Friday, June 15, 2018

MLB Ejection 062 - Joe West (1; Andy Green)

HP Umpire Joe West ejected Padres Manager Andy Green (foul ball call; QOCY) in the bottom of the 4th inning of the Padres-Braves game. With two out and none on, Braves batter Ozzie Albies attempted to strike a 1-2 slider from Padres pitcher Clayton Richard for a called foul ball. Replays indicate Albies' bat made contact with the baseball, which in turn bounced into the dirt before being fumbled by Padres catcher Raffy Lopez, the call was correct. Ruling was reviewed and affirmed by the UEFL Appeals Board (7-0-2), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 2-2. The Padres ultimately won the contest, 9-3.

This is Joe West (22)'s first ejection of 2018.
Joe West now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 4).
Crew Chief Joe West now has -3 points in Crew Division (-4 Previous + 1 Correct Call = -3).

This is the 62nd ejection report of the 2018 MLB regular season.
This is the 26th Manager ejection of 2018.
This is San Diego's 5th ejection of 2018, 1st in the NL West (SD 5; ARI, SF 4; COL 3; LAD 2).
This is Andy Green's 2nd ejection of 2018, 1st since April 9 (Brian Gorman; QOC = Y [Replay Review]).
This is Joe West's first ejection since August 31, 2017 (AJ Hinch; QOC = Y-C [Batter's Interference]).

Wrap: San Diego Padres vs. Atlanta Braves, 6/15/18 | Video as follows:

Rob Manfred is in the Jackpot - CBA Cut Hallion-Collins

MLB Advanced Media has been working overtime to take down the viral video showing Umpire and Crew Chief Tom Hallion's interaction with ejected Mets Manager Terry Collins after Adam Hamari ejected Noah Syndergaard for throwing at Dodgers batter Chase Utley in 2016, and Commissioner Rob Manfred has now explained why while inadvertently hinting at a bigger problem in baseball: declining attendance figures.

Rob Manfred is in the Jackpot with MLB fans.
According to Manfred's statement to media, during the most recent contract negotiations with its umpires, the league and umpires agreed that, in exchange for umpires wearing microphones during select games, certain interactions would not be made public. Manfred characterized the Hallion-Syndergaard-Collins episode as one such interaction, explaining that in order to live up to the collective bargaining agreement with the World Umpires Association, the League had "no choice" but to order the mass takedown.

Did Manfred just use the "blame the umps" defense to explain why MLB is killing social media's "OMG a rare behind the scenes video from MLB!" party?

The knee-jerk reaction here is that actively working to keep such an already-leaked video private does more to turn fans off from the sport than doing nothing at all.

In terms of overall fan media and sharing of MLB content, Manfred explained, "that's a balance between fan engagement on the one hand and protecting our intellectual property on the other...We have really become much more open about the idea of being on every platform where our fans want to engage with the game. It's been a big shift in terms of our business priorities. That's part of that shift."

Gil's Call: The fan engagement numbers for baseball aren't flattering relative to where the sport was several years ago, and compared to how other sports have evolved. For instance, while NBA and NHL attendance have a history of recent growth, Major League Baseball attendance has significantly decreased since 2015, and 2018 isn't shaping up to be all that promising, either.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Yadier Molina's Foul Tip - Hands First, Body Last

Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina caught a foul tip in unorthodox fashion when a batted ball came to rest between his right thigh and torso as HP Umpire Chris Segal declared the play a legal catch and strikeout, explaining to Padres Manager Andy Green why the odd rebound resulted in strike three.

Video: A foul tip vs a foul or lodged ball.
This play highlights the importance of knowing Official Baseball Rule 5.09(a)(2) as well as the Definition of Terms regarding a foul tip and catch. Not only is the batter's status as a strikeout victim (if a foul tip) or being able to continue the at-bat (if a foul ball) in question, if there were runners on base, stolen bases or other advancement could come into question (if a foul tip, the ball is live and any steals would be valid; if a foul ball, the ball is dead and any steals would not count).

The Play: With two strikes, the batter swings at the pitched ball, his bat making contact with the ball and sending it sharply and directly toward the catcher, whose hand/glove/mitt either (A) does, or (B) does not, touch the ball, after which it comes to rest trapped between the catcher's thigh and torso. The catcher slowly stands up and retrieves the ball with his bare hand; the ball never touches the ground. Is this a foul tip or a foul ball?

Answer: In (A), it is a foul tip and results in the third strike on the batter; the batter is out and the ball remains live, meaning any stolen bases or other runner movement would stand. In (B), it is a foul ball; the batter remains at bat and the ball is dead, nullifying any stolen bases or other runner advancement.
Related PostAn Unconventional Foul Tip in the Big Apple (4/10/17).

Rule 5.09(a)(2): This rule simply states that a batter is out when the third strike is legally caught by the catcher. The important portion of this rule relative to the Molina foul tip play is in the rule's comment:
If a foul tip first strikes the catcher’s glove and then goes on through and is caught by both hands against his body or protector, before the ball touches the ground, it is a strike, and if third strike, batter is out. If smothered against his body or protector, it is a catch provided the ball struck the catcher’s glove or hand first.
This is an example of a foul ball.
The Definition of Terms resembles Rule 5.09(a)(2) Comment, and states that, "A FOUL TIP is a batted ball that goes sharp and direct from the bat to the catcher’s hands and is legally caught."

For instance, the accompanying image of a batted ball that strikes the catcher's mask immediately after it is hit by the bat would be an example of a foul ball. Though this particular play ended up as a lodged ball (the ball was stuck in the mask), had the ball fallen out of the mask and into the catcher's hand, it would still be deemed a foul ball.

Recall that a catch "is the act of a fielder in getting secure possession in his hand or glove of a ball in flight and firmly holding it." A fielder may smother the ball against his body and complete the catch simply by holding the ball in his hand or glove, but the fielder may not use a cap, chest protector, mask, pocket, or other item not natural to the fielder's person in order to complete the catch. It is similarly not a legal catch if at any time prior to secure possession the batted ball touches the ground, an umpire, or an opponent (it may touch a teammate).

To reiterate, a foul tip requires the batted ball
a) Go sharply and directly from the bat to the catcher's hands;
b) Touch the catcher's hands, mitt, or glove;
c) Be legally caught.

Video as follows:

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

MLB Ejections 060-61 - Sean Barber (1-2; Kemp, Chirinos)

HP Umpire Sean Barber ejected Dodgers LF Matt Kemp and Rangers C Robinson Chirinos (fighting after home plate collision; QOCU) in the bottom of the 3rd inning of the Rangers-Dodgers game. With two out and one on (R2), Dodgers batter Enrique Hernandez hit a ground ball to Rangers right fielder Nomar Mazara, who threw to catcher Chirinos as Dodgers baserunner R2 Kemp arrived at home plate. Replays indicate that once he obtained possession of the baseball, Chirinos legally blocked Kemp's access to home plate, and Kemp, in turn, legally made contact with Chirinos, resulting in a permissible home plate collision pursuant to Rule 6.01(i) and bench-clearing incident during which both players were ejected for fighting, the call was irrecusable.* At the time of the ejection, the Dodgers were leading, 2-0. The Dodgers ultimately won the contest, 3-2, in 11 innings.

This is Sean Barber (29)'s first ejection of 2018.
Sean Barber now has 6 points in the UEFL Standings (2 Prev + 2*[2 AAA + 0 Irrecusable Call] = 6).
Crew Chief Bill Welke now has 3 points in Crew Division (1 Previous + 2 Irrecusable Call = 3).
*Rule 6.01(i)(2) allows the catcher to "block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score" if the catcher is in possession of the ball. As it relates to runners, Rule 6.01(i)(1) states, "If a catcher blocks the pathway of the runner, the umpire shall not find that the runner initiated an avoidable collision in violation of this Rule 6.01(i)(1)." Accordingly, both players were legal and Kemp was properly declared out on Chirinos' tag. See the related post for more discussion on the two parties' responsibilities during a potential home plate collision.
Related PostLittle Home Plate Collision Begets Wrigley Bench Clearing

This is the 60th, 61st ejection report of the 2018 MLB regular season.
This is the 29th player ejection of 2018. Prior to ejection, Kemp was 1-2 (SO) in the contest.
This is the 30th player ejection of 2018. Prior to ejection, Chirinos was 0-1 in the contest.
This is Los Angeles' 2nd ejection of 2018, 5th in the NL West (ARI, SD, SF 4; COL 3; LAD 2).
This is Texas' 3rd ejection of 2018, T-1st in the AL West (LAA, SEA, TEX 3; HOU 2; OAK 0).
This is Matt Kemp's 2nd ejection of 2018, 1st since May 11 (Alan Porter; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Robinson Chirinos' first career MLB ejection.
This is Sean Barber's first ejection since April 24, 2016 (Melvin Upton Jr; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Texas Rangers vs. Los Angeles Dodgers, 6/13/18 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 059 - Brian Knight (2; Chris Sale)

HP Umpire Brian Knight ejected Red Sox P Chris Sale (balls/strikes; QOCY) in the bottom of the 7th inning of the Red Sox-Orioles game. With none out and none on, Orioles batters Mark Trumbo and Craig Gentry walked in consecutive at-bats. Replays indicate of the 10 callable pitches thrown by Sale during these two at-bats prior to his ejection, all 10 were properly officiated (accuracy = 100%), including the final pitch of the Gentry at-bat, which was located off the outer edge of home plate and thigh-high (px 1.200, pz 2.695), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Red Sox were leading, 5-0. The Red Sox ultimately won the contest, 5-1.

This is Brian Knight (91)'s second ejection of 2018.
Brian Knight now has 8 points in the UEFL Standings (4 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 8).
Crew Chief Mark Carlson now has 3 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 3).

This is the 59th ejection report of the 2018 MLB regular season.
This is the 28th player ejection of 2018. Prior to ejection, Sale's line was 6.0 IP, ER.
This is Boston's 2nd ejection of 2018, 3rd in the AL East (NYY 5; TOR 3; BOS 2; BAL, TB 1).
This is Chris Sale's first ejection since April 23, 2015 (Sam Holbrook; QOC = U [Fighting]).
This is Brian Knight's 2nd ejection of 2018, 1st since May 22 (Scott Servais; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Boston Red Sox vs. Baltimore Orioles, 6/13/18 | Video as follows:

Revisiting the Situation - Tom Hallion & Terry Collins

Two years ago, HP Umpire Adam Hamari ejected Mets P Noah Syndergaard and Manager Terry Collins for throwing at Dodgers batter Chase Utley in response to Utley's hard slide during the 2015 postseason that broke shortstop Ruben Tejada's leg. Crew chief Tom Hallion, wearing a microphone for FOX Sports' national telecast on Saturday, May 28, 2016, ran in to pry Collins away from the then-call up umpire Hamari, as the production truck muted Hallion's audio, as is standard practice.
Related PostEjections 062|063 - Hamari (1|2; Syndergaard, Collins) (5/28/16).
Related PostReplay Review & Late Slides, Too: Utley's Tejada Takeout (10/11/15).

Tom Hallion and Terry Collins discuss things.
In October 2017, the Hallion microphone's lost audio found its way out of FOX and onto the Internet, where it recently took on a second life in review of the contentious spectacle that led to MLB's adoption of the bona fide slide rule pertaining to force plays, as well as a glimpse into MLB's Heads-Up program and the League's expectation that its umpires enforce the intentionally-pitch-at-batter rule.

The "Heads Up" report is an electronic communication between the League and its umpires advising of potential trouble or animosity between two teams or players in advance of a series. Undoubtedly, Hallion's crew received a Heads-Up for Dodgers-Mets due to the Utley-Tejada play from the previous postseason.

Prior to May, Syndergaard specifically had been accused of throwing at Royals batter Alcides Escobar in the 2015 World Series, which would suggest a heightened awareness for throwing at Utley.

While navigating pressure from bosses above, Hallion as a crew chief demonstrated qualities of teamwork (in speaking with the players), leadership (in directing his crew and taking on an irate Collins), and empathy (in listening and responding to Collins) that both allowed the aggrieved skipper to have his say while nonetheless getting him away from a junior crew-mate and off the field.

For what its worth, the relevant rule concerning these ejections is 6.02(c)(9), which states,
A pitcher shall not—Intentionally Pitch at the Batter. If, in the umpire’s judgment, such a violation occurs, the umpire may elect either to: (A) Expel the pitcher, or the manager and the pitcher, from the game, or (B) may warn the pitcher and the manager of both teams that another such pitch will result in the immediate expulsion of that pitcher (or a replacement) and the manager. If, in the umpire’s judgment, circumstances warrant, both teams may be officially “warned” prior to the game or at any time during the game. (League Presidents may take additional action under authority provided in Rule 8.04.)
The following transcript and video features interaction between an umpire and player/manager not seen since the days of Bill Haller and Earl Weaver.

Hallion: You're done.
Syndergaard: Are you f*ing kidding me?
Hallion: No, you can't do that, not in that situation, man.
Syndergaard: I'm trying to throw a f*ing fastball.
Hallion: No, that ain't gonna happen. I knew you were going to say that, but that ain't going to happen. That's the wrong time to do it, that's all.
Syndergaard: []
Hallion: It is what it is, but that ain't gonna happen. Our ass is in the jackpot if we don't do something there, I'm telling you that.
Neil Walker: Shouldn't there be a warning beforehand?
Hallion: No, the situation of what happened and everything else, that's what dictates that, ok?
Walker: But there was no prior knowledge of that before the game started. I mean, if Terry comes into the dugout and says, 'if someone gets hit,' then...
Hallion: Neil, everybody knows what's the situation, ok?
Hallion [to 3B Umpire Dan Bellino, referring to Syndergaard]: Take him.
Collins: [Ranting at Hamari using language that has gotten players suspended in the past]
Hallion: Terry! Terry, get a handle. Come on, let's go. Talk to me. Terry, talk to me.
Collins: Tommy, that's f*ing BS and you know it. You got to give us a shot, Tom.
Hallion: Listen to me and hear what I'm saying, ok? You get your shot. You had your shot right there in the situation. You know the situation, Terry. You know the situation, Terry!
Collins: I know, why can't we get a shot, Tommy?
Hallion: Because that makes it worse, that makes it f*ing worse.
Collins: BS. When MLB did nothing to that guy: NOTHING!
Hallion: Ok, I can't control that, Terry. You know as well as I do where I stand on the whole f*ing situation.
Collins: Gdmmit, you're better than that Tommy, you know that.
Hallion: Terry, listen, I'm telling you, our ass is in the jackpot now, ok? I'm just tellin' ya.
Collins: [More profane remarks]
Hallion: You know what? You got it. You got everything out?

Video as follows:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

MLB Ejection 058 - Stu Scheurwater (1; Mickey Callaway)

HP Umpire Stu Scheurwater ejected Mets Manager Mickey Callaway (batter's failure to attempt to avoid being hit by a pitch; QOCY) in the top of the 6th inning of the Mets-Braves game. With one out and one on (R1), Mets batter Brandon Nimmo took a 2-1 curveball from Braves pitcher Jesse Biddle for a called third ball; despite the pitch touching Nimmo, HP Umpire Scheurwater ordered Nimmo remain at-bat pursuant to Rule 5.05(b)(2)(B). Replays indicate Nimmo made no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Braves were leading, 1-0. The Braves ultimately won the contest, 8-2.

This is Stu Scheurwater (85)'s first ejection of 2018.
Stu Scheurwater now has 8 points in the UEFL Standings (4 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 8).
Crew Chief Gary Cederstrom now has 8 points in Crew Division (7 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 8).
*Official Baseball Rule 5.05(b)(2) states, "The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out when—He is touched by a pitched ball which he is not attempting to hit unless (A) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (B) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball."
*When a pitched ball touches the batter in the strike zone, the ball is dead and the pitch is declared a strike.
*When a pitched ball touches the batter outside of the strike zone, and the batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball, the ball is dead and the pitch is declared a ball.

This is the 58th ejection report of the 2018 MLB regular season.
This is the 25th Manager ejection of 2018.
This is New York-NL's 2nd ejection of 2018, T-2nd in the NL East (WAS 3; ATL, NYM 2; MIA, PHI 0).
This is Mickey Callaway's first ejection since August 3, 2016 (Fieldin Culbreth; QOC = N-C [Replay Review]).
This is Stu Scheurwater's first ejection since August 16, 2017 (Scott Servais; QOC = N [Check Swing]).

Wrap: New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves, 6/12/18 | Video as follows:

Monday, June 11, 2018

MLB Ejection 057 - Jeremie Rehak (3; Madison Bumgarner)

HP Umpire Jeremie Rehak ejected Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner (balls/strikes; QOCY) in the bottom of the 6th inning of the Giants-Marlins game. With none out and none on, Marlins batter Brian Anderson doubled, JT Realmuto singled, Cameron Maybin hit a sacrifice fly, Justin Bour walked, and Lewis Brison singled, after which Giants Manager Bruce Bochy effected a pitching change, replacing Bumgarner with reliever Reyes Moronto, during which Bumgarner was ejected while leaving the field. Replays indicate of the nine callable pitches thrown in the inning prior to Bumgarner's ejection (all of them called balls, including the four-pitch walk to Bour), all nine were properly officiated (accuracy = 100%), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 4-4. The Marlins ultimately won the contest, 7-5.

This is Jeremie Rehak (35)'s third ejection of 2018.
Jeremie Rehak now has 10 points in the UEFL Standings (6 Prev + 2 AAA + 2 Correct Call = 10).
Crew Chief Mark Wegner now has -2 points in Crew Division (-3 Previous + 1 Correct Call = -2).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
*The called ball closest to the strike zone, ball one to Bour, was located at px .824, which is 1.090 horizontal inches from being deemed an incorrect call.
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-3 further states, "In the event of a called ball four, in an at bat that has lasted no more than four pitches, including the called ball four, the four called balls shall be adjudged to have been correctly ruled, provided that the Pitch f/x chart for the at bat does not include any pitch within the bounds of the strike zone. Borderline pitches in a four-pitch walk at bat shall be deemed as having been correctly called, due to the unrealistic chance of an alternative outcome."

This is the 57th ejection report of the 2018 MLB regular season.
This is the 27th player ejection of 2018. Prior to ejection, Bumgarner's line was 5.1 IP, 4 ER.
This is San Francisco's 4th ejection of 2018, T-1st in the NL West (ARI, SD, SF 4; COL 3; LAD 1).
This is Madison Bumgarner's first career MLB ejection.
This is Jeremie Rehak's 3rd ejection of 2018, 1st since May 21 (Mark Trumbo; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: San Francisco Giants vs. Miami Marlins, 6/11/18 | Video as follows:

Sunday, June 10, 2018

MLB Ejection 056 - Sam Holbrook (1; Jeff Banister)

3B Umpire Sam Holbrook ejected Rangers Manager Jeff Banister (no-stop balk call; QOCY) in the top of the 9th inning of the Astros-Rangers game. With two out and two on (R2, R3), Rangers pitcher Keone Kela delivered a 1-2 pitch out of Set Position without stopping once coming set in contravention of Rule 6.02(a)(13), originally no-called (alternatively, ruled a ball and no-swing) and reversed to a balk upon Crew Consultation at the request of Astros Manager AJ Hinch. Replays indicate that after receiving signs in stretch, Kela did not discernibly stop prior to delivering the ball to batter Evan Gattis from Set Position, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Astros were leading, 8-7. The Astros ultimately won the contest, 8-7.

This is Sam Holbrook (34)'s first ejection of 2018.
Sam Holbrook now has 0 points in the UEFL Standings (-4 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 0).
Crew Chief Sam Holbrook now has -1 points in Crew Division (-2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = -1).
*Rule 6.02(a)(13) states, "It is a balk when—The pitcher delivers the pitch from Set Position without coming to a stop."

This is the 56th ejection report of the 2018 MLB regular season.
This is the 24th Manager ejection of 2018.
This is Texas' 2nd ejection of 2018, T-3rd in the AL West (LAA, SEA 3; HOU, TEX 2: OAK 0).
This is Jeff Banister's 2nd ejection of 2018, 1st since May 17 (Paul Nauert; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Sam Holbrook's first ejection since September 3, 2017 (Carl Willis; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers, 6/10/18 | Video as follows:

Minor Ejection - Latos' CanAm Bench Clearing Brawl

A contentious home plate collision begot New Jersey Jackals pitcher Mat Latos to throw at a Rockland Boulders batter, which sparked a bench-clearing brawl Saturday in the independent CanAm League, with Latos & Rockland's Ryan Deemes ejected for fighting.

A massive brawl breaks out after inside pitches.
The friction began with none out in the top of the 6th inning, when, with a runner on first, Boulders batter Conrad Gregor hit a double to the left-center field gap. As baserunner R1 Marcus Nidiffer approached home plate, Jackals catcher Kevin Torres fielded the incoming throw and applied a hard tag, resulting in a collision during which the ball came free and Torres appeared injured, resulting in a bench-clearing incident.

When play resumed following an apparent appeal at third base (denied) and declaration that baserunner Niddifer was safe at home, Latos took matters into his own hands and greeted ensuing Boulders batter Kevin Krause with an inside fastball, thrown at Krause's midsection, for a called first ball.

Benches clear after a collision at home plate.
Latos' second pitch to Krause was further inside and thrown at Krause's head; the batter ducked and the benches cleared as Krause slowly walked toward the pitcher's mound; before he could get there, Deemes had charged off the bench and threw a punch at Latos, resulting in a brawl near the mound as both Latos (throwing at) and Deemes (fighting) were ejected from the contest.

The Jackals ultimately won the game, 5-3.

Videos as follows: