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Thursday, May 08, 2014

Lindholm: Manager ejections: An analysis

Ralph Houk pebble hunting.

There are items in baseball that merit scrutiny for which data isn’t easy to come by, at least not at traditional sites like Baseball-Reference.com or FanGraphs. I’ve always been interested in manager ejections but was never able to easily find data. On a whim, I did a Google search and saw the information had been right under my nose for quite some time—going to the Manager section of Retrosheet yielded pure gold. In addition to traditional wins and losses, information on manager ejections is included as well. After taking a couple of days to gather and process the data, I found some very interesting information.

...Bobby Cox is well-known as having the most ejections, John McGraw represented an era when men were men, and Leo Durocher and Earl Weaver were well-known for their pugnaciousness, but with few exceptions, managers weren’t thrown out with great frequency. Then again, when was the last time a football or basketball coach was ejected from a game?

...Automation could eliminate many of these reasons, such as pitch calls and most calls on bases. It’s not listed, but there were 29 ejections due to disputed home run calls, which also could be eliminated quite easily.

There are many quirks in baseball not present in other sports, such as the lack of a clock, a fixed manner in which offensive players are used and the latitude allowed to argue almost anything. Every time a manager walks on the field to argue a call he adds time to games that are already pushing three hours. It’s far too early to tell, but instant replay will have an effect on ejections, but it can go either way. Perhaps the ability to review will lower an umpire’s tolerance for “discussion” of the call and lead to more ejections. Likewise, perhaps the ability of managers to have someone telling them whether to argue a call or not could decrease arguments.

Repoz Posted: May 08, 2014 at 10:13 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. cardsfanboy Posted: May 08, 2014 at 01:50 PM (#4702952)
Decent article. Nice start on what could probably be a pretty interesting study, especially since next thing he's going to look at is the umpires role in this.

Not surprising that TLR has one of the lower percentages of ejections (he would go entire seasons without an ejection in St Louis)

The chart for current managers should have included the percentage ejections though.
   2. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 08, 2014 at 02:17 PM (#4702967)
Then again, when was the last time a football or basketball coach was ejected from a game?


Football coaches (and players) are reined in by the 15-yard Unsportsmanlike Conduct penalty, a tangible punishment against the entire team. The penalty against a basketball coach is less severe (technical foul), but it probably helps curb some excesses (and we do see basketball coaches hit their 2-T limit, sometimes in succession).

Baseball has no intermediate step, which encourages more arguing and leads to more ejections.

   3. cardsfanboy Posted: May 08, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4702972)
Baseball has no intermediate step, which encourages more arguing and leads to more ejections.


I think baseball somewhat likes manager ejections. Just like hockey keeps the non-necessary fights in their sport, MLB recognizes that manager ejections/arguments is a sign of passion in a sport that is often times played more mechanical than other sports. It's partially why we get upset with umpires who have a short fuse in ejecting the managers/players.

   4. esseff Posted: May 08, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4702989)
My favorite among the several interesting explanations for ejections:

1941, Frankie Frisch, Pittsburgh, Bringing umbrella to protest weather
   5. McCoy Posted: May 08, 2014 at 05:00 PM (#4703057)
Baseball has no intermediate step, which encourages more arguing and leads to more ejections.

Managers are largely useless in game and despite the ejection can still make managerial decisions afterwards. Thus getting ejected means virtually nothing.

Football, Basketball, and Hockey coaches yell and scream at the refs/judges but the difference is that they don't stop play to do it. If they did they would get penalized and eventually ejected. For the most part a baseball manager could bench jockey and not get ejected. It takes a bit of a sensitive umpire to run them out.
   6. SoCalDemon Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:40 AM (#4703288)
Shane Tourtellotte did a 3 part series on this over at Hardball Times in February/March. Not sure if it was linked here. There first section is here (apologize in advance if I mess up; never posted a link before): You're Outta Here!
   7. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:51 AM (#4703301)
Managers are largely useless in game and despite the ejection can still make managerial decisions afterwards. Thus getting ejected means virtually nothing.


I wouldn't disagree, but it's not just managers for whom this applies. There's no middleground when dealing with players either, so you get both groups willing to go farther than their counterparts in football can/do.

   8. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 09, 2014 at 09:59 AM (#4703309)
I would love to see baseball institute a yellow card/red card system like soccer has. I think it would be beneficial for everyone involved because once that yellow card comes out the manager/player has no real gripe if he gets tossed. At that point you've been very publicly warned and if you can't control yourself after that it's on you. Like soccer the ump would still have the option of a straight red but this would allow for a little more control for everyone involved.
   9. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:09 AM (#4703317)
I would love to see baseball institute a yellow card/red card system like soccer has. I think it would be beneficial for everyone involved because once that yellow card comes out the manager/player has no real gripe if he gets tossed. At that point you've been very publicly warned and if you can't control yourself after that it's on you. Like soccer the ump would still have the option of a straight red but this would allow for a little more control for everyone involved.


I think this would be an improvement, but the other problem is that the ultimate punishment isn't really seen as an act against the team.* If you get a red card in soccer, the team plays a man down, a legitimate hardship and thus a legitimate caution against future transgressions. Since I don't see baseball following this lead, then you'll still get ejections as long as the sport itself shrugs its shoulders when a guy gets tossed.

* The most noteworthy exception being when Roger got himself booted from the ALCS in 1990.



   10. DL from MN Posted: May 09, 2014 at 10:52 AM (#4703370)
Looking at the numbers, Piniella got tossed less than I remember. I guess it's quality, not quantity.
   11. PreservedFish Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4703405)
If you get a red card in soccer, the team plays a man down, a legitimate hardship and thus a legitimate caution against future transgressions. Since I don't see baseball following this lead...


Fun to think about though!
   12. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:28 AM (#4703417)
Fun to think about though!


Yes. If nothing else, it would certainly give managers a little something more to do.

   13. Super Creepy Derek Lowe (GGC) Posted: May 09, 2014 at 11:37 AM (#4703433)
I don't know what the NBA is like, but I've seen quite a few ejections of coaches at teh college level in hoops.
   14. Zach Posted: May 09, 2014 at 06:44 PM (#4703744)
I hate the red card system in soccer. An ejection is fine, but making the team play a man down for the rest of the match completely changes the complexion of the game.
   15. Zach Posted: May 09, 2014 at 06:49 PM (#4703745)
I was kind of surprised that Sweet Lou Pinella comes in near average on the rate of ejections per game. I guess he's good at getting his money's worth when he does get tossed.

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