Friday, November 15, 2019

Teachable - Triple Touch & Tag Tasks

Tmac takes us to Baltimore in this Teachable Moment as Orioles batter Rio Ruiz's triple down the right field line led to touch & tag responsibilities for 1B Umpire Jeremie Rehak, U2 Alfonso Marquez, and U3 Dan Bellino, whose safe call was challenged and upheld via Replay Review.

On Ruiz's line drive down the line, 1B Umpire Rehak signaled the ball fair and, while maintaining awareness of the bounding ball's location, pivoted back toward the infield to observe batter-runner Ruiz's base touch at first base.

Meanwhile, 2B Umpire Marquez prepared to take Ruiz through second base, setting up on the outside of the base to observe the base touch and stay out of the runner's way. Because runners generally cut the inside corner while rounding the bases, Rehak and Marquez knew that the most likely part of the base to observe would be that closest to the pitcher's mound.

Runners don't always touch their bases.
Standing on the outside of the base is a great place from which to observe this specific touch while staying out of the players' (runner/fielder) way. Yet unless the defense appeals the base touch, an umpire's work in observing the runner's legality will largely go unnoticed.

3B Umpire Bellino takes the sliding play at third base by setting up in a keyhole angle in line with the runner's path toward the base. By positioning himself in this manner, Bellino spots the daylight (or, nightlight) between the runner's body and fielder's glove, thus enabling him to spy a potential swipe tag or miss.

In this case, the swipe tag is missed, Bellino's safe call is upheld as communicated by Crew Chief Larry Vanover, and all four umpires on the field complete their responsibilities without fanfare: Rehak's fair/foul and base touch, Marquez's base touch, Bellino's tag play, and Vanover's ability to don and remove a Replay Review headset.

This Tmac's Teachable Moment was sponsored by Umpire Placement Course (

Video as follows:

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Podcast - Little League World Series with RichMSN

In 2019, Alan Porter became the second MLB umpire to officiate both the Little League and Major League World Series in a two-month span. We've heard from past guests about the big league fall classic, but now we hear from a bona fide LLWS umpire. Rich Fronheiser (RichMSN) joins the show to discuss the Little League umpiring experience.

Rich walks us through the process for applying for the Little League World Series, beginning with local tournaments and a favorable performance at the regional in years preceding the LLWS, and takes us onto the fields at Williamsport—Volunteer and Lamade Stadiums.

We go through the Williamsport experience, beginning well before the World Series itself and including some training with Gerry Davis (the first MLB umpire to work both the Little League and MLB World Series in the same season), and a minor difference between the Little League and Major League Baseball Replay Review processes.

Click the below play (▶) button to listen to "Episode 21 - Little League World Series with Rich Fronheiser" or visit the show online at You can also access The Plate Meeting on Apple Podcasts/iTunes, Google, Castbox, Spotify, TuneIn, and other podcast services.

Alternate Link: Episode 21 - Little League World Series with Rich Fronheiser

Additional Links, Videos, and Other Media:
The Plate Meeting is brought to you by OSIP, where Outstanding Sportsmanship Is Paramount.

And by Umpire Placement Course. Continue your career at

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

2019 UEFL Final Standings and the Perfect Crew

Awards Season concludes with the 2019 Umpire Ejection Fantasy League's final standings and perfect crew. This year's perfect score was 136 and the lowest score possible was -23, a points spread of 159 (compare to 2018's Perfect Score of 117 and lowest score of -39).
Related Post2018 UEFL Final Standings and the Perfect Crew (11/12/18).

2019 UEFL Perfect Crew (Highest Score): 136 points.
Crew Chief: Sam Holbrook (26 pts).
Primary Umpires: Mike Estabrook (41 pts) & Jeff Nelson (24 pts).
Secondary Umpires: Alan Porter (24 pts) & Bill Miller (21 pts).

PRM Points Leaders:
1) Mike Estabrook (41).
2) Alan Porter (28).
3) Bill Miller, Jeff Nelson, Larry Vanover (24).
6) Carlos Torres (22).
7) Kerwin Danley, Sam Holbrook, Mike Muchlinski (20).
10) Gary Cederstrom, Doug Eddings (19).

2019 UEFL Imperfect Crew (Lowest Score): -23 points.
Crew Chief: Joe West (-5 pts).
Primary Umpires: Ryan Additon (-8 pts) & Gerry Davis (-2 pts).
Secondary Umpires: Gabe Morales (-4 pts) & Dan Iassogna (-4 pts).

Final Standings for the 2019 UEFL Season.
Replay Review Ranking by Umpire (RAP)
T-1) Laz Diaz (.800, 12-for-15).
T-1) Mike Muchlinski (.800, 12-for-15).
3) Bill Miller (.800, 8-for-10).
4) Kerwin Danley (.786, 11-for-14).
5) Greg Gibson (.769, 10-for-13).
6) Manny Gonzalez (.750, 6-for-8).
T-7) Gary Cederstrom (.714, 10-for-14).
T-7) Quinn Wolcott (.714, 10-for-14).
9) Roberto Ortiz (.706, 12-for-17).
T-10) Jeff Nelson (.700, 7-for-10).
T-10) DJ Reyburn (.700, 7-for-10).
12) Marvin Hudson (.692, 9-for-13).
13) Sam Holbrook (.688, 11-for-16).
14) Adam Hamari (.682, 15-for-22).
15) Chad Fairchild (.643, 9-for-14).
T-16) Chris Segal (.636, 14-for-22).
T-16) Hunter Wendelstedt (.636, 14-for-22).
T-18) Lance Barksdale (.636, 7-for-11).
T-18) Alan Porter (.636, 7-for-11).
T-18) John Tumpane (.636, 7-for-11).
T-18) Chad Whitson (.636, 7-for-11).
22) David Rackley (.632, 12-for-19).
T-23) Ted Barrett (.625, 10-for-16).
T-23) Tom Hallion (.625, 10-for-16).
T-25) Ben May (.625, 5-for-8).
T-25) Brennan Miller (.625, 5-for-8).
Full Results: UEFL's MLB Umpire Replay Review Statistics & Sabermetrics

Most Raw Overturns (Greatest # of Overturned Calls)
1) 14: Dan Iassogna.
2) 13: Ron Kulpa.
3) 12: Bill Welke.
4) 11: Dan Bellino, Vic Carapazza, Rob Drake, Alfonso Marquez.
8) 10: Ryan Blakney, Chris Conroy, Mike Everitt, Andy Fletcher, Ed Hickox, Stu Scheurwater, Jansen Visconti, Mark Wegner.

2019 Ejection Leaders
1) Mike Estabrook (13).
2) Larry Vanover (9).
3) Jeremie Rehak, Joe West (7).
5) Alfonso Marquez (6).

2019 UEFL Final Standings (Ties resolved per Rule 5-3)
1) RC2004 (87 pts).
2) trevortinyrichards (78 pts).
3) ralphus95 (68 pts).
4) Umppat (66 pts, 18 PRM-A [Gonzalez]).
5) JROD (66 pts, 14 PRM-A [West]).
6) Twnorton93 (66 pts, 11 PRM-A [Hamari]).
7) UmpBarrett (60 pts).
8) ADUB (59 pts).
9) Bob Abouy (58 pts).
10) ohmlb (57 pts).
11) Chewy6294 (56 pts, 13 PRM-A [Bellino], 41 PRM-B [Estabrook]).
12) BradleyEjAgain (56 pts, 13 PRM-A [Bellino], 14 PRM-B [West]).
13) ref44 (55 pts, 14 PRM-A [West], 24 PRM-B [Nelson]).
14) cyclone14 (55 pts, 14 PRM-A [West], 3 PRM-B [Tumpane]).
15) Fearsome Four (54 pts, 24 PRM-A [Bi Miller]).

Complete Final Standings, points, and results available via the UEFL Portal's 2019 Standings page.
Umpire Leaders available at UEFL's MLB Umpire Replay Review Statistics and Sabermetrics page.

The Rules Summit will begin tomorrow.

Monday, November 11, 2019

2019 UEFL Award for Umpire of the Year - Jim Wolf

Jim Wolf is the UEFL's (Best) Umpire of the Year for 2019 [2018: Ted Barrett].
Voting (Top 5): Wolf (18.3%), Eric Cooper (17.7%), Sam Holbrook (12.8%), Barrett (8.5%), Al Porter (5.5%).

Jim Wolf wins the UEFL Umpire of the Year Award for 2019. Having officiated his first Major League game in 1999, Wolf celebrates two decades in the big leagues, and six consecutive postseasons (2014-19). Wolf's second career World Series in 2019 capped a year that reportedly saw him ranked first amongst all MLB umpires behind home plate.

He finished the season with zero ejections (his second consecutive season with no ejections) and one no-hitter (Houston's combined no-hitter against Seattle on August 6). Wrote Turducken, succinctly, "You get a game 7 WS, you're the best."

UEFL Awards History, Jim Wolf
Noteworthy Umpire of the Year: 2011

Jim Wolf now has 12 points in the Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (7 Previous + 5 Award = 12).
Final Standings will be released this week.