Saturday, October 8, 2022

Cleveland Lost Track of the Count & Lost a Replay Review

During the 12th inning of its AL Wild Card Game 2 win against Tampa Bay, Cleveland lost a manager's challenge of 1B Umpire Quinn Wolcott's safe call on a pickoff play at first base then several outs later lost track of the count during Guardians batter Andres Gimenez's at-bat that ended in a strikeout.

Replay Review opted to rule "call stands" on Wolcott's safe call on Cleveland pitcher Enyel De Los Santos' attempted pickoff of Rays baserunner R1 Harold Ramirez, and we briefly discuss the keyhole angle issue which is quite difficult to acquire through movement during such a quickly-developing play.

As for the count—our third lost count in as many weeks—HP Umpire Adam Hamari and the scoreboard in Cleveland both appeared to have the correct count, but Gimenez appeared to mistakenly believe strike three was actually strike two and/or that it was only the second out of the inning. Perhaps it's time to give batters ball/strike indicators as well.

Video as follows:

Friday, October 7, 2022

Rays Lose Replay Review Challenge of Guardians HR Base Touch

Rays manager Kevin Cash filed an unsuccessful challenge during Game 1 of Tampa Bay's AL Wild Card Series against Cleveland, alleging that Guardians baserunner Amed Rosario failed to touch second base during teammate Jose Ramirez's home run in the 6th inning. Replay Review upheld 2B Umpire Quinn Wolcott's safe (legal touch) call.

Believe or not, there are a handful of relevant rules for this play.

Official Baseball Rule 5.06(b)(1) obligates runners to touch bases: "In advancing, a runner shall touch first, second, third and home base in order."

OBR 5.09(c)(2) authorizes defensive appeals for a runner's failure to touch their bases: "Any runner shall be called out on appeal when, with the ball in play, while advancing or returning to a base, they fail to touch each base in order before they, or a missed base, is tagged."

And OBR 5.06(b)(4) clarifies that even though OBR 5.09(c)(2) refers to "with the ball in play," bases awarded still must be touched: "The fact a runner is awarded a base or bases without liability to be put out does not relieve them of the responsibility to touch the base they are awarded and all intervening bases."

We also review the MLB Umpire Manual interpretation for past/prior as well as last time by: "If the runner retouches first and then second in advancing to the awarded base, the runner’s failure to touch second base in returning to first is “corrected” under the theory that touching the base the “last time by” corrects any previous error."

Video as follows:

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Greg Gibson, the Home Plate Umpire, Retires from Baseball

Major League umpire and crew chief Greg Gibson has retired 25 years after his NL debut; baseball's infamous home plate umpire officiated his last MLB game in May 2022. Said Gibson, "It's my time to get out of the way."

The umpiring veteran made those comments to his home town Daily Independent, further explaining his decision to retire: "I was getting to the point where it wasn’t fun."

Before Gibson's National League debut in 1997, the Ohio-born and Kentucky-residing umpire journeyed through the minor league system's Appalachian, Florida Instructional, South Atlantic, Florida State, Eastern, and International Leagues.

He officiated three Wild Card Games (2012, 13, 18), 10 Division Series (2001, 03, 04, 06, 07, 09, 10, 11, 15, 21), five League Championship Series (2005, 12, 13, 14, 18), and one World Series (2011) to go along with more than 2700 regular season games, and picked up 92 career ejections along the way.

An injury sidelined Gibson for the COVID-shortened 2020 season and according to the Daily Independent, long COVID issues contributed to Gibson's abbreviated 2022 schedule that ended in May.

Gibson promoted to crew chief prior to the 2022 season, and retires from baseball into an insurance business he became involved with several years ago; in 2019, Gibson graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a degree from the school's the Risk Management and Insurance program.
Related PostGreg Gibson Fulfills Goal, Graduates from College (5/12/19).

Video as follows:

Rosters - 2022 AL and NL Wild Card Series

Major League Baseball assigned 24 umpires to the 2022 American and National League Wild Card Series round of the MLB postseason featuring Guardians-Rays & Blue Jays-Mariners (AL) and Cardinals-Phillies & Mets-Padres (NL) matchups. Crew Chiefs for this round of the postseason include Ted Barrett, Jerry Meals, Jeff Nelson, and Alfonso Márquez.

Crew Chiefs are indicated in bold text and by the -cc suffix with regular season crew chiefs denoted by an asterisk (*) while those working their first postseason will be noted with a ^1st^ mark. The following listings feature Game 1 configurations such that the plate umpire from Game 1 will work right field in Game 2, and all other umpires will move clockwise (e.g., 3B becomes 2B). 

AL Wild Card (Cleveland Guardians @ Tampa Bay Rays) Umpires:
HP: Doug Eddings [Game 1 Plate]                 [3rd Wild Card, 6 DS, 1 LCS, 1 WS]
1B: Adam Hamari [Game 2 Plate]                 [3rd Wild Card, 1 DS]
2B: Quinn Wolcott [Game 3 Plate]                [3rd Wild Card, 3 DS]
3B: Ted Barrett* -cc                                     [6th Wild Card, 12 DS, 9 LCS, 5 WS]
LF: Hunter Wendelstedt                                [2nd Wild Card, 5 DS, 4 LCS, 1 WS]
RF: Chad Whitson ^1st^                               [1st Wild Card]

AL Wild Card (Toronto Blue Jays vs Seattle Mariners) Umpires:
HP: Lance Barrett [Game 1 Plate]                 [3rd Wild Card, 2 DS]
1B: Todd Tichenor [Game 2 Plate]               [3rd Wild Card, 5 DS, 2 LCS, 1 WS]
2B: Brian Knight [Game 3 Plate]                 [3rd Wild Card, 4 DS]
3B: Jerry Meals* -cc                                   [3rd Wild Card, 9 DS, 3 LCS, 2 WS]
LF: Andy Fletcher                                        [3rd Wild Card, 2 DS]
RF: Roberto Ortiz ^1st^                               [1st Wild Card]

NL Wild Card (St Louis Cardinals vs Philadelphia Phillies) Umpires:
HP: DJ Reyburn [Game 1 Plate]                 [2nd Wild Card, 3 DS]
1B: Vic Carapazza [Game 2 Plate]             [2nd Wild Card, 5 DS, 1 LCS]
2B: Mike Muchlinski [Game 3 Plate]        [2nd Wild Card, 3 DS, 1 LCS, 1 WS]
3B: Jeff Nelson* -cc                                  [6th Wild Card, 8 DS, 9 LCS, 4 WS]
LF: Laz Diaz*                                            [3rd Wild Card, 7 DS, 4 LCS, 3 WS]
RF: John Libka ^1st^                                [1st Wild Card]

NL Wild Card (New York Mets vs San Diego Padres) Umpires:
HP: Adrian Johnson [Game 1 Plate]       [2nd Wild Card, 4 DS]
1B: Chris Guccione [Game 2 Plate]       [6th Wild Card, 7 DS, 4 LCS, 2 WS]
2B: Chris Conroy [Game 3 Plate]          [3rd Wild Card, 2 DS, 2 LCS, 1 WS]
3B: Alfonso Márquez* -cc                    [3rd Wild Card, 11 DS, 5 LCS, 4 WS]
LF: Bruce Dreckman                              [1st Wild Card, 5 DS, 2 LCS]
RF: Ben May ^1st^                               [1st Wild Card]

Wild Card Series Replay Review: Dan Bellino, Rob Drake, Manny Gonzalez, Mark Wegner*.
Video as follows:

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

After Pandemic Halts History, Lisa Turbitt Takes WBC Field

Baseball Canada umpire Lisa Turbitt was originally slated to make history as the first woman to officiate a World Baseball Classic Qualifier game in March 2020, but before the tournament could get going, it was postponed. Two years later, Turbitt joins an international roster of officials to work the WBC qualifier round in Fall 2022.

Turbitt's history-making game occurred September 30, 2022 at Estadio Nacional Rod Carew in Panama City in front of a crowd of 466 people. Turbitt and umpires Frantisek Pribyl, Dane Poncsak, and Michael Ulloa worked a rainy game—complete with a weather delay—in which Argentina defeated Pakistan, 7-4.

The Latin America leg of the WBC qualifying round follows the European qualifier that took place at Armin-Wolf Baseball Arena in Regensburg, Germany in September, with Great Britain and Czech Republic qualifying for the 2023 WBC.

The main World Baseball Classic tournament is scheduled to begin March 11, 2023, in the United States.

Stadium Ejection - Rangers Fan Removed After Jumping Fence During Aaron Judge's 62nd HR

You asked for a fan ejection, so here it is: Global Life Field security ejected a fan for jumping over an outfield spectator wall when Aaron Judge hit HR #62 in the top of the 1st inning of the #Yankees-#Rangers game. With none out and none on, Judge hit a home run to left field, breaking Roger Maris' American League single-season HR record. Replays indicate that while the home run was in flight, a fan jumped over the spectator fence but not onto the playing field, the ejection for violation of the ballpark's "not trespassing onto the field" rule was irrecusable. At the time of the ejection, the fan hadn't caught the ball. The fan ultimately did not catch the ball.

Global Life Field, like many stadiums throughout the league, publish a Guest Code of Conduct as well as a Prohibited Items and Behavior list (including the catch-all "disorderly conduct" which effectively serves the same purpose as the rulebook's elastic clause or phrase "unsportsmanlike conduct"), noting that violators may be ejected without refund (and may even be subject to arrest).

Video as follows:

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Replay Rules Boston's Martinez Short of 1B vs New York

You asked us to take a look at a Replay Review decision that overturned 1B Umpire Paul Clemons' safe call on a play at first base when Red Sox batter-runner JD Martinez lunged for but missed touching first base as Yankees first baseman Marwin Gonzalez stretched to receive a throw.

Although there exists an MLB Umpire Manual interpretation holding that a runner shall be declared "safe" even if they miss a base based on timing alone, the fact of the matter is that in this case, the batter-runner (by virtue of being short of first base) hadn't yet reached first base when the fielder first possessed the ball. Had batter-runner Martinez instead overstepped first base and failed to touch the backside of the base after already having reached it, then the proper call from Replay would be to declare the runner safe, unless New York were to have filed a proper appeal before manager Aaron Boone challenged the play.

From MLBUM: "If the batter-runner misses first base, or a runner misses their next base, they shall be considered as having reached the next base, as referred to in the Note to Official Baseball Rule 5.06(b)(3)(D) and as stated in the Approved Ruling of Official Baseball Rule 6.02(a): 'A runner who misses the first base to which they are advancing and who is called out on appeal shall be considered as having advanced one base for the purpose of this rule.'"

If the Yankees failed to appeal prior to requesting a Replay Review, it would be too late to appeal after the review's conclusion and the runner Martinez would be ruled safe if the Replay Official determined his foot missed first base, but that the runner did, indeed, reach or arrive at first base prior to the fielder possessing the baseball.

Video as follows: