Monday, September 5, 2022

Umpire Warnings After Yankees-Rays Bench Clearing

In this Ask the UEFL, we were asked to take a quick look at the umpires' decision to issue warnings to the Yankees and Rays after benches cleared and teams met on the field when New York batter Josh Donaldson took a 3-0 fastball from Tampa Bay pitcher Shawn Armstrong up-and-inside.

The umpires (and both teams' broadcasts for that matter) deemed that the pitch was not an intentional throwing at act and thus did not meet the criterion pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 6.02(c)(9) for an intentional pitch at the batter.

Instead, once the benches cleared, umpires opted to issue warnings to the teams because even when a pitch isn't intentionally thrown at the batter, warnings may nonetheless be issued at any time: "If, in the umpire’s judgment, circumstances warrant, both teams may be officially “warned” prior to the game or at any time during the game."

The warning establishes that any pitch deemed to have been intentionally thrown at a batter in the future will result in an immediate ejection of both the pitcher and the defensive manager. 

It is important to note that an inside pitch (even a HBP) deemed to be unintentional shall not result in ejections. It is therefore a misconception that all inside "mistakes" will result in an ejection after warnings are issued.


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