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MLB Ejection 37 - Clint Vondrak (1; Joe Maddon)


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HP Umpire Clint Vondrak ejected Angels Manager Joe Maddon (strike three call; QOCN) in the top of the 6th inning of the #Angels-#Astros game. With none out and two on (R1, R2), Angels batter Shohei Ohtani took a 3-2 fastball from Astros pitcher Blake Taylor for a called third strike. Replays...

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borderline .....but ........there was almost an identical pitch he called a ball in that sequence, so .... I guess I understand the frustration.   That said .... bear with me ... I remember seeing a video on facebook I think , from MLB, I think .... (someone please correct me or chime in) but ......  it was about "stealing the low strike" .... and it was catchers starting with their glove down and catching the pitch on the upswing, essentially pulling it up and into the zone.   When I first saw it, I was thinking .... nope, doesn't work (obvious umpire thinking).    HOWEVER .... the 2020 season gets started finally, and that's all I see now .... catchers pulling pitches .... and not just the low ones ......FREAKING EVERYTHING ....watching an MLB game is like watching a Little League game!  The catchers are framing and pulling SO MUCH, I've never seen anything like it before.   AWFUL! :( :no: :banghead:

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Agreed! I'm absolutely horrified by seeing this. It is another level of concentration I think for the MLB guys, to ignore the pull.

I'm concerned about what it will mean for HS/College ball. Every pull now will be regarded in the dugout as a strike??

I think the technology is driving this; in MLB catchers know that catching it "right" won't help them anymore since the umpires are being graded on where the pitch actually is. So no longer any need to work hard and correctly frame a pitch, so why not be lazy and maybe steal one in the process? What does this mean for those of us with no machine watching us?

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1 hour ago, GerryB said:

Agreed! I'm absolutely horrified by seeing this. It is another level of concentration I think for the MLB guys, to ignore the pull.

I'm concerned about what it will mean for HS/College ball. Every pull now will be regarded in the dugout as a strike??

I think the technology is driving this; in MLB catchers know that catching it "right" won't help them anymore since the umpires are being graded on where the pitch actually is. So no longer any need to work hard and correctly frame a pitch, so why not be lazy and maybe steal one in the process? What does this mean for those of us with no machine watching us?

yes ...... it means an absolute nightmare!  I do HS, and while seeing pitches before the game, I introduce myself and chat with the F2 (as most of us do).  One of the things I say is .... "Jimmy, don't yank pitches on me, ok?  Catch them where you catch them and stick-it for me, and I'll get you a lot of strikes, ok?"  They usually like that part of my chat ....but I can see the future response from F2s being:  "but Jeff, .... we're being taught to sweep up low pitches to make them look like they're not low"       And my future response will be:  "if you pull pitches, I'll see your arm moving, and trust me, it won't be a strike" .....       Then , who knows what else will happen when he goes into the dugout between innings :rolleyes:

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I watched this game and I have to say that this young umpire REALLY struggled with the zone all game. Maddon just had enough and had to make a statement. Trout was rung up on a pitch at least a ball and a half off the plate earlier and there were numerous strikes called balls and vice versa. You could see the frustration welling on both sides. If you can lose the chance to get promoted based on one game, this one would be it.

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3 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

I watched this game and I have to say that this young umpire REALLY struggled with the zone all game. Maddon just had enough and had to make a statement. Trout was rung up on a pitch at least a ball and a half off the plate earlier and there were numerous strikes called balls and vice versa. You could see the frustration welling on both sides. If you can lose the chance to get promoted based on one game, this one would be it.

Steve, ... I must come out and say that I find it VERY REFRESHING that you as an umpire can openly and honestly comment critically about a performance.  This site, and all of the Facebook pages, are typically just aghast at ANYTHING negative about ANYONE on an MLB field, and the fact of the matter is, .... we ALL STRUGGLE from time to time.  It's how we get past it and learn from it that makes us better!  Kudos!    I too will openly be critical of something that happens on an MLB field and more than not, it's met with some unsavory backlash.  It's a shame that we as umpires can't see or comment on a mistake or 2, regardless of what level it is.  Tip of the 6-stitch sir!!!

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9 minutes ago, Thunderheads said:

Steve, ... I must come out and say that I find it VERY REFRESHING that you as an umpire can openly and honestly comment critically about a performance.  This site, and all of the Facebook pages, are typically just aghast at ANYTHING negative about ANYONE on an MLB field, and the fact of the matter is, .... we ALL STRUGGLE from time to time.  It's how we get past it and learn from it that makes us better!  Kudos!    I too will openly be critical of something that happens on an MLB field and more than not, it's met with some unsavory backlash.  It's a shame that we as umpires can't see or comment on a mistake or 2, regardless of what level it is.  Tip of the 6-stitch sir!!!

I'm sure he is a great umpire, otherwise he wouldn't have been called up. Like you said, we all have games where we know our zone was below our own expectations. I suspect that was the case for him here.

I saw on the CCS site that he graded at 89% raw and 93% with MOE built in. Well above you and me, well below the MLB regulars.

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2 minutes ago, grayhawk said:

I'm sure he is a great umpire, otherwise he wouldn't have been called up. Like you said, we all have games where we know our zone was below our own expectations. I suspect that was the case for him here.

I saw on the CCS site that he graded at 89% raw and 93% with MOE built in. Well above you and me, well below the MLB regulars.

Absolutely, ... that's just how it is, right?

Yep.   WELL ABOVE US ... always .... but below other MLB guys, ... I concur!

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Agreed.

Years ago I gave a college F2 that speech. He told his head coach what I said and the coach buzzed out to me between innings screaming and pointing that he teaches F2s to pull and to stop talking to his catcher. He quickly ended up in the parking lot and I stopped talking to F2s...

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@Thunderheads"unsavory backlash" is an understatement!

I think those forums get super jumpy about speaking ill of MLB guys (but that same standard doesn't transfer to NCAA guys for some reason, even though that level is MUCH MORE attainable for most of us than the pro level) because we are trained to be ready for it from our friends, colleagues, media, and so on. I compare it to every year during the buildup to the LLWS. We have to deal with a couple hundred idiots post that damn video of the poor umpire ringing the kid up on a pitch in the other box.

 

We just have trained ourselves for it. 

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