Monday, November 5, 2018

2018 UEFL Award for Disappointing Season - Eric Cooper

The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League announces its postseason awards schedule, beginning with the Most Disappointing Season, below, and continuing with Most Improved, Fill-In, Crew Chief, Honorable, Promising, Ejection(s) of the Year and concluding with Umpire of the Year. 156 total ballots were cast during this year's nominations process.

UEFL Rule 4-4 governs postseason awards distribution, which begins with Most Disappointing Season.

2018 UEFL Award, Most Disappointing Season: Eric Cooper (56) [2017 Winner: Bucknor/Emmel].
Voting Results (Top 3): Eric Cooper (21.5%), Angel Hernandez (19.2%), Jeff Kellogg (6.9%).

Award Winner: Eric Cooper (56).
Eric Cooper receives the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's 2018 Most Disappointing Season. In his 21st Major League Baseball umpiring season, Cooper concluded the year with five ejections; he ejected once in 2017 and three in 2016. Cooper might have had one of the strangest ejections you'll ever see in July when he tossed Reds skipper Jim Riggleman over an intentional walk signal from the dugout. Originally ruled irrecusable and affirmed as such by the UEFL Appeals Board, Cooper ejected Riggleman over a dispute as to whether Riggleman visually indicated his request to intentionally walk an opposing batter. Though replays conclusively show Riggleman motioning to walk the hitter, Cooper clearly hadn't seen the sign, and the miscommunication quickly devolved into an unsportsmanlike conduct ejection, eliciting several comments critical of Cooper's apparent shouted instruction to Riggleman to, "do your job."
Related PostMLB Ejection 086 - Eric Cooper (2; Jim Riggleman) (7/3/18).

The "unprofessional" critique followed through into Cooper's August ejections of Yasiel Puig and Nick Hundley for fighting, while another commenter wrote, of Cooper's late August ejection of AJ Hinch, "Cooper definitely was escalating the situation when he started walking towards him. That seems a bit aggressive on his part. But he’s had a year to forget, that’s for sure."
Related PostMLB Ejections 121-122 - Eric Cooper (3-4; Puig, Hundley) (8/14/18).
Related PostMLB Ejection 137 - Eric Cooper (5; AJ Hinch) (8/31/18).

Added another, "Cooper has had a very rough season. Between the post game comments, the Riggleman situation and the fact that he's struggled on the bases this is not what we've usually seen from Cooper."

Cooper finished 79th in Replay Review, with a .350 RAP (seven upheld out of 20 total reviews). His 13 overturns was tied for second-most in the league, behind first place Brian O'Nora and Sam Holbrook (14 each).

Unfortunately, Cooper's streak of seven consecutive years of postseason appearances came to an end in 2018.

UEFL Awards History, Eric Cooper

Eric Cooper now has 1 point in the UEFL Standings (2 Previous - 1 Award = 1).
The next postseason award, Most Improved Umpire of the Year, will be released later this afternoon.


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