Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Teachable - Reilly Handles a Bean Ball Situation

A pair of pitchers trading hit-by-pitches is our pre-Thanksgiving Tmac's Teachable Moment as HP Umpire Mike Reilly issues warnings to both teams while Cubs Manager Dusty Baker and Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa yell across the field at each other.

Situation handling sometimes requires a heavy hand while other scenarios call for a light touch and Reilly delves into the toolbox to use distance, guiding Baker back to Chicago's dugout when discussing warnings starts to turn into blanket insults toward the opposing squad.

On September 3, 2003, the 73-67 Cardinals faced the 72-67 Cubs at Wrigley Field with crew chief Reilly behind home plate, 1B Umpire Bill Hohn, 2B Umpire Eric Cooper, and 3B Umpire Tim Timmons.

In the top of the 2nd inning, Cubs pitcher Matt Clement hit Cardinals batter (and St. Louis' starting pitcher) Dan Haren with a pitch. During Clement's very next plate appearance to lead off the bottom of the 3rd, Haren returned the favor and hit Clement with a pitch, resulting in warnings from Reilly.

Reilly warns both teams after the second HBP.
Official Baseball Rule 6.02(c)(9) lists two options for addressing a case of a pitcher intentionally throwing at a batter: "Expel the pitcher, or the manager and the pitcher, from the game, or...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."

Note that ignoring the infraction is not one of those two options. Given the location of the Haren-Clement HBP, Reilly surmised that a warning was more useful to manage the game and handle the situation than an ejection, and thus warned both teams.

Cooper officiates the backend tag play.
Not entirely out of the woods yet, with the hit Clement now on first base, 2B Umpire Cooper knew that Kenny Lofton's subsequent ground ball to first base would set up a potential play at second base, and knew that the offended party (Clement) may try to target St. Louis' middle infielder.

Coop set up for the play at second and although Clement did slide into the shortstop more-so than into the base, Cooper was in the midst of the action and ready to handle any further situation that might have arisen had shortstop Edgar Renteria sought to press the issue (he did not and the game proceeded without incident).

This Tmac's Teachable Moment was sponsored by Umpire Placement Course (UmpCourse.com).

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Mike Reilly's Pitcher Bean Ball Situation Handling (CCS)


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