Saturday, September 4, 2021

MLB Ejection 163 - Bill Welke (2; Carter Kieboom)

HP Umpire Bill Welke ejected Nationals 3B Carter Kieboom (strike three call; QOCY) in the bottom of the 6th inning of the #Mets-#Nationals game. With one out and none on, Kieboom took a 3-2 fastball from Mets pitcher Tylor Megill for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer edge of home plate and thigh-high (px 0.84, pz 2.70 [sz_top 3.47]), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Nationals were leading, 4-3. The Nationals ultimately won the contest, 4-3, in 7 innings.


This is Bill Welke (3)'s 2nd ejection of 2021.
Bill Welke now has 5 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 5).
Crew Chief Laz Diaz now has 2 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Previous + 1 QOCY = 2).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 0.89 horizontal inches from being deemed an incorrect call.

This is the 163rd ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 66th player ejection of 2021. Prior to ejection, Kieboom was 1-3 (2 SO) in the contest.
This is Washington's 5th ejection of 2021, 4th in the NL East (PHI 8; MIA, NYM 7; WAS 5; ATL 1).
This is Carter Kieboom's first career MLB ejection.
This is Bill Welke's 2nd ejection of 2021, 1st since April 18 (Wade Miley; QOC = N-c [Foul/Tip/Strike]).

Wrap: New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals (Game 2), 9/4/21 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 162 - Ryan Wills (2; Dave Martinez)

1B Umpire Ryan Wills ejected Nationals manager Dave Martinez (check swing ball four call) in the top of the 2nd inning of the #Mets-#Nationals game. With two out and one on (R1), Mets batter Pete Alonso attempted to check his swing on a 3-2 curveball from Nationals pitcher Erick Fedde, ruled a ball by HP Umpire Ben May and affirmed as no swing on appeal by 1B Umpire Wills. This play is under review by the UEFL Appeals Board (check swing), the call was *PENDING*. At the time of the ejection, the Mets were leading, 6-0. The Mets ultimately won the contest, 11-9.

This is Ryan Wills (118)'s 2nd ejection of 2021.
Ryan Wills now has ? points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 2 AAA + ? Call = ?).
Crew Chief Laz Diaz now has ? points in Crew Division (1 Previous + ? Call = ?).

This is the 162nd ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 74th manager ejection of 2021.
This is Washington's 4th ejection of 2021, 4th in the NL East (PHI 8; MIA, NYM 7; WAS 4: ATL 1).
This is Dave Martinez's 2nd ejection of 2021, 1st since May 19 (Chris Conroy; QOC = Y [RLI]).
This is Ryan Wills' 2nd ejection of 2021, 1st since May 12 (Ramon Laureano; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals (Doubleheader Gm 1), 9/4/21 | Video as follows:

Ask UEFL - Batter-Runner Fights Fielder During HR Trot

When Reno Aces batter Henry Ramos fought Tacoma Rainiers shortstop Donovan Walton during his home run trot, inciting a benches-clearing brawl, it also meant that Ramos did not complete his base touches at third or home plate. With punches thrown and players ejected, what is an umpire's official call to be in such a situation when a runner fails to touch a base to which said runner is entitled to advance?

A similar play occurred at the Major League level in 2013 after Brewers batter Carlos Gomez hit an out-of-the-park home run in Atlanta. With the HR entitling Gomez to advance to home plate, scoring a run, while similarly causing the ball to become dead, Gomez and several members of the Braves became engaged in unsporting behavior, culminating with Braves catcher Brian McCann physically confronting Gomez as the Brewers batter-runner ran toward home plate.

Due to the ensuing fight, during which Braves players Gerald Laird and Freddie Freeman, alongside Milwaukee's Gomez, were ejected, Gomez never did physically touch home plate.

After the play, HP Umpire Paul Nauert and crew awarded Gomez with a touch of home plate and the game continued with the home run credited to the now-ejected Gomez.

When we put together a Case Play in the incident's aftermath, the conclusion held that the umpires ruled obstruction on McCann, the penalty of which was to award Gomez a touch of home plate. Pursuant to both the Official Baseball Rules and various interpretation manuals including the MLBUM and Wendelstedt's book, the principle is to penalize the first team to offend while also failing to execute their expected responsibility during a play and/or prevent an opponent from completing a base award.

In this situation—a dead ball home run—the only responsibility belonged to Ramos, as it did to Gomez in 2013: the responsibility to round the bases and touch home plate. Video confirms that both Ramos and Gomez, although engaged in taunting or other verbal unpleasantness, were in the act of running the bases when someone on the defense—Walton for Ramos and McCann for Gomez—left their position to confront the offensive player, inciting a melee.

Even if we assume the batter-runner and the fielder are equally at fault for the unsporting incident, that's what ejections are for. Insofar as the actual base touches are concerned, the runner is entitled to advance without liability to be put out and in both cases, the defense's illegal actions during a dead ball contributed to the prevention of their batter-runner opponents from completing a base award. As Wendelstedt states, when such obstruction occurs, "the umpire may consider the base as touched or reached if he believes it would have taken place had the obstruction not occurred."

Finally, even with the offensive player ejected for fighting, "disqualification shall not take effect until no further action is possible in that play." Because, in both events, obstruction occurred prior to the disqualification, the award holds and the umpires may credit the player with their awarded base touch(es).

Video as follows:

Friday, September 3, 2021

Buster's Pocket Full of Posey Rules Misfire Hurts SF in Two Runners, One Base Fiasco

When Giants catcher Buster Posey tagged Dodgers baserunners R2 Corey Seager and R3 Justin Turner as they both occupied third base, it seemed only 3B Umpire Nestor Ceja knew about baseball's two runners-one-base rule 5.06(a)(2) as all three players vacated the immediate area, only for Posey to then retag the runner who was already out.

The Giants needed a double play to win the game and, had Posey heeded the Official Baseball Rules, San Francisco would have gotten it. Instead, Los Angeles kept a runner on third base, who subsequently scored to tie the game with two out in the 9th inning.

Play: With one out and two on (R2, R3), Dodgers batter Will Smith hit a 0-1 fastball from Giants pitcher Jake McGee on the ground to second baseman Thairo Estrada, who threw home to catcher Posey as Dodgers baserunner R3 Turner ran down the line. Posey ran Turner all the way back to third base as R2 Seager stood on it, with Posey tagging both Dodgers runners.

Call
: 3B Umpire Ceja no-called Posey's first tag of Turner, and then pointed to and ruled Seager out on Posey's ensuing tag of Seager. Both Dodgers players then vacated third base and Posey opted to pursue and tag retired R2 Seager while R3 Turner scampered safely back to third base.

Mechanics-wise, umpires employ a point or bird-dog in such a situation to make it clear which runner is the player being declared out. Unfortunately, Turner didn't appear to pay attention. Then again, neither did Posey.

Rule: Official Baseball Rule 5.06(a)(2) states: "Two runners may not occupy a base, but if, while the ball is alive, two runners are touching a base, the following runner shall be out when tagged and the preceding runner is entitled to the base, unless Rule 5.06(b)(2) applies." OBR 5.06(b)(2), for what it's worth, pertains to force plays and effectively reverses entitlements in such a situation (on a force play, the trailing runner is entitled to the base).
Related PostRight of Return - Occupied Base (4/3/18).

Conclusion: As Giants broadcaster Jon Miller correctly stated, the trail runner (Seager) was out and Posey tagged the wrong runner (Seager), effectively tagging out an already-retired player for a second time. Fortunately for San Francisco, the Giants defeated their division rival Dodgers in extra innings, thanks to a walk-off error that enabled Posey to reach first base on a bases-loaded ground ball.

Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 161 - Greg Gibson (4; Christian Yelich)

HP Umpire Greg Gibson ejected Brewers LF Christian Yelich (check swing call) in the bottom of the 5th inning of the #Cardinals-#Brewers game. With two out and one on (R1), Brewers batter Lorenzo Cain attempted to check his swing on a 0-2 cutter from Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright, ruled a swinging third strike by HP Umpire Gibson. This play is under review by the UEFL Appeals Board, the call was *PENDING*. At the time of the ejection, the Cardinals were leading, 8-0. The Cardinals ultimately won the contest, 15-4.

This is Greg Gibson (53)'s fourth ejection of 2021.
Greg Gibson now has ? points in the UEFL Standings (6 Previous + 2 MLB + ? Call = ?).
Crew Chief Gerry Davis now has ? points in Crew Division (0 Previous + ? Call = ?).

This is the 161st ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 65th player ejection of 2021. Prior to ejection, Yelich was 0-2 in the contest.
This is Milwaukee's 16th ejection of 2021, 1st in the NL Central (MIL 16; CIN 12; CHC 7; STL 6; PIT 3).
This is Christian Yelich's 2nd ejection of 2021, 1st since July 10 (John Libka; QOC = Y [Out/Safe]).
This is Greg Gibson's 4th ejection of 2021, 1st since July 16 (Charlie Montoyo; QOC = Y [Replay Review]).

MLB Ejection 160 - Tom Hallion (4; Andy Green)

2B Umpire Tom Hallion ejected Cubs bench coach/acting manager Andy Green (bona fide slide rule interference no-call; QOCY) in the top of the 6th inning of the #Pirates-#Cubs game. With one out and two on (R1, R2), Pirates batter Michael Perez hit a first-pitch sinker from Cubs pitcher Alec Mills on the ground to second baseman Matt Duffy who threw to shortstop Sergio Alcantara as Pirates baserunner Kevin Newman slid, and who threw the ball past first base and out of play. Green was unable to request a manager's challenge due to losing said challenge an inning earlier and Crew Chief reviews for non-HR plays are unavailable prior to the 8th inning. Replays indicate the runner fulfilled the criteria for a bona fide slide criteria, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Cubs were leading, 5-3. The Cubs ultimately won the contest, 6-5.

This is Tom Hallion (20)'s 4th ejection of 2021.
Tom Hallion now has 10 points in the UEFL Standings (6 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 10).
Crew Chief Tom Hallion now has 7 points in Crew Division (6 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 7).
*Official Baseball Rule 6.01(j)'s four criteria for a bona fide slide:
(1) begins his slide (i.e., makes contact with the ground) before reaching the base [YES];
(2) is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot [YES];
(3) is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide [YES];
(4) slides within reach of the base without changing pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder [YES].

This is the 160th ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is Chicago's 7th ejection of 2021, 3rd in the NL Central (MIL 15; CIN 12; CHC 7; STL 6; PIT 3).
This is Andy Green's 1st ejection since Sept 14, 2019 (Carlos Torres; QOC = Y [Check Swing]).
This is Tom Hallion's 4th ejection of 2021, 1st since Aug 18 (Caleb Smith; QOC = U [Foreign Substance]).

Wrap: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs, 9/3/21 | Video as follows:

Tmac - Angle Hernandez's Plate Play Vertex

In this Teachable Moment, tmac observes how Umpire Angel Hernandez takes a close tag play at home plate, paying attention to angles and distance in order to maximize the probability of officiating out/safe correctly. Angel's technique and positioning allow the umpire to get this play right when, in real time, it may have looked like a sure out.

Play: With one out and two on (R2, R3) during a Mets-Marlins game, New York batter Tomas Nido hit a 1-1 fastball from Marlins pitcher Zach Thompson on the ground to first baseman Jesus Aguilar, who threw home to catcher Alex Jackson as Mets baserunner R3 Javier Baez slid into home plate.

Call
: HP Umpire Hernandez ruled Baez safe, having stepped back to observe several critical points: the fielder's glove/mitt, the runner's hands (in the case of this headfirst slide), and the base (home plate) to which the runner was sliding. As Crew Chief Ted Barrett visited the Marlins dugout, Miami opted not to challenge the call, having internally reviewed the film that confirmed the runner was indeed safe.

Video as follows:

Thursday, September 2, 2021

MLB Ejection 159 - Ted Barrett (1; Craig Counsell)

3B Umpire Ted Barrett ejected Brewers manager Craig Counsell (foul ball [non-fair HR] call by 1B Umpire Stu Scheurwater; QOCY) in the top of the 9th inning of the #Brewers-#Giants game. With two out and one on (R1), Brewers batter Willy Adames hit a 2-1 fastball from Giants pitcher Jake McGee into the right fielder corner and out of the stadium, initially ruled a home run (fair ball) by 1B Umpire Scheurwater before immediately convening the crew of HP Umpire Angel Hernandez, 2B Umpire Tosi, and 3B Umpire Barrett and changing the call to foul ball, a call confirmed via Replay Review. Replays indicate the ball left the playing field in foul territory and did not touch the foul pole, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Giants were leading, 5-1. The Giants ultimately won the contest, 5-1.

This is Ted Barrett (65)'s 1st ejection of 2021.
Ted Barrett now has 5 points in in the UEFL Standings (2 Prev + 2 MLB + 1 QOCY-Crewmate = 5).
Crew Chief Ted Barrett now has 7 points in Crew Division (6 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 7).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-7 states: "Quality of Correctness for an ejection that occurs after umpire consultation or instant replay review, wherein the initial call was changed during or after consultation/review, shall be adjudged by the correctness of the call after consultation/review."

This is the 159th ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 73rd manager ejection of 2021.
This is Milwaukee's 15th ejection of 2021, 1st in the NL Central (MIL 15; CIN 12; CHC, STL 6; PIT 3).
This is Craig Counsell's 5th ejection of 2021, 1st since Aug 18 (Ramon De Jesus; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Ted Barrett's 1st ejection since August 9, 2020 (Mike Fiers; QOC = U [Fighting]).

Wrap: Milwaukee Brewers vs. San Francisco Giants, 9/2/21 | Video as follows:

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Bat of Castellanos - Removal vs Ejection Criteria

After Reds batter Nick Castellanos hit a grand slam in Cincinnati, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt asked HP Umpire Cory Blaser and crew to inspect the bat, hoping for a finding of illegal alteration and an automatic out (plus ejection). Instead, umpires simply removed the bat from the game. What's the rule?

Official Baseball Rule 3.02(b): Two rules potentially govern this play. The first is OBR 3.02(b) regarding cupped bats and states, "An indentation in the end of the bat up to 1¼ inches in depth is permitted and may be no wider than two inches and no less than one inch in diameter. The indentation must be curved with no foreign substance added."

Official Baseball Rule 6.03(a)(5): This rule regarding illegal bats states that a batter is out and ejected from the game, while no advancement on the bases will be allowed, if the batter "uses or attempts to use a bat that, in the umpire’s judgment, has been altered or tampered with in such a way to improve the distance factor or cause an unusual reaction on the baseball. This includes bats that are filled, flat-surfaced, nailed, hollowed, grooved or covered with a substance such as paraffin, wax, etc."

Analysis: Castellanos' bat appeared to have a chip in it along its cupped end, bringing it into violation of 3.02(b)'s depth rule. The only question is whether the umpires judged that Cincinnati had deliberately altered or tampered with the bat to cause that to happen—and furthermore—with the goal of improving its performance and gaining an unfair advantage.

Conclusion: After consultation with Replay Review for a rules check, Crew Chief Phil Cuzzi simply ordered the bat removed from the game, but did not eject Castellanos or declare any outs on the play because the umpires' judgment did not deem a deliberate attempt to tamper with the bat to create an unfair advantage.

Video as follows:

August 2021 Call of the Month - Cory Blaser's Safe Call

Tmac's
 choice for call of the month in August 2021 involves 3B Umpire Cory Blaser officiating a play in which Diamondbacks baserunner R3 Christian Walker attempts to safely dive back into third base as Phillies fielder Ronald Torreyes tries to apply a tag.

With none out and a runner on third base, D-Backs batter Drew Ellis hit a ground ball to third base several feet into fair territory. As Torreyes fields the ball, runner Walker, having obtained a secondary lead, attempts to return to third base as Torreyes attempts to retire the runner.

3B Umpire Blaser has both a fair/foul call (at the MLB level, many crews designate the 1B/3B Umpire as the umpire with fair/foul calling responsibility for balls fielded in the dirt cutout near first or third base, regardless of whether the ball was fielded in front of or behind the base) and a safe/out call on the runner. Watch along as Blaser prepares and adjusts to patiently rule the runner safe.

Video as follows:

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Batter's Interference in LA or a Bad Time to Lose The Count

Braves batter Jorge Soler swung and missed at a 1-1 knuckle curve Monday in Los Angeles. As Dodgers catcher Will Smith threw to second base to play on Atlanta runner R1 Ozzie Albies attempting to steal, Soler fell over home plate and interfered with Smith, drawing an interference call from HP Umpire Mike Estabrook. Shortly thereafter, however, confusion reigned as Albies appeared to be declared out as well, resulting in an inning-ending double play. What happened?

During the post-play confusion, Estabrook and Crew Chief Jeff Nelson conducted an administrative check with Replay Review in New York and soon it became clear that the umpires had not erred on a rules interpretation—as Official Baseball Rule 6.03(a)(3) is very clear that only the batter is out when said batter "interferes with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base"—but had instead lost track of the count and based their double play call on a strikeout of Soler and Albies' retirement for reason of retired batter/runner's interference.

As 2B Umpire Manny Gonzalez discussed the matter with players and Braves first base coach Eric Young, and 3B Umpire John Libka conducted a league-mandated foreign substance check of pitcher Corey Knebel, Replay Review corrected the count from a strikeout to 1-2. With Estabrook's interference call immediately following strike two, this meant that Soler was finally declared out for interference (not for striking out) and Albies returned to first base (not out for retired teammate Soler's interference)...which coincidentally is precisely what Estabrook initially signaled when making the call in real-time.

For reference: This bona fide illegal action of OBR 6.03(a)(3) supersedes the comment relative to unintentional backswing contact that would otherwise prescribe a dead ball and runner returned to first base (strike only)...Otherwise any legitimately interfering batter could flair their backswing at a catcher in order to mitigate their misdeed or evade eventual punishment. Once again, we note backswing interference is the colloquial term used in professional baseball while high school (NFHS) uses follow-through (which is interference), as high school's backswing refers to a pre-pitch action by the batter.

The source of the strikeout call thus remains a mystery | Video as follows:

Monday, August 30, 2021

Kulpa-Lentz's Obstruction Shades of Joyce-DeMuth

Sunday's Red Sox-Indians game featured an 8th-inning obstruction call as HP Umpire Nic Lentz awarded Cleveland baserunner Oscar Mercado home plate after 3B Umpire Ron Kulpa's obstruction call moments earlier, harkening back to the 2013 World Series when Jim Joyce and Dana DeMuth combined to make a similar call to end Game 3 on a walk-off obstruction error.

Play & Call: In Cleveland, with two out and one on (R1), Indians batter Yu Chang hit a 1-0 fastball from Red Sox pitcher Austin Davis on the ground to left fielder Kyle Schwarber. As R1 Mercado rounded second base, he collided with Boston second baseman Yairo Muñoz, drawing an obstruction call from 3B Umpire Kulpa, signaled by pointing at the infraction and keeping play alive, since the obstruction occurred on a runner whom a play was not being made at the moment of obstruction.

Play Call Part 2
:When Mercado arrived at home plate and it looked as if Boston catcher Kevin Plawecki would easily tag him out, HP Umpire Lentz called "Time" and acknowledged the obstruction, awarding Mercado home plate to nullify the act, having ruled that absent obstruction, Mercado would have scored.

Official Baseball Rule 6.02(h)(2) aka Obstruction B or Type 2 states that, "If no play is being made on the obstructed runner, the play shall proceed until no further action is possible. The umpire shall then call “Time” and impose such penalties, if any, as in their judgment will nullify the act of obstruction."

In turn, the umpires properly officiated this obstruction sequence—a true World Series call.

Video as follows:

Sunday, August 29, 2021

MLB Ejections 157-158 - Edwin Moscoso (CIN x2)

HP Umpire Edwin Moscoso ejected Reds 3B Eugenio Suarez (strike three call; QOCY) in the top of the 7th and manager David Bell (strike two call; QOCY) in the top of the 9th inning of the #Reds-#Marlins game. In the 7th, with two out and none on, Suarez took a 3-2 sinker from Marlins pitcher Anthony Bender for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer half of home plate and at the midpoint (px -0.30, pz 3.38 [sz_top 3.32 / RAD 3.44 / MOE 3.53]), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Marlins were leading, 2-0.

In the 9th, with two out and one on (R2), Reds batter Kyle Farmer took a 1-1 sinker from Marlins pitcher Dylan Floro for a called second strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer half of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px 0.63, pz 1.52 [sz_bot 1.53 / RAD 1.41 / MOE 1.32), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Marlins were leading, 2-1. The Marlins ultimately won the contest, 2-1.

These are Edwin Moscoso (109)'s 2nd and 3rd ejections of 2021.
Edwin Moscoso now has 10 points in the UEFL Standings (2 Prev + 2*[2 AAA + 2 QOCY] = 10).
Crew Chief Fieldin Culbreth now has 1 point in Crew Division (-1 Previous + 2 Correct Calls = 1).
The Suarez pitch was located 1.80 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.
The Farmer pitch was located 2.4 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.

These are the 157th and 158th ejection reports of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 64th player ejection of 2021. Prior to ejection, Suarez was 0-3 (2 SO) in the contest.
This is the 72nd manager ejection of 2021.
This is Cincinnati's 11/12th ejection of 2021, 2nd in the NL Central (MIL 14; CIN 12; CHC, STL 6; PIT 3).
This is Eugenio Suarez's 2nd ejection of 2021, 1st since July 31 (Chris Segal; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is David Bell's 5th ejection of 2021, 1st since August 15 (Alan Porter; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Edwin Moscoso's 2/3rd ejection of 2021, 1st since June 3 (Brett Anderson; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Cincinnati Reds vs. Miami Marlins, 8/29/21 | Video as follows: