Saturday, June 19, 2021

MLB Ejections 78-9 - Ryan Additon (Joey Votto, David Bell)

HP Umpire Ryan Additon ejected Reds 1B Joey Votto and manager David Bell (check swing strike three call by 3B Umpire Chris Guccione) in the top of the 1st inning of the #Reds-#Padres game. With one out and none on, Votto attempted to check his swing on a 1-2 fastball from Padres pitcher Miguel Diaz, ruled a ball by HP Umpire Additon and a swinging strike on appeal by 3B Umpire Guccione. Play was reviewed and adjudicated by the UEFL Appeals Board (9-0), the call was correct. At the time of the ejections, the Reds were leading, 1-0. The Padres ultimately won the contest, 7-5. 

These are Ryan Additon (67)'s 1st and 2nd ejections of 2021.
Ryan Additon now has 8 points in the UEFL Standings (2 Prev + 2*[2 AAA + 1 QOCY-crewmate] = 8).
Crew Chief Jim Reynolds now has 5 points in Crew Division (3 Previous + 2 Correct Calls = 5).

These are the 78th and 79th ejection reports of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 28th player ejection of 2021. Prior to ejection, Votto was 0-1 (SO) in the contest.
This is the 41st manager ejection of 2021.
This is Cincinnati's 5/6th ejection of 2021, T-1st in the NL Central (CIN, MIL 6; CHC, PIT 3; STL 2).
This is Joey Votto's 1st ejection since Sept 12, 2020 (DJ Reyburn; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is David Bell's 3rd ejection of 2021, 1st since June 12 (Marvin Hudson; QOC = Y [Foul/Strike]).
This is Ryan Additon's 1st ejection since April 18, 2019 (Brandon Belt; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Cincinnati Reds vs. San Diego Padres, 6/19/21 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 077 - Jerry Meals (1; Alek Manoah)

1B Umpire Jerry Meals ejected Blue Jays pitcher Alek Manoah (throwing at) in the bottom of the 4th inning of the #BlueJays-#Orioles game. With one out and one on, Orioles batter Ryan Mountcastle and DJ Stewart hit back-to-back home runs before ensuing batter Maikel Franco took a first-pitch sinker from Manoah for a hit-by-pitch, resulting in a benches-clearing incident. Replays indicate the pitch was located inside and struck Franco on the shoulder, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Orioles were leading, 5-2. The Blue Jays ultimately won the contest, 10-7.

This is Jerry Meals (41)'s 1st ejection of 2021.
Jerry Meals now has 3 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Previous + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable = 3).
Crew Chief Jerry Meals now has 2 points in Crew Division (1 Prev + 1 Irrecusable Call = 2).

This is the 77th ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 27th player ejection of 2021. Prior to ejection, Manoah's line was 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 4 HR.
This is Toronto's 2nd ejection of 2021, T-3rd in the AL East (NYY 6; BOS 3; BAL, TOR 2; TB 0).
This is Alex Manoah's first career MLB ejection.
This is Jerry Meals' 1st ejection since September 4, 2020 (Andy Haines; QOC = N [Check Swing]).

Wrap: Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles, 6/19/21 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 076 - Sean Barber (2; Aaron Boone)

HP Umpire Sean Barber ejected Yankees manager Aaron Boone (ball three/four call; QOCN) in the top of the 9th inning of the #Athletics-#Yankees game. With one out and none on, A's batter Mark Canha took a 2-1 slider from Yankees pitcher Aroldis Chapman for a called third ball and 3-1 fastball from Chapman for a called fourth ball. Replays indicate the 2-1 pitch ruled ball three was located over the outer half of home plate and below the midpoint (px 0.63, pz 3.33 [sz_top 3.47 / RAD 3.59 / MOE 3.51]) and the 3-1 pitch ruled ball four was located over the outer edge of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px 0.72, pz 1.60 [sz_bot 1.59 / RAD 1.47 / MOE 1.55]), the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Yankees were leading, 7-4. The Yankees ultimately won the contest, 7-5.

This is Sean Barber (29)'s 3rd ejection of 2021.
Sean Barber now has 8 points in the UEFL Standings (4 Prev + 2 AAA - 4 Incorrect Call = 2).
Crew Chief Marvin Hudson now has 3 points in Crew Division (3 Previous + 0 QOCN = 3).
*The 2-1 pitch was located 2.16 and 3-1 pitch located 0.60 vertical inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 76th ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 40th manager ejection of 2021.
This is New York's 6th ejection of 2021, 1st in the AL East (NYY 6; BOS 3; BAL 2; TOR 1; TB 0).
This is Aaron Boone's 3rd ejection of 2021, 1st since June 3 (Chad Whitson; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Sean Barber's 3rd ejection of 2021, 1st since June 10 (Dusty Baker; QOC = Y [Fair/Foul]).

Wrap: Oakland Athletics vs. New York Yankees, 6/19/21 | Video as follows:

Friday, June 18, 2021

Injury Scout - Larry Vanover Exits Early After Mask Hit

HP Umpire Larry Vanover left Friday's #Reds-#Padres game in San Diego after an early foul ball to the mask.

In the top of the 1st inning, Reds batter Jesse Winker swung at and fouled a 96-mph fastball from Padres pitcher Chris Paddack off catcher Victor Caratini's mitt and deflected into Vanover's traditional-style facemask. Vanover completed the top and bottom of the 1st inning and exited the game prior to the start of the 2nd.

Vanover was replaced behind home plate by 1B Umpire and Acting Crew Chief Chris Guccione while 2B Umpire Ryan Additon moved to first base and 3B Umpire David Rackley remained at third base. Crew Chief Jim Reynolds joined the crew on Saturday to fill in for the absent Vanover.

Relevant Injury History: Vanover has previously left a game due to a head injury.
> On August 29, 2017, Vanover left a game in San Diego due to a foul ball to the mask injury.
> On May 5, 2013, Vanover left a game in Anaheim after a foul ball struck him in the mask.

Last Game: June 20 | Return to Play: July 1 | Time Absent: 10 Days | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 075 - Jim Wolf (1; Christian Arroyo)

HP Umpire Jim Wolf ejected Red Sox 2B Christian Arroyo (strike three call; QOCY) in the top of the 9th inning of the #RedSox-#Royals game. With one out and none on, Arroyo took a 1-2 fastball from Royals pitcher Greg Holland for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner edge of home plate and at the waist (px -0.75, pz 3.02 [sz_top 3.41]), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Royals were leading, 5-3. The Royals ultimately won the contest, 5-3.

This is Jim Wolf (28)'s 1st ejection of 2021.
Jim Wolf now has 5 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 5).
Crew Chief Sam Holbrook now has 4 points in Crew Division (3 Previous + 1 QOCY = 4).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 1.97 horizontal inches from being deemed an incorrect call.

This is the 75th ejection of 2021.
This is the 26th player ejection of 2021. Prior to ejection, Arroyo was 1-5 (3 SO) in the contest.
This is Boston's 3rd ejection of 2021, 2nd in the AL East (NYY 5; BOS 3; BAL 2; TOR 1; TB 0).
This is Christian Arroyo's first career MLB ejection.
This is Jim Wolf's 1st ejection since June 23, 2017 (Rick Renteria; QOC = Y [Fair/Foul]).

Wrap: Boston Red Sox vs. Kansas City Royals, 6/18/21 | Video as follows:

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

MLB Issues New Foreign Substance Guidelines

Major League Baseball released enhanced enforcement protocols for Official Baseball Rule 3.01 and 6.02(c) regarding foreign substances and intentionally altering the ball, instructing umpires to apply stricter scrutiny regarding the rules. The changes take effect Monday, June 21.

OBR 3.01 states, "No player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by rubbing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sand-paper, emery-paper or other foreign substance" while 6.02(c) regarding pitcher prohibitions states that a pitcher shall not "rub the ball on his glove, person or clothing," "apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball," "deface the ball in any manner," or "have on their person or in their possession any foreign substance."

The prescribed penalty for a 3.01 illegal ball violation is ejection and automatic 10-game suspension.

MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement and MLBUA President Bill Miller supporting the decision: "“The integrity of the competition is of utmost importance to us. We have worked diligently with MLB to develop an enforcement system that will treat all players and clubs equally.”

MLB's enhanced guidelines are as follows:

Monday, June 14, 2021

MLB Ejection 074 - Nestor Ceja (1; Brandon Hyde)

1B Umpire Nestor Ceja ejected Orioles manager Brandon Hyde (check swing hit-by-pitch call) in the bottom of the 1st inning of the #Orioles-#Indians game. With none out and one on (R1), Indians batter Amed Rosario attempted to check his swing on a 3-2 fastball from Orioles pitcher Dean Kremer, ruled a foul ball and no swing by HP Umpire Jim Wolf, affirmed as no swing by 1B Umpire Ceja, and overturned to a hit-by-pitch upon Replay Review as the result of a Manager's Challenge by Indians manager Terry Francona. Play was reviewed and adjudicated by the UEFL Appeals Board (9-0), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 0-0. The Indians ultimately won the contest, 4-3.

This is Nestor Ceja (103)'s 1st ejection of 2021.
Nestor Ceja now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (2 Prev + 2 AAA + 2 Correct Call = 6).
Crew Chief Sam Holbrook now has 3 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 1 QOCY = 3).
Related EjectionMLB Ejection 002 - Jeremie Rehak (1; Brandon Hyde) [Swing vs HBP] (4/8/21).
*Related Post for Brandon Hyde: MLB Debut of Umpire Nestor Ceja (8/14/20).

This is the 74th ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 39th manager ejection of 2021.
This is Baltimore's 2nd ejection of 2021, T-2nd in the AL East (NYY; BAL, BOS 2; TOR 1; TB 0).
This is Brandon Hyde's 2nd ejection of 2021, 1st since April 8 (Jeremie Rehak; QOC = Y [Check Swing]).
This is Nestor Ceja's 1st ejection since August 22, 2020 (Martin Maldonado; QOC = U [Warnings]).

Wrap: Baltimore Orioles vs. Cleveland Indians, 6/14/21 | Video as follows:

Ask UEFL - Altuve Awarded Base Touch on Reversed HR

When Replay Review reversed Astros batter Jose Altuve's foul ball down the left field line in Minnesota to a home run, Crew Chief Dan Iassogna informed Houston that their runner would not need to run and touch all the bases to complete the HR, leading to a question as to why umpires instructed Michael Morse to re-run the bases during his 2012 grand slam following review.

The answer to this question is slightly less complex than one might think: When Morse hit his home run in 2012, originally ruled a single, umpire Jeff Nelson reviewed the call under MLB's original limited replay framework: three umpires left the playing field to watch a television in the bowels of Busch Stadium before rendering a verdict. Upon overturning the call, umpires were careful to make sure bases were appropriately touched.

By contrast, in 2021, plays are reviewed via the expanded Replay Review process, complete with a slew of Replay Review Regulations originally released in 2014. Though various parts of the regulations have changed over the years—and generally not in a public way—the 2014 iteration provides a huge clue in its section on base running challenges in Section V.F, which allows umpires to award a runner with a base touch (e.g., of home plate on a play at the plate if originally called out) if the umpires deem that the runner would otherwise have been safe had the correct call been made as the original call.

We also covered this in 2018 when Replay Review changed a foul ball to a fair ball call in Los Angeles. Baserunner Alex Verdugo was permitted to cut across the diamond from first to third base without needing to touch second. As we wrote at the time, "When a runner is awarded a base via replay, the Replay Official's placement of the runner carries with it a legal touch of any intermediary bases (in this case, second), such that Verdugo is assumed to have legally touched second base en route to third, because the Replay Official determined that he would have achieved third base had the original ruling been proper."

Section IV, correcting an incorrect call, agrees, which mirrors Official Baseball Rule 8.02(c): "If the umpires consult after a play and change a call that had been made, then they have the authority to take all steps that they may deem necessary, in their discretion, to eliminate the results and consequences of the earlier call that they are reversing, including placing runners where they think those runners would have been after the play, had the ultimate call been made as the initial call, disregarding interference or obstruction that may have occurred on the play; failures of runners to tag up based upon the initial call on the field; runners passing other runners or missing bases; etc., all in the discretion of the umpires."

Video as follows:

Sunday, June 13, 2021

In re: Shohei Ohtani's Two Balks in Arizona

In the 5th inning of Friday's #Angels-#Diamondbacks game, 3B Umpire Dan Merzel alongside home plate umpire Greg Gibson's crew motioned to both benches that Los Angeles of Anaheim's pitcher Shohei Ohtani had committed a balk. We review this call as well as a similar balk several pitches later, relative to Official Baseball Rule 6.02(a), which governs balks.

With Eduardo Escobar batting in the bottom of the 5th and two Dbacks on base (R1, R2), Ohtani balked, with umpires ruling that a subtle flinch prior to a feign to second base constituted an illegal act. The relevant rule is OBR 6.02(a)(1), which states, "If there is a runner, or runners, it is a balk when—The pitcher, while touching his plate, makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery."

Replays indicate Ohtani moved slightly toward home plate—by perhaps a millimeter and a half—before reversing course and stepping off toward second base. This technically correct start-stop balk call set the tone for several future calls in this game.

Several pitches later, with runners at second and third, Ohtani balked an Arizona run in after he was called for violation of related balk rule OBR 6.02(a)(13): "The pitcher delivers the pitch from Set Position without coming to a stop."

Bearing in mind the idealized officiating value of consistency in play-calling, we fast forward to the top of the 10th inning of this game tied at five, in which, with Angels runner Jared Walsh at second base, umpires called Diamondbacks pitcher Ryan Buchter for a start-stop balk similar to Ohtani's OBR 6.02(a)(1) call that kicked off the festivities in Arizona's 5th inning. Walsh later scored Anaheim Los Angeles's go-ahead run on an RBI groundout, and the Angels ultimately won the contest, 6-5, in 10 innings.

Key takeaway: If it's a balk in the 5th inning, it best be a balk in the 10th inning of a tied game as well.

Video as follows:

Last Time By Touch Failure Costs Texas on Base Appeal

When 3B Umpire Nic Lentz declared Rangers runner Adolis Garcia out at third on Los Angeles' base touch appeal, he invoked Official Baseball Rule 5.09(c)(2) and the 'last time by' principle for base running to give the Dodgers its second successful base touch appeal in less than a week. Unlike Tuesday's game in Pittsburgh, however, this nullified run did not matter as Texas ultimately won the contest, 12-1.

With one out and Garcia on second base, Rangers batter Joey Gallo hit a 0-1 slider from Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer into the outfield. Perhaps thinking right fielder Zach McKinstry had caught the ball (it bounced), Garcia first touched third base before retreating toward second without retouching third, and finally running home to score, also without touching third base. The Dodgers appealed and 3B Umpire Lentz ruled Garcia out for a violation of OBR 5.09(c)(2): "With the ball in play, while advancing or returning to a base, they fail to touch each base in order before they, or a missed base, is tagged."

To understand why Garcia's baserunning was illegal requires an understanding of two points: passing a base and the last time by principle.

Passing a Base
: As we've discussed several times, pursuant to the MLB Umpire Manual, "A runner is considered to have passed a base if they both feet on the ground beyond the back edge of the base or beyond the edge of the base in the direction to which he is advancing." The accompanying annotation of Garcia near third base indicates that after initially passing third base (and touching it), Garcia retreated back toward second and un-passed (backward/retreated) third base, meaning he was now positioned prior to third. Following this action, Garcia again passed (forward/advanced) third base en route to home plate, only this time, without touching third base.

Last Time By
: Having established that Garcia passed third base, retreated to a position prior to third base, and then passed third base again, we turn to the "last time by" principle. The MLBUM states the following regarding a runner who touches a base in advancing, but misses retouching the base on the runner's way back to a prior base, only to again touch the base in advancing once again: "If the runner retouches first and then second in advancing to the awarded base, the runner’s failure to touch second base in returning to first is “corrected” under the theory that touching the base the “last time by” corrects any previous error."

In other words, this is what happened: Garcia touched and ran past third base. After passing third base, Garcia retreated back toward second base and in doing so un-passed third base without retouching it. After establishing his position prior to third base (on the second base side of the bag), Garcia again passed third base, only this time, he failed to touch the base.

Under "last time by," Garcia was properly declared out on appeal for failing to touch third base on his last time by the base, which supersedes the touching action that occurred prior to that last time by act. Had Garcia touched third base on his way to home plate (his last time by), he would have effectively nullified his illegal failure to touch the base on his brief retreat toward second base and rendered the Dodgers' appeal meritless, for a runner's base touch legality depends on what such a runner does on their last time by.

Video as follows: