Tuesday, July 6, 2021

El Paso Coach Ejected After Team Refuses to Play

HP Umpire Lew Williams ejected Chihuahuas 3B coach Oscar Salazar while enforcing baseball's pace of play batter's box rule as El Paso unsuccessfully tried to delay a game from becoming official in the top of the 5th inning and Albuquerque leading, 3-0.

With none out and one on (R2), El Paso batter Taylor Kohlwey refused to take his position in the batter's box, with broadcasters speculating that manager Edwin Rodriguez had ordered Kohlwey away from home plate.

Notably, while speculation reigned that Rodriguez's argument pertained to lightning in the area and potentially not wanting to place a batter onto the open field, it bears mention that El Paso baserunner R2 Matt Batten remained on second base and both base coaches remained in their positions during this peculiar standoff near home plate.

Regardless, as Official Baseball Rule 4.03(e) states, "the umpires are in charge of the playing field and from [the moment lineups are exchanged] the umpire-in-chief shall have sole authority to determine when a game shall be called, suspended, or resumed on account of weather."

Williams, having consulted with Triple-A West crewmates Justin Robinson and Clayton Hamm, and having determined the game shall proceed, then turned to OBR 5.04(b)(3) regarding a batter's refusal to occupy the batter's box and called automatic strikes, three of which turned into an automatic out.

After Williams possibly reminded or warned of OBR 7.03(a)(2) and (3) which allow umpires to forfeit a game if a team refuses to continue play or "employs tactics palpably designed to delay or shorten the game," manager Rodriguez sent ensuing batter Ivan Castillo to the plate to resume play with an out charged to the team due to Kohlwey's repeated refusal to enter the box.

3B coach Salazar continued to argue and was summarily dismissed, with El Paso going on to score three runs in the frame before the now-tied game was officially suspended due to weather.

Wrap: El Paso Chihuahuas vs. Albuquerque Isotopes, 7/6/21 | Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Stall tactics turn into ejection as El Paso tries to delay (CCS)


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