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Feeling Mauch-ish II
2005-08-09 21:47
by Mike Carminati

As my friend Murray pointed out in eulogizing (or eugogglizing if you are Derek Zoolander) skipper Gene Mauch, it was always said that he "knew the rulebook." I thought it would be interesting to look at Mauch's attempts to use the rules and the loopholes they engender to his advantage. Of course, I consulted my favorite book on the rules, Rich Marazzi's The Rules and Lore of Baseball.

Here's what I found:

Re: Rule 4.01(a) and (b):

a) First, the home manager shall give his batting order to the umpire in chief, in duplicate. (b) Next, the visiting manager shall give his batting order to the umpire in chief, in duplicate.

[July 29, 1961] Philadelphia Phillies manager Gene Mauch engineered this one in the first game of a twi-night double-header between the Phillies and Giants at Connie Mack Stadium.

Mauch and Giant manager Al Dark each had a right-hander and a left-hander warming up before the game.

Since the home team manager must turn in his lineup card first, Mauch listed pitcher Don Ferrarese as the leadoff man playing center field. Next were Tony Taylor, 2b; pitcher Jim Owens, rf; Pancho Herrera, 1b; Don Demeter, lf; Charles Smith, 3b; pitcher Chris Short, c; Ruben Amaro, ss; and Ken Lehman, p. When Mauch saw that the Giants had [Billy] O'Dell scheduled to start, he immediately replaced three of the pitchers with right-handed hitting regulars—Bobby DelGreco for Ferrarese, Bobby Gene Smith for Owens, and Jim Coker for Short.

Although they were included in the box score, the three pitchers never entered the game.

Not to be outdone, Giant skipper Al Dark allowed O'Dell to pitch to DelGreco [the leadoff hitter], since O'Dell had to pitch to at least one batter as provided by rule 3..05(a). Right-hander Sam Jones then replaced O'Dell.

The Giants won the game 8-7 with a tenth inning home run by a regular named Willie Mays.

Re. Rule 7.09 (f)

It is interference by a batter or a runner when… (f) Any batter or runner who has just been put out hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate; If the batter or a runner continues to advance after he has been put out, he shall not by that act alone be considered as confusing, hindering or impeding the fielders.

Gene Mauch was nailed for breaking rule 7.09(f) when he played for the Red Sox in a game against the Orioles on April 22, 1957.

Mauch was batting with Dick Gernert on third base in the seventh inning with one out. Gene grounded to first baseman George Kell, who stepped on the bag and then threw to the plate in an effort to retire Gernert. Mauch, however, deflected Kell's throw to the plate as he threw up his hands. Umpire Ed Rommel also declared Gernert out for Mauch's interference. Kell and catcher Joe Ginsberg were credited with the freak double play.

Re., 8.02(a)(1)
The pitcher shall not (a) (1) Bring his pitching hand in contact with his mouth or lips while in the 18 foot circle surrounding the pitching rubber.

The first umpire to eject a pitcher from a game for throwing a spitter was Cal Hubbard. The ejection came in 1944 when Nelson Potter of the St. Louis Browns was given the thumb fir throwing the wet pitch. This did not happen again until 1968 when N.L. umpire Ed Vargo tossed out Phillies' pitcher John Boozer.

The situation took place on May 1, 1968, at Shea Stadium, where the Mets were hosting the Phillies. Boozer relieved Woodie Fryman in the seventh inning. As Boozer was about to take his eight warm-up pitches, plate umpire Vargo yelled "ball", claiming that Boozer went to his mouth. Manager Gene Mauch argued that the rule did not apply when a pitcher is warming up.

Mauch instructed Boozer to go to his mouth again and the umpire quickly called "abll two." Once again Mauch ordered Boozer to go to his mouth, and the umpire called "ball three." Vargo then ejected both Mauch and Boozer.

Mauch was automatically ejected when he protested the first called ball since it is an automatic ejection when a manager protests a called ball or strike.

Dick Hall then relieved Boozer and faced Bud Harrelson with a count of three balls and no strikes.

N.L. president Warren Giles did not uphold Mauch's protest, but instructed his umpires not to call a ball when the ball was dead, as when a pitcher is taking his preparatory pitches. I guess you could say that Mauch lost the battle but won the war.

You could also say that Harrelson was perhaps the first batter in baseball history who went to the plate with a three ball count to his advantage before a pitch was even thrown to him. After Hall got two strikes on Harrelson. The Mets shortstop grounded out.

Re. Rule 9.05(a)

(a) The umpire shall report to the league president within twelve hours after the end of a game all violations of rules and other incidents worthy of comment, including the disqualification of any trainer, manager, coach or player, and the reasons therefor.

It's not often that a player or manager who gets ejected from a game is unaware that he has been given the thumb, but it happened to Twins' pilot Gene Mauch on April 17, 1977, in a game against Oakland. Mauch was run out of the game by the colorful Ron Luciano after he complained that A's pitcher Jim Umbarger had balked when he picked off Jerry Terrell in the first inning.

In the second frame, when Oakland was making a pitching change, Bill Haller said to Mauch, "Who's managing your team?" "I am," responded Mauch. Haller then informed Mauch that Luciano had ejected him from the game. Oakland manager Jack McKeon proceeded to protest the game. The protest was not necessary since the A's won, 10-2.

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