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Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Tricking an Umpire

(Formerly titled Todd Frazier Tricked an Umpire with a Rubber Ball)

The link at the top goes to an article on Todd Frazier’s play the other day, for which there’s already a thread. This thread is being re-deployed to discuss times when umpires were tricked, intentionally or not, into making the wrong call. BDC’s post #5 below is a great example.

(The thread’s original header:

The video evidence is less than totally convincing, but assuming it’s true, does anyone else think this is totally beyond the pale?

In Monday’s Mets game against the Dodgers, New York third baseman Todd Frazier made what initially looked to be a spectacular over-the-railing grab on Alex Verdugo. According to the umpire and the official box score, that’s exactly what Frazier did. But a crafty investigation by SNY’s Steve Gelbs has revealed today that Frazier’s snag was a charade, an illusion upheld by the scheming Mets player’s lies and deceit.

)

PreservedFish Posted: September 05, 2018 at 09:53 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cheating

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Howie Menckel Posted: September 05, 2018 at 03:26 PM (#5739088)
A smug Yankees fan called WFAN today to say it was a "Mets-y" thing to do, and that Frazier should be suspended for actions against the spirit of baseball.

The great part was that the host responded that just last night, Brett Gardner hustled to first base on a "hit by pitch" that actually hit his bat (as replays confirmed). Host also recalled Jeter once, in pre-replay days, took first base on a ball that didn't hit him.
   2. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: September 05, 2018 at 03:29 PM (#5739090)
the submission process needs an upgrade.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: September 05, 2018 at 03:30 PM (#5739093)
assuming it’s true, does anyone else think this is totally beyond the pale?
Yes. He should have his balls taken away.
   4. PreservedFish Posted: September 05, 2018 at 03:32 PM (#5739095)
Brett Gardner hustled to first base on a "hit by pitch" that actually hit his bat (as replays confirmed). Host also recalled Jeter once, in pre-replay, once took first base on a ball that didn't hit him.


Yeah but they weren't True Yankees.

Also, apologies for the double submission, but actually I'm not apologizing, because trying to generate baseball talk on this website is never the wrong thing to do.
   5. BDC Posted: September 05, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5739118)
Maybe this Frazier thread can be the "other impromptu scams that got by the umpires" discussion.

In which case, the famous Rangers double-play completion that Mitch Moreland never caught has to go on the list :)
   6. This is going to be state of the art wall Posted: September 05, 2018 at 03:48 PM (#5739120)
Also, apologies for the double submission, but actually I'm not apologizing, because trying to generate baseball talk on this website is never the wrong thing to do.


not your fault but the platform's.
   7. villageidiom Posted: September 05, 2018 at 04:06 PM (#5739136)
Also, apologies for the double submission, but actually I'm not apologizing, because trying to generate baseball talk on this website is never the wrong thing to do.
Do you mind if I modify the posting to (a) change the title (b) change the purpose to be in line with what BDC proposed? My first impulse on seeing the dual threads was to close the later one (this) and provide a link to the earlier one. But I'm good with an official repurposing.
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: September 05, 2018 at 04:32 PM (#5739164)
Maybe this Frazier thread can be the "other impromptu scams that got by the umpires" discussion.


DeWayne Wise non-catch in foul territory with the Yankees.

Todd Helton completing a double play while three feet from the base.

   9. PreservedFish Posted: September 05, 2018 at 04:37 PM (#5739173)
Do you mind if I modify the posting to (a) change the title (b) change the purpose to be in line with what BDC proposed?


Of course not. Go for it.
   10. The Duke Posted: September 05, 2018 at 05:00 PM (#5739194)
This is quite entertaining. MLB should come out immediately and fine him to eliminate another possible avenue for fans to enjoy the national past time
   11. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 05, 2018 at 05:23 PM (#5739206)

Todd Helton completing a double play while three feet from the base.


I don't think that's the same thing as the Wise or (alleged) Frazier misdeeds. Helton stretched, came off the bag then caught the ball. The umpire just botched it. I think an analogous situation would have been Helton hooking the base with his foot and dragging it three feet.

Sam Rice 1925 World Series?
   12. BDC Posted: September 05, 2018 at 05:33 PM (#5739209)
an analogous situation would have been Helton hooking the base with his foot and dragging it three feet


Maybe Kent Hrbek picking up Ron Gant while tagging him in the 1991 World Series would be close to that analogy. Hrbek couldn't have planned it, but it sort of happened for him and he enthusiastically carried it through :)
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: September 05, 2018 at 07:14 PM (#5739282)
Sam Rice 1925 World Series?


A note released at his funeral said he never lost possession of the ball, his only comments on the subject over the course of his fascinating life.
   14. The Duke Posted: September 05, 2018 at 10:03 PM (#5739444)
Didn’t Reggie Jackson purposefully get hit by a double play turn in a World Series game and got away with it ?
   15. Howie Menckel Posted: September 05, 2018 at 10:04 PM (#5739445)
yes
   16. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 05, 2018 at 10:47 PM (#5739484)
Didn’t Reggie Jackson purposefully get hit by a double play turn in a World Series game and got away with it ?

I think it's more precise to say that Reggie, reacting to where the fielder positioned his glove, chose a line within the base paths that made the throw from 1st to 2nd more difficult, with Reggie's well-timed butt flex adding to the athleticism of the play.
   17. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 06, 2018 at 12:51 AM (#5739519)
That's one of my favorite WS highlights of all time, but mostly because of the argument by Lasorda, which for some reason there's such good video/audio for us to relive. Reminds me, is there such audio of Herzog and the Umps in '85?
   18. The Duke Posted: September 06, 2018 at 07:59 AM (#5739546)
I wonder what instant replay officials would say today on the Jackson call. Call on the field would be Jackson didn’t do anything wrong. Although it looks like Jackson tried to get hit, it’s not necessarily clear and convincing to over turn call on field.

What say everyone?
   19. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 06, 2018 at 08:59 AM (#5739586)
The play was a line drive that Russell dropped. In one of his books Ron Luciano relays the story that when the umps were discussing it the first thing one of them said was "Russell dropped the ball on purpose" which would be a dead ball with Jackson going back to first base. I wonder if that would be reviewable.

If not I'd have a hard time overturning the on field call. As Duke says there isn't anything clear to me, yeah he turned his body but I don't think he made himself bigger or adjusted his position from the baseline, he just didn't get out of the baseline which I don't think he has any requirement to do.
   20. villageidiom Posted: September 06, 2018 at 09:08 AM (#5739591)
Although it looks like Jackson tried to get hit, it’s not necessarily clear and convincing to over turn call on field.
It doesn't matter if he tried to get hit or not. He's out + he's in the way = he's interfering. It's really that simple.

Rule 6.01 (a)(5):
It is interference by a batter or a runner when any batter or runner who has just been put out, or any runner who has just scored, hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate.


But here's the footage of the Jackson interference anyway. Bill Russell intentionally dropped the ball so he'd have a double play opportunity, which itself is trickery. And then Jackson interfered with the throw - which is the most precise description of what Jackson did.

But really the most amazing trickery of the umpires in that clip is how they were convinced to wear those outfits.
   21. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2018 at 09:16 AM (#5739592)
Somehow I've never seen that play.

Is everyone giving these players too much credit for wiliness? Maybe I'm naive but it seems like Russell's drop is an honest error, and that Jackson had a chance to get back to the bag and just stood there agape for no known reason. I assumed that YC's account would be more shillery but the "butt-flex" is so subtle as to be almost nonexistent.

- edit. Wait a second. Jackson was out, right? So does he have an obligation to vacate the basepath?
   22. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 06, 2018 at 09:32 AM (#5739603)
vi - Was 6.01a5 the relevant rule at the time? Players are notoriously ignorant of the rules but I remember Reggie saying that he stood there because he knew he had no obligation to get out of the way.
   23. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2018 at 09:38 AM (#5739606)
It is interference by a batter or a runner when any batter or runner who has just been put out, or any runner who has just scored, hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate.


This sounds like they have no need to consider intent, and that the ball hitting Reggie constitutes interference, whether or not he threw his butt at it.
   24. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 06, 2018 at 09:45 AM (#5739610)
Bill Russell intentionally dropped the ball so he'd have a double play opportunity, which itself is trickery.


This is exactly why we have the infield fly rule: With runners on first and second and less than two outs, it's trivially easy for an infielder to turn a double play by dropping a ball. But this is clearly not an infield fly, since it was a weak line drive hit right at Russell.

I would call it quick thinking rather than trickery on Russell's part. He's under no obligation to catch that ball. If the umpires wanted to consider Russell's intent in making their decision, they should have tried to claim it was an infield fly.
   25. PreservedFish Posted: September 06, 2018 at 09:58 AM (#5739617)
Is it known that Russell dropped it on purpose?
   26. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 06, 2018 at 10:26 AM (#5739633)

This is exactly why we have the infield fly rule: With runners on first and second and less than two outs, it's trivially easy for an infielder to turn a double play by dropping a ball. But this is clearly not an infield fly, since it was a weak line drive hit right at Russell.


There already is a rule that if an infielder drops a line drive on purpose to be able to turn a double play that the ball is dead. It was actually called the other day in a game I was watching. Obviously it's a split second call so it's tricky and the ump as I recall said that Russell had been having a bit of a tough defensive series and he thought he just blew it.

Unlike an infield fly an infielder can let a ball bounce first with no penalty.
   27. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 06, 2018 at 10:49 AM (#5739649)
There already is a rule that if an infielder drops a line drive on purpose to be able to turn a double play that the ball is dead.


I did not know that, thanks for clarifying. Of course, the umpires in this situation misapplied that rule as well. There is no interpretation of the rule book that allows for the ruling on this play to be correct, as far as I can tell.
   28. Perry Posted: September 06, 2018 at 10:50 AM (#5739651)
I know 6.01a5 doesn't say anything about intent, but I think it's implied that the interference be intentional. Otherwise any pivot-man on a DP would just have to fire the ball into the runner coming at him to get the DP. Certainly the argument at the time of the Russell-Jackson play was all about intent.

I remember reading something at the time (possibly in an Angell article) that said, paraphrasing, "the rule requires him not to interfere. It doesn't require him to disappear into a hole in the ground." And if you listen to the argument on the field one umpire says "Where do you want him to go?"




   29. Perry Posted: September 06, 2018 at 10:59 AM (#5739665)
By the way, on the play that kicked off this thread, Frazier has now .
admitted the trickery.
   30. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 06, 2018 at 11:53 AM (#5739783)
Here's the video/w audio of Lasorda's argument with Frank Pulli and Co. Again, those umpire unis are just marvelous.

Lasorda goes nuts
   31. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 06, 2018 at 12:27 PM (#5739837)
I know 6.01a5 doesn't say anything about intent, but I think it's implied that the interference be intentional. Otherwise any pivot-man on a DP would just have to fire the ball into the runner coming at him to get the DP. Certainly the argument at the time of the Russell-Jackson play was all about intent.

Yes. "Hinders or impedes" suggests the runner has to take some sort of action.

You are correct. If simply getting hit by a throw once you were put out was interference, it would be open season on runners coming into 2B. How could the fielder miss a runner 10 feet away.
   32. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: September 06, 2018 at 12:59 PM (#5739901)
If simply getting hit by a throw once you were put out was interference, it would be open season on runners coming into 2B. How could the fielder miss a runner 10 feet away.


I think the argument would be that a throw that hits a sliding runner isn't going to be a successful throw to first base. The Russell/Jackson* play would have been a DP if it didn't hit Jackson. If the fielder throws the ball at a sliding runner that's not a throw that is going to get the batter out at first base.

* - Madam Secretary fans rejoice!

But I think you're right. For example, I was at a game a couple years ago where Ortiz was sliding to break up a DP and Altuve's throw hit him in the helmet. There was no interference on the play and no argument even for that matter.
   33. villageidiom Posted: September 06, 2018 at 01:29 PM (#5739944)
vi - Was 6.01a5 the relevant rule at the time? Players are notoriously ignorant of the rules but I remember Reggie saying that he stood there because he knew he had no obligation to get out of the way.
They renumbered the rules a few years ago. The same rule had been 7.09(e) previously, and 7.09(f) before that. (The change from (f) to (e) happened when "hitting a fair ball a second time" was moved out of the section on interference.)

This SI article from 1978 cites the same 7.09(f) and notes that the rule does not specify intent. The article also says the 1B umpire said it should be interpreted as though it's referring to intentional interference, but it's unclear whether that's the proper interpretation (the rulebook has not been updated in the intervening 40 years to express that) or just post-hoc rationalization typical of umpires BITD who would never reverse the original call.

The SI article also includes Jackson's quote that he had "nowhere to go, so I just froze" but nothing about not having an obligation to move. Later, the article has this:
Pressed on the question of intent, Jackson later as much as admitted that his freezing near first was more a matter of convenience than confusion.
   34. villageidiom Posted: September 06, 2018 at 02:05 PM (#5739990)
Yes. "Hinders or impedes" suggests the runner has to take some sort of action.
It doesn't.

The obstruction rule has similar language about impeding, and obstruction calls are made often when a fielder fails to take immediate action. Boston (correctly) lost a WS game in 2013 on this very notion.

I wouldn't recommend "a player who is out at 2nd can just stand 10 feet off 1st, with no effort to get out of the way of a throw, and not be considered impeding the play at 1st" to be the hill to die on.
   35. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: September 06, 2018 at 10:31 PM (#5740321)
Here's the video/w audio of Lasorda's argument with Frank Pulli and Co. Again, those umpire unis are just marvelous.


One thing I do notice is that all the umps are thin. Now all the umps are fat. Big fat guys who eat to way too many cheeseburgers in their spare time.
   36. Perry Posted: September 07, 2018 at 01:31 PM (#5740559)
One thing I do notice is that all the umps are thin. Now all the umps are fat. Big fat guys who eat to way too many cheeseburgers in their spare time.


I don't think anyone umpiring today is as fat as Ken Kaiser, John McSherry, or Eric Gregg. They just didn't happen to be at that WS.

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