Thursday, June 21, 2018

Featured KBO Ejection - Trey Hillman Tossed via Interpreter

Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) umpire Kim Ik-su ejected SK Wyverns Manager Trey Hillman, who does not speak Korean, after an animated argument concerning a play at the plate, with the magic words provided care of SK's interpreter. No, the interpreter was not ejected.

With none out and one on (R3) in the bottom of the 7th inning of the SK Wyverns-Samsung Lions game, Lions batter Lee Won-seok hit a ground ball to SK second baseman Kim Sung-hyun, who threw to catcher Lee Jae-won as baserunner R3 Darin Ruf arrived at home plate.

Replays indicate HP Umpire Kim Ik-su's mechanics appeared to suggest that SK's catcher illegally blocked access to home plate in contravention of Rule 6.01(i)(2), which states, "Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score," with clarification that "a legitimate attempt to field the throw" is a legal exception for 6.01(i)(2).
Related PostLittle Home Plate Collision Begets Wrigley Bench Clearing (5/8/18).

Upon Replay Review as the result of a Manager's Challenge by Hillman, the "safe" ruling was affirmed, prompting Hillman's ejection for arguing the outcome of a Replay Review, proving that even in the KBO and transcending language barriers, some actions are unacceptable.

As for a Quality of Correctness component, replays indicate the catcher received the throw prior to impeding the runner's progress, which would render the call incorrect. However, the actions of the catcher's left leg—although incorrectly ruled as obstructive—suggest that the key to calling the modern interpretation of Rule 6.01(i)(2) is to rule plate blocking based, in part, on the catcher's attempt to cut-off access to home plate by using his lower body.

Video as follows:
Alternate Link: Hillman is tossed after uttering objectionable comments via an interpreter (SPD)


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