Sunday, June 16, 2024

MLB Ejection 080 - Mike Estabrook (3; Rob Thomson)

HP Umpire Mike Estabrook ejected Phillies manager Rob Thomson (HBP no-call; QOCY) in the top of the 6th inning of the #Phillies-#Orioles game. With two out and one on, Phillies batter Garrett Stubbs pulled back his bunt attempt on a 0-0 curveball from Orioles pitcher Corbin Burnes, initially ruled a hit-by-pitch by Estabrook before being called ball one (no HBP) after crew conference. Thomson was ejected arguing the call prior to Replay Review as the result of a Phillies challenge, resulting in a "call stands" outcome of no HBP, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Orioles were leading, 8-2. The Orioles ultimately won the contest, 8-3.

This is Mike Estabrook (83)'s 3rd ejection of 2024.
Official Baseball Rule 5.04(b)(5): "The batter’s legal position shall be with both feet within the batter’s box. APPROVED RULING: The lines defining the box are within the batter’s box."
OBR 5.05(a)(3): "If the pitch touches the ground and...touches the batter, they shall be awarded first base."
OBR 5.05(b)(2): "The batter becomes a runner and is entitled to first base without liability to be put out when they are touched by a pitched ball which they are not attempting to hit unless (A) The ball is in the strike zone when it touches the batter, or (B) The batter makes no attempt to avoid being touched by the ball."
OBR 6.03(a)(1): "A batter is out for illegal action when they hit a ball with one or both feet on the ground entirely outside the batter’s box."

This is the 80th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 39th manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 39 Managers, 12 Coaches, 29 Players.
This is Philadelphia's 2nd ejection of 2024, 4th in the NL East (WAS 4; MIA, NYM 3; PHI 2; ATL 0).
This is Rob Thomson's 1st ejection since August 13, 2023 (Alex MacKay; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Mike Estabrook's 3rd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 21 (Lars Nootbaar; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Saturday, June 15, 2024

MLB Ejection 079 - Nick Mahrley (2; Torey Lovullo)

HP Umpire Nick Mahrley ejected Diamondback manager Torey Lovullo (strike two call to Joc Pederson; QOCY) in the bottom of the 8th inning of the #WhiteSox-#Diamondbacks game. With none out and none on, Diamondbacks batter Pederson took a 3-1 fastball from White Sox pitcher Steven Wilson for a called second strike before flying out. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner edge of home plate and thigh-high (px 0.83, pz 2.59), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the White Sox were leading, 7-2. The White Sox ultimately won the contest, 9-2.

This is Nick Mahrley (48)'s 2nd ejection of 2024.
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| ≤ STRIKE < |.748| ≤ BORDERLINE ≤ |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 1.00 horizontal inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 79th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 38th manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 37 Managers, 12 Coaches, 29 Players.
This is Arizona's 3rd ejection of 2024, T-1st in the NL West (ARI, SD, SF 3; COL 1; LAD 0).
This is Torey Lovullo's 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 13 (Mark Carlson; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Nick Mahrley's 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 28 (Garrett Crochet; QOC = U [Rain Delay]).

Friday, June 14, 2024

MLB Ejection 078 - Vic Carapazza (5; Bruce Bochy)

HP Umpire Vic Carapazza ejected Rangers manager Bruce Bochy (runner's lane interference no-call; QOCY) in the bottom of the 4th inning of the #Rangers-#Mariners game. With one out and one on, Mariners batter Victor Robles bunted a first-pitch changeup from Rangers pitcher Andrew Heaney back to the pitcher, whose throw to first base failed to retire Robles, resulting a bunt single. Replays indicate Robles failed to run within the expanded runner's lane (traditional lane + extension of the dirt in fair territory), but in doing so did not interfere with the fielder taking the throw at first base (1B Nathaniel Lowe), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Mariners were leading, 3-2. The Mariners ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

This is Vic Carapazza (19)'s 5th ejection of 2024.
Official Baseball Rule 5.09(a)(11): "A batter is out when in running the last half of the distance from home base to first base, while the ball is being fielded to first base, they run outside (to the right of) the three-foot line, or inside (to the left of) the foul line and on the infield grass, and in the umpire’s judgment in so doing interfere with the fielder taking the throw at first base, in which case the ball is dead."
^Baseball Rules Difference: NCAA & NFHS both would have RLI here if the umpire deems that the runner's illegal position interfered with the fielder making the throw (OBR only relates to the fielder taking the throw).

This is the 78th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 37th manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 37 Managers, 12 Coaches, 29 Players.
This is Texas' 4th ejection of 2024, T-1st in the AL West (OAK, TEX 4; HOU, SEA 3; LAA 1).
This is Bruce Bochy's 3rd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 25 (Laz Diaz; QOC = N-c [Fair/Foul]).
This is Vic Carapazza's 5th ejection of 2024, 1st since June 5 (Nico Hoerner; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Texas Rangers vs Seattle Mariners, 6/14/24 | Video as follows:

MLB Umpire Pat Hoberg Under Investigation for Gambling

MLB reportedly disciplined umpire Pat Hoberg for violating baseball's gambling policies, also known as Rule 21. Hoberg, with the support of the umpires' union is appealing. Both MLBUA and Hoberg did not comment on the allegations other to acknowledge their, and the appeal's, existence.

Hoberg, who has officiated as part of the major league staff since 2017, said in a statement, "I am appealing Major League Baseball’s determination that I should be disciplined for violating the sports betting policies. While that appeal is pending, it would not be appropriate to discuss the case. That said, I have devoted my adult life to the profession of umpiring, and the integrity of baseball is of the utmost importance to me. I look forward to the appeal process, and I am grateful that the Major League Baseball Umpires Association is supporting me in the appeal."

The Major League Baseball Umpires Association wrote: "The Major League Baseball Umpires Association was made aware in Spring Training that Umpire Pat Hoberg was being investigated for potential violation of Major League Baseball’s sports betting policies. We have been working with Pat since then. We are now appealing the discipline issued by Major League Baseball. Because the appeal process is ongoing, the Union cannot discuss the matter. We will have no further comment until the appeal process is complete."

MLB stated that the investigation "did not find any evidence that games worked by Mr. Hoberg were compromised or manipulated in any way, MLB determined that discipline was warranted."

Rule 21 states that a person who bets on games in which they have a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible while a person who bets on games in which they do not have a duty to perform shall be declared ineligible for one year. There also exists the possibility that Hoberg's appeal will be successful and no further penalty will result.

Video as follows:

Trio of Plays - Close Calls and Replay Reviews

In this review, tmac looks at a trio of plays across baseball, including a line drive hit toward 3B Umpire Brian Knight on the left field foul line, a knob of the bat fair ball and challenged out call at first with umpires Quinn Wolcott & Junior Valentine, and a puzzler of a catcher's interference vs foul ball for Larry Vanover.

For Knight in Milwaukee, self-preservation comes first and the umpire jumps out of the way, initially killing play to call a foul ball before quickly convening the crew and changing the call to a fair ball, which was the proper ruling.

In Cleveland, HP Umpire Wolcott observes a batted ball off the knob of the bat as opposed to a hit-by-pitch while 1B Umpire Valentine rules on a bang-bang play at first, an out call confirmed via Replay Review.

In San Francisco, HP Umpire Vanover sees a play wherein the bat hit the catcher's mitt...but was not actually catcher's interference. Replays indicate the batter's bat, after fouling the pitch away, recoiled backward and into the catcher's mitt, rendering this a foul ball and overturned call.

Video as follows:

Thursday, June 13, 2024

MLB Ejection 077 - Paul Clemons (2; Matt Quatraro)

2B Umpire Paul Clemons ejected Royals manager Matt Quatraro (obstruction no-call/out; QOCY) in the bottom of the 6th inning of the #Yankees-#Royals game. With two out and one on, Royals baserunner Bobby Witt Jr was picked off and caught stealing by Yankees pitcher Nestor Cortes, who threw to shortstop Anthony Volpe as Witt arrived at second base, called out by 2B Umpire Clemons, who ruled fielder Volpe did not obstruct the runner Witt. Replays indicate Volpe gained possession of the baseball prior to placing his foot in Witt's path, blocking the runner's access to second base; this is not obstruction due to possession, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Royals were leading, 2-0. The Royals ultimately won the contest, 4-3.

This is Paul Clemons (104)'s 2nd ejection of 2024.
Official Baseball Rules Definition of Terms: "Obstruction is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner."

This is the 77th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 36th manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 35 Managers, 12 Coaches, 29 Players.
This is Kansas City's 1st ejection of 2024, 3rd in the AL Central (CWS 5; MIN 2; KC 1; CLE, DET 0).
This is Matt Quatraro's 1st ejection since August 7, 2023 (Vic Carapazza; QOC = U [Check Swing]).
This is Paul Clemons' 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since June 7 (Derek Shomon; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

MLB Ejection 076 - Emil Jimenez (1; Lane Thomas)

HP Umpire Emil Jimenez ejected Nationals RF Lane Thomas (strike three call; QOCY) in the top of the 6th inning of the #Nationals-#Tigers game. With none out and none on, Thomas took a 2-2 fastball from Tigers pitcher Casey Mize for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer edge of home plate and at the midpoint (px 0.72, pz 3.15 [sz_top 3.07 / RAD 3.19]), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 1-1. The Tigers ultimately won the contest, 7-2.

This is Emil Jimenez (82)'s 1st ejection of 2024.
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| ≤ STRIKE < |.748| ≤ BORDERLINE ≤ |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 2.33 horizontal & 1.44 vertical inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 76th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 29th player ejection of 2024. Prior t oejection, Thomas was 1-3 (SO) in the contest.
Ejection Tally: 35 Managers, 12 Coaches, 29 Players.
This is Washington's 4th ejection of 2024, 1st in the NL East (WAS 4; MIA, NYM 3; PHI 1; ATL 0).
This is Lane Thomas' first career MLB ejection.
This is Emil Jimenez' 1st ejection since July 17, 2023 (Ryan Noda; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

MLB Ejection 075 - Tom Hanahan (1; Mark Kotsay)

HP Umpire Tom Hanahan ejected Athletics manager Mark Kotsay (strike two call to JJ Bleday; QOCY) in the top of the 9th inning of the #Athletics-#Padres game. With none out and none on, A's batter Bleday took a 0-1 sinker from Padres pitcher Robert Suarez for a called second strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner edge of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px 0.65, pz 1.94 [sz_bot 1.55]), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 4-4. The Padres ultimately won the contest, 5-4.

This is Tom Hanahan (69)'s 1st ejection of 2024.
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| ≤ STRIKE < |.748| ≤ BORDERLINE ≤ |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 3.17 horizontal inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 75th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 35th manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 35 Managers, 12 Coaches, 28 Players.
This is Oakland's 4th ejection of 2024, T-1st in the AL West (OAK 4; HOU, SEA, TEX 3; LAA 1).
This is Mark Kotsay's 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since June 1 (James Hoye; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Tom Hanahan's first career MLB ejection.

Ejections Aplenty from Pitch Clock Strikeout to Game-Losing Missed Base Appeal

In just one minor league game, we had ejections for arguing a pitch clock violation strikeout, a missed base touch appeal resulting in a loss, a water cooler thrown from the dugout onto the field (oh and a "simple" balls/strikes argument too). HP Umpire Kyle Stutz ejected both managers—Midland's Gregorio Petit and San Antonio's Luke Montz—in a 4-3 ballgame that ended with a base touch appeal that RockHounds runner Denzel Clarke missed third on what initially was a game-winning 3-RBI home run by Cooper Bowman that instead turned into a game-ending double when umpires affirmed San Antonio's appeal.

The ejections began early when HP Umpire Stutz ejected RockHounds manager Petit for arguing a strike call in the 2nd inning. In the 4th, HP Umpire Stutz also ran Missions manager Luke Montz after batter Brandon Valenzuela struck out due to a pitch clock violation with a two-strike count. Valenzuela had stepped out of the box after strike two, but didn't appear to request "Time" from the umpire, meaning the pitch clock continued to run until Stutz called Valenzuela for failing to be in the batter's box and alert to the pitcher by the eight-second mark.

Finally, the game ended with fanfare as with San Antonio holding a 4-2 lead with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, with runners at the corners, Midland batter Cooper Bowman appeared to hit a game-winning three-RBI home run to left field to seal a 5-4 final in favor of the RockHounds. However, after the play, San Antonio appealed that Midland baserunner R1 Denzel Clarke failed to touch third base, a ruling affirmed for the third out of the inning, meaning that both Clarke and batter-runner Bowman's runs did not count.

Official Baseball Rule 5.08(a) states, "A run is not scored if the runner advances to home base during a play in which the third out is made (1) by the batter-runner before he touches first base; (2) by any runner being forced out; or (3) by a preceding runner who is declared out because they failed to touch one of the bases."

To get the out, OBR 5.09(c)(2)'s appeal process was invoked: "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, are tagged."

Accordingly, the final score reverted to a 4-3 tally favoring San Antonio (lead runner Brennan Milone's run counted, as he preceded Clark on the bases), with several ejections following, including one for throwing a water cooler onto the field from the now-losing Midland dugout.

Video as follows:

Monday, June 10, 2024

MLB Ejection 074 - Chris Guccione (5; Scott Servais)

HP Umpire Chris Guccione ejected Mariners manager Scott Servais (strike three call to Cal Raleigh; QOCY) in the bottom of the 8th inning of the #WhiteSox-#Mariners game. With one out and the bases loaded, Mariners batter Raleigh took a 1-2 fastball from White Sox pitcher Michael Kopech for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the inner edge of home plate and above the knee (px 0.83, pz 2.33), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the White Sox were leading, 4-1. The Mariners ultimately won the contest, 8-4.

This is Chris Guccione (68)'s 5th ejection of 2024.
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| ≤ STRIKE < |.748| ≤ BORDERLINE ≤ |.914| < BALL.
This pitch was located 1.02 horizontal inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 74th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 34th manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 34 Managers, 12 Coaches, 28 Players.
This is Seattle's 3rd ejection of 2024, T-1st in the AL West (HOU, OAK, SEA, TEX 3; LAA 1).
This is Scott Servais' 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 25 (Dan Bellino; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Chris Guccione's 5th ejection of 2024, 1st since April 30 (Jose Siri; QOC = U [Fighting]).

Did Hernández Interfere with Catcher Trevino in New York?

With two on and none out, Dodgers batter Enrique Hernández bunted a cutter from Yankees pitcher Luke Weaver in the air. New York catcher Jose Trevino took off in pursuit of the batted ball and tripped over Hernández, still in the box and looking up at the baseball. HP Umpire Nestor Ceja no-called this play, ruling it a foul ball, bringing Yankees manager Aaron Boone out of the dugout for a brief argument.

Was this interference by the batter or was a no-call due to incidental contact the correct ruling?

Official Baseball Rule 6.01(a)(10) declares any batter or runner out for interference if "they fail to avoid a fielder who is attempting to field a batted ball, or intentionally interferes with a thrown ball." The umpire is obliged to protect one fielder for the purpose of this rule and, as Trevino was the only fielder chasing the ball, he was the protected fielder.

It is important to differentiate this play, which concerns a batted ball, from batter's interference plays concerning pitched balls, e.g., with the catcher's throwing or play to retire a stealing runner when the batter has already swung and missed—OBR 6.03(a)(3), which states "A batter is out for illegal action when they interfere with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base."

Because this is a batted ball, the more restrictive OBR 6.01(a)(10) is the relevant rule.

Accordingly, Hernández has a duty to avoid Trevino and violating this batted ball right of way rule can result in interference. There is one exception, however...

The so-called Armbrister-Fisk tangle/untangle exception to this is found in OBR 6.01(a)(10) Comment: "When a catcher and batter-runner going to first base have contact when the catcher is fielding the ball, there is generally no violation and nothing should be called."

The key to this exception is the phrase "batter-runner going to first base." If Hernández fails to move toward first base on a batted ball—even a foul ball, as the rule states "batted ball" and not "fair ball" or "foul ball"—the Armbrister exception cannot apply and, thus, Hernández should be declared out for interfering with Trevino by virtue of failing to avoid a fielder attempting to field batted ball.

Video as follows:

Saturday, June 8, 2024

MLB Ejection 073 - Alan Porter (3; Alex Cora)

HP Umpire Alan Porter ejected Red Sox manager Alex Cora (strike three call to Jamie Westbrook; QOCY) in the top of the 5th inning of the #RedSox-#WhiteSox game. With two out and one on, Red Sox batter Westbrook took a 3-2 fastball from White Sox pitcher Tanner Banks for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the heart of home plate and at the hollow of the knee (px -0.16, pz 1.51 [sz_bot 1.45 / RAD 1.33]), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Red Sox were leading, 1-0. The White Sox ultimately won the contest, 6-1.

This is Alan Porter (64)'s 3rd ejection of 2024.
This pitch was located 3.12 vertical inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 73rd ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 33rd manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 33 Managers, 12 Coaches, 28 Players.
This is Boston's 2nd ejection of 2024, T-4th in the AL East (NYY, TOR 5; TB 3; BAL, BOS 2).
This is Alex Cora's 1st ejection since August 22, 2023 (Pat Hoberg; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Alan Porter's 3rd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 12 (Oliver Marmol; QOC = Y [Replay Review]).

White Sox Appeal Play Gone Awry - What Happened?

Red Sox batter Jarren Duran reached on White Sox pitcher Garrett Crochet's throwing error on an infield ground ball, winding up at third. Sensing that Duran may have failed to touch first base in all the commotion, Chicago prepared for an appeal, but as Crochet threw to first, Duran took off for home plate, trying to distract the White Sox. Officially a stolen base, Crochet's throw once again evaded first baseman Andrew Vaughn.

We review baseball's appeal rules to figure out if Chicago still retained the right to appeal Duran's purported missed base touch at first and if anything else may have been missed here.

Official Baseball Rule 5.09(c)(2) states that "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, are tagged."

Appeals can occur at any time prior to the next pitch, play, or attempted play—which can include an appeal made during the live ball associated with the continuous action featuring the alleged base-running infraction (sometimes called a "real time appeal"), or it can be made after the ball has been returned to the pitcher and the pitcher has engaged the rubber (a "standard appeal"). In a standard appeal, the umpire puts the ball in play (if the ball had been declared dead), upon which the pitcher steps off the rubber and throws (or, theoretically, runs) to the base at which the appeal is being made.

Note: NFHS / high school allows live or dead ball appeals; OBR/NCAA require live ball appeals.

The key part to this play is the "any appeal under this rule must be made before the next pitch, or any play or attempted play" part of the rule. So too is that "An appeal is not to be interpreted as a play or an attempted play."

Had Vaughn caught Crochet's throw and instead, distracted by Duran stealing home, threw home, Chicago would have lost its right to appeal at first base and whatever resulted at home plate (safe/out on the catcher's tag) would prevail. In order for this "play or attempted play" to occur, Vaughn would have to actually physically possess the baseball; even though replays indicate he may have motioned as if he were throwing home, he did not possess the baseball and, thus, this was not a play or attempted play.

The MLB Umpire Manual substantiates this: "A play or attempted play is interpreted as a legitimate effort by a defensive player who has possession of the ball to actually retire a runner."

Accordingly, even though Crochet's throw evaded Vaughn's glove, it stayed in play in foul territory near right field, and was retrieved by Vaughn, who (although video doesn't capture this) immediately returned to and tagged first base to appeal. This is important to note as well, because a ball that falls out of play here would close the appeal window: "Once the defensive team “errs” (i.e., throws the ball out of play) in its attempt to appeal at third on the runner originally on second, it loses its right to make an appeal."

1B Umpire Alan Porter called Duran "safe" at first base, ruling that Duran did not miss the base.

White Sox manager Pedro Grifol briefly discussed the play with HP Umpire Sean Barber, but ultimately Crochet returned to the mound and threw a pitch, sealing the finality of Duran's stolen base.

There was one thing Chicago failed to do was challenge 1B Umpire Porter's safe/touch call. That's it.

Video as follows:

Friday, June 7, 2024

MLB Ejection 072 - Paul Clemons (1; Derek Shomon)

HP Umpire Paul Clemons ejected Twins assistant hitting coach Derek Shomon (strike two call to Carlos Correa; QOCN) in the top of the 5th inning of the #Twins-#Pirates game. With one out and two on, Twins batter Correa took a 1-1 sinker from Pirates pitcher Mitch Keller for a called second strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the heart of home plate and below the hollow of the knee (px 0.19, pz 1.57 [sz_bot 1.77 / RAD 1.65 / MOE 1.58), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the Pirates were leading, 2-0. The Pirates ultimately won the contest, 3-0.

This is Paul Clemons (104)'s 1st ejection of 2024.
This pitch was located 0.12 vertical inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 72nd ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 12th coach ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 32 Managers, 12 Coaches, 28 Players.
This is Minnesota's 2nd ejection of 2024, 2nd in the AL Central (CWS 5; MIN 2; CLE, DET, KC 0).
This is Derek Shomon's 1st ejection since June 23, 2023 (Lance Barrett; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Paul Clemons' first career MLB ejection.

Thursday, June 6, 2024

MLB Ejection 071 - Erich Bacchus (2; Mike Shildt)

HP Umpire Erich Bacchus ejected Padres manager Mike Shildt (strike three call to Jake Cronenworth to end the game; QOCN) after the bottom of the 9th inning of the #Diamondbacks-#Padres game. With two out and one on, Padres batter Cronenworth took a 2-2 fastball from Diamondbacks pitcher Paul Sewald for a called third strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located off the outer edge of home plate and at the midpoint (px -1.01, pz 3.43), the call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Diamondbacks had already won the ballgame, 4-3.

This is Erich Bacchus (12)'s 2nd ejection of 2024.
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
The pitched ruled strike three was located 1.16 horizontal inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 71st ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 32nd manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 32 Managers, 11 Coaches, 28 Players.
This is San Diego's 3rd ejection of 2024, T-1st in the NL West (SD, SF 3; ARI 2; COL 1; LAD 0).
This is Mike Shildt's 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since April 20 (Ramon De Jesus; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Erich Bacchus' 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 25 (Andrew Heaney; QOC = N [Fair/Foul]).

Calls of the Month - May 2024

Our Top 5 Calls of the Month for May 2024 include several close calls at both home plate and on the bases, with umpires who stick with the play to get the call right.

5) Cory Blaser gets his nose in there for a call at the plate.

4) Doug Eddings gets knocked down, but gets back up to later in the game nail an awkward out call.

3) Chris Conroy takes a "Reverse Force" (tag-up appeal play) at 1st.

2) Chad Fairchild no call at the plate great calmness.... and call.

1) Adam Hamari "The Hammer" with a confirmed catcher's interference call on a check swing.

Video as follows:

Wednesday, June 5, 2024

MLB Ejection 070 - Vic Carapazza (4; Nico Hoerner)

HP Umpire Vic Carapazza ejected Cubs 2B Nico Hoerner (strike three call; QOCN) in the bottom of the 4th inning of the #WhiteSox-#Cubs game. With one out and none on, Hoerner took called first, second, and third strikes from White Sox pitcher Erick Fedde. Replays indicate strike one was located over the outer half of home plate and belt-high (px 0.46, pz 2.81), strike two was located over the outer edge of home plate and thigh-high (px 0.88, pz 2.68), and strike three was located off the outer edge of home plate and belt-high (px 1.03, pz 2.85), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the White Sox were leading, 5-1, however, the Cubs ultimately won the contest, 7-6.

This is Vic Carapazza (19)'s 4th ejection of 2024.
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
The pitched ruled strike three was located 1.39 horizontal inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 70th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 28th player ejection of 2024. Prior to ejection, Hoerner was 0-2 (SO) in the contest.
Ejection Tally: 31 Managers, 11 Coaches, 28 Players.
This is Chicago's 4th ejection of 2024, T-1st in the NL Central (CHC, MIL, PIT, STL 4; CIN 1).
This is Nico Hoerner's first career MLB ejection.
This is Vic Carapazza's 4th ejection of 2024, 1st since May 29 (Aaron Boone; QOC = Y [Interference]).

Wrap: Chicago White Sox vs Chicago Cubs, 6/5/24 | Video as follows:

Four MiLB El Paso Ejections Over Tag Plays

Four El Paso Chihuahuas were ejected by MiLB umpires Kelvis Velez and Jen Pawol during a series vs Round Rock after a pair of contested tag plays that, by minor league rule, aren't reviewable because nothing is at that level (typically). What does game management say about all this?

In Velez' case, El Paso catcher Kevin Plawecki, 2B Nate Mondou, and manager Pete Zamora were ejected arguing after an RBI single which itself followed a safe call on a stolen base attempt at second base. Mondou and Zamora, specifically, argued the safe call when it occurred, Zamora returning to the dugout and Mondou to his position. Thus, those two ejections were for continuing to argue a previous play, while Plawecki charged up the third base line to confront the umpire to earn his dismissal.

For Pawol, 3B Eguy Rosario made a beeline toward the crew chief after a safe call at third base, making a finger pointing gesture just feet from Pawol's face.

Video as follows:

Tuesday, June 4, 2024

McCann Called Out for Batter Interference...But Did He?

With a runner on first and one on, HP Umpire Tony Randazzo called Orioles batter James McCann out for interference with Blue Jays catcher Danny Jansen, thus sending baserunner Colton Cowser back to first, drawing an argument from Baltimore manager Brandon Hyde. What happened here?

Randazzo called McCann out for illegal action, specifically for violation of Official Baseball Rule 6.03(a)(3): "A batter is out for illegal action when they interfere with the catcher’s fielding or throwing by stepping out of the batter’s box or making any other movement that hinders the catcher’s play at home base."

With a 1-1 count to McCann before Genesis Cabrera's changeup that resulted in a McCann swing-and-a-miss, the interference call put McCann out immediately (as soon as Toronto catcher Jansen was unable to throw the ball to second base) and returned runner R1 Cowser to first, as no bases may be run as a result of the dead ball caused by an interference call.

Note that this is not an example of unintentional backswing interference, because the proper outcome for that call would be a dead ball, runner returns to first, and a strike added to the count due to McCann's swing, which would make it a 1-2 count. With McCann out immediately, it is apparent that Randazzo's call was interference, not unintentional backswing contact (note: in high school, backswing is called follow-through and is treated as interference).

OBR 6.03(a)(3) and (4) Comment states, "If a batter strikes at a ball and misses and swings so hard they carry the bat all the way around and, in the umpire’s judgment, unintentionally hit the catcher or the ball in back of them on the backswing, it shall be called a strike only (not interference). The ball will be dead, however, and no runner shall advance on the play."

Video as follows:

Monday, June 3, 2024

MLB Ejection 069 - Phil Cuzzi (1; Pete Walker)

HP Umpire Phil Cuzzi ejected Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker (ball one call to Austin Hays; QOCN) in the top of the 4th inning of the #Orioles-#BlueJays game. With two out and one on, Orioles batter Austin Hays took a 0-0 fastball from Blue Jays pitcher Kevin Gausman for a called first strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer half of home plate and at the midpoint (px 0.54, pz 3.32 [sz_top 3.32 / RAD 3.44 / MOE 3.36]), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Orioles were leading, 5-1. The Orioles ultimately won the contest, 

This is James Hoye (92)'s 2nd ejection of 2024.
This pitch was located 0.48 vertical inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 69th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 11th coach ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 31 Managers, 11 Coaches, 27 Players.
This is Toronto's 5th ejection of 2024, T-1st in the AL East (NYY, TOR 5; TB 3; BAL 2; BOS 1).
This is Pete Walker's 1st ejection since July 18, 2023 (Malachi Moore; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Phil Cuzzi's 1st ejection since September 29, 2023 (Will Benson; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Clemson's Hidden Ball Trick & Rule Requirements

Clemson's hidden ball trick play proved successful during a college playoff game thanks to the Tigers' compliance with baseball's rules, requirements, and restrictions for fielders and pitchers. Umpires should bear in mind balk and pocketed ball regulations vary by level of play. Let's go over them.

The hidden ball trick—wherein the defense confuses the offense about the ball's whereabouts—must comply with several rules, including those pertaining to the pitcher as well as to the fielder holding the ball (and other fielders, too).

This play generally requires the ball-carrying fielder to hide the baseball from the runner. There are legal ways to do this and others that are explicitly legal. While simply placing the ball into your glove to conceal it is legal, at no level of baseball are fielders allowed to deliberately put a ball into their pocket, under their cap, etc., but the rules and penalties vary by level.

Placing Ball in Uniform: Professional baseball is the only level to specifically address a fielder intentionally putting the ball in their clothing, as in Official Baseball Rule 5.06(c)(7) Comment: "If a ball is intentionally placed inside a player’s uniform (e.g., a pants pocket) for the purpose of deceiving a base runner, the umpire shall call “Time.” The umpire will place all runners at least one base (or more if warranted, in the umpire’s judgment, in order to nullify the action of the ball being put out of play), from the base they originally occupied."

The lower levels do not directly address this case, but do discuss balls in uniforms. NCAA 8-3-1 states, "If a fair batted or thrown ball becomes lodged in a player's uniform, the ball shall be declared dead and bases awarded at the umpire's discretion," while NFHS 8-3-3c awards two bases for a thrown ball becoming dead because it is lodged in a player's equipment or uniform.

Pitcher Restrictions and Balks: While no level of baseball allows the pitcher to engage the pitcher's plate without the baseball, the three levels differ as to where a pitcher may stand during a hidden ball play.

NCAA 9-3-f is the most restrictive, prohibiting pitchers from being on the dirt of the mound at all.
NFHS 6-2-5 takes a moderate approach, stating pitchers may not stand within five feet of the rubber.
OBR 6.02(a)(9) is the most lenient, only prohibiting pitchers from standing "on or astride" the rubber.

Pitcher's Fake Throws to a Base: While college and professional baseball restrict fake throws by a pitcher from the rubber to first or third base (NCAA 9-3-a, OBR 6.02(a)(2)), high school restricts the feign to first but allows a fake to third (NFHS 6-2-4a). All codes allow a fake to second and none of them allow a fake to home plate (all from the rubber, of course).

Video as follows:

Sunday, June 2, 2024

Pham's Slide into Contreras - Legal or Collision Violation?

White Sox baserunner Tommy Pham slid into Brewers catcher William Contreras on a play at the plate as Milwaukee cut down Chicago's tying run. In an era when we simply don't see much runner-catcher contact thanks to the home plate collision rule, we review Pham's slide for legality. Had Pham not been tagged out by Contreras, would HP Umpire Edwin Jimenez (or Replay Review) have called Pham out anyway, for a violation of this rule?

Official Baseball Rule 6.01(i)(1), titled Collisions at Home Plate, pertains to the runner's actions at home plate. Although most of these plays end up resulting in discussions concerning OBR 6.02(i)(2), which is the home plate collision rule for catchers/other fielders covering the plate, this is one of the seldom-seen instances where we discuss whether or not the runner was illegal.

OBR 6.01(i)(1) states, "A runner attempting to score may not deviate from their direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher, or otherwise initiate an avoidable collision. If, in the judgment of the umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher in such a manner, the umpire shall declare the runner out (regardless of whether the catcher maintains possession of the ball)."

Ordinarily when adjudicating the catchers' legality in OBR 6.01(i)(2), we cite fair and foul territory, as when the catcher cedes the runner foul territory, the catcher is most likely legal because prior to the ball's arrival, generally speaking, the catcher is entitled to play in fair territory while the runner is entitled to slide in foul territory.

For this play, runner R3 Pham takes a direct route into fair territory—on the infield grass even—before directly sliding into catcher Contreras, and not into home plate, which is freely available to him, including the entirety of the foul line extended as well as foul territory on the left field side.

By rule, this is an illegal slide by Pham and, had Contreras not held onto the baseball, he would be out for a home plate collision rule violation.

Although this was the third out of the inning, had there been fewer outs, the tail end of OBR 6.01(i)(1) would apply to trailing runners: "the umpire shall call the ball dead, and all other base runners shall return to the last base touched at the time of the collision."

Video as follows:

Saturday, June 1, 2024

MLB Ejection 068 - James Hoye (2; Mark Kotsay)

HP Umpire James Hoye ejected Athletics manager Mark Kotsay (strike one call to Max Scheumann; QOCY) in the top of the 6th inning of the #Braves-#Athletics game. With none out and none on, A's batter Schuemann took a 1-0 sinker and 1-1 curveball from Braves pitcher Jimmy Herget for called first and second strikes, respectively. Replays indicate the pitch ruled strike one was located over the inner edge of home plate and thigh-high (px -0.82, pz 2.55), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Braves were leading, 9-8. The A's ultimately won the contest, 11-9.

This is James Hoye (92)'s 2nd ejection of 2024.
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
Strike one was located 1.13 horizontal inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 68th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 31st manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 31 Managers, 10 Coaches, 27 Players.
This is Oakland's 3rd ejection of 2024, T-1st in the AL West (HOU, OAK, TEX 3; SEA 2; LAA 1).
This is Mark Kotsay's 1st ejection since Sept 19, 2023 (Jansen Visconti; QOC = U [Check Swing]).
This is James Hoye's 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 1 (Drew Butera; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

MLB Ejection 067 - Chad Fairchild (2; Kevin Cash)

HP Umpire Chad Fairchild ejected Rays manager Kevin Cash (strike one call; QOCN) in the top of the 3rd inning of the #Rays-#Orioles game. With two out and two on, Rays batter José Caballero took a 0-0 sinker from Orioles pitcher Kyle Bradish for a called first strike. Replays indicate the pitch was located over the outer edge of home plate and above the midpoint (px 0.65, pz 3.51 [sz_top 3.18 / RAD 3.30 / MOE 3.38]), the call was incorrect.* At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 4-4. The Orioles ultimately won the contest, 9-5.

This is Chad Fairchild (4)'s 2nd ejection of 2024.
*This pitch was located 1.56 vertical inches from being deemed correct.

This is the 67th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 30th manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 30 Managers, 10 Coaches, 27 Players.
This is Tampa Bay's 3rd ejection of 2024, 3rd in the AL East (NYY 5; TOR 4; TB 3; BAL 2; BOS 1).
This is Kevin Cash's 1st ejection of 2024, 1st since Sept 17, 2023 (Adam Hamari; QOC = U [Check Swing]).
This is Chad Fairchild's 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 11 (Bud Black; QOC = N [Out/Safe]).

MLB Ejection 066 - Malachi Moore (1; Dave Martinez)

HP Umpire Malachi Moore ejected Nationals manager Dave Martinez (check swing dead ball strike three call) in the top of the 3rd inning of the #Nationals-#Guardians game. With two out and none on, Nationals batter Jacob Young attempted to check his swing on a 1-2 fastball from Guardians pitcher Ben Lively for a swinging third strike, called by Moore, as the pitch touched the batter's hand.* Although Martinez signaled a "hold" for consideration about whether to challenge the play, the Nationals ran out of time as the 15-second challenge timer expired before Martinez requested a review. Replays indicate the pitched ball touched Young's hand as he struck at the pitch, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Guardians were leading, 2-0. The Guardians ultimately won the contest, 3-2.

This is Malachi Moore (44)'s 1st ejection of 2024.
*Official Baseball Rules Definition of a strike states, "A STRIKE is a legal pitch when so called by the umpire, which touches the batter as they strike at it."

This is the 66th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 29th player ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 29 Managers, 10 Coaches, 27 Players.
This is Washington's 3rd ejection of 2024, T-1st in the NL East (MIA, NYM, WAS 3; PHI 1; ATL 0).
This is Dave Martinez's 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since April 19 (Cory Blaser; QOC = N-c [Obstruction]).
This is Malachi Moore's 1st ejection since July 18, 2023 (Pete Walker; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Friday, May 31, 2024

MLB Ejection 065 - Ryan Wills (2; Jose Siri)

HP Umpire Ryan Wills ejected Rays CF Jose Siri (strike one & two calls; QOCY) in the top of the 9th inning of the #Rays-#Orioles game. With none out and none on, Rays batter Siri took 3-0 and 3-1 fastballs from Orioles pitcher Craig Kimbrel for strikes one and two, before striking out swinging. Replays indicate strike one was located over the outer edge of home plate and thigh-high (px 0.66, pz 2.57) and the pitch ruled strike two was located over the inner edge of home plate and belt-high (px -0.68, pz 2.83), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the Orioles were leading, 3-1. The Orioles ultimately won the contest, 3-1.

This is Ryan Wills (20)'s 2nd ejection of 2024.
*UEFL Rule 6-2-b-1 (Kulpa Rule): |0| < STRIKE < |.748| < BORDERLINE < |.914| < BALL.
Strike one was located 3.05 and strike two was 2.81 horizontal inches from being deemed incorrect.

This is the 65th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 27th player ejection of 2024. Prior to ejection, Siri was 0-2 (2 SO) in the contest.
Ejection Tally: 28 Managers, 10 Coaches, 27 Players.
This is Tampa Bay's 2nd ejection of 2024, T-3rd in the AL East (NYY 5; TOR 4; BAL, TB 2; BOS 1).
This is Jose Siri's 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since April 30 (Chris Guccione; QOC = U [Fighting]).
This is Ryan Wills' 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since April 17 (John Schneider; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

MLB Ejection 064 - Brennan Miller (2; Craig Counsell)

HP Umpire Brennan Miller ejected Cubs manager Craig Counsell (foul ball call confirmed via Replay Review; QOCY) in the bottom of the 9th inning of the #Reds-#Cubs game. With none out and two on, Cubs batter Nick Madrigal attempted to take a 1-1 fastball from Reds pitcher Alexis Díaz for a called foul ball, as HP Umpire Miller ruled the pitched ball first struck Madrigal's bat. Before challenging the call, Counsell began arguing Miller's call and was ejected for continuing to argue during the Replay Review, which confirmed Miller's foul ball call (knob of bat), the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the Reds were leading, 5-3. The Reds ultimately won the contest, 5-4.

This is Brennan Miller (55)'s 2nd ejection of 2024.

This is the 64th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 28th manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 28 Managers, 10 Coaches, 26 Players.
This is Chicago's 3rd ejection of 2024, 2nd in the NL Central (MIL, PIT, STL 4; CHC 3; CIN 1).
This is Craig Counsell's 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 13 (Junior Valentine; QOC = U [Check Swing]).
This is Brennan Miller's 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since April 6 (David Popkins; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).

Wrap: Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs, 5/31/24 | Video as follows:

Super Fast Center Fielder Tags Out Runner at Home Analysis

In a viral video, a lightning-quick center fielder sprints to tag a batter-runner out at the plate on a play in which the defense left third base and home uncovered. Although most attention focuses on the fast outfielder, umpires noticed a key yet ignored aspect of this play that, if called, would have resulted in the batter-runner being declared safe.

As the batter-runner's fly ball falls in shallow center field, it draws both the shortstop and second baseman to the outfield, which entices the third baseman to cover second base as the batter-runner tries to stretch his blooper into a double. As this in turn leaves third base uncovered, the batter-runner continues onto third, drawing the catcher to third base as the batter-runner arrives. This in turn leaves home plate uncovered, and the batter-runner soon sprints for home, only to be run down by the pursuing center fielder for an out.

But as we rewind the tape to the batter-runner rounding third base, we notice a very distinct interaction between him and the catcher. As the runner approaches third base, he looks up and sees the catcher charging up the foul line. The batter-runner then stutter-steps to get around the catcher and runs home, tagged out by fractions of a second.

This stutter-step at third base slowed the batter down just enough to enable the center fielder to timely tag him at home, and because that slowdown was caused by the catcher standing in the runner's way, we must consider obstruction: "OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner."

Because a play was being made on the batter-runner at the time of the obstruction (the center fielder was running with the ball toward him), this is OBR Rule 6.01(h)(1) Type 1 obstruction in professional and college baseball, the penalty for which is to award the obstructed runner "at least one base beyond the base they had last legally touched." The at least one part of this rule allows the plate award, even if the batter-runner may not have technically touched third base yet when obstruction occurred (it's really close). NCAA college is similar to the pro rule in this regard.

In high school's NFHS 8-3-1-2, obstruction is treated a little differently but results in the same outcome on this specific play: "the umpire shall award the obstructed runner a minimum of one base beyond the runner's position on base when the obstruction occurred." All levels allow additional base awards to nullify the act of obstruction.

Had obstruction been called, the batter-runner would have scored...and perhaps the internet deprived of its opportunity to praise a speedy fielder who covered more than 100 feet to make an impressive play.

Video as follows:

Thursday, May 30, 2024

Was Cody Bellinger Out of the Base Path or Did Arenado Obstruct?

When Cardinals pitcher Sonny Gray's pickoff throw behind Cubs baserunner Cody Bellinger caught the Chicago runner in a rundown, Bellinger lunged to his right to avoid St Louis 3B Nolan Arenado's tag. 3B Umpire Cory Blaser called Bellinger out for running more than three feet away from his base path to avoid the tag, but was he? Or did Arenado obstruct Belli instead?

Official Baseball Rule 5.09(b)(1) states that a runner is out when "they run more than three feet away from their base path to avoid being tagged unless their 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 they are attempting to reach safely."

Remember, the base path is established only when the tag attempt begins, meaning that while the ball is still in flight, no such line can be drawn.

Meanwhile, we have the issue of potential obstruction. OBR's Definition of Terms states, "OBSTRUCTION is the act of a fielder who, while not in possession of the ball and not in the act of fielding the ball, impedes the progress of any runner" while OBR 6.01(h)(1) pertaining to Type 1 Obstruction specifies that when obstruction occurs while a play is being made on the obstructed runner, the runner is awarded the next base ("The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base they had last legally touched before the obstruction").

In a similar token to when to begin a base path, we need to address when to begin considering a fielder to be "in the act of fielding," while noting the pre-season point of emphasis declaring that a fielder who blocks the runner's path should be called for obstruction if they do not legitimately need to occupy that space to field the baseball.

By virtue of fielder Arenado running at Bellinger—and into his path to third base—prior to teammate Masyn Winn even releasing the baseball, we know Arenado cannot be considered in the act of fielding when he initially impedes Bellinger and this play, thus, becomes a candidate for Obstruction Type 1 (Type A), effectively cancelling the later base path issue since play is dead at the moment of Obstruction 1 (had it been OBS 2, then "nullify the act" would get involved after the play's natural conclusion).

Video as follows:

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

MLB Ejection 063 - Vic Carapazza (3; Aaron Boone)

2B Umpire Vic Carapazza ejected Yankees manager Aaron Boone (infield fly interference double play; QOCY) in the top of the 1st inning of the #Yankees-#Angels game. With none out and the bases loaded, Yankees batter Giancarlo Stanton hit a 0-0 changeup from Angels pitcher Tyler Anderson for a fly ball on the infield, ruled an infield fly. As Angels shortstop Zach Neto attempted to catch the fly ball, he and Yankees baserunner R2 Juan Soto made contact behind second base, resulting in an interference call by 2B Umpire Vic Carapazza. Because the interference occurred during an infield fly, both Soto (interference) and batter Stanton (infield fly rule) were called out for a double play. Replays indicate Soto, while not in contact with second base, interfered with Neto's fielding of a batted ball, the call was correct. At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 0-0. The Yankees ultimately won the contest, 2-1.

This is Vic Carapazza (19)'s 3rd ejection of 2024.
OBR Definition of Infield Fly: "If interference is called during an Infield Fly, the ball remains alive until it is determined whether the ball is fair or foul. If fair, both the runner who interfered with the fielder and the batter are out."

This is the 63rd ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 27th manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 27 Managers, 10 Coaches, 26 Players.
This is New York's 5th ejection of 2024, 1st in the AL East (NYY 5; TOR 4; BAL 2; BOS, TB 1).
This is Aaron Boone's 3rd ejection of 2024, 1st since April 22 (Hunter Wendelstedt; QOC = U [Check Swing]).
This is Vic Carapazza's 3rd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 11 (Alex Cintron; QOC = Y-c [Balls/Strikes]).

MLB Ejection 062 - Ramon De Jesus (1; Jorge López)

3B Umpire Ramon De Jesus ejected Mets pitcher Jorge López (check swing ball three call to Freddie Freeman) in the top of the 8th inning of the #Dodgers-#Mets game. With two out and none on, Dodgers batter Freeman attempted to check his swing on a 2-1 slider from Mets pitcher López, ruled a ball by HP Umpire Adrian Johnson and affirmed as no swing (ball) by 3B Umpire De Jesus. After his ejection, López threw his glove into the stands, went on a postgame rant criticizing New York, and was designated for assignment by the team. At the time of the ejection, the Dodgers were leading, 9-3. The Dodgers ultimately won the contest, 10-3.

This is Ramon De Jesus (18)'s 3rd ejection of 2024.

This is the 62nd ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 26th player ejection of 2024. Prior to ejection, López's line was 0.1 IP, 2 ER, HR.
Ejection Tally: 26 Managers, 10 Coaches, 26 Players.
This is New York's 3rd ejection of 2024, T-1st in the NL East (MIA, NYM 3; WAS 2; PHI 1; ATL 0).
This is Jorge López's first career MLB ejection.
This is Ramon De Jesus' 3rd ejection of 2024, 1st since April 20 (Mike Shildt; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

MLB Ejection 061 - Nick Mahrley (1; Garrett Crochet)

HP Umpire Nick Mahrley ejected White Sox bench player/pitcher Garrett Crochet (rain delay call) in the top of the 9th inning of the #BlueJays-#WhiteSox game. With two out and two on, White Sox pitcher John Brebbia threw a wild pitch before inducing an inning-ending groundout from Vladimir Guerrero. At the conclusion of the top of the 9th, Crew Chief Marvin Hudson elected to stop play temporarily due to inclement weather and heavy rain. Crochet was ejected at the beginning of this rain delay for arguing the umpires' decision and timing on calling the delay. At the time of the ejection, the Blue Jays were leading, 7-2. The Blue Jays ultimately won the contest, 7-2.

This is Nick Mahrley (48)'s 1st ejection of 2024.
Official Baseball Rule 5.12(b)(1): "The [crew chief] shall call time when in their judgment weather, darkness or similar conditions make immediate further play impossible."

This is the 61st ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 25th player ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 26 Managers, 10 Coaches, 25 Players.
This is Chicago's 5th ejection of 2024, 1st in the AL Central (CWS 5; MIN 1; CLE, DET, KC 0).
This is Garrett Crochet's first career MLB ejection.
This is Nick Mahrley's 1st ejection since July 29, 2022 (Tony La Russa; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).

MLB Ejection 060 - Tripp Gibson (4; Daniel Moskos)

3B Umpire Tripp Gibson ejected Cubs assistant pitching coach Daniel Moskos (balk call; QOCY) in the bottom of the 9th inning of the #Cubs-#Brewers game. With two outs and one on, during Brewers batter Willy Adames' at-bat, Cubs pitcher Héctor Neris was called for a balk by 3B Umpire Gibson. Replays indicate Neris failed to come to a stop while in Set Position with runner(s), the call was correct.* At the time of the ejection, the game was tied, 1-1. The Cubs ultimately won the contest, 6-3, in 10 innings.

This is Tripp Gibson (73)'s 1st ejection of 2024.
*OBR 6.02(a)(13): With runner(s) on base, it is a balk when "The pitcher delivers the pitch from Set Position without coming to a stop."

This is the 60th ejection of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 10th coach ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 26 Managers, 10 Coaches, 24 Players.
This is Chicago's 2nd ejection of 2024, 4th in the NL Central (MIL, PIT, STL 4; CHC 2; CIN 1).
This is Daniel Moskos' first career MLB ejection.
This is Tripp Gibson's 1st ejection since August 15, 2023 (David Ross; QOC = Y [Balk]).

Wrap: Chicago Cubs vs Milwaukee Brewers, 5/28/24 | Video as follows:

Umpire Angel Hernandez Retires After 33 Years of MLB

Longtime MLB umpire Angel Hernandez confirmed he is retiring, telling USA Today he wants to spend more time with his family. The 62-year-old umpire who began his big league career in the National League 33 years ago, in May 1991, winds down his eventful major league on-field experience with over 3,800 regular season games worked, 12 Division Series, eight League Championship Series, and two World Series.

Hernandez drew national ire in 2013 when, as acting crew chief, his crew reviewed and ultimately upheld an Oakland Athletics double off the high left field wall in Cleveland. Although replays indicate the batted ball hit a railing beyond the wall and caromed back into the field—MLB stated it should have been a home run—and A's manager Bob Melvin was ejected arguing that point, we would come to find out that the replay angles the crew had access to on the circa-2013 in-stadium "limited replay" monitor, which was a small screen by today's standards were inconclusive, according to MLB's Terence Moore, who wrote, "I agree with the umpires."

Nonetheless, the national spectacle that followed resulted in the modern Replay Operations Center headquarters in New York we see today, a $30 million project that doesn't include the annual $2+ million salaries of the two additional umpire crews that staff it, added to the then-68 full-time MLB umpires for a modern-day roster of 76 (not including the costs of non-umpire Replay HQ staff).

Hernandez changed baseball in a different way in 2017, filing a lawsuit against the league in which he alleged racially-motivated and national origin-motivated discrimination.

Although this opened Hernandez up to further ridicule—such a reporters facetiously adding accents to the letters "á" in his name despite its spelling never containing accents before, a practice that continues to this day (seriously, look at the MLB Umpire Media Guide where umpires who want accents in their names [such as Alfonso Márquez] have them there, Hernandez is unaccented in all legal proceedings, etc.)—his lawsuit opened the door for other umpires who may have avoided baseball due to an undoubtedly discriminatory past. 

And although Hernandez lost his suit and appeal, uncovering potential problems in baseball spurred the sport to change how it conducts business to include more umpires in its community, as well as perhaps inspired other umpires to speak out against discriminatory practices (note: we have yet to discuss a 2024 discrimination suit recently filed by an umpire who worked in the minor leagues).

After an eventful career, Hernandez walks away from baseball having fundamentally made his mark.

Video as follows:

Sunday, May 26, 2024

LSU Catcher's Interference During Steal vs South Carolina

South Carolina scored its 11th run vs LSU on a 10th inning catcher's interference and balk call, umpires ruling that the catcher illegally interfered with the batter by prematurely jumping on home plate prior to a pitch arriving during which a runner attempted to steal home. 

NCAA Rule 8-3-p states, "If, on an attempted squeeze play or steal of home plate, the catcher steps on or in front of home plate without possession of the ball or touches the batter or the bat, the pitcher shall be charged with a balk and the catcher with interference." The equivalent rules throughout the levels are OBR 6.01(g) and NFHS 8-1-1e.1.

Throughout the 15-minute delay as a result of the umpire's call and subsequent LSU protest (yes, college still has protests, no protesting a judgment call still should result in denial), the broadcast focused on the catcher's positioning at home, claiming he was not "on or in front" of home plate.

Rather than engage too much with this argument, we instead turn to a different rule that brings us to the same conclusion. NCAA 8-2-e-2 discusses catcher's interference that occurs when any runner is attempting to steal a base: "[A stealing runner at any base] shall be awarded the base the runner is attempting to reach."

As for the balk component, R3 is awarded home plate either via balk or because of attempting to steal the base when catcher's interference occurs while R1 gets second base because the batter becoming a runner on the catcher's interference award forces R1 to advance.

For reference, defensive interference is defined as "an act by a fielder (usually the catcher) that hinders or prevents a batter from hitting a pitch" and replays indicate this catcher jumped in front of the batter, blocking his access to home plate (and the pitch) prior to the pitch's arrival. The batter had no free choice at this point to swing or not swing (and before arguing the batter must swing, think about it...requiring the batter swing here means catchers will get seriously injured...).

After the play as LSU set up to appeal R3's missed base touch of home plate (ruled "safe"/no miss by the umpire), R2 ran toward third base in an attempt to draw a throw, since all appeals must occur during a live ball (in OBR/NCAA) and be made before any subsequent pitch, play, attempted play.

Drawing a throw to third would thus be a play or attempted play and close the window on the appeal on old R3 at home. Nonetheless, the umpire ruled R3 safe because even though the runner didn't touch home plate during the initial play, the interference and obstruction rules allow umpires to award base touches in order to nullify the act of interference or obstruction.

Video as follows:

Saturday, May 25, 2024

MLB Ejections 058-9 - Laz Diaz & Erich Bacchus (TEX x2)

HP Umpire Laz Diaz ejected Rangers manager Bruce Bochy and 3B Umpire Erich Bacchus ejected Rangers bench player Andrew Heaney (foul ball call by Bacchus; QOCN) in the bottom of the 7th inning of the #Rangers-#Twins game. With one out and two on, Twins batter Edouard Julien attempted to check his swing on a 3-2 knuckle curve from Rangers pitcher David Robertson, ruled a foul tip by HP Umpire Diaz but called a foul ball by 3B Umpire Bacchus (any base umpire may call a foul ball unasked). Replays indicate the pitched ball made contact with the bat and went directly into the catcher's mitt thereafter; this is a foul tip, Bacchus' call was incorrect. At the time of the ejection, the Rangers were leading, 3-1. The Twins ultimately won the contest, 5-3.

This Laz Diaz (63)'s 3rd ejection of 2024.
This is Erich Bacchus (12)'s 1st ejection of 2024.

These are the 58th and 59th ejections of the 2024 MLB regular season.
This is the 24th player ejection of 2024. Prior to ejection, Heaney was a bench player and didn't play.
This is the 26th manager ejection of 2024. Ejection Tally: 26 Managers, 9 Coaches, 24 Players.
This is Texas' 2/3rd ejection of 2024, T-1st in the AL West (HOU, TEX 3; OAK, SEA 2; LAA 1).
This is Bruce Bochy's 2nd ejection of 2024, 1st since April 18 (Todd Tichenor; QOC = Y [Fair/Foul]).
This is Andrew Heaney's first career MLB ejection.
This is Laz Diaz's 3rd ejection of 2024, 1st since May 14 (Ronel Blanco; QOC = U [Illegal Substance]).
This is Erich Bacchus' 1st ejection since July 4, 2023 (David Ross; QOC = Y [Balls/Strikes]).