Saturday, April 9, 2022

MLB Ejection 003 - Lance Barksdale (1; Keegan Thompson)

HP Umpire Lance Barksdale ejected Cubs pitcher Keegan Thompson (throwing at Brewers batter Andrew McCutchen) in the top of the 8th inning of the #Brewers-#Cubs game. With two out and none on, McCutchen took a 2-1 fastball from Thompson for a hit-by-pitch. Replays indicate the pitch was located inside and struck McCutchen on the left buttock, after multiple inside fastballs prior to the consequential pitch of the at-bat, resulting in a benches-clearing incident; warnings had not previously been issued, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the Cubs were leading, 9-0. The Cubs ultimately won the contest, 9-0.

This is Lance Barksdale (23)'s 1st ejection of 2022.
Lance Barksdale now has 2 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call = 2).
Crew Chief Ted Barrett now has 1 point in Crew Division (0 Previous + 1 Irrecusable Call = 1).

This is the third ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 2nd player ejection of 2022. Prior to ejection, Thompson's line was 2.2 IP, 0 ER, BB, HBP.
This is Chicago's 1st ejection of 2022, 1st in the NL Central (CHC 1; CIN, MIL, PIT, STL 0).
This is Keegan Thompson's first career MLB ejection.
This is Lance Barksdale's 1st ejection since September 8, 2021 (Sean Nolin; QOC = U [Throwing At]).

Wrap: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Chicago Cubs, 4/9/22 | Video as follows:

Friday, April 8, 2022

MLB Ejections 001-2 - Mark Carlson (1-2; Cishek, Disarcina)

3B Umpire Mark Carlson ejected Nationals pitcher Steve Cishek (throwing at Mets batter Francisco Lindor) and 3B Coach Gary Disarcina (fighting/USC) in the top of the 5th inning of the #Mets-#Nationals game. With none out and one on (R2), Mets batter Lindor took a 0-1 fastball from Cishek for a hit-by-pitch. Replays indicate the pitch was located inside and struck Lindor in the face, resulting in a benches-clearing incident; Cishek was ejected following crew consultation, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejections, the Mets were leading, 4-3. The Mets ultimately won the contest, 7-3.

These are Mark Carlson (6)'s 1st and 2nd ejections of 2022.
Mark Carlson now has 5 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Prev + 2*[2 MLB + 0 Irrecusable Call] = 5).
Crew Chief Mark Carlson now has 3 points in Crew Division (1 Previous + 2*[1 Irrecusable Call] = 3).
This is the first ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 1st player ejection of 2022. Prior to ejection, Cishek's line was 0.0 IP, HBP.
This is Washington's 1/2nd ejection of 2022, 1st in the NL East (WAS 2; ATL, MIA, NYM, PHI 0).
This is Steve Cishek's first career MLB ejection.
This is Gary Disarcina's first career MLB ejection.
This is Mark Carlson's first ejection since August 24, 2021 (Pete Walker; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: New York Mets vs. Washington Nationals, 4/8/22 | Video as follows:

Bona Fide Slide Recap as Sox Turn Two on Tigers' INT

When 2B Umpire John Tumpane, prior to Replay Review, ruled Tigers baserunner R1 Jeimer Candelario out at second base as well as batter-runner Miguel Cabrera for his teammate's interference by virtue of failing to make a legal bona fide slide, we found not just our first application of Official Baseball Rule 6.01(j) during the 2022 regular season, but a very clear example of a slide that violates this rule.

As we review MLB's bona fide slide rule, we find there are four general criteria regarding slides on double play attempts, as in OBR 6.01(j):

1) Runner begins to slide and makes contact with the ground before reaching the base;
2) Runner is able and attempts to reach the base with a hand or foot;
3) Runner is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home) after completing the slide; and
4) Runner slides within reach without changing path for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.
The soft-fifth requirement, as it were, was added in 2016 and states that the violative slide must have impeded or interfered with the fielder from completing a double play.

Friday in Detroit, any befuddlement regarding Tumpane's 6th inning-ending ruling can easily be cleared up by extracting criterion three: runner Candelario slid past second base, which means he failed to remain on the base after completing the slide, which is an illegal slide pursuant to OBR 6.01(j).

3) He is able and attempts to remain on the base. [NO]

Although not as egregious as other slide interference plays from over the years, this nonetheless is a proper on-field ruling (confirmed via Replay Review) of a double play due to slide rule interference.

NCAA force play slide rule 8-4 requires runners to "slide on the ground before the base and in a direct line between the two bases" while NFHS largely echoes college's FPSR requirement.
Related PlayNCAA CWS - Force Play Slide Rule Negates LSU Run (6/27/17).

Video as follows:

Manny Machado Runs Into, Interferes on Opening Day

It took Padres batter Manny Machado all of four innings into Opening Day for an infield collision, this one ruled interference by 1B Umpire Dan Bellino, eventually mirrored by HP Umpire Larry Vanover as an infield pop fly fell untouched to the ground.

The Play: With two out and two on (R1, R3) in San Diego's top of the 4th inning vs Arizona, Machado hit a 1-1 offering from Diamondbacks pitcher Sean Poppen for a fly ball along the first baseline. As D-backs first baseman Christian Walker ran in to field the falling fly, Machado ran directly into him in foul territory—coincidentally in a trajectory that would have taken Machado into the runner's lane [not to complicate matters...the runner's lane is irrelevant for this play]—ultimately resulting in a ball that fell untouched onto the ground in fair territory before bouncing foul.

The Call
: 1B Umpire Bellino immediately signaled interference while HP Umpire Vanover mirrored the call after the play had concluded. As Bellino subsequently explained to Padres manager Bob Melvin, Machado was declared the third out as a result of the interference, the ball becoming dead and the inning thus over.

The Rule: Official Baseball Rule 6.01(a)(10) states, "It is interference by a batter or a runner when—They fail to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball...The umpire shall call the runner out in accordance with Rule 5.09(b)(3) (former Rule 7.08(b))." OBR 5.09(b)(3), in turn, states the runner is out if that offensive player "hinders a fielder attempting to make a play on a batted ball." Mechanics-wise, this brand of interference can be called immediately when it occurs.
Related Teachable MomentTmac's Teachable - Runner's Interference (5/3/19).

NCAA and NFHS agree ("A runner is out when—[the runner] interferes with a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball" [NCAA 8-5-d] & "Any runner is out when—[the runner] hinders a fielder on their initial attempt to field a batted ball" [NFHS 8-4-2g]).

OBR 6.01(a)(10) Comment clarifies that the fielder has the right of way on batted ball situations, but that only one fielder is entitled to this protection: "if two or more fielders attempt to field a batted ball, and the runner comes in contact with one or more of them, the umpire shall determine which fielder is entitled to the benefit of this rule, and shall not declare the runner out for coming in contact with a fielder other than the one the umpire determines to be entitled to field such a ball."

Finally, "such 'right of way' is not a license to, for example, intentionally trip a runner even though fielding the ball"

Conclusion: In turn, BR Machado is out for interfering with F3 Walker | Video as follows:

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Ted Barrett Delivers First Replay Review PA Mic Call

Major League Baseball's 2022 umpire microphones hit the ground running during Monday's Angels-Dodgers Spring Training Freeway Series in Los Angeles, with Crew Chief Ted Barrett announcing to the crowd a Replay Review decision after Anaheim LA manager Joe Maddon unsuccessfully challenged HP Umpire Mark Ripperger's hit-by-pitch call during Dodgers hitter Chris Taylor's at-bat.

As previously indicated, the procedure for umpires to address the stadium over the public address system is to first announce who is challenging the play (or if it is a Crew Chief review instead), and what specifically is being challenged. Then, after New York makes its ruling, the Chief announces over the PA the confirmed/stands/overturned decision, as well as outcomes if applicable (such as runner placement if complex) and whether a team has lost its challenge.

One final technical note is that the umpiring crew—not just the chief—will have their own individual microphone/earpiece sets. When Barrett announced the Review Monday night, he and calling umpire Ripperger stood along the foul line near first base—the bulky headsets of yore were not used as all the action took place over the umpires' personally-worn com systems.

Video as follows:

2022 UEFL Draft and Registration

After MLB and the players' union reached agreement to begin the 2022 regular season Thursday, April 7, Close Call Sports announces registration for its 2022 Umpire Ejection Fantasy League. The draft will be a short one this year, as all crew selections will be due Opening Day. 

Registration and Draft Process
The free-to-play Umpire Ejection Fantasy League (UEFL) is subject to the UEFL Rules.

UEFL Overview
The Umpire Ejection Fantasy League derived out of a points-per-ejection tracking system and has evolved into an officiating sabermetric tracker that is designed to reward umpires who perform well under certain criteria. To that end, ejections for correct calls receive bonus points while ejections for incorrect calls result in a loss of points (see Summary of Points graphic). Primary and Secondary umpires also receive points for Replay Review outcomes (+1 for Confirmed/Stands and -1 for Overturned). Crew Chiefs receive points of their own for presiding over ejections and Replay Reviews, while Primary and Secondary umpires receive additional points for being assigned to the postseason (as well as the All-Star Game special event).

How to Fill Out the Registration and Draft Form
We've streamlined the registration and draft process for 2022, allowing you to submit ballots not by dropdown selection of umpires, but by short text field for each selection: when you draft your umpires, you will write the number and name of the umpire you are drafting (e.g., "1 Dreckman, Bruce").

The form includes fields for you to draft 1 Crew Chief, 2 Primary Umpires, and 2 Secondary Umpires.

Unrestricted registration/draft selections are due Opening Day, Thursday, April 7, 2022. Any forms received after this date will be subject to restriction based on any points that have already been assigned.

Community and Commenting:
CloseCallSports has added a new option for commenting during the 2022 regular season in addition to the website (register with DISQUS to comment on the website as that is our commenting platform).

Close Call Sports Discord:
New for 2022, CCS has joined Discord! To join the Close Call Sports Discord server and send messages in real-time, click here: