Friday, February 14, 2020

Podcast - Mike Reilly's Rite of Spring

Retired MLB crew chief Mike Reilly joins The Plate Meeting podcast to trace his career as an umpire, talks about the excitement of Spring Training a week ahead of baseball's 2020 preseason, and shares a healthy heap of stories from ejections to odd plays and fond memories both on and off the field.

Cornflakes tells us how he earned that nickname courtesy Detroit sportscaster Ernie Harwell, the story of ejecting Earl Weaver as a young umpire ("Kid, you're gonna be a good umpire, but you can't umpire today!"), the infamous World Series Bill Haller-Weaver tiff, and takes your questions.

Listen to this show by clicking the play button on the following player or by visiting the link, below. You can also download The Plate Meeting podcast through providers such as Apple Podcasts, Google, Spotify, and more.

Alternate Link: Episode 24 - Mike Reilly's Rite of Spring (CCS on Anchor).

28:00 - 2B Umpire Mike Reilly witnesses Haller's famous mic'd up ejection of Earl Weaver
38:15 - Giants batboy Darren Baker runs onto field during 2002 WS play, HP Umpire Mike Reilly

41:00 - Mike remembers Chuck Meriwether.
49:00 - The Origin of Mike's Corn Flakes Reilly nickname.
53:00 - Mike turns down ump analyst gig at FOX.
56:00 - Questions from the audience.

57:00 - The Steve Bartman play at Wrigley Field - Marlins @ Cubs

The Plate Meeting, a Left Field Umpire Podcast is the official audio program of Close Call Sports, where we talk umpiring with umpires, including analysis or other conversation pertaining to plays, ejections, rules, and more.

It is brought to you by OSIP, where Outstanding Sportsmanship is Paramount.
Follow us on Twitter šŸ¦ (@UmpireEjections) and like on Facebook šŸ‘ (/UmpireEjections).

Thursday, February 13, 2020

MLB's 2020 Rules Include 20-Second Replay Clock

Major League Baseball announced rules changes for the 2020 season, including adoption of MLB's previously-proposed three-batter minimum and a pace-of-play oriented Manager's Challenge procedure change for Replay Review.

Pitchers Must Face Three Batters or End an Inning: This rule, which takes effect during Spring Training as of games played on March 12, requires a pitcher to face a minimum of three batters or to end an inning, whichever comes first. One of MLB's goals is to decrease overall game time, and the League identified pitching changes as a significant culprit: Baseball's idea here is to reduce pitching changes via a pitching mandatory minimum rule.

The rule affords an exception for injury: If a pitcher is injured or falls ill prior to completing the three-batter/end of inning obligation, such incapacitation shall afford the team the ability to remove the pitcher at any time. Whether a pitcher is truly incapacitated or unable to continue is subject to discretion of the umpire crew chief.

Another potential loophole is ejection: If a pitcher is ejected (for instance, for intentionally pitching at batter #2), said pitcher will not be required/forced to face subsequent hitter #3.

Example 1: If a starting pitcher walks the the first two batters of the game, said starter shall be ineligible to be removed. Upon walking (or retiring, or giving up a hit, etc.) the third batter, the pitcher will become eligible for substitution (three batter rule).

Example 2: If a relief pitcher inherits a one-out, bases loaded situation and immediately induces an inning-ending double play, that pitcher will be eligible to be removed (offensive team is put out). If, instead, the pitcher gains only a second (but not third) out on the play, the relief pitcher must remain in the game for a second batter. If this second batter grounds out to end the inning, the pitcher may be removed. If the second batter reaches base, the pitcher must face a third batter. Regardless of what happens during the third hitter's at-bat, once this third batsman completes his time at bat (or a third out is made), the pitcher may be replaced.

Reduction in Challenge Time: Another pace of play initiative-turned-rules change pertains to the Replay Review Regulations. In 2020, a Manager has up to 20 seconds from the conclusion of play to decide whether or not to challenge the umpire's call. This is a decrease from last year's time limit of 30 seconds.

Seeing as umpires did occasionally have to enforce the 30-second clock by denying challenge requests by some managers (and, in a few cases, ejected managers for arguing this enforcement), one might surmise that such disputes will increase in 2020, with a 33% reduction in decision-making time allotment.
Related PostReplay Clock Crackdown - Barrett Denies Bochy Review (4/2/19).

Active Roster Limits: Rosters from Opening Day through August 31 will expand from 25 to 26, September rosters must have 28 players (max. 14 pitchers subject to two-way player designation), position players are permitted to pitch only in extra innings and/or any game with a 6+ run differential, and pitcher injured list reinstatements cannot occur sooner than 15 days after initial placement on the Injured List.

Video as follows:

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Manager Osuna Punished for Spitting on Umpire Leal

Following an ejection in the Venezuelan League, Tiburones (Sharks) Manager Renny Osuna spit on umpire Carlos Leal before taking his tantrum into the dugout. Named the LVBP's 2019-20 Manager of the Year, Osuna now faces a 10-game suspension and fine to be imposed next season, as the winter league has already named a champion.

Osuna argued with Leal during a Sharks at-bat against Los Caribes de AnzoĆ”tegui (La Guaira was ultimately swept by AnzoĆ”tegui in the semifinal round of the playoffs), netting himself an ejection. During the post-ejection dispute, Osuna appeared to spit in Leal's face before being ushered off the field.

Once back inside his dugout, Osuna appeared to enter into a physical confrontation with a member of the Sharks before finally leaving the confines. The LVBP's 10-game suspension is codified in the league's Code of Ethics and Discipline, as is its monetary fine.

Approximately 10 days following the spitting incident, Osuna received the LVBP's Alfonso "Chico" Carrasquel Award for 2019-2020 Manager of the Year.

Video as follows:

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Tmac's Teachable Moments - The Official Warning

With college baseball starting its 2020 season, Tmac's Teachable Moments visits the official warning for verbal abuse as codified in the NCAA rulebook.

In this example, Prospect League HP Umpire Andy McPherson officially warns the West Virginia Miners for bench jockeying in the 3rd inning with WVA leading the Chillicothe Paints, 6-2.

This warning proves beneficial for the crew several innings later, after West Virginia has surrendered 12 unanswered runs to put Chillicothe ahead, 14-6, and McPherson enforces the NCAA verbal abuse procedure for repeated abuse in ejecting Miners Manager Mike Syrett.

Writing a ticket (warning) on the lineup card.
For reference, two relevant rules apply. First is NCAA 2-57 in the definitions section: "An 'Official Warning' is a warning from an umpire that carries the words, 'This is your official warning. If you continue, you will leave me no option but to eject you.' Slang terms such as, but not limited to, 'knock it off;' 'that's enough;' 'don't say anything else;' or, 'I've heard enough' do not constitute an official warning."

Finally, NCAA 5-17 (Verbal Abuse [Bench Jockeying])'s penalty states, "The umpire shall warn the offending individual and the coach one time. If the verbal abuse continues after the warning, the offender shall be ejected. If the verbal abuse continues after the first ejection, the head coach shall be ejected along with any other offending personnel."

Also included in this Teachable are the following lessons: "Keep your eye everlastingly on the ball while it is in play" (shared language with OBR's General Instructions to Umpires) and to work with catchers as part of a game management strategy. This scenario—warning & ejection—occurs in part because of the catcher's bad body language and poor working relationship with the plate umpire.

Video as follows: