Friday, March 8, 2024

Spring Ejections 1-2 - Angel Hernandez (Lynn, Marmol)

HP Umpire Angel Hernandez ejected Cardinals pitcher Lance Lynn and manager Oliver Marmol (arguing balls/strikes) in the bottom of the 3rd inning of a #Cardinals-#Nationals Spring Training game. With one out and none on, Hernandez warned the St Louis dugout about arguing balls and strikes. Lynn was ejected after objecting to a ball call on a subsequent pitch; Marmol for arguing Lynn's ejection. This game was not televised and its stadium not equipped with pitch tracking data, the call was irrecusable. At the time of the ejections, the Cardinals were leading, 5-4. The Cardinals ultimately won the contest, 7-6.

These are Angel Hernandez (5)'s 1st and 2nd ejections of Spring Training.
*OBR 6.04(d) states, "When a manager, player, coach or trainer is ejected from a game, they shall leave the field immediately and take no further part in that game. They shall remain in the clubhouse or change to street clothes and either leave the park or take a seat in the grandstand well removed from the vicinity of their team’s bench or bullpen."

These are the 1st and 2nd ejection reports of 2024 MLB Spring Training.
This is the 1st player ejection of Spring 2024. Prior to ejection, Lynn's line was 2.0 IP, 4 ER.
This is the 1st manager ejection of Spring 2024. Ejection Tally: 1 Manager, 1 Player, 0 Coaches.
This is St Louis' 1-2nd ejection of S-2024, 1st in the Grapefruit League (STL 2; All Others 0).
This is Lance Lynn's 1st ejection since August 18, 2021 (Nic Lentz; QOC = U [Illegal Substance-USC]).
This is Oliver Marmol's 1st ejection since August 22, 2023 (Brennan Miller; QOC = N [Balls/Strikes]).
This is Angel Hernandez's 1st ejection since Sept 28, 2023 (Bryce Harper; QOC = U [Check Swing]).

Thursday, March 7, 2024

New Obstruction Emphasis Called for 1st Time in Spring Training

2024's new obstruction rule point of emphasis got its first call of Spring Training as 3B Umpire Nick Mahrley called Angels third baseman Luis Rengifo for illegally blocking Cubs baserunner Chrisopher Morel's return slide into third base before Rengifo fielded pitcher Reid Detmers' throw. The ensuing base award enabled Morel to score Chicago's first run of the afternoon, despite Morel having been obstructed while sliding back into third base and not trying for home.

As announced in February, MLB's obstruction point of emphasis instructs umpires to call violations of Official Baseball Rule 6.01(h)(1) when a fielder blocks the runner's base path without possession of the ball, or if fielding the ball (without possessing it), blocks the runner's path unnecessarily (e.g., the fielder did not need to occupy that space to receive the throw.

This allows the definition and rule to remain unchanged: "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 deeming that a violation of OBR 6.01(h)(1) has occurred if the fielder, for instance, sticks a knee into the runner's path without the ball, or performs some other impeding action that isn't strictly necessary to field a thrown ball.

Finally, OBR 6.01(h)(1) states, "The obstructed runner shall be awarded at least one base beyond the base they had last legally touched before the obstruction," which is why baserunner R3 Morel, having reached third on the prior play, was awarded home plate. Note that this mandatory base award applies only to Obstruction Type 1 (Type A) and only to the obstructed runner. When no play is being made on an obstructed runner at the time of obstruction (Obstruction 2 / B), the base awards are made to "nullify the act of obstruction."

The scoring on this is an error charged to the fielder.

Video as follows: