Monday, October 10, 2022

Buck Showalter Requests Ear Inspection of Joe Musgrove

Several innings before San Diego won Game 3 of the NL Wild Card Series to eliminate New York from the 2022 postseason, Mets manager Buck Showalter requested umpires inspect Padres pitcher Joe Musgrove for illegal substances, a move we previously wrote comes with next-to-no downside for a requesting manager whose request proves unsuccessful.

During the 6th inning of a game in which San Diego led New York by a score of 4-0, Showalter approached 1B Umpire and Crew Chief Alfonso Marquez and requested the umpires check opposing pitcher Musgrove for foreign substances that may be in contravention of Official Baseball Rule 6.02(c)(7), the pitching prohibitions rule that states, "The pitcher shall not have on their person, or in their possession, any foreign substance."

As we wrote in September when Twins manager Rocco Baldelli requested Ted Barrett inspect Guardians pitcher James Karinchak, a search that proved most unfruitful, there is no deterrent to a manager requesting a frivolous inspection (unlike the NHL, which adopted a penalty for unsuccessful stick measurement requests after prior abuse of the rule).

Accordingly, 1B Umpire Marquez searched Musgrove for illegality—including behind the Padres pitcher's ears—and apparently found no illegal substances, for Musgrove remained in the game, pitching San Diego to a series-clinching 6-0 victory.

We also analyze 1B Umpire Marquez's mechanics in officiating a play at first base in which the batted ball hit the first base bag before bouncing high in the air to the first baseman. We follow Marquez's journey toward the keyhole angle as pitcher Musgrove runs to cover first base to retire the batter-runner.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Showalter asks for check of Musgrove & Fonzie's play at 1st base (CCS)


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