Thursday, April 4, 2024

Jeff McNeil & Angel Hernandez Disagree About Time Out

Mets batter Jeff McNeil and HP Umpire Angel Hernandez exchanged words in the bottom of the 6th inning of New York's Thursday matinee vs Detroit over a pitch clock rule-related "Time" out request, an instance of confusion increasingly spreading throughout baseball when batters—restricted to one "Time" request per at-bat—and umpires can't seem to agree as to when said batter actually wants to use their allotted pause.

During McNeil's 6th inning at-bat, Tigers pitcher Joey Wentz committed a pitch timer violation on the 1-2 pitch, failing to start his delivery prior to the expiration of time. After a subsequent curveball in the dirt, McNeil turned to speak with Hernandez, which the umpire took as a request for "Time", signaling as much as McNeil replied he hadn't asked for time out.

This situation resolved without consequence—McNeil walked on the next pitch—but as we know from the Seoul Series and HP Umpire Andy Fletcher's pitch timer violation strikeout for excessive time out requests by Padres batter Xander Bogaerts, crossed wires can produce at-bat defining consequences.

My proposal to fix this miscommunication malady is simple: implement a protocol that requires batters to visually request "Time" by raising a hand with open palm facing the umpire. This way, there (ideally) will be no confusion of whether a batter verbally requested "Time" or was commenting on something else.


Post a Comment