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Bat of Castellanos - Removal vs Ejection Criteria


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After Reds batter Nick Castellanos hit a grand slam in Cincinnati, Cardinals manager Mike Shildt asked HP Umpire Cory Blaser and crew to inspect the bat, hoping for a finding of illegal alteration and an automatic out (plus ejection). Instead, umpires simply removed the bat from the game. What's...

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Reminiscent of the infamous pine-tar incident, where AL president Lee MacPhail ultimately ruled that while the umpires were technically correct in negating George Brett's home run and calling him out, Brett's bat did not violate the spirit of the rule, as it did not create any distance advantage.

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and the original ruling should have stood, with an immediate comment that from here on out, the interpretation of the rule would change from the correct ruling and interpretation on the field that day by the umpires as the rule was written, to the new interpretation issued by the commissioner.

Commissioner and rules committee could have easily changed this ruling/interpretation years before it happened, to the new interpretation the commissioner ended up announcing, prior to the incident happening, so instead of being proactive to this situation ahead of time, the commissioner and rules committee chose to be reactive after the fact to the situation.

 

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3 hours ago, dumbdumb said:

and the original ruling should have stood, with an immediate comment that from here on out, the interpretation of the rule would change from the correct ruling and interpretation on the field that day by the umpires as the rule was written, to the new interpretation issued by the commissioner.

Commissioner and rules committee could have easily changed this ruling/interpretation years before it happened, to the new interpretation the commissioner ended up announcing, prior to the incident happening, so instead of being proactive to this situation ahead of time, the commissioner and rules committee chose to be reactive after the fact to the situation.

 

 

4 hours ago, LRZ said:

Reminiscent of the infamous pine-tar incident, where AL president Lee MacPhail ultimately ruled that while the umpires were technically correct in negating George Brett's home run and calling him out, Brett's bat did not violate the spirit of the rule, as it did not create any distance advantage.

The initial ruling had indeed been addressed, and presumably documented, in a protest in 1975...in that game the umpires did the opposite when John Mayberry hit a home run with too much pine tar on the bat - they let the home run stand - choosing to follow the spirit of the rule, not the letter...and on protest their ruling was upheld. (ie. protest denied)

Lee MacPhail ruled on that earlier decision too, so he was consistent, and simply following the precedent and ruling he established eight years earlier.

 

Tim McLelland was in his first season as an umpire, so it's understandable he wasn't aware of the previous ruling...not sure who else was on the crew.

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1 hour ago, beerguy55 said:

 

The initial ruling had indeed been addressed, and presumably documented, in a protest in 1975...in that game the umpires did the opposite when John Mayberry hit a home run with too much pine tar on the bat - they let the home run stand - choosing to follow the spirit of the rule, not the letter...and on protest their ruling was upheld. (ie. protest denied)

Lee MacPhail ruled on that earlier decision too, so he was consistent, and simply following the precedent and ruling he established eight years earlier.

 

Tim McLelland was in his first season as an umpire, so it's understandable he wasn't aware of the previous ruling...not sure who else was on the crew.

neat. i do not remember any articles (doesnt mean that i dont miss every single one of them) mentioning that prior case, but they still should have put that in the small print for everybody to use going  forward from 1975, then no issues.

Joe Brinkman who had his own umpire school at one time, and a very good rules knowledge man in his time, nick bremigan (referee magazine column maybe) were on the crew at the time, and drew coble rounding out the crew (seems like they would have known the old 1975 ruling as they were MLB (Brinkman and Bremigan) at the time, but hey you never know.

Get insight, thanks.

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Apparently, there have been several earlier incidents, in MLB and the minors, including one in 1975, where NYY's Thurman Munson singled against Minnesota but was called out.

McClelland worked the game KC/NYY game with two veterans, Joe Brinkman (cc) and Nick Bremigan, and Drew Coble (second year).

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23 minutes ago, LRZ said:

Apparently, there have been several earlier incidents, in MLB and the minors, including one in 1975, where NYY's Thurman Munson singled against Minnesota but was called out.

McClelland worked the game KC/NYY game with two veterans, Joe Brinkman (cc) and Nick Bremigan, and Drew Coble (second year).

Yup - the Munson one happened in July that year...lost an RBI and the Yankees lost 2-1...but, nobody protested...

Two weeks later Billy Martin started managing the Yankees.

In September, it was Mayberry's turn, who, coincidentally, was playing for the Royals when he hit his pine tar home run.

1 hour ago, dumbdumb said:

neat. i do not remember any articles (doesnt mean that i dont miss every single one of them) mentioning that prior case, but they still should have put that in the small print for everybody to use going  forward from 1975, then no issues.

Joe Brinkman who had his own umpire school at one time, and a very good rules knowledge man in his time, nick bremigan (referee magazine column maybe) were on the crew at the time, and drew coble rounding out the crew (seems like they would have known the old 1975 ruling as they were MLB (Brinkman and Bremigan) at the time, but hey you never know.

Apparently, Bremigan was also part of the crew for the Munson game.    So, you had Yankees  in that game who remembered their team being called out in 1975 (especially Graig Nettles, who pointed out Brett's bat to Martin)...and an umpire who was there.  And no personal experience that that ruling was wrong.   And then you have Royals who remember their player not being called out for the same infraction in 1975.

After 1975 the Rules Committee did alter the rule to specifically mention pine tar, and that the instruction was to remove the bat from the game.   The American League rules were also apparently specifically updated to say that using pine tar, in and of itself, would not be considered doctoring the bat.

KC not only was able to reference the Mayberry game, but they simply pulled up the AL rule saying that...not that they needed it.   MacPhail just had to make the same determination he did before - pine tar does not provide a winning advantage, the only penalty should have been to remove the bat.

And he was clear to lay blame at himself, not the umpires, for the confusion - the rule was made more clear and specific that year.

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22 hours ago, beerguy55 said:

Tim McLelland was in his first season as an umpire, so it's understandable he wasn't aware of the previous ruling...

 

18 hours ago, LRZ said:

McClelland worked the game KC/NYY game with two veterans, Joe Brinkman (cc) and Nick Bremigan, and Drew Coble (second year).

It was actually Brinkman’s call to make, but the read he got off looking towards the Royals dugout prompted him to weigh how the judgement / ruling would be given. Whether or not Brinkman could actually hear it, Brett was angrily pacing in the dugout, and a (unattributed) teammate noted the umpire crew’s examination of the bat, and questioned Brett if he had corked his bat. After Brett retorted that, “he wouldn’t know how to [cork it], and wouldn’t need to anyway”, another teammate – this time Frank White – told him about what happened to Mayberry, and that, “You know, when they measured your bat, when they dropped the bat on home plate to measure it, they might call you out for using too much pine tar on your bat." 

"Well”, snapped Brett, “if they call me out for using too much pine tar, I'll go out there and I'll kill one of those SOBs."

According to Brinkman’s interview, McClelland offered to make the call, since he was Plate. However, I have inside accounts that Brinkman felt it best that McClelland make the actual call, because of his 6’6” stature. Despite this, George Brett exploded out of the dugout and into the annals of history. 

What is often overlooked about the legendary Pine Tar Game, and the resulting appeal and reinstatement of the Home Run, is just how thoroughly Lee MacPhail thought this process through, and acted in conjunction with Joe Brinkman. With great foresight, MacPhail anticipated that Billy Martin would spare no effort or shenanigan in resisting MacPhail’s judgement, so he coordinated an affidavit, signed by each of the umpires from the game, then notarized, sealed, and delivered to the replacement crew when the game was resumed 25 days later. 

When Martin inevitably told the new crew chief that Brett had missed 1B, and that there was no way the [current] U1 could see it, the new U1 produced the letter, stating that the original base umpire had indeed witnessed Brett touching the base as he ran the bases. Aghast, Martin went to the next base, and this was repeated at each of the other bags and plate. 

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you guys pretty much covered the essentials.

it looks like the original Munson case that year 1975, 'was not protested' when Art Frantz working HP and Bremigan was working 1B (Neudecker cc). So with no protest, there was no ruling for McPhail (former Yankee front office) to make. Frantz also used home plate to measure the 18 inch point in that argument on Munson using to much pine tar on the bat. So, all the Yankees would file this in their (times we got hosed) little black notebooks for future reference. However, once again, no protest=no real way to learn what Lee McPhail would have ruled in that Munson case at the time.

So, later with the Mayberry game, here comes 'the protest' and the first McPhail ruling in 1975. Just wondering why articles with the umpires and all the regular articles never mentioned (over and over) the Mayberry ruling from 1975, during all the hoopla in 1983, and the fact the Royals apparently forgot about the Mayberry ruling some how.

And naturally in 1983 the Yankees chose to remember the Munson incident and not the Mayberry ruling. Guess the Yankees don't put rulings in the black book, just apparent injustices towards them go into that black book. And remember Martin is all right with a close decision going against him once, but the second close decision has to go for him or there will be heck to pay. Everything has to even up, be darned what things might really be.

all the umpires but McClelland in 1983 would have been in pro ball by 1975, Coble MiLB and it seems like everyone would have read about the Mayberry ruling in 1975 in the Sporting News back then unless they did not have it. So why all the remberances of a non protested game with Munson stuck with everyone (players, umpires, press, etc) over the protested decision with Mayberry is just one of those things.

 

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11 hours ago, MadMax said:

According to Brinkman’s interview, McClelland offered to make the call, since he was Plate. However, I have inside accounts that Brinkman felt it best that McClelland make the actual call, because of his 6’6” statute. Despite this, George Brett exploded out of the dugout and into the annals of history. 

Not only 6'6"...but also holding a bat.

Brett was never accused of being a genius.

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