Saturday, June 4, 2022

MLB Ejection 057 - Gabe Morales (1; Dave Martinez)

HP Umpire Gabe Morales ejected Nationals manager Dave Martinez (strike three call; QOCY) in the top of the 9th inning of the #Nationals-#Reds game. With two out and one on (R1), Nationals batter Cesar Hernandez took a 1-2 slider from Reds pitcher Hunter Strickland for a called third strike. Replays indicate the 1-0 pitch was located over the inner edge of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px -0.80, pz 1.35 [sz_bot 1.54 / RAD 1.42 / MOE 1.33]) and the 1-2 pitch was located over the inner half of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px -0.76, pz 1.47 [sz_bot 1.54 / RAD 1.42]) and that all other pitches during the at-bat were properly officiated, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Nationals were leading, 10-7. The Nationals ultimately won the contest, 10-8.

This is Gabe Morales (47)'s 1st ejection of 2022.
Gabe Morales now has 5 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 5).
Crew Chief Andy Fletcher now has 2 points in Crew Division (1 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 2).
*The 1-0 pitch was located 0.24 and the 1-2 pitch was 1.69 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 57th ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 29th manager ejection of 2022.
This is Washington's 3rd ejection of 2022, T-1st in the NL East (MIA, WAS 3; PHI 2; ATL, NYM 1).
This is Dave Martinez's 1st ejection since Sept 20, 2021 (Doug Eddings; QOC = Y-c [Run Lane INT]).
This is Gabe Morales' 1st ejection since July 10, 2021 (Craig Counsell; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Washington Nationals vs. Cincinnati Reds, 6/4/22 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 056 - Bruce Dreckman (1; Oliver Marmol)

HP Umpire Bruce Dreckman ejected Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol (strike three call; QOCN) in the top of the 7th inning of the #Cardinals-#Cubs game. With two out and the bases loaded, Cardinals batter Tommy Edman took a 3-2 slider from Cubs pitcher Scott Effross for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the inner edge of home plate and thigh-high (px -1.10, pz 2.71 [sz_top 3.24]), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Cubs were leading, 5-1. The Cubs ultimately won the contest, 6-1.

This is Bruce Dreckman (1)'s 1st ejection of 2022.
Bruce Dreckman now has -2 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 2 MLB - 4 Incorrect Call = -2).
Crew Chief Paul Emmel now has 0 points in Crew Division (0 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 0).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 2.23 horizontal inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 56th ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 28th manager ejection of 2022.
This is St Louis' 3rd ejection of 2022, 2nd in the NL Central (CHC 4; STL 3; PIT 2; CIN, MIL 0).
This is Oliver Marmol's first career MLB ejection.
This is Bruce Dreckman's 1st ejection since June 30, 2019 (Kevin Cash; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: St Louis Cardinals vs Chicago Cubs, 6/4/22 | Video as follows:

Thursday, June 2, 2022

Ask UEFL - Angel in the Infield Fly & Intentional Drop?

Tmac
 answers two questions for the price of one in this Ask the UEFL infield fly and intentional drop rule double feature in a game between the Orioles and Cardinals with umpire Angel Hernandez behind the plate in St Louis. With none out and two on (R1, R2), Orioles batter Chris Owings' sacrifice bunt attempt goes horribly awry as the pitch from Nick Wittgren is bunted high into the air in front of the pitcher's mound.

Baltimore Pitcher Wittgren permits the batted ball to fall to the ground untouched before picking up the fair ball and throwing to third base to force out the lead runner, with third baseman Nolan Arenado throwing on to second base to force out R1 Robinson Chirinos.

The two-pronged question—why isn't this an infield fly and why isn't this an intentional drop—rely on two sections of the Official Baseball Rules. First, the Definition of Terms states, "An infield fly is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out."

OBR 5.09(a)(12) discusses intentional drops and states that the batter is out when "An infielder intentionally drops a fair fly ball or line drive, with first, first and second, first and third, or first, second and third base occupied before two are out. The ball is dead and runner or runners shall return to their original base or bases."

However, the pertinent part for this particular play is the following APPROVED RULING: "In this situation, the batter is not out if the infielder permits the ball to drop untouched to the ground, except when the Infield Fly rule applies."

When HP Umpire Hernandez signals "safe," Angel is thus communicating two different, but related, no-calls: It is not an infield fly because it is an attempted bunt, and it is not an intentional drop because the fielder permitted the ball to drop untouched and the infield fly does not apply.

Video as follows:

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

MLB Ejection 055 - Vic Carapazza (1; Kevin Cash)

HP Umpire Vic Carapazza ejected Rays manager Kevin Cash (check swing) in the top of the 11th inning of the #Rays-#Rangers game. With one out and one on, Rays batter Ji-Man Choi attempted to check his swing on a 1-0 slider from Rangers pitcher Dennis Santana, ruled a swinging strike by HP Umpire Carapazza. This play is under review by the UEFL Appeals Board, the call was *PENDING*. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 3-3. The Rays ultimately won the contest, 4-3, in 11 innings.

This is Vic Carapazza (19)'s ejection of 2022.
Vic Carapazza now has X points in the UEFL Standings (2 Prev + 2 MLB + X Call = X).
Crew Chief Jerry Meals now has X points in Crew Division (1 Previous + X Call = X).

This is the 55th ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 27th manager ejection of 2022.
This is Tampa Bay's 3rd ejection of 2022, T-3rd in the AL East (TOR 5; NYY 4; BOS, TB 3; BAL 2).
This is Kevin Cash's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since May 22 (Bill Welke; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Vic Carapazza's 1st ejection since August 28, 2021 (Trent Grisham; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Tampa Bay Rays vs. Texas Rangers, 6/1/22 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 054 - Mike Muchlinski (1; Mark Kotsay)

HP Umpire Mike Muchlinski ejected Athletics manager Mark Kotsay (ball two call; QOCN) in the top of the 8th inning of the #Astros-#Athletics game. With one out and none on, Astros batter Yordan Alvarez took a 1-2 fastball from A's pitcher AJ Puk for called second ball before being hit by a pitch two pitches later. Replays indicate the 1-2 pitch was located over the edge of home plate and thigh-high (px -0.67, pz 2.20), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the A's were leading, 3-1. The Astros ultimately won the contest, 5-4.

This is Mike Muchlinski (76)'s 1st ejection of 2022.
Mike Muchlinski now has -2 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 2 MLB - 4 Incorrect Call = -2).
Crew Chief CB Bucknor now has 2 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 2).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 0.94 horizontal inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 54th ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 26th manager ejection of 2022.
This is Oakland's 2nd ejection of 2022, T-1st in the AL West (LAA, OAK, SEA 2; HOU, TEX 0).
This is Mark Kotsay's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since April 23 (Brian Knight; QOC = Y [Replay Review]).
This is Mike Muchlinski's 1st ejection since Sept 12, 2019 (Chris Woodward; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Houston Astros vs. Oakland Athletics, 6/1/22 | Video as follows:

Call of the Month - May 2022

May 2022's Call of the Month takes us to Fenway Park, where 1B Umpire Greg Gibson officiates a tricky play at first base as multiple variables come together simultaneously to make an infield ground ball into a call challenged and confirmed via Replay Review.

The play begins with Red Sox batter JD Martinez hitting a ground ball up the middle, where Astros shortstop Jeremy Peña made a diving play to stop the ball before throwing to first baseman Yuli Gurriel as Martinez arrived at first base.

Boston challenged the call, alleging that Gurriel had pulled his foot, but as signaled by Gibson and confirmed by Replay, Gurriel kept his foot on the base and caught the ball prior to Martinez's arrival.

Video as follows:

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

MLB Ejection 053 - Lance Barrett (Julio Rodriguez)

HP Umpire Lance Barrett ejected Mariners CF Julio Rodriguez (strike three call; QOCY) in the top of the 8th inning of the #Mariners-#Orioles game. With one out and one on (R1), Mariners batter Rodriguez took a 2-2 fastball from Orioles pitcher Marcos Diplan for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner edge of home plate and waist-high (px -0.71, pz 2.72) and that all other pitches during the at-bat were properly officiated, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Mariners were leading, 9-0. The Mariners ultimately won the contest, 10-0.

This is Lance Barrett (16)'s 2nd ejection of 2022.
Lance Barrett now has 6 points in the UEFL Standings (2 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 6).
Crew Chief Dan Bellino now has 3 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 3).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 2.45 horizontal inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 53rd ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 18th player ejection of 2022. Prior to ejection, Rodriguez was 1-5 (SO) in the contest.
This is Seattle's 2nd ejection of 2022, T-1st in the AL West (LAA, SEA 2; OAK 1; HOU, TEX 0).
This is Julio Rodriguez's 1st career MLB ejection.
This is Lance Barrett's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since May 10 (Charlie Montoyo; QOC = U [Warnings]).

Wrap: Seattle Mariners vs. Baltimore Orioles, 5/31/22 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejections 051-52 - Chris Segal (1-2; Machado, Melvin)

HP Umpire Chris Segal ejected Padres 3B Manny Machado and manager Bob Melvin (strike three call; QOCY) in the top of the 6th inning of the #Padres-#Cardinals game. With two out and none on, Padres batter Machado took a 2-2 sinker from Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer half of home plate and above the hollow of the knee (px 0.57, pz 1.85 [sz_bot 1.76 / RAD 1.64]) and that all other pitches during the at-bat were officiated properly, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Cardinals were leading, 2-0. The Cardinals ultimately won the contest, 3-2, in 10 innings.

These are Chris Segal (96)'s 1st and 2nd ejections of 2022.
Chris Segal now has 8 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 2*[2 MLB + 2 Correct Call] = 8).
Crew Chief Ted Barrett now has 5 points in Crew Division (3 Prev + 2 Correct Calls = 5).
*This pitch was located 3.55 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.

These are the 51st and 52nd ejections of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 25th manager ejection of 2022.
This is San Diego's 2/3rd ejection of 2022, T-1st in the NL West (ARI, SD 3; LAD, SF 1; COL 0).
This is Manny Machado's 1st ejection since August 20, 2021 (Doug Eddings; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Bob Melvin's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since May 1 (Jeremie Rehak; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Chris Segal's 1st ejection since July 31, 2021 (Eugenio Suarez; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: San Diego Padres vs. St Louis Cardinals, 5/31/22 | Video as follows:

Teachable - Trust Your Eyes on Tag Plays

3B Umpire Ryan Blakney called Diamondbacks baserunner Jordan Luplow safe at third base on a close tag play, despite video replay suggesting Rockies third baseman Ryan McMahon's glove swiped across the infield edge of third base prior to Luplow's arrival.

In this Teachable, tmac talks about trusting one's eyes on tag plays, noting that Blakney's safe call was confirmed after Rockies manager Bud Black's challenge because slow-motion video conclusively showed that McMahon's tag attempt was so early that it missed making contact with Luplow's hands entirely until Luplow was already on the base.

Officiating a steal play, Blakney gets into position and—key to officiating—gets set with eyes steady and ready to see the missed tag. Despite the optics of the fielder clearly appearing to tag the runner before the runner's arrival—the ball beat the runner, as it were—Blakney trusts his eyes, which observed a missed tag, and in doing so makes the proper safe call that was confirmed after review.

Video as follows:

Monday, May 30, 2022

Injury Scout - John Tumpane Leaves Boston After Foul

HP Umpire John Tumpane left Monday's #Orioles-#RedSox game in Boston after a foul ball to the mask.

In the top of the 7th inning, with none out and two on, Orioles batter Ryan Mountcastle fouled a 95.8-mph fastball from Red Sox pitcher Ryan Brasier into Tumpane's traditional-style facemask, resulting in Tumpane leaving the game; Tumpane had been hit in the mask the prior inning as well.

The game resumed with three umpires as 2B Umpire Adrian Johnson took over behind home plate while 1B Umpire and Crew Chief Marvin Hudson and 3B Umpire Ryan Blakney stayed in the field.

Relevant Injury History: There is no prior recorded game-ending back injury.

Last Game: May 30 | Return to Play: June 17 | Time Absent: 19 Days | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 050 - John Libka (1; Torey Lovullo)

HP Umpire John Libka ejected Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo (ball three call; QOCN) in the top of the 5th inning of the #Braves-#Diamondbacks game. With none out and none on, Braves batter Ronald Acuna took a 2-1 fastball from D-Backs pitcher Zac Gallen for a called third ball before walking one pitch later. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the outer edge of home plate and at the knee (px 0.78, pz 1.98 [sz_bot 1.60]), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Diamondbacks were leading, 3-2. The Diamondbacks ultimately won the contest, 6-2.

This is John Libka (84)'s 1st ejection of 2022.
John Libka now has 5 points in the UEFL Standings (1 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 5).
Crew Chief Jim Reynolds now has 3 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 3).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 0.384 horizontal inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 50th ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 24th manager ejection of 2022.
This is Arizona's 3rd ejection of 2022, 1st in the NL West (ARI 3; LAD, SD, SF 1; COL 0).
This is Torey Lovullo's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since May 3 (Adrian Johnson; QOC = Y [Fair/Foul]).

Ask UEFL - Out of Base Path Considerations in Seattle

2B Umpire Tripp Gibson called Mariners baserunner R1 Eugenio Suarez out for running more than three feet away from his base path to avoid Astros second baseman Mauricio Dubon's tag, giving us a chance to review baseball's out-of-the-base-path rules in our latest Ask the UEFL.

With runners on first and second base and one out during Saturday's Houston-Seattle game, Mariners batter Adam Frazier hit a soft grounder to F4 Dubon, who fielded it and immediately turned to try and tag R1 Suarez, who veered to his right to avoid the fielder.

In ruling Suarez out for runner more than three feet laterally to avoid Dubon's tag, we visit umpire Gibson's base path calculus.

The tag attempt here begins no earlier than when Dubon fields the baseball—as soon as the ball is no longer a batted ball, remember, the right-of-way rules switch to favor the runner, so if you were thinking the runner legally tried to avoid a fielder making a play on a batted ball, that would be slightly tardy.

Instead, when F4 Dubon first turns to try and tag R1 Suarez, we freeze our picture and draw a line from the runner to the base being progressed to (second base)—that's Suarez's base path. As long as that same fielder who has attempted a tag still has a potential tag play (remember, the fielder must retain the ball to have a potential tag play on the runner), the runner is restricted from trying to avoid the fielder by running more than three feet to the left or right of the established base path.

Note: We do not punish the defense for adapting and suddenly trying to play on another runner, if their failure to tag the primary runner was caused by the runner's illegal avoidance maneuver. If the fielder's sudden pivot toward another runner is caused by the first runner's three-foot or greater lateral movement, the proper call is out-of-the-base-path.

If the runner runs more than three feet to avoid the fielder—as U1 Gibson rules that R1 Suarez did here—the proper call is to declare the runner out pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 5.09(b)(1), which calls for an out when the runner "runs more than three feet away from his base path to avoid being tagged unless his action is to avoid interference with a fielder fielding a batted ball. A runner’s base path is established when the tag attempt occurs and is a straight line from the runner to the base he is attempting to reach safely."

Recall that a baseline is a direct line between two bases (coinciding with the left and right field foul lines between home plate and third/first base, respectively) and has no bearing on this play.
A base path, on the other hand, is a direct line from the runner to the base being tried for, and is established at the moment of a tag attempt.

The base path "resets" or must be recalculated from the runner's new position every time the fielder throws the ball to someone else or makes another play. For instance, the base path resets every time a fielder throws the ball to a teammate during a rundown.

Video as follows:

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Ask UEFL - Base Award Breakdown (On Second Glance)

In this Ask the UEFL, we take a play from the Double-A Mississippi Braves vs Pensacola Blue Wahoos game in which umpires awarded bases on an overthrown ball that became unplayable, a call that might not be as obvious as one might have thought on first glance.

Discussion Play: With two out and one on (R1), Mississippi Braves batter Trey Harris hit a soft ground ball to Pensacola Blue Wahoos catcher Paul McIntosh, who threw wildly to first base and down the right field line, where the ball became unplayable as it rolled into the on-field bullpen.

The Call: 1B Umpire Raul Moreno called "Time" to signal the ball was out of play and after conferring with crewmates James Jean (3B Umpire & Crew Chief) and Macon Hammond (HP Umpire), the crew awarded the batter-runner Harris second base and awarded baserunner R1 Andrew Moritz home plate.

The Rule: Official Baseball Rule 5.06(b)(4)(G) is what first comes to mind and states that the batter and runners shall advance "Two bases when, with no spectators on the playing field, a thrown ball goes into the stands, or into a bench (whether or not the ball rebounds into the field), or over or under or through a field fence, or on a slanting part of the screen above the backstop, or remains in the meshes of a wire screen protecting spectators. The ball is dead. When such wild throw is the first play by an infielder, the umpire, in awarding such bases, shall be governed by the position of the runners at the time the ball was pitched; in all other cases the umpire shall be governed by the position of the runners at the time the wild throw was made."

QOC: Thus, BR should get second base (which is what happened) and R1 should get third base (which is not what happened, right? Wrong. Upon closer examination, we see that either a bullpen player/coach or ball attendant fielded the live ball in foul territory, meaning we now have to refer to a different rule to determine base awards, which is precisely what this crew did by conferring.

The Unintentional Intentional Interference Rule
: OBR 6.01(d) states that in the case of unintentional interference with a person on the playing field, the ball remains alive and in play, but in the case of intentional interference, the ball is dead and penalties are imposed to nullify the act of interference. The rule also spells out what is meant by the word intentional: "The question of intentional or unintentional interference shall be decided on the basis of the person’s action. For example: a bat boy, ball attendant, policeman, etc., who tries to avoid being touched by a thrown or batted ball but still is touched by the ball would be involved in unintentional interference. If, however, he kicks the ball or picks it up or pushes it, that is considered intentional interference, regardless of what his thought may have been."

If the interference is unintentional, the ball remains alive and in play.
If the interference is intentional, the ball is dead & penalties imposed to nullify the act of interference.

Thus, because the person in the bullpen picked the ball up, 1B Umpire Moreno ruled not a dead ball due to thrown-out-of-play, but instead called intentional interference (no mind-reading necessary here as it would be for "intentionally throwing at the batter"), the penalty for which is as follows: "If the interference is intentional, the ball shall be dead at the moment of the interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in his opinion will nullify the act of interference."

This allowed the umpires to place the batter-runner at second base, ruling he would have achieved that base had interference not occurred, and to award lead runner R1 home plate, ruling he would have advanced and scored had interference not occurred.

Video as follows: