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(CBS Sports)   MLB gives umpire Fieldin Culbreth a two game sabbatical to relearn rule 3.05(b)   ( divider line
    More: Followup, Fieldin Culbreth, Major League Baseball, Jon Heyman, umpire Fieldin, umpire, offensive team, Bill Welke, Mike Scioscia  
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2578 clicks; posted to Sports » on 11 May 2013 at 9:45 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-05-11 09:49:54 AM  
2 votes:
Now they need to give Angel Hernandez a permanent sabbatical to relearn how to watch tv.
2013-05-12 02:47:20 AM  
1 vote:
It's absolutely crazy. Ever since I started following baseball in the early 80s, one of the most important late-game strategies for a manager has been to consider whether it's worth putting in a certain LHP or RHP simply because a LHB or RHB is up next; if bringing in the LHP means that the opposing manager will have .300-hitting RHB pinch-hit (or RHP vs .300-hitting LHB), you don't make the move for the new pitcher because you know you can't bring in a RHP to counter the move.  It's always been a way for the defense's manager to have to contemplate who is on the opposing team's bench.

I just can't imagine what I would've said if I were Scioscia.  "Uh, Fieldin, say what now?  Are we on Candid Camera?  Are we seriously doing this?"

semiotix: I'm a huge baseball rules nerd, and while I was aware of this rule, it's not like he screwed up the infield fly rule or something. I'll bet anything he just lost track of whether a batter had intervened. You see pitchers coming in to face one batter (only to have that batter pinch-hit for) all the time.

By all means, call him into the office and scold him, but fines and suspensions seem a bit much. Baseball umps are pretty good at their jobs, relative to some sports' officiating, but there have to be worse offenses than this, if you need to fine and suspend people.

How can he lose track of whether a batter had intervened? Wesley Wright was summoned in the middle of an inning, and he was in the middle of warmups, presumably when the home plate ump was also editing the lineup card (remember, he had to edit both the new pitcher and the just-announced pinch-hitter), when Porter tried to make another pitching change.  I mean, I can even understand if you lose track of the balls-and-strikes count, but how can you miss whether someone actually batted at all?  Not only that, but you have a manager who's arguing the call, and you and three other umpires still can't get it right?

Umps are tasked with knowing the rules inside and out.  They know they're forgiven for judgment calls, no matter how bad they are, but it is the ultimate sin for an umpire (particularly a crew chief) to not know the rules, no matter how obscure a rule may be.  For an ump to miss this one, and this particular one since it's a rule that is decidedly not obscure to most baseball fans, is easily a suspendable offense (FWIW, the other umps on the crew got fined, but not suspended; the crew chief in this case was held most accountable).

mcmnky: somewhat related-and I don't follow MLB closely so it may have been covered-can someone send Joe Torre dictionary?

in regards to the recent blown home run call, he said, after reviewing the video, the call made at the time was incorrect but it was a judgment call.

if you can make a definite call based on video after the fact, then it isn't a judgment call.

It may not fit a dictionary definition, but it fits the baseball-rules definition.  Basically, baseball considers something a judgment call if the particular aspect of the call in question does not involve an interpretation of the rules.  So, if a batter swings and misses and the umpire calls a ball even though the batter ended up hitting the ump with his bat during the follow-through, that's a judgment call if the ump says the batter didn't swing, even though it was physically obvious to the ump that the batter swung.  But if the ump says it's a ball because the rules permit him to give the batter a mulligan, that would not be a judgment call in baseball vernacular.
2013-05-11 11:10:32 AM  
1 vote:

qorkfiend: Even if Hernandez admits he was wrong, he still didn't break any rules. Therefore, no suspension.

No suspension, fine.  Fired for being incompetent is what I was looking for.
2013-05-11 10:54:52 AM  
1 vote:

The Bestest: derpy: Yet Angel Hernandez is okie-dokie.

The problem is Culbreth committed an actual rule violation whereas the most you can (officially) blame on Hernandez is a "poor judgment call".

I'd go with "arrogant asshole can't admit he was wrong."
2013-05-11 10:50:39 AM  
1 vote:

derpy: Yet Angel Hernandez is okie-dokie.

The problem is Culbreth committed an actual rule violation whereas the most you can (officially) blame on Hernandez is a "poor judgment call".
2013-05-11 10:43:44 AM  
1 vote:

kcoombs69: Endive Wombat: I do not watch sports, can someone put this in plain English to me please?

In the major leagues, if you put in a replacement pitcher, that pitcher HAS to throw at least one live pitch before the team is allowed to substitute in another pitcher...

Not the way I read it.  He can't just throw ball-1 and leave.  Unless I'm misinterpreting the rule, he must pitch to the batter until the at-bat is completed by the batter either making out, or reaching base.  The only exceptions are injury or illness (at the discretion of the umpire) or the side is retired on a pick-off or a 'caught stealing'.

"If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief's judgment, incapacitates him for further play as a pitcher. "
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