Wednesday, February 21, 2018

2018 UEFL Draft and Registration Now Open

Announcing registration and UEFL draft, now open for the 2018 Umpire ejection Fantasy League season.
Welcome to the 2018 Umpire Ejection Fantasy League preseason. This year's registration and draft form is now available and shall be due in one month's time (see below for precise deadlines).

You may both register and draft your umpires at the same time or draft your umpires in phases, pursuant to UEFL Rule 1. All registrants will automatically be entered into both the standard and UEFL Express (umpire points only) divisions.

Relevant Links for the 2018 UEFL Season
2018 UEFL Registration and Draft Form | Free UEFL Digest E-mail Subscription
UEFL Rules Book | 2018 Season MLB Umpire Crews | Sortable Ump Roster

The UEFL Rules have been updated for 2018.
Registration Procedures, Eligibility, and the Draft
Participation in the UEFL is free and open to any visitor who wishes to play. Users play by drafting umpire crews consisting of one Crew Chief, two Primary Umpires, and two Secondary Umpires; there may be other opportunities to earn points during the season, such as through Case Play questions and scenarios.

In order to draft a crew of umpires, you will need to complete the 2018 UEFL Registration and Draft form; you may use the same username as before if you participated in the past. Although guest commenting is enabled, UEFL Rules 4-7 and 6-1 state that users must be logged into the DISQUS commenting platform in order to initiate challenges.

Registration, Draft, and Roster Deadlines as follows:
Friday, March 23, 2018: Last day to register for the 2018 UEFL (registration closed).
Monday, March 26, 2018: Last day to submit unrestricted Primary & Secondary Umpires.
Tuesday, March 27, 2018: Last day to submit unrestricted Crew Chief selections.
Thursday, March 29, 2018: Regular season begins.

Appeals Board - UEFL Rule 6-4-a
This season, there are no vacancies on the UEFL Appeals Board; thus, there will be no nominations.
The 2018 UEFL Appeals Board is as follows:
4x: Gil (Commissioner, Chair), Jeremy (Deputy), tmac (Assistant), RichMSN (Charter Member).
5x: Arik G, cyclone14, MarkCanada, jvick2017, MLBUmpireObserver.

You may reply to this post with any questions you may have. Registration form is embedded below:

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

2018 Season MLB Umpire Crews

To help with your Crew Chief draft selection, the 2018 MLB umpire crews feature 76 umpires on the staff spread over 19 umpiring squads. Visit the UEFL's Umpire Roster and Profiles page for a sortable list of all MLB and MiLB call-up umpires and their officiating profiles (you can rank by number, name, or crew). The 2018 MLB umpire crew list is subject to change prior to or during the regular season. Stay tuned for information regarding registration and draft procedures for the 2018 UEFL season, coming tomorow

2018 MLB Umpire Crews (By Umpiring Crew Chief Seniority)

Crew #Crew ChiefUmpire 2Umpire 3Umpire 4
Crew 112 Davis, Gerry6 Carlson, Mark91 Knight, Brian31 Hoberg, Pat
Crew 232 DeMuth, Dana39 Nauert, Paul87 Barry, Scott37 Torres, Carlos
Crew 322 West, Joe88 Eddings, Doug60 Foster, Marty90 Ripperger, Mark
Crew 438 Cederstrom, Gary56 Cooper, Eric89 Blaser, Cory85 Scheurwater, Stu
Crew 524 Layne, Jerry53 Gibson,Greg19 Carapazza, Vic71 Baker, Jordan
Crew 69 Gorman, Brian58 Iassogna, Dan80 Johnson, Adrian73 Gibson, Tripp
Crew 78 Kellogg, Jeff51 Hudson, Marvin92 Hoye, James81 Wolcott, Quinn
Crew 820 Hallion, Tom10 Cuzzi, Phil2 Bellino, Dan78 Hamari, Adam
Crew 933 Winters, Mike95 Timmons, Tim30 Drake, Rob76 Muchlinski, Mike
Crew 1025 Culbreth, Fieldin7 O'Nora, Brian54 Bucknor, CB98 Conroy, Chris
Crew 1165 Barrett, Ted44 Danley, Kerwin23 Barksdale, Lance93 Little, Will
Crew 1245 Nelson, Jeff63 Diaz, Laz49 Fletcher, Andy79 Gonzalez, Manny
Crew 1326 Miller, Bill5 Hernandez, Angel13 Tichenor, Todd64 Porter, Alan
Crew 1441 Meals, Jerry46 Kulpa, Ron15 Hickox, Ed47 Morales, Gabe
Crew 1527 Vanover, Larry21 Wendelstedt, Hunter68 Guccione, Chris86 Rackley, David
Crew 16 57 Everitt, Mike3 Welke, Bill11 Randazzo, Tony94 Barrett, Lance
Crew 1750 Emmel, Paul1 Dreckman, Bruce4 Fairchild, Chad83 Estabrook, Mike
Crew 1834 Holbrook, Sam72 Marquez, Alfonso28 Wolf, Jim17 Reyburn, DJ
Crew 1914 Wegner, Mark77 Reynolds, Jim16 DiMuro, Mike74 Tumpane, John

New MLB Umpires (New Hire MLBU): Stu Scheurwater.
New Crew Chiefs (Promotion to -cc): Mark Wegner.

Notes and Observations
No crews are unchanged from 2017 to 2018.
≫ Most crews kept two umpires intact year-over-year; three (GormanMeals, Holbrook) kept three.
≫ Crew 3 (West) & 17 (Emmel) were the most altered; all three supporting umpires were changed.
West regains Ripperger (together in 2016), and Foster (together in 2014).
Culbreth and O'Nora, Davis and Carlson are re-united as cc/2 for the first time since 2013.
≫ Number switches: Angel Hernandez (55 to 5 [Scott]) & DJ Reyburn (70 to 17 [Hirschbeck]).
≫ Retirement Recap: Dale Scott.

Statistical Promotions or Leftward Lateral Movement:
≫ From Umpire 2 (or Interim) to Crew Chief: Mark Wegner.
≫ From Umpire 3 to Umpire 2 (Backup Crew Chief): Bruce Dreckman, Doug Eddings.
≫ From Umpire 4 to Umpire 3: Cory Blaser.

Statistical Rightward Lateral Movement:
≫ From Umpire 2 to Umpire 3: Tony Randazzo (switched crews).

Monday, February 19, 2018

2018 Pace of Play Changes Limit Mound Visits, No Clock

After months of discussion, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred announced several pace of play rule changes for the 2018 season that will limit teams' mound visits to six per game and set strict time limits for inning breaks and pitching changes. Teams will also gain new technology for internal Replay Review, while no pitch clock will be added this year.

Manfred's decision to forgo the pitch clock after bluffing for months that he could implement it in 2018 is to allow teams the opportunity to speed up the game without using a clock. Pursuant to the MLBPA's CBA, MLB retains the authority to unilaterally introduce a pitch clock ahead of the 2019 season, and the sides will meet during the season to discuss pace of play.
Related PostPlayers Reject Pace of Play Proposal, Override Probable (1/19/18).

Mound Visits Limited to Six Per Game
Baseball will limit mound visits without a pitching change to six per regulation game. If a game extends into extra innings, one additional mound visit will be afforded per team per inning. Unused mound visits from the first nine innings will carry over.

According to this rule, mound visits that count against this limit shall include the following:
> Any manager or coach who visits the mound to confer with a pitcher;
> Any position player who leaves his position to meet with his pitcher during an at-bat;
> Any pitcher who leaves the mound to confer with a teammate during an at-bat.

The following actions will not constitute a mound visit that counts against the six-per-game limit:
> Any mound visit that ultimately results in a pitching change;
> Discussions between pitchers and teammates that occur between batters and do not disrupt play;
> Fielders who visit the mound to clean their spikes in rainy or muddy conditions;
> Fielders or coaches who visit the mound to attend to a potentially injured pitcher;
> A visit that occurs after announcement of an offensive substitution (pinch hitter or pinch runner).

Exception to the Limit (Gil's Call: The Mound Visit Loophole):
> If a pitcher and catcher are "crossed-up" but a team has used its allotment of six visits, the catcher may request from the plate umpire an exception that would allow for a brief, seventh, mound visit.

Inning Break and Pitching Change Clocks
Though MLB's break clock existed during prior years, its enforcement will change somewhat in 2018. Locally televised games' breaks will span 2 minutes and five seconds (2:05), while nationally televised contests will feature 2:25 breaks. Postseason games' breaks will last 2:55. The timer begins at the last out of an inning unless the third out is a close play that may be subject to Replay Review, in which case the clock starts when it is clear a team will not challenge the call, or the out is affirmed via Review. If the pitcher ends an inning on base, at the plate, or on deck, the timer begins when the pitcher leaves the dugout for the mound.

SIDEBAR: This means local games will have at least 35 minutes of commercials, nationally televised games' breaks will total at least 41 minutes, and postseason games will feature at least 49 minutes (assuming the home team wins and there are no mid-inning pitching changes).

At 25 seconds on the countdown clock, the pitcher will throw his last warmup pitch.
At 20 seconds, the batter is announced and begins to approach home plate.
At 0 seconds, the pitcher will begin his windup or other motion to deliver a pitch to the batter.

The pitcher is not guaranteed nor limited to eight warm-up pitches; he has until :25 to warm up. Umpires may set aside the time limits under circumstances such as injury/safety considerations, equipment malfunctions, or playing field delays.

Video Replay Review for Teams
To crack down on sign stealing, MLB will install phone lines connecting the video review rooms and the dugout, and monitor those conversations to ensure legality. Video rooms will also have the capability to see direct slow motion camera angles.

Batter's Box
OBR 5.04(b)(4)(A)'s batter box rule requiring the batter to keep at least one foot in the box throughout the at-bat except during certain events (swing, bunt, check swing, inside pitch that brushes back the batter, "Time" called, pickoff/play on the bases, pitcher leaves mound, catcher leaves box, wild pitch, passed ball) remains in effect.
Related PostRob Manfred Vows Pace of Play Rules Changes for 2018 (11/16/17).