Thursday, October 7, 2021

Ask the UEFL - Laz Diaz's Postseason Base Touch Replay

When Cardinals batter Yadier Molina hit a fly ball to left field during the 2021 NL Wild Card Game, baserunner R1 Dylan Carlson rounded second base, only to retreat back to first base as Dodgers outfielder Chris Taylor caught the ball. Los Angeles then appealed Carlson's base touch/retouch with 2B Umpire Laz Diaz's safe call upheld following Replay Review.

Although the crowd boo'd as Crew Chief Joe West signaled the decision—as did many of you who sent us a note asking us to cover this play—this call was correct due to the very definition of call stands, which is a Replay Review outcome that occurs when video evidence fails to clearly and convincingly prove whether (in this case) a runner was safe or out—whether the runner touched or failed to touch second base on the last time by going back to first base.

For what it's worth, the official definition of Call Stands is: "No clear and convincing evidence to confirm or overturn the call."

Video as follows:

2021 AL & NL Division Series Umpire Roster

Major League Baseball assigned 24 umpires to the 2021 American and National League Division Series round of MLB's postseason, with crew chiefs Sam Holbrook and Tom Hallion in the ALDS. Ted Barrett and Alfonso Marquez head up the NLDS crews.

Crew Chiefs are indicated in bold text and by the -cc suffix with regular season crew chiefs denoted by an asterisk (*) while those working their first Division Series will be noted with a ^1st DS^ mark.

Notable regarding the ejections, tally, the Tampa Bay Rays (ALDS A) are the only team in baseball not to have experienced an ejection in 2021. This is the first time a team has gone ejection-less since Dusty Baker managed the Cincinnati Reds in 2013.

AL Division Series A (Boston Red Sox @ Tampa Bay Rays) Umpires:
HP: Dan Bellino
1B: DJ Reyburn [Game 2 Plate]
2B: Sam Holbrook* -cc [Game 3 Plate]
3B: Ron Kulpa [Game 4 Plate]
LF: Greg Gibson [Game 5 Plate]
RF: Brian Knight

AL Division Series B (Chicago White Sox @ Houston Astros) Umpires:
HP: Adam Hamari ^1st DS^
1B: Chris Conroy [Game 2 Plate]
2B: Tom Hallion* -cc [Game 3 Plate]
3B: Vic Carapazza [Game 4 Plate]
LF: Chad Fairchild [Game 5 Plate]
RF: Lance Barrett

NL Division Series A (Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Francisco Giants) Umpires:
HP: Carlos Torres ^1st DS^
1B: Angel Hernandez [Game 2 Plate]
2B: Ted Barrett* -cc [Game 3 Plate]
3B: Pat Hoberg [Game 4 Plate]
LF: Doug Eddings [Game 5 Plate]
RF: Gabe Morales ^1st DS^

NL Division Series B (Atlanta Braves @ Milwaukee Brewers) Umpires:
HP: Mike Estabrook
1B: Mike Muchlinski [Game 2 Plate]
2B: Alfonso Marquez* -cc [Game 3 Plate]
3B: Tony Randazzo [Game 4 Plate]
LF: Will Little [Game 5 Plate]
RF: Quinn Wolcott

Replay Review: Fieldin Culbreth*, CB Bucknor, Chris Guccione, Adrian Johnson.

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Discussion of 2021 AL and NL Wild Card Games

Join us for discussion of the 2021 American and National League Wild Card Games: Any and everything that happens during these winner-take-all affairs is fair game, and, of course, we will post UEFL f/x plate scores for every home plate umpire this postseason.

Performance plate scores are listed following the completion of each contest according to UEFL f/x (StatCast data and application of UEFL Rules 6-2-b-a [horizontal bound, "Kulpa Rule"] and 6-2-b-b [vertical strike zone, "Miller Rule"]) for called strikes and balls. Foul balls, swinging strikes, balls put in play, automatic balls, pitchouts, and hit-by-pitches are excluded from the analysis. Click here to learn how UEFL f/x 3.0 plate scores work.

- 10/5 NYY@BOS Gm 1: Mark Carlson. 90/91 Balls + 37/42 Strikes = 127/133 = 95.5%. +2 NYY.

- 10/6 STL@LAD Gm 1: Joe West. 117/117 Balls + 47/49 Strikes = 164/166 = 98.8%. +0 Neutral.

Note: The highest plate score during the 2020 Wild Card Series was Pat Hoberg's 98.7% (NLWC 1).
The highest overall plate score during the 2020 Postseason was Hoberg/Hudson/Miller's 98.7% (WC/WS).

Monday, October 4, 2021

2021 AL & NL Wild Card Game Umpire Roster

Major League Baseball assigned 12 umpires to the 2021 American and National League Wild Card Game round of the MLB postseason featuring Yankees-Red Sox (AL) and Cardinals-Dodgers (NL) matchups. Joe West works what possibly is his final career plate game at the major league level in Los Angeles while Jerry Meals will serve as crew chief in Boston.

Crew Chiefs are indicated in bold text and by the -cc suffix with regular season crew chiefs denoted by an asterisk (*) while those working their first postseason will be noted with a ^1st^ mark.

AL Wild Card (New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox) Umpires:
HP: Mark Carlson*
1B: James Hoye
2B: Jerry Meals* -cc
3B: Jordan Baker
LF: Ryan Blakney ^1st^
RF: Jansen Visconti ^1st^

NL Wild Card (St Louis Cardinals @ Los Angeles Dodgers) Umpires:
HP: Joe West* -cc
1B: Alan Porter
2B: Laz Diaz
3B: Jim Wolf
LF: Chris Segal ^1st^
RF: Ramon De Jesus ^1st^

Replay Review: Stu Scheurwater, Larry Vanover.

Sept 2021 Call of the Month - Ben May is Safe at Second

's September 2021 Call of the Month actually took place on October 1 as 2B Umpire Ben May called White Sox batter-runner Tim Anderson safe at second base while sliding away from Tigers infielder Willi Castro's lunging tag attempt.

With runners on second and third base and none out, White Sox batter Anderson hit a ground ball into left-center field and as Detroit threw toward home plate, Anderson ran toward second base. Upon the cut-off throw being redirected to Castro at second base, Anderson's swim-slide produced a series of close tag attempts and misses as Anderson tried to maintain contact with the bag.

Video as follows:

Sunday, October 3, 2021

MLB Ejection 189 - Manny Gonzalez (7; Derek Shelton)

1B Umpire Manny Gonzalez ejected Pirates manager Derek Shelton (Replay Review call that overturned 2B Umpire Randy Rosenberg's base touch call; QOCY) in the top of the 5th inning of the #Reds-#Pirates game. With one out and one on, Reds batter Max Schrock hit a 0-2 curveball from Pirate pitcher Cody Ponce on a line drive to Pirates right fielder Yoshi Tsutsugo as Reds baserunner R1 Jonathan India rounded second and advanced to third base while Schrock rounded first and advanced to second base. After the play, Pittsburgh appealed that runner R1 India failed to touch second base properly his last time by, affirmed as an out (failure to touch a base) by 2B Umpire Rosenberg. Following Replay Review as the result of a manager's challenge by Reds manager Bryan Price alleging India properly touched second base when passing it, Rosenberg's call was overturned to safe. Replays indicate the runner touched the base and was legal upon leaving the base to advance to third base, the overturned call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 1-1. The Reds ultimately won the contest, 6-3.

This is Manny Gonzalez (79)'s 7th ejection of 2021.
Manny Gonzalez now has 10 points in the UEFL Standings (6 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 10).
Crew Chief Manny Gonzalez now has 2 points in Crew Division (1 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 2).
*Passing a base is found in Official Baseball Rule 5.06(b)(1) and the MLB Umpire Manual: "A runner is considered to have passed a base if they have both feet on the ground beyond the back edge of the base or beyond the edge of the base in the direction in which they are advancing."

This is the 189th ejection report of the 2021 MLB regular season.
This is the 85th manager ejection of 2021.
This is Pittsburgh's 4th ejection of 2021, T-4th in the NL Central (MIL 16; CIN 12; CHC 8; PIT, STL 4).
This is Derek Shelton's 3rd ejection of 2021, 1st since June 1 (Dan Bellino; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Manny Gonzalez' 7th ejection of 2021, 1st since Sept 25 (Don Mattingly; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Angel Hernandez Flips Into Dugout on Final Day of Season

Assigned to home plate duties on the final day of the MLB regular season, umpire Angel Hernandez flipped into the Tampa Bay dugout while making a call on Yankees SS Gio Urshela's catch attempt of Rays batter Austin Meadow's 6th inning foul ball.

While looking for Call of the Month material for September (plus the three regular season games in October), tmac thought to highlight this humorous dedication to finding a position and angle to get the call right.

This isn't the first time Hernandez has gotten in the middle of the action off the playing field. Back in 2012, we spotlighted Hernandez's hustle to officiate a boundary play as Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher attempted to catch a foul fly ball in the right field stands (unfortunately video has since been pulled).
Related PostYankee Stadium Boundary Catch Part II: Hernandez Hustle (10/11/12).

Video as follows:

Gerry Davis Retires After Umpiring 5,000th Game

Gerry Davis, MLB's second senior-most umpire, retired after officiating his 5,000th career major league game during Sunday afternoon's Cubs-Cardinals regular season finale. Born in St Louis, Davis began his professional career in the National League on June 9, 1982, and 40 years later retires from baseball with the most all-time postseason games ever officiated.

Davis' postseason resume of 26 years includes three Wild Card Games, 13 Division Series, 11 League Championship Series, and six World Series. Davis has served as a major league umpire long enough to eject Brad Ausmus both as a player in 1994 and as a manager in 2015.

After opting out of MLB's COVID 2020 season, Davis delayed his 2021 debut, needing just 43 games to achieve the 5,000 milestone. After joining all-time games worked leader Joe West's crew to work one last time with the Blue Cowboy several days prior, Davis sat out Friday and Saturday's games, needing just one game to reach 5,000—Sunday's.