps a rising star, the Promising Noteworthy Umpire of the Year is an umpire to keep an eye on, for an expectation of great things down the line. This award will be given to one or two umpires."
>> 4-4-i. An umpire recognized as Most Declining Umpire of the Year (min. 0 / max. 1 umpire) will receive -1 bonus points.
RATIONALE: Reintroduces "Most Declining Umpire" award for an umpire whose performance has declined or regressed more than any other, without necessarily being the worst in the league.
>> 4-4-j. The Commissioner shall review voting for quality assurance and to prevent spam/manipulation, and may adjust the voting results to account for this. The adjustment may only be made by removal of the entire selection associated with the offending ballot(s).
RATIONALE: Formally states the Commissioner may take measures to reduce fraudulent/manipulative voting by removing from the ballot pool violative ballots that show signs of spam or similar inauthentic properties, including but not limited to clear duplicates (identical ballots filed within a very short amount of time of each other) and multiple voting by the same user. May impose a restriction that restricts individual users from voting more than once.
>> 4-5. In the interest of fairness, all responses may, at sole discretion of the Commissioner, shall remain in moderation (screened or invisible) until the submission period has closed. Case plays will be worth a maximum of however many points are specified in the “Case Play: __” post.
RATIONALE: Requires that all Case Plays remain in moderation until completion. Prohibits public discussion until the Case Play submission period has closed.
>> 4-8. Waiver. UEFL members may voluntarily waive points they would otherwise ordinarily be entitled to, excluding ejection and replay-related points.
RATIONALE: Codifies a decision from CP 2014-4 in which a member waived Case Play points.
>> 4-8 (or 4-9). Commissionner or designee may award +1 points with a maximum of five awarded points weekly for contributions to the community that go above and beyond the scope of necessity.
RATIONALE: Authorizes Commissioner to award points for discussion or contributions.

Rule 5 (Statistics)

Rule 6 (Challenges and Appeals)
>> 6-2-b-5. The Quality of Correctness for all ejections for reasons of Fighting, Throwing At, Unsportsmanlike Conduct-NEC, or Excess Contact shall be adjudged as "Irrecusable" by default, unless there is clear and convincing evidence to suggest otherwise; however, proving "Incorrect" status for Fighting, Throwing At, Unsportsmanlike Conduct-NEC, or Excess Contact is extremely difficult. Ejections for Throwing At shall be judged as Correct, and ejections for throwing equipment shall be judged individually with no such default status.
RATIONALE: Proposal would make Throwing At ejections QOCY by default.
>> 6-2-b-5. The Quality of Correctness for all ejections for reasons of Check Swings...shall be adjudged as "Irrecusable" by default...[Editorial Change would then eliminate 6-2-b-5-c. Ejections for the reason of “Check Swing” shall, automatically, be referred to the UEFL Appeals Board for QOC determination. No UEFL Challenge shall be accepted for any such ejection.]
RATIONALE: Proposal adds Check Swings to the list of Reasons for Ejection that would receive QOCU by default.
>> 6-2-b-5-b. Ejections resulting from a Repeat Visit argument (formerly, "DiMuro Rule") of an individual not on the active roster shall receive a QOC associated with the Quality of the call leading to ejection, as in 4-2-b. If, due to the time between the initial call and associated ejection, reason for ejection is in dispute or otherwise unclear, the matter shall be referred to the UEFL Appeals Board, as in 6-1-c. This may be referred to as the "Ripperger Rule."
Approved Ruling: The UEFL Appeals Board shall determine QOC (and ejector classification, if applicable) based on the most probable reason for ejection. If two or more calls are at issue, and these calls possess conflicting QOC or classification values, or if no reason for ejection is most probable, the Board may rule the play Irrecusable (if QOC) or Calling (if Classification).
RATIONALE: Establishes procedure for disputed ejections that may be for an earlier incident.
>> 6-2-b-5-c. The standard for determining whether a Check Swing ruling was correct shall be whether the bat was moving forward as the ball crossed the plate.
RATIONALE: Establishes a specific physical criterion for determining check swing QOC.
>> 6-2-b-6. Quality of Correctness that occurs prior to or during the course of umpire consultation or instant replay review, wherein the initial call was incorrect, and after consultation, the correct call was made, shall be incorrect. Quality of Correctness for all other ejections prior to consultation changed during of after consultation/review, shall be adjudged as correct by the correctness of the initial call; AND
6-2-b-7. Quality of Correctness for an ejection that occurs after umpire consultation or instant replay review, wherein the initial call was correct or incorrect, and after consultation, the initial call was changed to incorrect or correct, changed during or after consultation/review, shall be adjudged as to whether the call after consultation or challenge/review is correct/incorrect by the correctness of the call after consultation/review.
RATIONALE: Brings the wording of the two rules closer. Closes the loophole in which an incorrect call remaining incorrect would still result in QOCY in some circumstances.

Rule 7 (Unresolved Classifications and References)

Rule 8 (Umpire Odds & Ends and Community Issues)
>> 8-1. Comments shall be restricted to members registered with the DISQUS commenting platform.
RATIONALE: Reduces likelihood of spam, violative, and/or trolling comments.

Rule 9 (Unaddressed and Authorized Provisions)

The Rules Summit ballot will also contain a section for re-election/retention of UEFL Appeals Board members who have chosen to sit for re-election during this Rules Summit, as afforded by UEFL Rule 6-4-a-4. Refer to the following link for 2016 UEFL Appeals Board decisions.

Consideration shall be made for the promotion of tmac to Assistant Commissioner.

To review, this is the discussion phase of the 2016 Rules Summit—no voting will take place here. Anyone may propose a rules change by replying to this post through 11/17, at which time the discussion will be closed and all proposals will be officially drafted and voted upon.

Friday, November 11, 2016

2016 UEFL Final Standings and Perfect Crew

With our final award in the books, the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces final standings for the 2016 season. The "Perfect Score" this season was 105 while the "Worst Score Possible" was -59.

Perfect Score and Worst Score are calculated using the highest, or lowest, points possible per draft category to form the "Perfect" (highest-scoring) and "Worst" (lowest-scoring) crews.

2016 Perfect Crew: 105 = Jeff Kellogg OR Mike Winters -cc + Pat Hoberg -P1 + Will Little -P2 + Alan Porter -S1 + Sam Holbrook -S2 = 14 + 29 + 24 + 19 + 19 = 105.
2016 Worst Crew: -59 = Fieldin Culbreth -cc + Jerry Meals -P1 + Laz Diaz -P2 + Dan Iassogna -S1 + Lance Barrett -S2 = -11 + -14 + -8 + -14 + -12 = -59.

Jeff Kellogg led the 2016 "Perfect Crew."
UEFL Final Standings (Ties resolved per Rule 5-3)
1) Denny Crane (69 pts).
2) BSBALLUMP (69 pts).
3) fvb6 (64 pts).
4) Arik_G (60 pts).
5) Bigwillystylepa (60 pts).
6) SALjones (56 pts).
7) Big Catch 22 (56 pts).
8) cyclone14 (53 pts).
9) CohenS3 (52 pts).
10) GDK Team Blue, XtremeUmp (51 pts).
12) Bob Abouy, Nasa (50 pts).
14) Blindref757 (49 pts).
15) BkSl14812, dbellyflop (48 pts).
17) Jmatztheump, RolBama24 (47 pts).
19) Qdog915, zebrastripes (46 pts).
21) Bjweig01, HubFlyer, johnnyg08 (44 pts).
24) jdbr78 (43 pts).
25) dtak248, Jeremy407, KTurner14, tjwoelfel13 (42 pts).
29) bwburke94, Conor Stevens (41 pts).
Full Final Standings, points, and results are available via the UEFL Portal: 2016 Standings page.

UEFL Express Final Standings (Umpire Draft Points Only, No Case Plays)
1) BSBALLUMP, Denny Crane (69 pts).
3) fvb6 (64 pts).
4) Arik_G, Bigwillystylepa (60 pts).
6) Big Catch 22, SALjones (56 pts).
8) GDK Team Blue, XtremeUmp (51 pts).
10) cyclone14, Bob Abouy, Nasa (50 pts).

The Rules Summit will begin tomorrow.

2016 UEFL Umpire of the Year - Chris Guccione

Chris Guccione is the UEFL's (Best) Umpire of the Year for 2016 [2015: Alfonso Marquez].
Voting Results (Top 5): Guccione (15%), Hirschbeck (14%), Holbrook (8%), Kellogg/Wolf (7%).

Chris Guccione wins the UEFL Umpire of the Year Award for 2016, which marks his third overall UEFL year-end award (Noteworthy Umpire of the Year: 2011 and 2012). In his 17th overall season calling big league games, 'Gooch' issued two ejections and had seven of his several-thousand calls overturned by Replay Review, which tied for 30th out of 90 umpires in the League (22nd in MLB when adjusting for Triple-A's, who worked a reduced schedule). He capped the year with postseason assignments to the National League Division Series and the 2016 World Series, his first-ever Fall Classic and seventh consecutive postseason (2010-16), where he called balls and strikes for Game 2 and the second-best performance of the seven-Game series, prompting the prognosticative comment, "Guccione may be winning the umpire of the year award with his postseason."

Chris Guccione now has 19 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (14 Previous + 5 Award = 19).
Final Standings will be released later tonight.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

2016 Ejections of the Year - Joe West & Bob Davidson

Joe West & Bob Davidson had 2016's Best Ejections [2015: Bill Welke & Jim Reynolds].
Voting Results (Top 4): West-159 (23%); Davidson-FAN (16%); Everitt-142|5 (13%); Gorman-006 (9%).

Click here for West/Maddon & video.
Joe West and Bob Davidson were the two umpires with the UEFL's Ejections of the Year for 2016. In Ejection 159 - Joe West (5; Joe Maddon), HP Umpire Joe West ejected Cubs Manager Joe Maddon after enforcing certain pace-of-play procedures pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 5.10(l), which states, "Any attempt to evade or circumvent [the maximum of one mound visit per batter] rule by the manager or coach going to the catcher or an infielder and then that player going to the mound to confer with the pitcher shall constitute a trip to the mound." In the 9th inning, Cubs pitcher Kyle Hendricks surrendered a home run—breaking up a no-hitter and shutout—after which Cubs catcher Miguel Montero visited Hendricks on the mound and returned to home plate. Upon his return to home plate, several Cubs infielders subsequently visited Hendricks on the mound as substitute pitcher Aroldis Chapman began to warm in the bullpen; West attempted to break up the delay and/or charge a mound visit if the meeting was not broken up, pursuant to Rule 5.10(l), leading to Maddon's argument and ejection. Chapman subsequently entered the ballgame.

Click here for Davidson/Fan & video.
In an Unofficial Ejection of a Fan on August 2, Bob Davidson requested the removal of a spectator in Philadelphia after witnessing a purported vulgarity or obscenity, marking the first publicized umpire's request to remove a fan during play since Tim Welke's ejection of a Bryce Harper heckler in 2014. Davidson's request to remove the fan is permissible pursuant to OBR 8.01(b), which states, "Each umpire is the representative of the league and of professional baseball, and is authorized and required to enforce all of these rules. Each umpire has authority to order a player, coach, manager or club officer or employee to do or refrain from doing anything which affects the administering of these rules, and to enforce the prescribed penalties." Accordingly, Davidson was indeed authorized to order Phillies security—a club officer or employee—to remove the fan, whose conduct Davidson had deemed was in contravention of the conduct of a game, in accordance with baseball's rules. After the game, Davidson summed up the crowd's reaction thusly, "I turned around and said, 'You know what, get rid of this guy.'...People cheered me, which is unusual in this town for me." Davidson retired last month after a 28-year Major League career.

Joe West now has 24 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (23 Previous + 1 Award = 24).
Bob Davidson now has -4 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (-5 Prev + 1 Award = -4).
The final postseason award, (Best) Umpire of the Year, will be released tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

2016 Noteworthy Umpires - Sam Holbrook & Alan Porter

Sam Holbrook & Alan Porter are 2016's Noteworthy Umpires of the Year [2015: M Carlson & Porter].
Voting (Top 5): Holbrook (12%), Porter (10%), Brian Knight/Paul Emmel (8%), Tripp Gibson (7%).

Sam Holbrook and Alan Porter are the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2016 Noteworthy Umpires of the Year, which is Porter's second consecutive time receiving this award, and Holbrook's first.

Having returned to the field after bereavement in 2014, Holbrook finished 2016 with two ejections, both of Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle (July 3 and July 20) and was selected to the American League Division Series and the 2016 World Series crews, his first Fall Classic since 2010, which included a Game 7 World Series plate assignment, signifying baseball's confidence in Holbrook's plate work according to several commenters. His return to deep October (and early November) was also seen as vindication for two feats of history: the 2000 mass resignation incident, as well as Holbrook's ejection of Mark McGwire during Big Mac's historic home run chase. Holbrook placed 20th in the League in Replay Review percentage (.600 RAP), but was tied for 10th numerically with only six overturned calls. Holbrook is the No. 2 on veteran Gerry Davis' crew, meaning he could be someone to watch as MLB considers crew chief promotions in the future.

When Alan Porter won this very award in 2015, he was said to "represent the 'new guard' of MLB umpires, taking care of business every game." In 2016, Porter's four ejections drew further praise for situation handling, as did his crew chief, Jeff Kellogg, who also placed in the Top 5 for 2016's Honorable Umpires. Porter finished seventh in the League in Replay Review (.667 RAP), and just as he did in 2015, Porter drew a postseason assignment in the 2016 Division Series, where he called the second-highest plate of his NLDS. Porter also promoted from fourth to the number three spot on Kellogg's crew, as John Tumpane joined the big league staff.

Sam Holbrook now has 21 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (18 Prev + 3 Award = 21).
Alan Porter now has 23 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (20 Previous + 3 Award = 23).
The next postseason award, Ejection of the Year, will be released tomorrow.

2016 Honorable Umpires - Rob Drake & John Hirschbeck

Rob Drake & John Hirschbeck are 2016's Honorable Umpires of the Year [2015: Hirschbeck & Dale Scott].
Voting Results (Top 5): Drake (17%), Hirschbeck (15%), S Holbrook (8%), T Barrett (7%), J Kellogg (2%).

Rob Drake and John Hirschbeck are the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2016 Honorable Umpires of the Year, which is Hirschbeck's third consecutive time receiving this award, and Drake's first.

Like Hirschbeck and runner-up Sam Holbrook who lost his wife Susie in 2014, Drake endured a significant loss when wife Yvonnka passed away in September, upon which Drake left his crew and returned to Arizona to be with his family; he finished the 2016 season on bereavement. Drake, who compiled one ejection earlier in the 2016 season, drew praise for his situation handling and his ability to calmly walk away from an ejection scenario that had run its course.

Hirschbeck, who announced his retirement in October, was credited with returning to "vintage form" in 2016; his one ejection in 2016 drew stark contrast to seven in 2015, which some attributed to a calmer demeanor and better situation handling that might have contributed to postgame comments made in July in which Hirschbeck admitted his crew erroneously reversed a balk call in Miami.

John Hirschbeck now has 5 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (3 Prev + 2 Award = 5).
Rob Drake now has 3 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (1 Previous + 2 Award = 3).
The next postseason award, Noteworthy Umpire of the Year, will be released later tonight.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

2016 UEFL Award for Best Crew Chief - Ted Barrett

Ted Barrett wins the UEFL's 2016 Crew Chief of the Year Award [2015 Winner: Gary Cederstrom].
Voting Results (Top 3): Ted Barrett (23%), Joe West (13%), Tom Hallion (12%).

Ted Barrett is the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2016 Crew Chief of the Year, which marks his second time winning the Crew Chief of the Year Award; he also won in 2014, and is the first umpire to win this award two times. In his 20th MLB season, Barrett experienced one ejection, that of Blue Jays Manager John Gibbons as the result of a foul ball call by crewmate Gabe Morales. Barrett finished fourth amongst 84 tracked umpires in Replay Review performance, with a .714 Review Affirmation Percentage.

All four members of Barrett's regular season crew—Barrett, Angel Hernandez, Lance Barksdale, and Will Little—officiated during the postseason, while Barrett himself drew particular praise for his leadership in regards to crewmate Hernandez, who himself earned the UEFL's 2016 Most Improved Umpire of the Year Award.

With his LCS selection this fall, Barrett has officiated the postseason for 12 consecutive years (2005-16).

Ted Barrett now has 17 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (16 Previous + 1 Award = 17).
The next postseason award, Honorable Umpire of the Year, will be released tomorrow.

2016 UEFL Award for Fill-In Umpire - Adam Hamari

Adam Hamari wins the UEFL's 2016 Fill-In Umpire of the Year Award [2015 Winner: John Tumpane].
Voting Results (Top 3): Adam Hamari (30%), Pat Hoberg (15%), Gabe Morales (12%).

Adam Hamari is the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2016 Fill-In Umpire of the Year, which marks his first UEFL Award, having finished as Fill-In runner-up during the 2015 Awards season. In his fourth season as a Major League fill-in, Hamari experienced four ejections, following a three-ejection year in 2015. Hamari finished 23rd overall on the 2016 Replay Review leaderboard (RAP .588), which was in the top third of all umpires. Hamari earned praise for his professional ejections of Atlanta's Matt Kemp and Brian Snitker in September, but drew mixed reviews for his May ejections of Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard and Terry Collins after Syndergaard threw behind Dodgers batter Chase Utley, whose slide into second base the postseason before broke shortstop Ruben Tejada's leg and necessitated the 2016 adoption of bona fide slide Rule 6.01(j). Hamari served in the Pacific Coast League in 2016, after spending the 2011-15 seasons in the International League. It was his first year in the PCL and 6th in Triple-A.

Adam Hamari now has 21 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (19 Previous + 2 Award = 21).
The next postseason award, Crew Chief of the Year, will be released later tonight.

Monday, November 7, 2016

2016 UEFL Award for Most Improved - Angel Hernandez

Angel Hernandez wins the Most Improved Umpire Award for 2016. [2015 Winner: Angel Hernandez.]
Voting Results (Top 3): Angel Hernandez (16%), Larry Vanover (15%), Phil Cuzzi/Marty Foster (6%).

Angel Hernandez is the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2016 most improved umpire of the year, which marks his third consecutive season receiving an award (2014 Noteworthy Umpire) and second consecutive season receiving the Most Improved Umpire award (2015). In his 26th Major League Baseball umpiring season, Hernandez ejected three people, including one Spring Training ejection and two regular season balk ejections; he ejected two in 2015, as well, and three in 2014. Prior to the regular season, the Cuban-born Hernandez represented MLB as one of two umpires (Laz Diaz) assigned to officiate the MLB in Cuba Rays vs Cuban National Team exhibition in Havana; it was Hernandez's second visit to the island in a span of over 50 years.

In the postseason, Hernandez continued his journey into October with a National League Championship Series assignment (his last LCS was in 2010) during which he featured in a prominent Replay Review "call stands" ruling on a play at the plate, while sharing a moment of sportsmanship with Cubs batter Anthony Rizzo during a mound visit at Dodger Stadium.

Several commenters have noted a significant improvement in Hernandez's game since his assignment to veteran chief Ted Barrett's crew. For his part, Barrett won the UEFL's Crew Chief of the Year Award in 2014. Hernandez's 95.9% plate score was the second highest of the 2016 LCS (Jim Wolf, 98.6%).

Angel Hernandez now has 8 points in the UEFL Standings (7 Previous + 1 Award = 8).
The next postseason award, Fill-In Umpire of the Year, will be released tomorrow.

2016 UEFL Award for Worst Umpire - Vic Carapazza

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces its postseason awards schedule, beginning with the Worst Umpire of the Year, below, and continuing with Most Improved Umpire, Fill-In, Crew Chief, Honorable, Noteworthy, Ejection(s) of the Year and concluding with Umpire of the Year. 171 total ballots were cast during this year's nominations process.

Pursuant to UEFL Rule 4-4, the postseason Awards distribution now begins with Worst Umpire of the Year.

2016 UEFL Awards: Worst Umpire of the Year: Vic Carapzza (19) [2015 Winner: John Hirschbeck]
Voting Results (Top 3): Vic Carapazza (12%), Dan Iassogna (9%), Joe West (8%).

Vic Carapazza receives the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2016 Worst Umpire of the Year Award. In his sixth Major League Baseball umpiring season, Carapazza concluded the year with five ejections, all for arguing strike calls; he ejected five times in 2015 and seven in 2014. During his ejection of three Blue Jays on July 1, commenters alleged he "baited" Toronto catcher Russell Martin, calling the action and ejection "unnecessary" while characterizing an earlier ejection as "simply an attempt by an insecure young ump to establish himself." Carapazza officiated the 2016 American League Division Series.

Vic Carapazza now has 5 points in the UEFL Standings (8 Previous - 3 Award = 5).
The next postseason award, Most Improved Umpire of the Year, will be released later this afternoon.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

UEFL Year End Award Nominations for the 2016 Season

Award Nominations: 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 (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) [Link: 2016 MLB Ejections (UEFL Portal)]
h. Worst Umpire of the Year (min. 0 / max. 1 umpire)

Click here for the complete history and list of UEFL Postseason Awards recipients.

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 Sunday, November 6; Awards distribution will begin Monday, November 7. To cast your ballot, complete the following voting form.
Points scale for post season awards: a. (+5); b. (+3); c. (+2); d. (+2); e. (+1); f. (+1); g. (+1); h. (-3).
*Eligible umpires are listed on the ballot for each applicable category. For instance, only umpires on the full-time staff roster are eligible for Awards a-c, e, f and h. You may also write in an umpire if such umpire does not appear by commenting on this post. Make sure you use the phrase "Write In" so it is counted.

a. Umpire of the Year: This Umpire has been the best MLB Umpire the past year, bar none. This Umpire has been more dedicated, professional, and positive than all others. This award will be given to one umpire.
b. Noteworthy Umpire of the Year: This Umpire has been dedicated, professional, and has worked hard. Perhaps a rising star, the Noteworthy Umpire of the Year is an umpire to keep an eye on, for an expectation of great things down the line. This award will be given to one or two umpires.
c. Honorable Umpire of the Year: This Umpire has been the most honorable Umpire during the past year. Perhaps through Community Service, or through struggling with and overcoming his own difficulties, this Umpire has been the most personally admirable of all. This award may or may not be given to either one or two umpires.
d. Fill-In Umpire of the Year: This Umpire has been the best AAA Call-Up Umpire the past year, bar none. This Umpire has been the most dedicated, professional, and positive AAA/Non-MLB Full Time Umpire of all non-MLB Full Time Umpires. This award may or may not be given to a maximum of one umpire.
e. Most Improved Umpire of the Year: This Umpire has improved his overall performance from the previous season more noticeably than any other Umpire. Generally, this umpire has developed into a solid arbiter within the past year. This award may or may not be given to a maximum of one umpire.
f. Crew Chief of the Year: This Umpire has been the best MLB Umpire Crew Chief, the past year, bar none. This Umpire has led his crew(s) better than all others. This award will be given to one umpire.
g. Best Ejection of the Year: In the form of "Ejection 123: Umpire (1)," this award recognizes the best ejection(s) of the year. Nominated and selected due to form, mechanics, entertainment value, reason for ejection, or overall quality, the Best Ejection of the Year is awarded to one or two umpires for one or two specific ejections. The award may be given to one umpire for two separate ejections, in which case, he receives one point for each ejection.
h. Worst Umpire of the Year: This Umpire has shown a continual regression in ability, and might have had a regrettable incident(s) occur in-season. The Worst Umpire of the Year is unprofessional and does a disservice to Umpires and the game. This award may or may not be given to a maximum of one umpire.

The ballot is available below. Click "read more" to view and vote.