Saturday, July 25, 2020

Expedition Ejection - A Summer Ball Call

As MLB's season begins with COVID precautions and safety protocols, such as a 2020 rule prescribing ejection for leaving one's position to come within six feet of an umpire to argue a call, we visit the collegiate Expedition League, where a head coach was ejected during a socially un-distant argument in a league left splintered by the virus.

Safe or Out: What's your call?
In the bottom of the 6th inning of Friday's game between the Pierre Trappers and Badlands Big Sticks, Big Sticks batter Nathan Sanders hit a ground ball to Trappers pitcher Hayden Robbins, who threw to first base as Sanders arrived, ruled safe by the field umpire, resulting in argument from and ejection of Trappers Head Coach Tanner Neale (college: head coach, pro: manager). At the time of the ejection, the Trappers were leading, 4-1. The Trappers ultimately won the contest, 9-6.

The Expedition League is a collegiate summer baseball league covering the Great Plans and headquartered in Rapid City, South Dakota; the reigning champion Big Sticks play in Dickinson, North Dakota.

Coronavirus cases are increasing in North Dakota, including microsite Dickinson of Stark County, home of Friday's game, but remain steady in South Dakota, according to CDC statistics. Dickinson, however, began the month with lower-than-average cases per capita.

Larry Vanover's crew wearing masks in DC.
Like Major League Baseball, the Expedition League postponed the start of its season due to COVID-19, but unlike MLB, is not subject to coronavirus restrictions found in larger cities nor has the league disclosed its testing protocols, or lack thereof.

None of the Expedition League participants appeared to be wearing face masks, or, in lieu of such coverings, practicing physical distancing.

By contrast and in addition to its league-wide six-foot ejection rule, MLB purportedly and recently removed an umpire from the field of play due to potential contact with a COVID-positive player.

Six of the Expedition League's regular teams opted out of the 2020 season due to the virus, including the Casper Horseheads (Wyoming), Sioux Falls Sunfish (SD), Spearfish Sasquatch (SD), and Wheat City Whiskey Jacks (Brandon, Manitoba, Canada).

H/T to @KarterKudrana33 on Twitter for forwarding the video, which is as follows:

Alternate Link: Trappers Head Coach Ejected Arguing Safe Call At 1st Base


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