Saturday, September 11, 2021

MLB Ejection 168 - Greg Gibson (5; Vance Wilson)

HP Umpire Greg Gibson ejected Royals 3B Coach Vance Wilson (Unsportsmanlike-NEC; QOCU) in the middle of the 7th inning (God Bless America / 7th Inning Stretch Break) of the #Royals-#Twins game. With none out and none on in the top of the 7th, Royals batter Hanser Alberto flied out, Hunter Dozier grounded out, and Whit Merrifield lined out. Replays indicate no pitches were improperly officiated to the detriment of Kansas City, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Twins were leading, 6-1. The Twins ultimately won the contest, 9-2.

This is Greg Gibson (53)'s fifth ejection of 2021.
Greg Gibson now has 12 points in the UEFL Standings (10 Prev + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call = 12).
Crew Chief Greg Gibson now has 4 points in Crew Division (3 Previous + 1 QOCU = 4).

This is the 168th ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is Kansas City's 5th ejection of 2021, 2nd in the AL Central (CWS 6; KC 5; MIN 4; CLE, DET 2).
This is Vance Wilson's 1st ejection since July 4, 2005 (Chris Guccione; QOC = U [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Greg Gibson's 5th ejection of 2021, 1st since Sept 3 (Christian Yelich; QOC = Y [Check Swing]).

Wrap: Kansas City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins, 9/11/21 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 167 - Mike Estabrook (2; Raimel Tapia)

HP Umpire Mike Estabrook ejected Rockies LF Raimel Tapia (strike two call; QOCY) in the top of the 7th inning of the #Rockies-#Phillies game. With none out and two on (R1, R2), Rockies batter Tapia took a 0-1 slider from Phillies pitcher Zack Wheeler for a called second strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner half of home plate and below the midpoint (px 0.30, pz 3.48 [sz_top 3.49 / RAD 3.61]) and that all other pitches during the at-bat were properly officiated, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Phillies were leading, 4-1. The Phillies ultimately won the contest, 6-1.

This is Mike Estabrook (83)'s 2nd ejection of 2021.
Mike Estabrook now has 9 points in the UEFL Standings (5 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 9).
Laz Diaz now has 7 points in Crew Division (6 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 7).
*This pitch was located 2.56 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 167th ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 68th player ejection of 2021. Prior to ejection, Tapia was 0-2 (SO) in the contest.
This is Colorado's 3rd ejection of 2021, 4th in the NL West (SD 16; ARI 5; LAD 4; COL 3; SF 2).
This is Raimel Tapia's first career MLB ejection.
This is the Mike Estabrook's 2nd ejection of 2021, 1st since Aug 15 (Tony La Russa; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Colorado Rockies vs. Philadelphia Phillies, 9/11/21 | Video as follows:

2021 No-Hitter 9, Jeremie Rehak (1; MIL Combined)

HP Umpire Jeremie Rehak called the Milwaukee Brewers' combined no-hitter (pitchers Corbin Burnes and Josh Hader) Saturday night in Cleveland, joined by 1B Umpire Scott Barry, 2B Umpire and Crew Chief Dan Iassogna, and 3B Umpire John Bacon.

In accordance with UEFL tradition, the following are umpire Rehak's three plate scores, including a 99.3% (137/138) performance under ML Private/Zone Evaluation Equivalent conditions, 97.8% (135/138) UEFL f/x score, and 92.8% (128/138) value for ML Public / the broadcast-facing zero error system.

The UEFL f/x look:
Balls: 90 called balls outside strike zone / 0 called balls within strike zone = 90/90 = 100.0% accuracy.
Strikes: 45 called strikes within strike zone / 3 called strikes outside strike zone = 45/48 = 93.8% accuracy.
Total Raw Accuracy Score for Barry = 123/130 = 94.6% accuracy (+1 MIL [favored Brewers by 1 pitch]).

Retaliatory Obstruction? Collision Follows TOR-BAL Spat

When Orioles pitcher Fernando Abad's right forearm connected with Blue Jays baserunner Lourdes Gurriel's left shoulder, HP Umpire Jim Wolf and 3B Umpire Shane Livensparger immediately identified obstruction, but was there more to this potentially malicious contact?

With one out and Gurriel on second base for Toronto, Blue Jays batter Randal Grichuk hit a ground ball to Orioles third baseman Jahmai Jones, who threw wildly past third base in an attempt to retire Gurriel, leading to a collision between Abad and Gurriel as the Jays' runner ran toward home plate.

Umpires pointed to the defense's hindrance of the runner in ruling obstruction (type 2, as no play was being made on the runner at the precise moment of obstruction ["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 his judgment will nullify the act of obstruction." OBR 6.01(h)(2)) and allowed play to conclude with Gurriel scoring and batter-runner Grichuk making it to third base.

At lower levels of play, Abad's potentially intentional initiation of a collision with Gurriel may have necessitated further penalties. For instance, high school's NFHS Rule 3-3-1 pertains to malicious contact, and states, "If the defense commits the malicious contact, the player is ejected." College is a bit murkier, as its flagrant collision rule (NCAA 2-31) identifies a collision "in which the runner maliciously attempts to dislodge the ball," but common sense could easily help.

MLB/professional baseball has no such rules, however. In other words, this is obstruction (type 2 or B) at all levels, but not malicious in pro ball because OBR does not have such a rule.

Nonetheless, could this apparently unsportsmanlike action have developed from a dispute earlier in the contest? Several innings earlier, Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde yelled at Toronto pitcher Robbie Ray.

Once again, OBR is more permissive than lower levels, such as NCAA's Coaching Ethics, which states, in part, "'Bench jockeying' will not be allowed." So while it may be appropriate—and in some cases absolutely necessary—for an umpire to address this unsporting behavior early on in order to prevent further complications at the NFHS or NCAA level, MLB appears to have largely taken a "let them fight, it's better for ratings" point of view.

Video as follows:

Friday, September 10, 2021

Pitcher Throws Rosin Bag at KBO Ump, Ejected After Delay

Korea Baseball Organization umpire Kim Sung-chul ejected Lions pitcher and former MLB player Mike Montgomery, who threw a rosin bag at the umpire after arguing an earlier warning for delay of game, an enforcement of Official Baseball Rule 5.07(c), which is a long-time rule designed to support pace of play efforts, but whose enforcement often coincides with an argument or ejection from the team being warned.

During KT batter Jang Sung-woo's 4th inning at-bat against Montgomery, the umpire instructed Montgomery to deliver the baseball sooner after receiving it, within the 12-second time delineated in OBR 5.07(c), which states: "When the bases are unoccupied, the pitcher shall deliver the ball to the batter within 12 seconds after he receives the ball. Each time the pitcher delays the game by violating this rule, the umpire shall call 'Ball.'"

According to 5.07(c), "The intent of this rule is to avoid unnecessary delays. The umpire shall insist that the catcher return the ball promptly to the pitcher, and that the pitcher take his position on the rubber promptly. Obvious delay by the pitcher should instantly be penalized by the umpire."

This is a rule enforced more often overseas than at the North American MLB level (MiLB generally uses pitch clocks).

After receiving said instruction, Montgomery replied, "nobody cares about you here" and "stay behind the plate" before retiring the side on a subsequent line-out.

On his way off the mound, Montgomery retrieved the rosin bag and walked toward the umpire, continuing to complain about the warning for delay. Montgomery ultimately was ejected, threw the rosin bag at the umpire, and was restrained by teammates while being ushered off the field.

Video as follows:

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

MLB Ejection 166 - Edwin Moscoso (4; Matt Blake)

HP Umpire Edwin Moscoso ejected Yankees pitching coach Matt Blake (strike two call; QOCY) in the bottom of the 9th inning of the #BlueJays-#Yankees game. With none out and none on, Yankees batter Luke Voit took a 0-1 fastball from Blue Jays pitcher Jordan Romano 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 0.23, pz 1.63 [sz_bot 1.60 / RAD 1.48 / MOE 1.39]), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Blue Jays were leading, 6-3. The Blue Jays ultimately won the contest, 6-3.

This is Edwin Moscoso (109)'s 4th ejection of 2021.
Edwin Moscoso now has 14 points in the UEFL Standings (10 Prev + 2 AAA + 2 Correct Call = 14).
Crew Chief Doug Eddings now has 4 points in Crew Division (3 Previous + 1 QOCY = 4).
This is pitch was located 2.83 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 166th ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season
This is New York's 11th ejection of 2021, 1st in the AL East (NYY 11; BOS, TOR 5; BAL 2; TB 0).
This is Matt Blake's first career MLB ejection.
This is Edwin Moscoso's 4th ejection of 2021, 1st since August 29 (David Bell; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees, 9/8/21 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 165 - Lance Barksdale (1; Sean Nolin)

HP Umpire Lance Barksdale ejected Nationals pitcher Sean Nolin (throwing at Braves batter Freddie Freeman) in the bottom of the 1st inning of the #Nationals-#Braves game. With one out and one on (R1), Braves batter Freeman took a first-pitch fastball from Nolin for a called ball before being hit by the 1-0 pitch. Replays indicate the first pitch to Freeman was located head-high and thrown behind the batter, while the second pitch struck Freeman in the right hip. Warnings had not previously been issued, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Nationals were leading, 1-0. The Nationals ultimately won the contest, 4-2.

This is Lance Barksdale (23)'s 1st ejection of 2021.
Lance Barksdale now has 5 points in the UEFL Standings (3 Prev + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call = 5).
Crew Chief Ted Barrett now has 8 points in Crew Division (7 Previous + 1 QOCU = 8).

This is the 164th ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 67th player ejection of 2021. Prior to ejection, Nolin's line was 0.1 IP, H.
This is Washington's 6th ejection of 2021, 4th in the NL East (PHI 8; MIA, NYM 7; WAS 6; ATL 1).
This is Sean Nolin's first career MLB ejection.
This is Lance Barksdale's 1st ejection since June 27, 2018 (Ron Gardenhire; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves, 9/8/21 | Video as follows:

Monday, September 6, 2021

Injury Scout - Manny Gonzalez Exits & John Libka Enters

HP Umpire Manny Gonzalez left Monday's #Rays-#RedSox game in Boston after a first-inning foul ball to the mask, leaving the crew with three umpires. Two outs later, call-up John Libka entered the ballgame as the crew's fourth.

With one out in the top of the 1st inning, Rays batter Jordan Luplow fouled a 1-1 93.8-mph fastball from Red Sox pitcher Chris Sale into Gonzalez's hockey-style helmet.

Gonzalez left the game with 1B Umpire Laz Diaz taking over behind home plate for the remaining 8+ innings. 2B Umpire Mike Estabrook moved over to first base and 3B Umpire and Crew Chief Jeff Nelson remained at third. The crew worked the remainder of the top of the 1st inning with three umpires before John Libka—apparently in town ahead of a scheduled Fenway assignment on Tuesday—joined the crew to fill in as the second base umpire for the rest of the game.

We were asked about standby officials. In this case, Libka wasn't on "standby" per se, but the question is worth revisiting.

In 2019, ALCS Crew Chief Jeff Nelson left Game 3 due to injury. During the postseason, MLB assigns six-person umpiring crews, as opposed to the regular season's foursome. In the NHL, four officials are assigned to each regular season game, just like MLB (three for NBA). In the postseason, MLB assigns six officials, and so does the NHL in Stanley Cup Final. The difference is the NHL's fifth and sixth officials (one referee and one linesman) are located off the ice while MLB's fifth and sixth umpires are on the field (in the outfield).

If any NHL official gets hurt during such a game, as Wes McCauley did in 2019, the standby official will move onto the ice to keep the crew at four. In baseball, the LF or RF umpire will simply join the infield to keep the HP-1B-2B-3B umpire structure intact and the crew will work with five umpires. In other words, the major professional sports often do not have a standby official on-hand during the regular season, but do during the postseason.

Relevant Injury History: There is a slight injury history.
> On September 21, 2017, Gonzalez left a game in Tampa Bay after a pitch bounced into his throat.

Last Game: September 6 | Return to Play: Sept 14 | Time Absent: 7 Days | Video as follows:

Batter's Intentional Deflection of Foul Ball Results in Out

During Thursday's Emeralds-Hops (MiLB) game, HP Umpire Nathan Diederich ruled Hillsboro batter Ronny Simon out after the batter intentionally deflected the course of a foul ball hit along the first base line. Was this the correct call, and what is the relevant rule?

Officially scored a ground out to Ems catcher Brett Auerbach, Simon hit Eugene pitcher Jasier Herrera's 0-1 offering into the dirt to the right of home plate and into foul territory just beyond the left-handed batter's box where Simon was standing. Simon then took a swing at the ball with his bat and in doing so made contact with the baseball as catcher Auerbach looked to the umpire for a ruling.

Umpire Diederich immediately ruled Simon out pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 5.09(a)(9), which states, "After hitting or bunting a ball that continues to move over foul territory, he intentionally deflects the course of the ball in any manner while running to first base. The ball is dead and no runners may advance," and explained this call to the offensive manager.

The cross-reference for this rule is interference OBR 6.01(a)(2), which provides that the batter or runner is out for interference for intentionally deflecting the ball "in any manner," as above. The MLB Umpire Manual, for instance, makes the case that a base coach can legally retrieve a foul ball after it passes first or third base, but "should not touch a ball that possibly may go fair."

Video as follows:

Sunday, September 5, 2021

MLB Ejection 164 - Jeff Nelson (4; Aaron Boone)

HP Umpire Jeff Nelson ejected Yankees manager Aaron Boone (ball four call; QOCN) in the top of the 5th inning of the #Orioles-#Yankees game. With one out and one on (R1), Orioles batter DJ Stewart took a 3-2 sinker from Yankees pitcher Joely Rodriguez for a called fourth ball. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner half of home plate and below the midpoint (px 0.35, pz 3.22 [sz_top 3.37 / RAD 3.49 / MOE 3.41]), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Yankees were leading, 4-2. The Orioles ultimately won the contest, 8-7.

This is Jeff Nelson (45)'s 4th ejection of 2021.
Jeff Nelson now has 2 points in the UEFL Standings (4 Prev + 2 MLB - 4 Incorrect Call = 2).
Crew Chief Jeff Nelson now has 3 points in Crew Division (3 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 3).
*This pitch was located 2.28 vertical inches from being deemed a correct call.

This is the 163rd ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 75th manager ejection of 2021.
This is New York's 9th ejection of 2021, 1st in the AL East (NYY 10: BOS 5; TOR 5; BAL 2; TB 0).
This is Aaron Boone's 6th ejection of 2021, 1st since August 26 (Todd Tichenor; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Jeff Nelson's 4th ejection of 2021, 1st since July 21 (Mike Shildt; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees, 9/5/21 | Video as follows:

Dodgers Score Balk Run As Giants Fails to Declare Windup

For the second night in a row, Dodgers baserunner Justin Turner scored from third base after a Giants rules snafu in San Francisco. This time, after Turner advanced to third on a wild pitch, 3B Umpire Adam Hamari called Giants pitcher Jose Quintana for a balk after he pitched from Windup Position, having started the play in Set.

The relevant rule is OBR 5.07(a)(2) Comment, which states, "With a runner or runners on base, a pitcher will be presumed to be pitching from the Set Position if they stand with their pivot foot in contact with and parallel to the pitcher’s plate, and their other foot in front of the pitcher’s plate, unless they notify the umpire that they will be pitching from the Windup Position under such circumstances prior to the beginning of an at-bat [or after a runner advances during an at-bat]."

Replays indicate Quintana successfully delivered a wild pitch to Los Angeles batter Cory Seager while Turner was on second base while working out of Set Position, but that Quintana attempted to change to a Windup delivery when Turner was on third base, without having declared such intention.

In order to determine Quintana's pitching position as Set, we note that Quintana's pivot foot was in contact with and parallel to the rubber while his free foot was in front of it. With OBR 5.07(a)(2) Comment instructing umpires to presume Set Position if the pitcher engages the rubber in this fashion, unless the pitcher declares otherwise, 3B Umpire Hamari properly called a balk on Quintana for delivering a pitch using a Windup delivery (signified by taking a step backward with his free foot before throwing to home plate). For example, illegal pitches, such as in Rule 6.02(a)(5), are balks.

One night earlier, the Giants similarly flubbed a rule that eventually allowed Turner to score a run when catcher Buster Posey tagged an already-retired runner as part of a two runners, one base entitlement situation.