CSS Button No Image Css3Menu.com

Baseball Prospectus home
  
  
Click here to log in Click here for forgotten password Click here to subscribe

Futures Guide 2014 is Now Available in Paperback and Three E-book Formats.

Premium and Super Premium Subscribers Get a 20% Discount at MLB.tv!

<< Previous Article
The Stats Go Marching ... (06/13)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Skewed Left: Bring Bac... (05/30)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Skewed Left: Preparing... (06/20)
Next Article >>
In A Pickle: What the ... (06/13)

June 13, 2013

Skewed Left

Bayes and the Hit By Pitch

by Zachary Levine


When home plate umpire Clint Fagan made the decision not to eject Zack Greinke for hitting Miguel Montero with a pitch, and a subsequent decision to eject Ian Kennedy for hitting Greinke with a pitch, he was answering a couple of probability questions that umpires and eventually Major League Baseball will have to face.

It’s not a question of whether the hit by pitch was intentional or not. You’re never able to answer that question. The probability that the act was intentional from the point of view of the umpire/disciplinarian is never 0, even on the most innocuous-looking play, and it’s pretty much never unless Cole Hamels is just begging for a suspension.

After a beaning occurs, an umpire and then the MLB office are forced then to determine how likely it was that tat beaning was intentional. And there is where they have run into trouble historically. It is my view that the umpires tend to be too beholden to their own warnings and may even be trying to legislate to some unwritten rules.

The second belief we’ll get to later, but as to the first, remember, it is perfectly within an umpire’s rights to eject a player with no warning. In fact, the previous pitcher tossed for a hit batsman, Jason Hammel, was ejected with no warning in the episode I documented semi-seriously here. Inversely, just because there has been a warning doesn’t mean there has to be an ejection. In fact, the inning after the brawl on Tuesday night, Mark Ellis was hit by a pitch with no consequence.

The ejection, surprisingly, did not follow the beaning after and immediately after the warning. But at what point in this dance do you think the plunkings escalated to the point of ejection?

Top 5: Cody Ross hit by a pitch
Bottom 6: Yasiel Puig hit by a pitch in the face
Top 7 (first batter): Miguel Montero hit by a pitch in the back
Bottom 7: Zack Greinke hit by a pitch in the shoulder

The rest of this article is restricted to Baseball Prospectus Subscribers.

Not a subscriber?

Click here for more information on Baseball Prospectus subscriptions or use the buttons to the right to subscribe and get access to the best baseball content on the web.


Cancel anytime.


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!


That's a 33% savings over the monthly price!

Already a subscriber? Click here and use the blue login bar to log in.

10 comments have been left for this article.

<< Previous Article
The Stats Go Marching ... (06/13)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Skewed Left: Bring Bac... (05/30)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Skewed Left: Preparing... (06/20)
Next Article >>
In A Pickle: What the ... (06/13)

RECENTLY AT BASEBALL PROSPECTUS
Premium Article Painting the Black: Super Twoing
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Meltdown in Minnesota
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Friday, April 18
Premium Article Notes from the Field: A-Ball Notes
Premium Article Raising Aces: Masahiro Tanaka, the Debut Ant...
Baseball Prospectus News: New Stat Reports a...
Premium Article Skewed Left: How Service Time Dictates Top P...

MORE FROM JUNE 13, 2013
Premium Article Perfect Game Presents: NL Draft Wrap
Premium Article Painting the Black: An A's Minus
Premium Article What You Need to Know: Mets Magic Bests Mill...
Premium Article The Prospectus Hit List: Thursday, June 13
Fantasy Article Free Agent Watch: Week 11
Premium Article Daily Roundup: Around the League: June 13, 2...
Fantasy Article Bullpen Report: Buyers and Sellers

MORE BY ZACHARY LEVINE
2013-07-02 - Premium Article What You Need to Know: No Trouble with the C...
2013-06-27 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Searching for Baseball's Brando...
2013-06-20 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Preparing for Baseball's Most E...
2013-06-13 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Bayes and the Hit By Pitch
2013-06-05 - BP Unfiltered: The Best and Worst Days of th...
2013-06-04 - Premium Article What You Need to Know: Petite Outfield Behin...
2013-06-01 - BP Unfiltered: A Homer Announcer's Guide to ...
More...

MORE SKEWED LEFT
2013-07-11 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Planning the Best Baseball Road...
2013-06-27 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Searching for Baseball's Brando...
2013-06-20 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Preparing for Baseball's Most E...
2013-06-13 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Bayes and the Hit By Pitch
2013-05-30 - Premium Article Skewed Left: Bring Back the Hidden Ball Tric...
2013-05-28 - Premium Article Skewed Left: The Real Future Yankees
2013-05-22 - Premium Article Skewed Left: A Somewhat Happy 40th for the I...
More...