Sunday, May 24, 2020

CPBL Ejection, Bench-Clear - Deciphering HBP Intent

Chinese Professional Baseball League HP Umpire Ji Huawen ejected Brothers pitcher Ariel Miranda for throwing at Guardians batter Lin Yiquan in retaliation for a prior HBP, resulting in a benches-clearing incident and learning opportunity for umpires on how to read body language as clues toward deciphering pitcher intent during throwing-at events.

Taiwan's CPBL beanball war cleared benches.
The story began in the bottom of the 3rd inning, when, with two outs Brothers batter Zhang Zhihao took a first-pitch fastball from Fubon Guardians pitcher Henry Sosa for a hit-by-pitch, resulting in a game-ending leg injury and immediate substitution of pinch-runner Chen Zihao.

In the top of the 6th, Guardians leadoff batter Lin Yiquan took a first-pitch fastball from Miranda for a hit-by-pitch, resulting in a game-ending leg injury and Miranda's immediate ejection for intentionally throwing at a batter, care of HP Umpire Ji Huawen; warnings had not been previously issued. At the time of the ejection, Fubon was leading, 4-1. Fubon ultimately won the contest, 7-3.

Reactions sometime confirm an ump's call.
Gil's Call: Watch both pitchers—Sosa in the 3rd and Miranda in the 6th—and note their body language and facial expressions. In the 3rd, Sosa clearly looks distraught and upset about his having injured an opponent with a mistake pitch. In the 6th, Miranda has a blank expression and shows no contrition or other emotion to indicate the expected empathetic response. This should communicate to an umpire or referee that the player either intended to harm the opposition or intended to cause a disruption to the game via HBP or other similar pitch. Player response or micro-expression should not be the only factor in an umpire's decision-making, but can help guide the process.

In April 2020, Sosa threw at Rakuten Monkeys batter Guo Yanwen in retaliation for an illegal bat appeal, resulting in warnings from HP Umpire Lin Jinda.
Related PostCPBL Fight - Illegal Bat, Bean Ball Prompt Bench Clearing (4/19/20).

On May 14, Wu Jiawei ejected Brothers Manager Chiu Chang-Jung and pitcher Esmil Rogers over a runner's lane interference dispute.
Related PostCPBL Ejection - Wu Jiawei (CTBC Brothers) (5/14/20).

Wrap: Fubon Guardians vs CTBC Brothers (CPBL), 5/24/20 | Video as follows:

Alternate Link: How Umpires Can Read Pitchers to Spot Intent on HBPs (CCS)


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