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Monday, September 16, 2019

MLB: “Regret” over replay miscommunication in White Sox loss

SEATTLE (AP) — Major League Baseball has expressed “regret” over a miscommunication that resulted in a 2-1 loss for the Chicago White Sox against the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.

Seattle’s Omar Narvaez hit a ball off the top of the wall in the bottom of the 10th inning that was ruled a home run by umpires. The ball did not clear the fence, and had a replay review been conducted, Narvaez would have been awarded a double and the game would have continued tied at 1.

“In last night’s game there was conversation between the umpires and the White Sox as to the procedure for potentially reviewing two different aspects of the game-ending play,” MLB said in a statement Sunday. “There was then a misinterpretation regarding Chicago’s desire to have any aspect of the play reviewed. We regret that this miscommunication resulted in not reviewing the home run call on the field.”

These issues with replay- and yet many of us seem to think robot umps will be infallible…..

 

QLE Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:33 AM | 45 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: replay, white sox

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   1. majorflaw Posted: September 16, 2019 at 05:26 AM (#5879530)
“When Renteria and the umpires reconvened, they asked if Renteria wanted to challenge whether Narvaez had touched home plate amid his celebrating teammates. Renteria mistakenly thought this meant officials had ruled the ball cleared the fence and declined to challenge whether Narvaez touched home, because he had already seen on replays that he had.”

“These issues with replay- and yet many of us seem to think robot umps will be infallible....”

While I’m still not clear about how this mistake actually occurred it sure doesn’t sound like it was a tech issue. If there’s an argument against an automated strike zone in this it’s well hidden.
   2. bunyon Posted: September 16, 2019 at 07:04 AM (#5879532)
Someone has to program the robots. That will create all manner of hilarity.


But get rid of challenges already. Just have someone watch and check calls on the field. Geez.
   3. Greg Pope Posted: September 16, 2019 at 09:51 AM (#5879552)
These issues with replay- and yet many of us seem to think robot umps will be infallible…..

A) Nobody thinks they'll be infallible. They'll just be better than what we have now.
B) Saying that one technology has problems, so we shouldn't implement any other technology is just wrong.
   4. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:36 AM (#5879574)
B) Saying that one technology has problems, so we shouldn't implement any other technology is just wrong.


I don't think anyone is saying that. I think (and at least this is my position) that we need to consider it with eyes wide open and recognize it's not going to be perfect or close to it and potentially will be worse than the current situation. "More consistent" is not going to necessarily improve baseball as a fan sport. Replay may have improved the number of correct calls but I think it has had a negative effect on the game from a fan's perspective ("ooooh, what a thrilling moment where everyone in the ballpark saw the runner easily safe but let's wait five minutes to determine if he came a millimeter off the base").

I'm with Bunyon on the challenges. It just feels like the system is way too complicated. 30 second limit, some person in the booth reviewing each play, then get on with it.
   5. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:47 AM (#5879579)
White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he immediately asked umpires to review the homer, and they then went to the headset used to communicate with replay officials.

When Renteria and the umpires reconvened, they asked if Renteria wanted to challenge whether Narvaez had touched home plate amid his celebrating teammates. Renteria mistakenly thought this meant officials had ruled the ball cleared the fence and declined to challenge whether Narvaez touched home, because he had already seen on replays that he had.


I don't understand. Since when do umpires have a conversation with the coaches after getting instructions from NY through the headset? They reviewed the HR, had a decision, but required Renteria to guess the secret word before issuing a ruling?
   6. Greg Pope Posted: September 16, 2019 at 11:29 AM (#5879593)
I'm with Bunyon on the challenges. It just feels like the system is way too complicated. 30 second limit, some person in the booth reviewing each play, then get on with it.

I completely agree with this. Challenges don't even make any sense and are the real problem with the system. Simplify like you said, and 95% of the replay problems go away.
   7. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 11:42 AM (#5879595)
I completely agree with this. Challenges don't even make any sense and are the real problem with the system. Simplify like you said, and 95% of the replay problems go away.

50%. If they're still going to review the minute separations of runner from base, replay still causes a big problem.
   8. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 16, 2019 at 11:45 AM (#5879597)
If they're still going to review the minute separations of runner from base, replay still causes a big problem.


You kind of have to, don't you? If you have replay that shows a runner off the base while a tag is applied, you have to call him out. Even if you tweak the rules to say X distance or less off the base for y period of time or less is considered to be on the base, there will still be controversy if replay shows the runner was X + .01 X off the base.
   9. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 11:49 AM (#5879599)
You kind of have to, don't you? If you have replay that shows a runner off the base while a tag is applied, you have to call him out. Even if you tweak the rules to say X distance or less off the base for y period of time or less is considered to be on the base, there will still be controversy if replay shows the runner was X + .01 X off the base.

I would only allow the replay official to watch the play at full speed from multiple angles. No super-slow mo. If the umpire's mistake is not visible to the naked eye in real time, it's not a mistake.

Of course my first preference would be to just get rid of replay. Not knowing if what just happened actually happened sucks the joy out of sport.
   10. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 11:51 AM (#5879603)
Even if you tweak the rules to say X distance or less off the base for y period of time or less is considered to be on the base, there will still be controversy if replay shows the runner was X + .01 X off the base.


You could always bake the subjectivity into the rules. "A player is out if, in the judgment of the nearest umpire at the time, the batter-runner is tagged before touching the base."

So if you are called out, you are out, regardless if you were on the bag or not.
   11. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:08 PM (#5879608)
Not knowing if what just happened actually happened sucks the joy out of sport.

Totally agree. Great plays happen, and I don't immediately celebrate because I'm waiting for a shoe to drop.
   12. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:10 PM (#5879610)
I would only allow the replay official to watch the play at full speed from multiple angles. No super-slow mo. If the umpire's mistake is not visible to the naked eye in real time, it's not a mistake.


I'm not sure that would fly. In the past, where replay showed the call was wrong, but there was no mechanism to allow for a review, it was grudgingly accepted, even by the team and fans of the aggrieved party. But now that there is a mechanism in place but we are artificially handicapping the reviewers?

I think you have to get rid of replay altogether (my choice), or live with the consequences of the super slo mo technology.
   13. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5879612)
I hadn't heard this here in Seattle, though I barely follow the Mariners at this time. However, I did see a replay of this on the local news sports segment, and they said the replay showed it was a HR, which confuse me slightly. IOW, incomplete sports journalism.
   14. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:13 PM (#5879615)
You could always bake the subjectivity into the rules. "A player is out if, in the judgment of the nearest umpire at the time, the batter-runner is tagged before touching the base."

So if you are called out, you are out, regardless if you were on the bag or not.


I don't think out being overruled to safe is the problem. It's the other way around. A runner is clearly safe initially, but then super slow mo reveals he momentarily came off the bag.
   15. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:17 PM (#5879618)
I'm not sure that would fly. In the past, where replay showed the call was wrong, but there was no mechanism to allow for a review, it was grudgingly accepted, even by the team and fans of the aggrieved party. But now that there is a mechanism in place but we are artificially handicapping the reviewers?
Make them review it on the scoreboard with 1920s-style speeded-up film. It would be entertaining, if nothing else.
   16. I am Ted F'ing Williams Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:36 PM (#5879623)
It just feels like the system is way too complicated. 30 second limit, some person in the booth reviewing each play, then get on with it.


Still sounds too complicated. I HATE HATE HATE the idea of someone reviewing every play.

A better (not perfect) solution is to have a player on the field involved in the play (in this case either the CF or the RF) IMMEDIATELY request a review, none of the farting around while somebody looks over surveillance video. Return the game to the players and take it away from coaches. If the player requesting the review is found to be wrong, he is ejected from the game (no fines). If the player is found to be correct, the umpiring crew gets a demerit and postseason umpiring assignments go to the 8 full-time crews with the fewest demerits for the season.

   17. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2019 at 12:45 PM (#5879627)
A better (not perfect) solution is to have a player on the field involved in the play

I see you've got some punishments built in to try to fix this, but haven't you noticed that players are like 100% wrong about this kind of thing on the regular? You watch a full week's worth of games and you're going to see 5-10 times, at least, a player call for review because he thinks he was safe at 1st, or he got the tag down on a throw from the outfield, etc. They seem to be terrible judges of this sort of thing in real time.
   18. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: September 16, 2019 at 01:36 PM (#5879645)
I think its up to 5-10 times a game where a player wildly demands a review.
   19. jmurph Posted: September 16, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5879654)
I think its up to 5-10 times a game where a player wildly demands a review.

Ha, I actually had it written that way at first and then fixed it. It's a personal hobbyhorse so I thought maybe I was exaggerating. It's to the point that when I see a player do it I just assume the opposite is true.

(This is actually worse in the NBA, where it happens nearly constantly, with a similar rate of being right/wrong.)
   20. Greg Pope Posted: September 16, 2019 at 02:09 PM (#5879673)
You kind of have to, don't you? If you have replay that shows a runner off the base while a tag is applied, you have to call him out. Even if you tweak the rules to say X distance or less off the base for y period of time or less is considered to be on the base, there will still be controversy if replay shows the runner was X + .01 X off the base.

This is why you have the 30-second limit. And also, I'd agree on the no slow-mo thing. Then this isn't an issue.
   21. bunyon Posted: September 16, 2019 at 02:44 PM (#5879692)
I don't necessarily agree with the no slow-mo guide but...the rest of us have slow motion. So there will be a lot of calls where a runner is out in slow motion and not at full speed.

Is that a problem?

I don't know.

But oversliding the base isn't a new thing. Runners have always gotten called out if they slide past the base. Technology just lets us apply a different boundary.


But, yes, a strict time limit on the review. Certainly, if you have challenges, you can't give the challenging team two minutes to consider. I like the idea of reserving challenges to people on the field. Any defender plus any runner, batter-runner, on-deck batter or base coaches. If they don't challenge, no review. And it must be immediate (or close to).
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 02:50 PM (#5879696)
I don't necessarily agree with the no slow-mo guide but...the rest of us have slow motion. So there will be a lot of calls where a runner is out in slow motion and not at full speed.

Is that a problem?


I'd say so what. Replay was pitched as being in place to overturn egregious mistakes. It was never supposed to litigate whether a toe can off the bag by 1/8" for 0.1 seconds.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: September 16, 2019 at 02:56 PM (#5879697)
I'd be cool with the no-slo-mo rule, but I think lots of people would find it absurd.

We don't really need to be discussing this over and over again. About a decade ago the entire site all agreed that the best possible implementation would be to have a 5th umpire in a TV room that had about 30 seconds to overturn egregious mistakes. It was the best idea then, it's still the best idea.

I actually think that MLB likes the "challenge" thing because it adds some gimmickry/strategy, so this isn't going to change.
   24. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 03:02 PM (#5879700)
I'm fine with using slo-mo replay to get the call right, but I agree that if they can't make a decision within 30 seconds or a minute, then the call on the field should stand. The 5-minute reviews are what really kill the pace and excitement of the game, and if it's taking 5 minutes then pretty much by definition the evidence isn't overwhelming enough to overturn.
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 03:05 PM (#5879702)

I actually think that MLB likes the "challenge" thing because it adds some gimmickry/strategy, so this isn't going to change.

Why do you think they like gimmickry/strategy over excitement on the field?
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 03:12 PM (#5879710)
Why do you think they like gimmickry/strategy over excitement on the field?

Because baseball management doesn't seem to actually like baseball very much.
   27. bunyon Posted: September 16, 2019 at 03:14 PM (#5879711)
We don't really need to be discussing this over and over again.

Are you my boss? You sound like my boss.
   28. Karl from NY Posted: September 16, 2019 at 03:23 PM (#5879714)
It was never supposed to litigate whether a toe can off the bag by 1/8" for 0.1 seconds.

If you want to fix that, fix it in the rules. "A player who makes contact with a base is considered to still be in contact as long as that body part is still above the base by X inches or less." (Clean up that wording as necessary.)

Don't demand that the existing rule be ignored just because our observational resolution has improved.
   29. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 03:26 PM (#5879718)
Don't demand that the existing rule be ignored just because our observational resolution has improved.

Why not? There's no law that you have to deploy the most advanced technology available in every scenario.
   30. Ziggy is done with Dominican discotheques Posted: September 16, 2019 at 03:44 PM (#5879723)
The subjectivity suggestion is the right one. If the umpire whose call it is calls you out/safe/strike/whatever that's what it is (subject to review by the commissioners office in case of game fixing or similar nonsense). Then each off season cull the umpires who make the highest (or above some intolerable threshold) of calls that are wrong by an objective standard.

One advantage of the subjectivity suggestion is that it's the de facto standard anyway. Some calls are made in the office in NY, sure, but there's some point at which there's no appeal against someone's subjective judgment. Let's just be honest about it.
   31. WSPanic Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:24 PM (#5879742)
I'd say so what. Replay was pitched as being in place to overturn egregious mistakes. It was never supposed to litigate whether a toe can off the bag by 1/8" for 0.1 seconds.


I disagree with this. It's like saying that replay wasn't designed to litigate close plays. I mean, how far are you willing to let someone over-slide second/third base? An inch? A foot?

As stated elsewhere, if it's the "pop up" - make it so the area above the base is considered "safe" if the player has already touched the bag. But, in my opinion, if a player overslides by even an eighth of an inch and is tagged - then they should be out.
   32. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:30 PM (#5879745)
I disagree with this. It's like saying that replay wasn't designed to litigate close plays. I mean, how far are you willing to let someone over-slide second/third base? An inch? A foot?

Separating that is obvious to the naked eye without slow mo. That was the standard for 140 years.

Replay should only be used to correct calls the ump should/would have made if he had the proper angle and made the proper call. It should not address things an umpire couldn't possibly discern.
   33. WSPanic Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:52 PM (#5879753)

Replay should only be used to correct calls the ump should/would have made if he had the proper angle and made the proper call. It should not address things an umpire couldn't possibly discern.


That's not enforceable or realistic. Either you use it to get the calls right, or go back to HRs only (which is fine). This "naked eye without slo mo" thing ain't gonna work.

   34. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 04:57 PM (#5879757)
That's not enforceable or realistic. Either you use it to get the calls right, or go back to HRs only (which is fine). This "naked eye without slo mo" thing ain't gonna work.

I'd get rid of it completely. It has been a failure in my eyes.
   35. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 05:04 PM (#5879760)
Co-sign #33. If you're going to use replay then there's no reason to limit it to regular speed. The fans are still going to see it in slo-mo and will know that the call is wrong, and that's what replay was basically designed to address.

You can use slo-mo and still fix 90% of the problem with replay by limiting the amount of time that can be used to review the play. The "off the bag by 1/8 inch" reviews are rarely decided in under 60 seconds, I don't think.

EDIT: And I don't think any of what we're discussing would fix the problem described in TFA, which isn't completely clear to me either.
   36. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 16, 2019 at 06:58 PM (#5879783)
EDIT: And I don't think any of what we're discussing would fix the problem described in TFA, which isn't completely clear to me either.


Right. the sidebar has been mildly entertaining, but no one has addressed what happened, as per my #5. Maybe it's because no one knows, due to the poorly written article.
   37. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: September 16, 2019 at 07:16 PM (#5879786)
I don’t think there’s much to be said about what actually happened. There was a miscommunication between Renteria and the umps and the pooch she was a-screwed. It seems to me that there are often conversations between the manager and the umps as they discuss what the call was and what needs to be reviewed.
   38. KronicFatigue Posted: September 16, 2019 at 07:21 PM (#5879789)
The best way to speed up replay is to create a system where all cameras are synced and the reviewer looks at all angles at the same time. Too many times, it seems like the delay is that the player looks out in one angle but safe in the other, and the reviewers (at least the announcers) are trying to piece together the two angles.

With all angles at once, you can definitively tell when the the tag is made subject to when the runner is on the base.
   39. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: September 16, 2019 at 07:34 PM (#5879791)
I don’t think there’s much to be said about what actually happened. There was a miscommunication between Renteria and the umps and the pooch she was a-screwed. It seems to me that there are often conversations between the manager and the umps as they discuss what the call was and what needs to be reviewed.


But the story said the conversation was after the review, with the umpires apparently withholding what the ruling was:

White Sox manager Rick Renteria said he immediately asked umpires to review the homer, and they then went to the headset used to communicate with replay officials.

When Renteria and the umpires reconvened, they asked if Renteria wanted to challenge whether Narvaez had touched home plate amid his celebrating teammates. Renteria mistakenly thought this meant officials had ruled the ball cleared the fence and declined to challenge whether Narvaez touched home, because he had already seen on replays that he had.
   40. Jose is an Absurd Time Cube Posted: September 16, 2019 at 07:47 PM (#5879793)
He requested the review and for whatever reason they came back with the question about touching home plate. I mean that’s kind of silly, you’d think they wouldn’t go over to the headset if they didn’t know what they were reviewing but as I said, miscommunication, pooch screwed.
   41. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:40 PM (#5879840)
Mets-Rockies just had a 3.5-minute delay while the umpires reviewed a tag at first base on an infield hit that turned into a foot race between Rosario and the Rockies pitcher. The safe call was upheld. Should have made that decision in 30 seconds — there was obviously no conclusive video either way and the fact that they spent an extra 3 minutes trying to get the call “right” is the problem with replay.
   42. Sunday silence Posted: September 16, 2019 at 10:47 PM (#5879841)
on the oversliding the bag for a millisecond thing...

WOuld a better standard be: in that situation (sliding) you're not out after touching the bag if you lose contact in the VERTICAL direction. Only if you lose contact in the horizontal, i.e. if your hand or foot is not within the outline of the base then you're out.

It sounds complicated, but I dont think it is. Just forget anything having to do with losing contact above the bag. OK sure maybe someone will overslide the bag by a millimeter and that's crazy, but it seems 95% of these issues are wth the handing comeing off in the vertical direction. Just make that a non starter.
   43. vortex of dissipation Posted: September 16, 2019 at 11:33 PM (#5879851)
He requested the review and for whatever reason they came back with the question about touching home plate. I mean that’s kind of silly, you’d think they wouldn’t go over to the headset if they didn’t know what they were reviewing but as I said, miscommunication, pooch screwed.


I was watching the game on TV and the Mariners announcers were flabbergasted that the home run was upheld. It was clear from the replay that the ball did not leave the park and should have been ruled a double. It hit the top of the wall, and bounced up, but did not hit anything behind the wall, and bounced back in play. It was clear from anyone who saw the replay what the correct call would be.

It wasn't until the day after that the umpires' reasoning became clear. I have no idea why they asked the White Sox if they wanted to challenge the batter touching home plate. That was not the issue. The issue was if the ball left the park. The White Sox made an assumption that by asking the question, the umpires were saying that the home run was legit, and so did not further challenge it. And thinking that the White Sox were not challenging whether it left the park, but whether the batter touched home, the umpires only ruled on that aspect. I don't believe they ever made a ruling on if the ball left the park, as they thought that the White Sox were not challenging that. But why they asked the question in the way they did, and did not get perfectly clear exactly what the White Sox were challenging, I have no idea.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: September 16, 2019 at 11:37 PM (#5879855)
WOuld a better standard be: in that situation (sliding) you're not out after touching the bag if you lose contact in the VERTICAL direction. Only if you lose contact in the horizontal, i.e. if your hand or foot is not within the outline of the base then you're out.


I think that's the most logical solution (other than the truly optimal system of getting rid of replay entirely, which I suspect is off the table).



   45. Greg Pope Posted: September 17, 2019 at 12:04 AM (#5879863)
WOuld a better standard be: in that situation (sliding) you're not out after touching the bag if you lose contact in the VERTICAL direction. Only if you lose contact in the horizontal, i.e. if your hand or foot is not within the outline of the base then you're out.


I think that's the most logical solution (other than the truly optimal system of getting rid of replay entirely, which I suspect is off the table).


I agree. The point is to get to the base before you’re tagged. But then you have to stop. The athletic feat is getting there without going past. Not really keeping contact, specifically in the vertical as you said.

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