Saturday, July 9, 2022

MLB Ejections 096-97 - Roberto Ortiz (1-2; PIT & MIL)

HP Umpire Roberto Ortiz ejected Pirates manager Derek Shelton (strike three call; QOCY) in the top of the 7th and Brewers LF Christian Yelich (check swing strike three call by 3B Umpire Doug Eddings) in the bottom of the 9th inning of the #Pirates-#Brewers game. In the 7th, with none out and one on (R2, R3), Pirates batter Bryan Reynolds took a 3-2 fastball from Brewers pitcher Brad Boxberger for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer edge of home plate and knee-high (px -0.91, pz 1.59 [sz_bot 1.54 / RAD 1.42]), the call was correct.* At the time of Shelton's ejection, the Brewers were leading, 3-1.

In the 9th, with none out and none on, Brewers batter Christian Yelich attempted to check his swing on a 1-2 splitter from Pirates pitcher David Bednar, ruled a ball by HP Umpire Ortiz and a swinging third strike on appeal by 3B Umpire Eddings. This play is under review by the UEFL Appeals Board. At the time of Yelich's ejection, the Pirates were leading, 4-3. The Pirates ultimately won the contest, 4-3. 

These are Roberto Ortiz (40)'s 1st and 2nd ejections of 2022.
Roberto Ortiz now has PENDING POINTS in the UEFL Standings.
Crew Chief Bill Miller now has EVEN MORE PENDING POINTS in Crew Division.
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.

These are the 96th and 97th ejection reports of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 49th manager ejection of 2022.
This is the 33rd player ejection of 2022. Prior to ejection, Yelich was 1-4 (SO) in the contest.
This is Pittsburgh's 3rd ejection of 2022, T-2nd in the NL Central (CHC 4; PIT, STL 3; CIN, MIL 2).
This is Milwaukee's 2nd ejection of 2022, T-4th in the NL Central (CHC 4; PIT, STL 3; CIN, MIL 2).
This is Shelton's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since May 15 (Alfonso Marquez; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Christian Yelich's 1st ejection since Sept 3, 2021 (Greg Gibson; QOC = Y [Check Swing]).
This is Roberto Ortiz's 1st ejection since Sept 5, 2020 (Bryce Harper; QOC = Y [Foul Ball Call]).

Wrap: Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Milwaukee Brewers, 7/9/22 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejections 094-95 - Mark Ripperger (1-2; MIA x2)

HP Umpire Mark Ripperger ejected Marlins DH Garrett Cooper and manager Don Mattingly (strike two call; QOCY) in the top of the 7th inning of the #Marlins-#Mets game. With two out and one on (R1), Mets batter Cooper took a 1-1 sinker from Mets pitcher Adam Ottavino for a called second strike before grounding out on the ensuing pitch. Replays indicate the 1-1 pitch, called strike two, was located over the outer half of home plate and knee-high (px 0.58, pz 1.83 [sz_bot 1.66 / RAD 1.54]), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejections, the Mets were leading, 3-2. The Mets ultimately won the contest, 5-4.

These are Mark Ripperger (90)'s 1st and 2nd ejections of 2022.
Mark Ripperger now has 8 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Prev + 2*[2 MLB + 2 Correct Call] = 8).
Crew Chief Phil Cuzzi now has 4 points in Crew Division (2 Previous + 2 Correct Calls = 4).
*The 1-1 pitch was located 4.48 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.

These are the 94th and 95th ejection reports of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 32nd player ejection of 2022. Prior to ejection, Cooper was 0-3 (SO) in the contest.
This is the 48th manager ejection of 2022.
This is Miami's 6/7th ejection of 2022, 1st in the NL East (MIA 7; WAS 4; PHI 2; ATL, NYM 1).
This is Garrett Cooper's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since May 7 (DJ Reyburn; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Don Mattingly's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since April 11 (Nick Mahrley; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Mark Ripperger's 1st ejection since May 15, 2021 (Derek Shelton; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Miami Marlins vs. New York Mets, 7/9/22 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 093 - Ben May (1; Dusty Baker)

HP Umpire Ben May ejected Astros manager Dusty Baker (strike three call; QOCY) in the top of the 8th inning of the #Astros-#Athletics game. With none out and none on, Astros batter Martin Maldonado took a 3-2 fastball from A's pitcher Zach Jackson for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner half of home plate and knee-high (px -0.37, pz 1.47 [sz_bot 1.48 / RAD 1.36]) and that all other pitches during the at-bat were properly officiated, the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Athletics were leading, 3-2. The Athletics ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

This is Ben May (97)'s 1st ejection of 2022.
Ben May now has 6 points in the UEFL Standings (2 Prev + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 6).
Crew Chief Dan Iassogna now has 4 points in Crew Division (3 Previous + 1 Correct Call = 4).
*This pitch was located 2.32 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 93rd ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 47th manager ejection of 2022.
This is Houston's 6th ejection of 2022, 3rd in the AL West (LAA, SEA 7; HOU 6; OAK 4; TEX 0).
This is Dusty Baker's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since June 6 (Chris Guccione; QOC = U [Throwing At]).
This is Ben May's 1st ejection since August 14, 2021 (Luis Rojas; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Ask UEFL - Tampa Flinches as Cincinnati Walks Off on Balk

As quickly as a glove rises and falls, Cincinnati won its extra-inning game against Tampa Bay thanks to a walk-off balk by Rays pitcher Matt Wisler, but was HP Umpire Edwin Moscoso's call the correct one? In this Ask the UEFL, we thumb through MLB's rulebook concerning legal and illegal pitching actions, with a specific point of emphasis on start-stop balks.

Play: With one out and runners at the corners for Cincinnati in the bottom of the 10th inning of a tied ballgame, umpire Moscoso called Tampa pitcher Wisler for a game-ending balk based on the premise of start-stop, or failing to go directly from the stretch to set position.

Result: The balk-off's base award Reds runner Mark Kolozsvary to score from third, and brought Rays manager Kevin Cash out for a brief discussion with Moscoso, 2B Umpire Lance Barrett, and 3B Ramon De Jesus; Cash left the conversation before Crew Chief Alfonso Marquez arrived. Upon arriving, Marquez convened the crew to affirm the call before leaving the field.

Rule
: Official Baseball Rule 5.07(a)(2) [The Set Position] indicates the requirement to move from stretch to set in a fluid motion: "Before assuming Set Position, the pitcher may elect to make any natural preliminary motion such as that known as 'the stretch'...Preparatory to coming to a set position, the pitcher shall have one hand on his side; from this position he shall go to his set position as defined in Rule 5.07(a)(2) without interruption and in one continuous motion."

Rules Analysis: It is this "without interruption and in one continuous motion" language that is often associated with OBR 6.02(a)(1)'s "makes any motion naturally associated with his pitch and fails to make such delivery" rule concerning balks, and is colloquially known as a "start-stop" balk.

Although the balk rule's comment discusses the intent of the rule relative to preventing deception of the base runner, we analyze this play from the perspective of OBR 5.07(a)(2) and 6.02(a) proper.

Longtime umpire school operator and instructor (and former major league umpire) Jim Evans, formerly of the Jim Evans Academy for Professional Umpiring, previously criticized the Official Baseball Rules themselves as an "anachronism" in the sense that a number of rules are simply outdated, obsolete, and the book itself is fairly disorganized and somewhat confusing.

Case in point: The start-stop balk rule. Before we talk about the specific TB-CIN play, we first must figure out if failing to go from stretch-to-set without interruption and in one continuous motion is, itself, a balk. There are two trains of thought here, and neither has been officially endorsed as correct or incorrect.

> Analysts led by Evans have stated that a start-stop in the stretch-to-set pre-delivery period is eligible for a balk call, deeming the infraction a "common practice balk."
> Others have stated a start-stop in the stretch-to-set pre-delivery period is not eligible for a balk call because it does not explicitly fall under the OBR 6.02(a) balk rules, deeming the infraction a "don't do that" offense with no actual penalty.

Play Call Analysis
: Regardless of which theory you subscribe to (sidebar: and it's wild that such a chasm even exists for such a rule that could be cleared up if the rules committee were to simply address it once and for all), pitcher Wisler appeared to move his glove in a way ordinarily seen when a pitcher asks for the catcher to repeat signs or requests new signs. Thanks to MLB's anti-sign-stealing technology, the catcher no longer drops visual signs, but instead punches them into a device on his arm, so even though we don't see the catcher giving physical signs, that doesn't mean he isn't sending them digitally.

Umpire Moscoso interpreted Wisler's action in raising then lowering the glove to the hip, however, as a start-stop from stretch-to-set, and thus balked it a violation of OBR 5.07(a)(2)"s "without interruption and in one continuous motion" rule. Which, again, may or may not actually be a balk.

BASEBALL! | Video as follows:

Friday, July 8, 2022

Teachable - Focus in on Nate Tomlinson in Traffic

When Dodgers baserunner Chris Taylor tried to advance from first to third base on Hanser Alberto's groundout, Pirates first baseman Michael Chavis threw quickly to third baseman Ke'Bryan Hayes, with 3B Umpire Nate Tomlinson standing just beyond third to call Taylor out as Pittsburgh catcher Tyler Heineman ran into Tomlinson.

This Teachable follows Tomlinson, who attains an advantageous angle on the second-third baseline extended that enables him to see the daylight, or keyhole angle, between fielder Hayes' glove and runner Taylor's left arm.

Complicating this play is the nature of Alberto's ground ball, a slow chopper to F5 Hayes, who had to charge in to field it before throwing to first base and then returning to third base to tag R1 Taylor, all while F2 Heineman sprinted up the third baseline to potentially take the throw himself, in the event Hayes would have been unable to get back in time.

This hustle caused a collision between catcher and umpire, but U3 Tomlinson's continued focus on the play enabled him to brush off the contact and make the correct out call, confirmed via Replay Review.

Video as follows:

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

MLB Ejection 092 - Randy Rosenberg (1; AJ Pollock)

HP Umpire Randy Rosenberg ejected White Sox batter AJ Pollock (strike three call; QOCN) in the bottom of the 9th inning of the #Twins-#WhiteSox game. With none out and none on, Pollock took a 0-2 changeup from Twins pitcher Jharel Cotton for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the inner edge of home plate and thigh-high (px -1.04, pz 2.26), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Twins were leading, 8-2. The Twins ultimately won the contest, 8-2.


This is Randy Rosenberg (113)'s 1st ejection of 2022.
Randy Rosenberg now has -2 points in the UEFL Standings (0 Previous + 2 AAA - 4 Incorrect Call = -2).
Crew Chief Larry Vanover now has 5 points in Crew Division (5 Prev + 0 Incorrect Call = 5).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 1.51 horizontal inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 92nd ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 31st player ejection of 2022. Prior to ejection, Pollock was 1-4 (2 SO) in the contest.
This is Chicago's 3rd ejection of 2022, T-1st in the AL Central (CWS, DET 3; KC, MIN 2; CLE 1).
This is AJ Pollock's 1st ejection since July 8, 2018 (Jansen Visconti; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Randy Rosenberg's first career MLB ejection.

Wrap: Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox, 7/5/22 | Video as follows:

MLB Ejection 091 - Lance Barrett (4; Avisail Garcia)

HP Umpire Lance Barrett ejected Marlins RF Avisail Garcia (strike three call; QOCN) in the bottom of the 4th inning of the #Angels-#Marlins game. With none out and none on, Garcia took a 3-2 changeup from Angels pitcher Noah Syndergaard for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner edge of home plate and below the hollow of the knee (px -0.67, pz 1.37 [sz_bot 1.76 / RAD 1.64 / MOE 1.55]), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Marlins were leading, 1-0. The Marlins ultimately won the contest, 2-1.


This is Lance Barrett (94)'s  ejection of the 2021 MLB regular season.
Lance Barrett now has 4 points in the UEFL Standings (6 Previous + 2 MLB - 4 Incorrect Call = 4).
Crew Chief Alonso Marquez now has 4 points in Crew Division (4 Previous + 0 Incorrect Call = 4).
*This pitch was located 2.21 vertical inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 91st ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 30th player ejection of 2022. Prior to ejection, Garcia was 0-2 (2 SO) in the contest.
This is Miami's 5th ejection of 2022, 1st in the NL East (MIA 5; WAS 4; PHI 2; ATL, NYM 1).
This is Avisail Garcia's 1st ejection since August 27, 2021 (Brian Gorman; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Lance Barrett's 4th ejection of 2022, 1st since June 22 (Guillermo Martinez; QOC = U [USC]).

Quickie - Orioles Assist Hurt Runner on Dead Ball Walk Off HBP

In this quick review, tmac traces Orioles batter Jorge Mateo's journey to first base on a game-ending, bases-loaded hit-by-pitch in the 10th inning to give Baltimore a 7-6 win over Texas.

The question posed related to the Official Baseball Rules' prohibition of base coach assistance pursuant to OBR 6.01(a)(8), which puts a runner out if, "in the judgment of the umpire, the base coach at third base, or first base, by touching or holding the runner, physically assists him in returning to or leaving third base or first base."

Naturally, this play involved no coaches, but did involve other Orioles players, including bench personnel and the runner who scored the winning run. There is no rule specifically addressing this situation in OBR, but there is in NFHS: the high school rule states: "No coach shall physically assist a runner during playing action," which, as one would surmise, applies only to live game play. An interpretation for NFHS Rule 3.2.2a states, "Contact, even physical assistance, by a coach with a home run hitter who is advancing on a four-base award is legal" with the even more direct case play: "R1 tries for third on B1’s single, but F9’s throw goes dead. R1 rounds the bag (he will be awarded home) but does not touch it. The coach grabs R1 by the arm and yells:  “Go back and touch third.” Ruling:  At all levels, there is no penalty."

For NCAA college, there is likewise no direct language from the rules book, but a 2011 interpretation from Mountain West Conference coordinator of baseball umpires Jim Paronto states, "There is no coach’s interference during a dead ball unless the coach’s actions provide an advantage for the offensive team."

Although the merits of "advantage" can certainly be debated, declaring an injured hit batsman out for being assisted by other players to first base would likely run afoul of the spirit of the rules.

Video as follows:

Monday, July 4, 2022

MLB Ejection 090 - David Rackley (2; Tony La Russa)

HP Umpire David Rackley ejected White Sox manager Tony La Russa (ball two call; QOCY) in the top of the 10th inning of the #Twins-#WhiteSox game. With none out and one on (R2), Twins batter Luis Arraez singled, Byron Buxton struck out, Carlos Correa walked, and Max Kepler took a 1-0 knuckle curve from White Sox pitcher Joe Kelly for a called second ball. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the outer edge of home plate and thigh-high (px -1.11, pz 2.42), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Twins were leading, 3-2. The Twins ultimately won the contest, 6-3, in 10 innings.

This is David Rackley (86)'s 2nd ejection of 2022.
David Rackley now has 8 points in the UEFL Standings (4 Previous + 2 MLB + 2 Correct Call = 8).
Crew Chief Larry Vanover now has 5 points in Crew Division (4 Prev + 1 Correct Call = 5).
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 4.34 horizontal inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 90th ejection report of the 2022 MLB regular season.
This is the 46th manager ejection of 2022.
This is Chicago's 2nd ejection of 2022, T-2nd in the AL Central (DET 3; CWS, KC, MIN 2; CLE 1).
This is Tony La Russa's 1st ejection since September 16, 2021 (Bill Welke; QOC = U [Throwing At]).
This is David Rackley's 2nd ejection of 2022, 1st since April 29 (Miguel Cairo; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Minnesota Twins vs. Chicago White Sox, 7/4/22 | Video as follows:

Larry Vanover Back to the Future to Reverse Foul Call

When the crew convened and reversed HP Umpire Larry Vanover erroneously called "foul ball" shortly after Phillies batter Odubel Herrera hit a ground ball up the first base line, ruled fair by 1B Umpire David Rackley, many wondered about the old baseball officiating axiom prohibiting one from unringing a rung bell.

That is to say, as the NCAA rulebook puts it so elegantly in its Appendix E entitled "Getting the Call Right,"Some calls cannot be reversed without creating larger problems."

Of course, the NCAA book also explicitly includes the case of "changing a call of 'foul' to 'fair'" as one of its acceptable uses of an on-field conference to reverse a call. MLB operates under a similar principle which gives the umpires slightly more discretion.

Play
: With none out and none on, Phillies batter Hererra hit Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright's 3-2 offering on the ground, up the first base line. The ball, having first impacted the ground near the left-handed batter's box (and near Herrera's right foot), traveled past first base in fair territory, as signaled by 1B Umpire Rackley. It was fielded by Cards first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, who looked in perfect position to jog to first base and easily retire Herrera.

Umpire Calls: While Rackley ruled the ball fair, HP Umpire Vanover called "Time" and ruled the ball foul, deeming that the batted ball hit Herrera's foot while Herrera was still in the batter's box. Sensing an incorrect call, the crew got together and ultimately determined that the ball did not hit Herrera's foot, opting to overturn Vanover's original "foul ball" call and call a fair ball instead, further ruling Herrera out based on the premise that had the ball been called exclusively fair from the beginning, Herrera would have nonetheless been retired at first base.

Official Baseball Rule 8.02(c)
: In order to get to this point, the crew used OBR 8.02(c), which states, in part: "If the umpires consult after a play and change a call that had been made, then they have the authority to take all steps that they may deem necessary, in their discretion, to eliminate the results and consequences of the earlier call that they are reversing, including placing runners where they think those runners would have been after the play, had the ultimate call been made as the initial call."

OBR 8.02(c) would have also allowed umpires to disregard interference or obstruction, failure of runners to tag up on a catch/no catch call reversal, runners passing or missing bases, etc.: the sole judgment as to the final call is what the umpires believe would have happened had the final call been made in real-time.

After breaking with his crew, Chief Vanover explained the overturned call to Phillies interim manager Rob Thompson, before explaining in a more brief setting to Herrera. Tmac breaks down the situation handling component as well as the process of reversing a call pursuant to the baseball rules.

Video as follows:

Quickie - Tumpane's Play at the Plate Positioning

In this short video, Lin traces the path of HP Umpire John Tumpane on an infield ground ball-turned-play at home plate, who calls Orioles baserunner Cedric Mullins out after Rangers catcher Meibrys Viloria's timely tag.

A play that starts, develops, and finishes in a span of mere seconds, we see Tumpane begin the play at the point of plate before moving to his right to keep pace with catcher Viloria's inside hip, which allows Tumpane to move into the best position to see the crucial keyhole angle between the players, using that slot to see the applied tag during runner Mullins' slide.

We also quickly discount the possibility of a plate blocking or home plate collision rule violation, as catcher Viloria clearly leaves runner Mullins an unobstructed path to home plate before legally moving into position in order to field fielder Marcus Semien's throw home.

Video as follows: