Tuesday, July 16, 2019

ALPB Bees-Pats Non-Steal Pact, Ejection Cycle

An umpire ejection cycle (all umpires had ejections) a New Britain batter refusing to steal first base, and Somerset's General Manager on the field during a dispute with the umpires featured in the Atlantic League's latest edition of screwy baseball, highlighting Sunday's modified doubleheader between New Britain and Somerset on the heels of the ALPB-ordered resumption of play following an overturned judgment call from the night before.

Sunday brought more Atlantic League fun.
A Resumed Game: To recap, HP Umpire Leonardo had called Patriots batter-runner Ramon Flores out at home plate with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning of Saturday's Bees-Patriots game, with New Britain leading 7-6, thus ending the game. Somerset appealed to the league office based on the finding that New Britain catcher Logan Moore failed to tag Flores (Moore dropped the baseball during the tag attempt; Leonardo had ruled the runner out).

Despite Official Baseball Rule 7.04 which states, "No protest shall ever be permitted on judgment decisions by the umpire," Atlantic League President Rick White ordered the game restarted at the point of interruption (e.g., the game tied at seven with two outs in the ninth), having reversed Leonardo's judgment call of "out" to that of "safe."
Related PostAtlantic League Overturns Umpire's Judgment Call (7/14/19).

SIDEBAR: This is not a rules interpretation issue! It is a judgment call made by a home plate umpire who simply ruled the runner out on the tag and did not observe that the catcher dropped the ball. It's that simple and has nothing to do with the application or misapplication of OBR's definition of a tag. The teachable moment for umpires is to look for a possessed ball to confirm the validity of a tag, especially on a game-ending play, but do not confuse the umpire's apparent error with a rules interpretation issue; it is not!
Related PostReplay Rewind - Hollywood Magic at Dodger Stadium (9/5/18).

When play resumed Sunday, New Britain retired Somerset to end the ninth and, thanks to the Atlantic League's extra-inning tiebreaker rule wherein a runner starts the inning at second base, scored three runs in the top of the 10th, holding Somerset to one run in the bottom frame, to win the resumed game, 10-8.

Pats President/GM discusses the pre-game EJ.
3B Umpire Steve Leonardo's Ejection? During the plate meeting ahead of Game 2, 3B Umpire Leonardo motioned to the Patriots dugout and appeared to effect an ejection mechanic. It was unclear what this potential pregame ejection concerned, though the broadcasters noted the uniform number of the offending party ended in a 4 (C Yovan Gonzalez [4], IF Dario Pizzano [14], P David Kubiak [24], C Mike Ohlman [34], 1B Coach Fox Beyer [44]; all players were seen on the field or in the dugout during the game and it appeared Leonardo may have dispalyed a repeated digit by virtue of palm-out/palm-in, as in #44 Beyer).

Even stranger, Somerset Patriots President/General Manager Patrick McVerry appeared to join the conversation between the umpires and Patriots Field Manager Brett Jodie following this ejection signal before leaving the discussion with a phone to his ear.

Batter Ford refused to steal first base.
Bees Batter Refuses to Steal First Base: Despite a new Atlantic League rule that allows batters to "steal" first base during any uncaught pitch, New Britain leadoff hitter Darren Ford remained in the batter's box following a 1-2 pitch in the dirt that careened to the backstop, signaling to the Patriots dugout that he wouldn't be taking the base on such a wild pitch, to which the dugout broke out into applause. Somerset's broadcast speculated that there may have been a gentleman's agreement between the teams not to take advantage of the new rule.

A two-strike bunt preceded an ejection.
1B Umpire Derrick Brooks' Ejection: With two out and none on in the top of the 5th inning, Bees batter Bijan Rademacher bunted a 2-2 pitch (recall that one of ALPB's other new rules allows one foul bunt with two strikes) to catcher Patriots catcher Gonzalez, who threw to first baseman Edwin Espinal as Rademacher arrived at first base, ruled out by 1B Umpire Brooks. Rademacher was subsequently ejected arguing the out/safe call.

HP Umpire Criss ejects Pats' Ohlman
HP Umpire Matt Criss' Ejection: With none out and none on in the bottom of the 8th inning, Patriots batter Mike Ohlman took a 3-1 pitch from Bees pitcher Anthony Alicki for a called second strike, and was ejected arguing this ruling as broadcasters concluded, "he certainly got his money's worth."

The SPN.tv broadcast speculated it was Ohlman (#34) whom Leonardo addressed prior to the game, in which case the sequence would have resulted in an apparent rescinded ejection, which, if it was indeed an ejection that was revised to a warning, ultimately resulted in a delayed false-double-ejection later in the game.

With this ejection, the three-umpire crew completed the ejection cycle (or at least the ejection mechanic cycle) on another increasingly-business-as-usual day in the Atlantic League.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: A long day produces an unconventional baseball game in Somerset (SPN/CCS)


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