Friday, September 15, 2023

MLB Ejection 226 - Alex Tosi (2; Bryce Harper)

HP Umpire Alex Tosi ejected Phillies 1B Bryce Harper (strike two call; QOCN) in the top of the 3rd inning of the #Phillies-#Cardinals game. With two out and none on, Harper took a 2-1 fastball from Cardinals pitcher Zack Thompson for a called second strike before striking out on a subsequent pitch. Replays indicate the 2-1 pitch was located over the outer half of home plate and above the midpoint (px -0.41, pz 3.45 [sz_top 3.18 / RAD 3.30 / MOE 3.38]), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Phillies were leading, 4-0. The Phillies ultimately won the contest, 5-4.

This is Alex Tosi (66)'s 2nd ejection of 2023.
*This pitch was located 0.84 vertical inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 226th ejection report of the 2023 MLB regular season.
This is the 91st player ejection of 2023. Ejection Tally: 102 Managers, 91 Players, 33 Coaches.
This is Philadelphia's 11th ejection of 2023, 2nd in the NL East (MIA 14; PHI 11; NYM 6; ATL, WAS 3).
This is Bryce Harper's 3rd ejection of 2023, 1st since June 23 (Mike Estabrook; QOC = Y [Check Swing]).
This is Alex Tosi's 2nd ejection of 2023, 1st since April 21 (Bud Black; QOC = U [HBP]).

Thursday, September 14, 2023

August 2023 Top 5 Calls of the Month

August 2023's Top 5 Calls of the Month highlights five MLB umpires whose efficient use of mechanics, positioning, and patience enables them to correctly officiate some difficult plays.

Top 5 Calls of the Month - August 2023

5. Ryan Wills' pulled foot out vs safe call at the home plate.
4. Chad Whitson's patient safe call on a creative slide.
3. Jeremy Riggs' dust-cloud tag play at third base.
2. Brennan Miller's three-sounder with shadows at first.
1. Tripp Gibson's foul tip vs catcher's interference call.

Video as follows:

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

MLB Ejection 225 - Jeremie Rehak (4; Chris Johnson)

HP Umpire Jeremie Rehak ejected White Sox assistant hitting coach Chris Johnson (strike one call to Andrew Benintendi; QOCN) in the bottom of the 6th inning of the #Royals-#WhiteSox game. With two out and two on, Benintendi took a 0-0 fastball from Royals pitcher Jackson Kowar for a called first strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer half of home plate and below the hollow of the knee (px -0.54, pz 1.33 [sz_bot 1.55 / RAD 1.43 / MOE 1.35]), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the White Sox were leading, 6-1. The White Sox ultimately won the contest, 6-2.

This is Jeremie Rehak (35)'s 4th ejection of 2023.
*This pitch was located 0.24 vertical inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 225th ejection report of the 2023 MLB regular season.
This is the 33rd coach ejection of 2023. Ejection Tally: 102 Managers, 90 Players, 33 Coaches.
This is Chicago's 13th ejection of 2023, 1st in the AL Central (CWS 13; MIN 12; KC 7; CLE 6; DET 4).
This is Chris Johnson's 1st ejection since June 22, 2014 (Mark Carlson; QOC = Y-c [Check Swing]).
This is Jeremie Rehak's 4th ejection of 2023, 1st since Aug 10 (John Schneider; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Bassitt's Balk by Disengagement Scores Run After 3rd Step Off

Blue Jays pitcher Chris Bassitt balked home a run after stepping off for a third time with Rangers runner Mitch Garver dancing off third base, resulting in a disengagement violation that was immediately called by the umpires. Toronto played batter Josh Smith to pull toward right field and 'shifted' third baseman Cavan Biggio toward the shortstop position, leaving third base unguarded, allowing baserunner R3 Garver to take a sizeable lead.

Pitcher Bassitt attempted to keep the baserunner at bay by disengaging from the pitcher's plate and feigning to third base (pitchers are allowed to fake to third or first, but must disengage before starting the faking motion). Bassitt did this twice toward the end of Smith's at-bat, with R3 Garver and R2 Leody Taveras (who had stolen second earlier in the AB) returning to their bases safely each time.

When Garver strayed far down the foul line, Bassitt not only disengaged the rubber, but ran toward third base in an unsuccessful attempt to tag Garver. With Bassitt's attempt having failed, HP Umpire John Tumpane and 3B Umpire Mike Muchlinski simultaneously called "Time" and signaled Bassitt for a disengagement violation (third step-off), awarding the runners an extra base as a result.

Pitchers are allowed a maximum of two free disengagements per plate appearance. The "free disengagements remaining" counter resets back to two if any runner advances during the at-bat (e.g., due to a stolen base, error, balk, etc.) and a pitcher is allowed a third disengagement without penalty only if that third disengagement results in the retirement of a runner. If the runner is safe on the third disengagement, however, it is a balk and the runner(s) advance a base.

Video as follows:

Monday, September 11, 2023

Ball Boy Interference & Non-Bona Fide Slide Violation

Umpires awarded Dodgers runner Mookie Betts home after a ball boy interfered with a fair ball in Miami while Replay Review called a bona fide slide rule violation on Reds runner Christian Encarnacion-Strand in Cincinnati in this edition of Ask CCS.

Ball Attendant Interference
With baserunner Mookie Betts on first base, Dodgers batter Freddie Freeman hit a line drive down the right field line in Miami, ruled a fair ball by 1B Umpire John Libka. But before Mookie could round third base, the Marlins ball boy in right field fielded the fair ground ball and threw it into the stands, resulting in a dead ball pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 6.01(d), entitled "Unintentional Interference."

OBR 6.01(d) states that if a non-uniformed person authorized to be on the playing field (e.g., ball attendant, security guard, etc.) intentionally interferes with a live ball ("intentional" meaning the action was voluntary, not that the intent was to commit interference per se), "the ball shall be dead at the moment of the interference and the umpire shall impose such penalties as in their opinion will nullify the act of interference."

After consultation with 1B Umpire Libka, 2B Umpire DJ Reyburn, and perhaps most importantly (for the angle), 3B Umpire Angel Hernandez, HP Umpire and Crew Chief James Hoye placed Betts at home, ruling that had interference not occurred, Betts would have scored.

Bona Fide Slide Rule Violation Leads to 9th Inning Double Play
In Cincinnati, Reds batter Tyler Stephenson hit a ground ball to Cardinals shortstop Masyn Winn in the bottom of the 9th inning, with Winn throwing to second baseman Tommy Edman as Reds baserunner R1 Christian Encarnacion-Strand slid into second base. Edman's throw to first base came after Stephenson arrived, but St Louis challenged the play, alleging that the runner's slide into second was violative.

The four criteria of OBR 6.01(j) pertaining to bona fide slides on force plays are that
1) the runner begins their slide before reaching the base;
2) is able and attempts to reach the base with their hand or foot;
3) is able and attempts to remain on the base after completion of the slide;
4) slides within reach of the base without changing their pathway to contact a fielder.

Upon review, the Replay Official ruled that R1 failed to satisfy criterion three of the bona fide slide rule, in that the runner failed to remain on the base after completion of the slide. Accordingly, replay overturned 2B Umpire Mark Carlson's no violation call and imposed the illegal slide penalty, which in this case is a double play with batter-runner Stephenson declared out at first in addition to Encarnacion-Strand's force out at second.

Video as follows: