Friday, November 16, 2018

ABL - Korea Pulls Team off Field After Manager Ejection

During an Australian Baseball League game against the Sydney Blue Sox, Geelong-Korea Manager Dae-Sung Koo pulled his team off the field in protest of a first-inning ejection by Australian Baseball League HP Umpire Ben Nash related to a ball/strike call. After a five-minute delay, the Korean team returned to the field and the game resumed, with Sydney's squad going on to win in regulation.

Geelong-Korea plays in the Southwest Division of the ABL.

HP Umpire Ben Nash ejected Geelong-Korea Baseball Manager Dae-Sung Koo (ball calls; QOCU*) in the bottom of the 1st inning of the Korea-Blue Sox game. With one out and the bases loaded, Blue Sox batter Trent D'Antonio took four called balls from Korea pitcher Jae-Gon Lee, including a 3-2 pitch ruled inside for ball four, upon which, Dae-Sung Koo was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, pulling his team off the field in protest and causing a suspension of play. At the time of the ejection, the Blue Sox were leading, 1-0. The Blue Sox ultimately won the contest, 7-2.

Rules Discussion: As we discussed following the 18-inning Game 3 of the 2018 World Series, Official Baseball Rule 7.03(b) states that "a game shall be forfeited to the opposing team when a team is unable or refuses to place nine players on the field." OBR 7.03(a)(3) is also relevant ("Refuses to continue play during a game unless the game has been suspended or terminated by the umpire-in-chief").

The team should generally be afforded the opportunity to correct the error, or should otherwise be warned of the possibility of a forfeit before the game is terminated. The MLB Umpire Manual (not in Australia) states a public address announcement shall additionally be made to advise the possibility of a forfeit before one is declared.
Related PostWorld Series Forfeit? Unable to Field Nine Players (10/27/18).

Timetable: No time limit/timeline is set for a 7.03(a)(3) or 7.03(b) forfeit, though here is a quick table of forfeit time limits for other provisions of the rule:
7.03(a)(1) (Beginning of the game forfeits): Must be ready to play within five minutes of umpire's "Play" call.
7.03(a)(4) (After a suspension of play): Must resume play within one minute of umpire's "Play" call.
7.03(a)(6) (Refusing to leave after ejection): Must obey umpire's order "within a reasonable time."
7.03(a)(7) (Start of doubleheader Game 2): Must be ready within 20 minutes if straight DH.^

^Most often, the intermission between doubleheader games is extended by the umpires by more than 20 minutes, so 7.03(a)(7) rarely comes into play.
*QOC not available for ball/strike ejections where pitch-tracking technology is not in use.

Wrap: Geelong-Korea vs. Sydney Blue Sox (ABL), 11/16/18 | Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Geelong-Korea walks off the field after ejection (GK; 20:00 [aka -1:22:50])


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