“I didn’t hear a clear call”
On July 21, the KBO admitted to a mistake in the application of the “balked” situation that was hotly debated in the KBO League. The call was made during the eighth inning of the game between SSG and LG at SSG Landers Field in Incheon on the 21st. With SSG potentially losing a game, the KBO has decided to discipline the umpire.
The KBO officially announced on the 22nd that it has suspended umpire Woo Hyo-dong for causing chaos by not operating the game smoothly during the LG-SSG game at SSG Landers Field on Thursday (Nov. 21), saying, “The disciplined umpire will not be able to participate in the remaining games of the season after today (Nov. 22).
As for the reason for the discipline, it added that the umpire failed to apply the rules properly in the heat of the moment, causing confusion in the game. The KBO explained, “First base umpire Woo Hyo-dong misapplied Official Baseball Rule 5.06 (c) Balk (6) and should have declared an in-play, but instead declared a balk after SSG’s Park Sung-hwan’s bunt hit the umpire in the bottom of the eighth inning and deflected.
The situation was in the eighth inning with SSG trailing 0-2. After being held scoreless by their starter, Casey Kelly, SSG was able to keep the game close with the help of their second pitcher, Roenis Elias. Then came the eighth inning. One out later, Heredia led off with a straight ball. Choi followed with a double down the right-field line to put runners on first and third.
With only one hit needed to tie the game, Han Yoo-seom picked a straight ball to pressure Yoo Young-chan. LG then switched pitchers to Baek Seung-hyun, and SSG took a four-pitch fastball from Park Sung-yi for a quick hit to right field.
This is where the controversy began. The ball, which was almost along the foul line, went through the glove of first baseman Kim Min-sung and hit the body of first base umpire Woo Hyo-dong, who was standing outside the foul line. The ball started rolling toward the infield, and that’s where the confusion began.
First baseman Kim Min-sung flew out to catch the ball, and first baseman Han Yoo-seom shifted his weight toward first base in anticipation of a straight hit. Here, first base umpire Woo Hyo-dong had to make the correct call: foul if foul, fair if fair. However, first base umpire Woo Hyo-dong hesitated for a moment to make a clear call. Both first baseman Kim Min-sung and first baseman Han Yoo-seom stopped playing. Both sides were confused.
SSG players claimed that “first base umpire Woo Hyo-dong did not make a clear call after being hit by a pitch” during training ahead of the Incheon Lotte game on the 22nd. They even said that they were told, ‘Wait, wait, wait. This is where Hanyusum became frustrated.
Since he couldn’t clearly see whether the ball was fair or foul, he could only think of a foul or other dead ball situation because first baseman Woo Hyo-dong raised his arm ambiguously instead of calling it fair. No runner would frantically run to second base in that situation. In fact, the first motion of the first base umpire, Woo Hyo-dong, showed a situation that could be considered a balk, and the KBO admitted that they misapplied the rule.
LG requested a video review to determine whether Park’s hit was fair or foul. In the end, it was determined that the ball hit first baseman Kim Min-sung’s glove and was ruled fair, allowing Heredia to score from third base. However, the first baseman, Han Yoo-seom, was ruled out for not actively trying to advance to second base.
“Even if the umpire had called fair immediately, Han Yoo-seom would not have gotten to second base, so he was ruled out,” the KBO said in a statement. Here again, there was controversy. There are several things that could have happened if the umpire had called fair.
Han could have been out at second base, but the first baseman, Kim Min-sung, could have failed to make the call, or in the extreme case, Choi Jeong-jeong could have been out at second base in a rush and gone to third base, tying the game. If Han Yoo-seom’s out was assumed, SSG could have scored two runs.
There are four main things the umpires did wrong here. First, the first base umpire Woo Hyo-dong had to quickly decide whether the ball was fair or foul the moment it was hit. The SSG players claim that they “heard the puck hit the glove”. Even if the first baseman didn’t hear it, he could have heard it, and even if he didn’t, he should have made the call quickly. Even if it was a foul, you can ask for a video review to overturn it. If he had called the foul sooner, he wouldn’t have been penalized.토토사이트
The second argument is that there is no such thing as a ball and out rule in baseball. This is the “virtual out” argument. The third is that the video review should have shown if LG had asked for a foul-fair call. SSG suspects that the umpires even asked about the application of the rule. Fourth, if it was an incorrect application of the rule, the scorekeepers had one last chance to correct it, but they didn’t.
In response, SSG head coach Kim Won-hyung left his seat and protested for about 10 minutes, but the call was not overturned. The referees cited the rule that protesting a video review is an ejection and sent Kim off. The game ended in a 1-2 loss for SSG.
After the game, SSG owner Jung Yong-jin expressed his frustration on social media, and on the 22nd, he personally visited the KBO to express his concerns about the situation. Eventually, the KBO admitted to the error, disciplining the umpire for misapplication of the rules.