Ejection Events, Especially for Balls/Strikes, Soared to Highest Level in 13 Years
Umpires ejected more players, coaches, and managers in 2019 than at any other time during the video instant replay era—and that includes both limited home run reviews (2008-2013) and expanded Replay Review (2014-present).
The 217 ejections during the 2019 regular season easily eclipsed the 2018 regular season's total of 179 ejections, and comprised the most disciplinary dismissals since the 2006 season's 218 ejections. 2019 now ranks seventh-highest since the leagues merged in 2000, trailing just 2000-01 and 2003-06.
In 2019, the climb continued with a whopping 133 ejections for arguing a ball or strike call, a 40% increase over 2018. Of these 133 ejections, the umpire's call was correct 96 times, incorrect 33 times, and could not be conclusively categorized as correct or incorrect on four occasions (i.e., the computer malfunctioned, generally failing to track the pitch entirely), corresponding to a Quality of Correctness—Correct percentage of 74%.
In 2018, umpires were 65% accurate on the 95 ball/strike calls that led to ejection, while in 2017, that figure was just 54% over 101 calls.
The method of ball/strike QOC evaluation remained constant in all three years, which means that 2019's dramatic ejections increase was associated with a greater frequency of correct calls that precipitated the ejection events.
|Umpires' ball/strike ejection accuracy was 74%.|
The other popular reasons for getting kicked out were arguing check swing calls (15 QOCY + 6 QOCN = 21 EJs), pitchers throwing at batters (13 pitchers and managers tossed), arguing warnings (9), and fighting (9).
Day of Week: Umpires ejected most on Saturdays—by far. There were 49 Saturday ejections, followed by 38 Sunday and 38 Tuesday ejections, 29 on Wednesdays, 25 on Fridays, 21 on Thursdays, and 17 on Mondays, the latter two (Thu & Mon) being the MLB schedule's alternating team days off.
|Fight EJs were down, and most were PIT-CIN.|
Managers vs Players: When a player was ejected, this move generally hurt the team's chances to win. When a manager, on the other hand, was ejected, teams turned their 18 managerial ejection ties into 10 wins and 8 losses (.556).
Run Production After Ejection: Perhaps the most astonishing finding of all was that teams in 2019 fared no better after ejection than their opponents in the runs department: post-ejection, the ejected person's team scored a combined 444 runs to a total of 443 scored by the opposition.
Batting Average of Ejected Players: Players who got ejected tended to be abysmal at the plate prior to ejection, with the vast majority of ejected persons having multiple unsuccessful plate appearances prior to getting tossed. Cumulative offensive performance of ejected batters was 26 hits in 205 at-bats, or a .127 batting average.
Replay Review: The Replay Review category follows this general trend in that overall reviews were down (1297) and there were fewer overturned calls in 2019 than during any other season in expanded Replay Review history (592, or an overturn rate of 45.6%). By comparison, 2018 featured 1398 replays, of which 685 (49.0%) were overturned. In 2017, 1366 reviews resulted in 677 overturns (49.6%), while in 2016, 1504 replays produced 776 (51.6%) overturned calls.
Video as follows:
Alternate Link: Stats review indicates ump EJ accuracy improved in tumultuous 2019 (CCS)