Ejection Inspection, Week Eight: Lack of Replay Angers Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers

Craig Counsell

Welcome to Week Eight of Ejection Inspection! The premise and ground rules are detailed here. The condensed version: each ejection from the previous week (Thursday through Wednesday) is listed in a table. The author – a former player/coach/umpire – analyzes each ejection and assigns it an entertainment rating of one to five Weavers in honor of late Orioles manager Earl Weaver. This week’s leader was Milwaukee Brewers manager Craig Counsell, who earned four Weavers when he was tossed on Sunday.

(For a list of every article in this series, click here.)

There were five ejections in Week Eight – all managers.

Date Team Opp Inn. Name Pos Umpire Pos Reason
1 Fri 5/17 SF @AZ B7 Bruce Bochy Mgr Andy Fletcher HP Arguing HBP ruling
2 Sun 5/19 MIL @ATL T5 Craig Counsell Mgr Brian O’Nora HP Arguing fair/foul ruling
3 Sun 5/19 STL @TEX T4 Mike Shildt Mgr Jeremie Rehak HP Arguing balls/strikes
4 Tue 5/21 PIT COL B8 Clint Hurdle Mgr Todd Tichenor HP Arguing replay
5 Tue 5/21 DET MIA B9 Ron Gardenhire Mgr Fieldin Culbreth 3B Arguing replay

 

Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants manager

When

Friday, May 17, at Arizona Diamondbacks, bottom of the seventh inning

Umpire

Andy Fletcher (HP)

Description

Diamondbacks center fielder Jarrod Dyson batted in the bottom of the seventh with runners on first and second and nobody out. On the first pitch, he squared around to bunt. As he stabbed at the ball, the ball hit his finger instead of his bat. However, instead of declaring a dead ball and charging a strike, Fletcher awarded him first base, stating that he didn’t swing.

After Dyson was checked out by the trainer, he headed to first, prompting a confused Bochy to come out of the dugout and ask Fletcher for an explanation. A very calm discussion ensued. Shortly after it started, Fletcher sent Bochy to the showers.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. The call was blown.

Was the ejection justified?

Impossible to say without knowing what was said, unless Fletcher told him the conversation was over only to have Bochy refuse to leave the field. Unless that is what happened, then it looked to be a very quick trigger. Bochy never once looked mad – just confused.

Entertainment Rating

One Weaver. Diamondbacks analyst Bob Brenly called it a “very low-key ejection.”

Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers manager

When

Sunday, May 19, at Atlanta Braves, top of the fifth

Umpire

Brian O’Nora (HP)

Description

Brewers shortstop Orlando Arcia fouled a ball off the sole of his foot that rolled to the third baseman. It bounced and then hit the underside of his toe. The ball then bounded to third, where Austin Riley fielded it and threw to Freddie Freeman at first. When Freeman stepped on the bag, Arcia – who was wincing in pain at the plate – was called out.

The Brewers loudly protested that it was a foul ball. The umpires huddled and then ruled that Arcia was out. Craig Counsell, now livid, emerged from the dugout in an f-bomb-laced tirade, using it as an adjective before every noun. He told O’Nora that the umpires needed to watch the game. After O’Nora told Counsell not to tell him that, Counsell said it again. O’Nora ran him, at which point Counsell grew even angrier. He told O’Nora, and then third base umpire Jeff Kellogg, to watch the game and remove their heads from one of their bodily orifices. After a roughly 30-second-long tirade, Counsell went to the clubhouse.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. The ball was foul. Furthermore, it was not reviewable for some reason, which made the situation worse.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes, and few would argue this.

Entertainment Rating

Four Weavers. This was as mad as anyone will ever see Craig Counsell get.

Mike Shildt, St. Louis Cardinals manager

When

Sunday, May 19, at Texas Rangers, top of the fourth

Umpire

Jeremie Rehak (HP)

Description

Cardinals right fielder Dexter Fowler led off the top of the fourth. On 3-0, he took a pitch well below the knees. As he bent over to remove his shin guard, Rehak called it a strike. Fowler, surprised, resumed his at-bat. After fouling off the next pitch to make the count full, he took another pitch that was well below the knees and slightly inside. Rehak rang Fowler up, and Shildt immediately blew up. Rehak said, “Don’t come out here.” Shildt didn’t care. He came out of the dugout, drawing an ejection from Rehak, and let Rehak have it. After a lengthy, animated discussion, Shildt stormed to the clubhouse.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. Those pitches appeared to be well out of the zone.

Was the ejection justified?

By rule, coming out of the dugout to argue balls and strikes warrants ejection, so yes.

Entertainment Rating

Three Weavers. Shildt and Rehak were nose-to-nose, Weaver-style, at length. Had Shildt thrown his hat or kicked dirt, the score would have been higher.

Clint Hurdle, Pittsburgh Pirates manager

When

Tuesday, May 21, vs. Colorado Rockies, bottom of the eighth

Umpire

Todd Tichenor (HP)

Description

In the bottom of the eighth, while trailing 5-0, Pirates second baseman Jake Elmore checked his swing on a 3-1 pitch. He tapped a slow bouncer near the line between the mound and first base. Rockies pitcher German Marquez fielded the ball and swiped his glove near Elmore’s midsection. Elmore jumped and sucked his stomach in to avoid the tag, then dove into first after Marquez passed him. First base umpire Tom Hallion called him out, prompting Elmore to immediately tell the dugout to challenge the call. Why? Marquez missed him. He touched him with his bare hand, but the glove missed.

After the replay, the call stood for some reason. Hurdle said, “Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!” and then came onto the field to talk to Tichenor. Tichenor told him it would be an ejection. Hurdle said something along the lines of, “I know, I know. I’m out of the game. Go ahead and throw me out.” After Tichenor tossed him, Hurdle said, “We gotta stop, because this is so embarrassing, man. There’s no way he tagged him. You saw it. You saw it.” Then he walked away.

Understand the frustration?

Of course. The call was blown, and the fact that the replay center called it the way they did is baffling.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes, since by rule any argument of a replay decision is an automatic ejection.

Entertainment Rating

Initially, this received a one, but the simple statements of Hurdle’s argument were downright hilarious. Bonus points for hilarity give Hurdle two and one-half Weavers.

Ron Gardenhire, Detroit Tigers manager

When

Tuesday, May 21, vs. Miami Marlins, bottom of the ninth

Umpire

Fieldin Culbreth (3B)

Description

In the bottom of the ninth, with one out and runners on the corners, Tigers shortstop Ronny Rodriguez stepped to the plate. On 1-0, he golfed a deep fly ball to left. Marlins left fielder Harold Ramirez closed his glove around the ball and began to make a throw. On the transfer, the ball squirted to the ground. The tying run scored from third and the runner on first advanced to second.

After a replay review, Rodriguez was called out. Replay officials ruled that Ramirez had caught the ball and then dropped it while making the transfer. Gardenhire came out of the dugout and angrily said several things while pointing. One comment he made was that the umpires initially got it right, but replay got it wrong. He then stormed off the field.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, although the call was correct. In the heat of battle, anyone in Gardenhire’s position probably would have disagreed with it.

Was the ejection justified?

Since Gardenhire argued a replay, he had to be ejected by rule, so yes.

Entertainment Rating

One Weaver. It was so low-key that both teams’ announcing crews didn’t even know he was ejected until a few batters later.

Leaderboard

After eight weeks, here are the leaders.

Individual: Three-way tie – Rick Renteria, Chicago White Sox manager; Bochy; Gardenhire (three each)
Team (excluding fights): Cincinnati Reds (five)
Umpire (excluding fights): Jeff Nelson (four)

 

Look for Week Nine on Thursday, May 30.

Evan Thompson played baseball as a youth and teenager. He also umpired between 1995 and 2004 and has coached at the high school level.

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