Thursday's Angels/Astros umpires disciplined

Thursday's Angels/Astros umpires disciplined
May 10, 2013, 5:30 pm
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Porter: 'I stand corrected'

Major League Baseball has disciplined the umpiring crew from Thursday night's Angels-Astros game.

Fieldin Culbreth, the crew chief from Thursday's game, has been suspended for two games and has been fined for the misapplication of Official Baseball Rule 3.05 (b) in the top of the seventh.

The rest of the crew - Brian O'Nora, Bill Welke, and Adrian Johnson - have also been fined for the same reason.

The rule is stated as follows:

"If the pitcher is replaced, the substitute pitcher shall pitch to the batter then at bat, or any substitute batter, until such batter is put out or reaches first base, or until the offensive team is put out, unless the substitute pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the umpire-in-chief’s judgment, incapacitates him for further play as a pitcher.”

The rule came into question in the seventh inning during a pitching switch. Wesley Wright came in for Paul Clemens. Angels manager Mike Scioscia responded by pinch hitting Luis Jimenez for J.B. Shuck. Wright had not thrown a pitch before Astros manager Bo Porter made the move to switch him out for Hector Ambriz. Scioscia came out of the Angels dugout to protest the situation, but the umpires let the switch go on. The Angels played the rest of the game in protest, a game they came back to win 6-5.

After the game on Thursday night, Porter said, "My understanding of the rule and I was fortunate enough last year to sit in with Davey (Johnson of the Nationals) when they changed the rule of a pitcher having to face a batter. But at the same time if you pinch-hit for that batter, you now have the right to bring in another pitcher."

Afterwards, Porter found out he was somewhat mistaken. And as word came down of MLB's decision to discipline the crew, Porter was asked on Friday about it. He said he had already spoken to  Culbreth on the phone and apologized to him at that time.

"Me personally, I want to apologize to the whole crew,” Porter said. "As I sit here today, it's more that I feel sorry for the crew chief and for the crew for having to wear what it is that happened last night.

"My apology's more so that I put them in that position where they made the decision that they made."

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