Today’s intro comes from the world of college baseball, and is something I stumbled across last night when digging into potential draft targets. It might be the single most bizarre baseball story I’ve read in years.
In the champsionship round of a double elimination junior college regional tournment, a catcher and a baserunner got into a brief discussion over a play at the plate. Despite there being little sign of serious escalation at that point, the home plate umpire completely freaks out and shoves the catcher thirty feet or so away from the point of the conversation. The benches clear, coaches prevent any fight from breaking out, and within seconds everyone is back where they belong. It wasn’t as minor as the now famous Bryant-Castro tickle fight, but even calling this an ‘incident’ is being pretty generous.
But the rule book for the NJCAA has some very remarkable language in it. First, ejections can be assessed when a fight may break out. Not already has broken out, but even if in someone’s opinion it potentially could break out. Second, any and every coach who leaves the bench during an altercation or potential altercation is automatically ejected and suspended at least one game (more if the incident was ‘violent’). And finally, teams who no longer have a member of the coaching staff available to coach a game due to suspensions automatically forfeit the game.
So when all the coaches left the dugout to keep a non-fight from turning into a fight, as good coaches should do, they were all automatically ejected and suspended because they left the dugout in a situation in which a fight could have hypothetically broken out. The fact that no fight happened is entirely irrelevant.
That means neither team had a coach available, so the game was forfeited from both sides. For one team, that forfeiture was their second loss, so they were eliminated. That means the other team wins the tournament, right?
Nope. Somehow the league ruled this never-happened-but-potentially-could-have-happened fight a “violent incident,” and that kicks the suspensions up to two games (or so, I’m fuzzy on those details). That means the other team would have already been eliminated in the next NJCAA tournament before they even got on the bus to travel. Somehow that lead to them forfeiting their championship and the would-have-been third place team being declared the champion and being sent on to the next round.
Some of you are probably thinking I must be trivializing the incident if it led to the suspension of two entire coaching staffs and the forfeiture of tournament games for the best teams in the tournament field. Well, have a look for yourself:
Can confirm @Heininsports' report that Temple College will be the @NJCAARegion5 representative in the JUCO World Series. Here's video of the incident that led to a double forfeiture between MCC & Cisco. pic.twitter.com/HdD1cNSqzL
— Tyler Bouldin (@tylerbouldin) May 15, 2018
Personally, I think the NJCAA is going to rapidly revise their rule book to bring some sanity to it after this debacle.
- Alec Mills: 5 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 5 K
- Randy Rosario: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K
- Dillon Maples: 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H
- Ryan Court: 2 for 5, 2B
- Bijan Rademacher: 2 for 4
- Chesny Young: 2 for 4, 2B
- Oscar De La Cruz: 4.1 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 3 BB, 4 K
- Charcer Burks: 1 for 3, 2 BB, SB
- Yasiel Balaguert: 3 for 3, HR, BB
- Jeffrey Baez: 2 for 4
- Jesse Hodges: 1 for 3, 2B, BB
High A: Myrtle Beach Pelicans
The Pelicans were rained out.
- Tyler Thomas: 6.2 IP, 2 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 7 K
- Austin Filiere: 2 for 4, 2B
- Miguel Amaya: 1 for 4, HR
- Brandon Hughes: 1 for 3, SB
- Myrtle Beach makes their first trip of the year into Maryland this weekend, and that means I’d like to be in attendance. The weather for this general area, though, calls for an inch of rain on Friday, half an inch on Saturday, and a continuing chance of rain on Sunday. So… yeah. Oh, and we’re due for about three inches before Friday even gets here, and that’s on top of the pounding Frederick took last night. I don’t doubt that the Pelicans will be in Frederick this weekend, but they may not play very much baseball. If things break badly, they may not play any.
- De La Cruz pitched very well for four innings, but the wheels came off in the fifth. Three of the first five batters in that inning walked.
- The seven strikeouts for Tyler Thomas match his season high. At 6.2 innings, yesterday marked his longest start. He has now allowed two or fewer earned runs in every start except one (he gave up five on May 3), and his ERA is down to 2.86. The 22-year-old was the Cubs’ 7th round pick last year out of Fresno State. He may be too advanced for Low-A at this point, which could push him to Myrtle Beach sooner rather than later – and impressive run for a pitcher in his first professional season.