Monday, November 6, 2017

2017 UEFL Award for Most Declining - Paul Emmel

Paul Emmel wins the Most Declining Umpire Award for 2017. This award was not given from 2011-2016.
Voting Results (Top 3): Emmel (10.5%), Joe West (8.6%), Kerwin Danley/Jerry Layne (T-7.6%).

Award Winner: Paul Emmel.
Paul Emmel is the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2017 most declining umpire of the year, which marks his first postseason award. In his 19th Major League Baseball umpiring season, Emmel was promoted to Crew Chief, having served as an acting crew chief on multiple occasions in 2016.
Related PostSource - Jim Joyce Retires, Holbrook & Emmel Promoted (1/16/17).

Emmel concluded the 2017 season with five ejections (.800 QOC) and 11 overturned calls via Replay Review out of 20 total calls sent to review (.450 RAP, ranked 53rd in the league).

In opting for Emmel for this selection, one commenter summarized 2017 as "a disaster of a season for him," referencing the aforementioned replay numbers, ball/strike statistics, and crew chief woes.

In regards to the latter, Emmel received criticism for his response during a September game wherein a fastball from Detroit pitcher Buck Farmer struck HP Umpire Quinn Wolcott on a direct shot as catcher John Hicks failed to catch the pitch. The offending fastball was Farmer's first pitch to Indians batter Yandy Diaz, effected immediately after Farmer walked Carlos Santana, and after Wolcott had ejected Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus and catcher James McCann for arguing a previous ball four call. No further ejections occurred.
Related PostMLB Ejections 172-173 - Quinn Wolcott (McCann, Ausmus) (9/13/17).

Quinn Wolcott is hit by a pitch in September.
In our visual analysis of the sequence, we noted that while 1B Umpire Brian O'Nora entered into a sprint toward home plate after Wolcott was struck by the pitch, 2B Umpire Emmel appeared to walk, then ultimately jog, to the plate. Noted one commenter, "Emmel shouldn't be the chief of this crew. Brian O'Nora should." Another said, "[Emmel] really needs to step it up."
Related PostDid Detroit Throw at Umpire Wolcott? A Visual Analysis (9/14/17).

Emmel, as crew chief, also presided over the first illegal re-entry in MLB history during an August game at Fenway Park when Red Sox first baseman Hanley Ramirez replaced DH Chris Young in the top of the 9th inning, only for Young to illegally return and pinch hit for Ramirez in the bottom frame.
Related PostPlayer Illegally Re-Enters Game for 1st Time in MLB History (8/30/17)

In July, when Angel Hernandez sued the Commissioner's Office alleging racially-motivated discrimination, one of his arguments was that MLB promoted less qualified, white umpires to the position of Crew Chief, while more deserving minority umpires were passed over. While the suit did not specifically name Emmel (or any other individual umpire) as a less-deserving candidate for crew chief, one commenter included Emmel in a short list of recently promoted umpires that "are a bit questionable."
Related PostAngel Hernandez Sues MLB for Racial Discrimination (7/3/17).

UEFL Awards History, Paul Emmel

Paul Emmel now has 11 points in the UEFL Standings (12 Previous - 1 Award = 11).
The next postseason award, Most Improved Umpire of the Year, will be released tomorrow.


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