Ejection Inspection, Week Three: A Yawner of a Week

Yawner Ejections

Three Managers and Two Pitchers Get Yawner Ejections

Welcome to Week Three 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 Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver. Week Three was a yawner, as all five ejections were rather unremarkable.

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

Ejection Table

1 Thu 4/15 BOS @MIN B8 Alex Cora Mgr Jordan Baker HP Arguing foul ball call
2 Sun 4/18 CIN CLE B7 Wade Miley P Bill Welke 1B Arguing foul tip no-call
3 Tue 4/20 NYM @CHC B4 Taijuan Walker P John Libka HP Arguing balls/strikes
4 Tue 4/20 NYM @CHC T6 Luis Rojas Mgr John Libka HP Arguing balls/strikes
5 Wed 4/21 SD MIL B8 Jayce Tingler Mgr Tom Hallion HP Arguing balls/strikes

 

Alex Cora, Boston Red Sox Manager

When

Thursday, April 15th, vs. Boston Red Sox, bottom of the eighth

Umpire

Jordan Baker (HP)

Description

There were runners on second and third with one out in the bottom of the eighth of a 3-3 ballgame. Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers swung and missed a Matt Andriese pitch in the dirt. Baker killed the play immediately. Jeffers started to jog to first while Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez threw there, but Baker called everyone back. He ruled that Jeffers got a piece of the pitch.

Replays clearly showed that Jeffers missed the pitch. Cora asked about replay from the dugout. Baker said “That’s 100% me. There’s no way they’re going to overturn that. That’s a foul ball.” Baker called the crew together, but no one saw anything to overturn his call. An angry Cora protested, pointing to each of the base umpires. Baker had enough, so he gave Cora the heave-ho.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. Not only was the call incorrect, but it’s still inexplicably unreviewable. For a base umpire to see this play clearly enough to overturn it from over 100 feet away while they’re looking for other things is a lot to ask.

Was the ejection justified?

It felt a bit hasty, but Cora also said, “That’s two! That’s two!” at the end of the discussion. That is almost always going to get a manager tossed.

Entertainment Rating

Two Weavers. He didn’t really blow his top. However, he did do his usual ejection activity of pointing all over the field while arguing. That is what kept this from being only One Weaver.

 

Wade Miley, Cincinnati Reds Pitcher

When

Sunday, April 18, vs. Cleveland Indians, bottom of the seventh

Umpire

Bill Welke (1B)

Description

Facing Shane Bieber with a 1-2 count, nobody out, the bases empty, and the Indians holding a 6-2 lead, Jesse Winker swung at a pitch below the knees. He tipped the ball, which the catcher did not catch. Plate umpire Ben May did not see or hear the ball hit the bat, so he called Winker out on a swinging third strike. After a discussion among the four umpires, the call stood.

As Winker reached the dugout, Welke ejected Miley for arguing the call. We did not know who was ejected until the game ticker updated.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, because the call was incorrect and it’s not reviewable. These plays are extremely difficult for the plate umpire to see, so they have to go by sound. If the crowd is loud enough — and this one was, despite the reduced capacity — then the umpire often won’t hear it. As mentioned before, it is a tough task for the base umpires to see or hear foul tips.

Was the ejection justified?

Impossible to say without knowing what Miley said or did.

Entertainment Rating

Zero Weavers, the first of three yawner ejections. We couldn’t see or hear anything.

Taijuan Walker, New York Mets Pitcher

When

Tuesday, April 20, at Chicago Cubs, bottom of the fourth

Umpire

John Libka (HP)

Description

Walker had a rough fourth inning. He did not like several of Libka’s ball/strike calls. In that inning, with two out, two singles and three walks led to two Cubs runs and an early exit for Walker. As he left the field upon being replaced, he made a few comments to Libka. Libka told him to stop, but Walker persisted, so Libka dumped him.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, although Walker should have been angrier with himself for missing spots. Libka judged every callable pitch that inning correctly.

Was the ejection justified?

Can’t fully say without knowing what Walker said. However, when a player persists after being told to stop, the umpire is fully justified in tossing him.

Entertainment Rating

One Weaver, the second of three yawner ejections. This was unremarkable.

Luis Rojas, New York Mets Manager

When

Tuesday, April 20, at Chicago Cubs, top of the sixth

Umpire

John Libka (HP)

Description

A 3-2 pitch to Michael Conforto with one out, the bases empty, and the Cubs holding a 3-1 lead clipped the bottom of the zone for a called third strike. Rojas, already miffed over the circumstances surrounding Walker’s ejection, barked protests from the dugout. Libka told him to stop. Rojas ignored the order, so Libka bounced him. This brought Rojas onto the field for a heated discussion with Libka. Due to the masks, it was impossible to know what was said. All we could see was a bunch of angry nodding and jaws moving.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. He felt that the strike zone was not consistent for each team. While true that Libka called the pitches correctly, “my perception, my reality” is also true.

Was the ejection justified?

Persistent arguing of balls and strikes is, by rule, an ejection, so yes.

Entertainment Rating

Two Weavers. This was a bit more entertaining than Walker’s ejection, but not by much.

Jayce Tingler, San Diego Padres Manager

When

Wednesday, July 21, vs. Milwaukee Brewers, bottom of the eighth

Umpire

Tom “In the Jackpot” Hallion (HP) (Steve Berthiaume, if you’re reading this, that was for you.)

Description

With runners on the corners, nobody out, Jurickson Profar batting, and the Padres in a 4-2 deficit, Brewers reliever Brad Boxberger dotted the corner with a fastball. It was at the knees and on the inside corner, so Hallion correctly called a strike. Profar vehemently disagreed, shaking his arms in disgust before walking a few steps toward the Padres dugout. He turned around and came back to the plate, still fuming. Tingler came out of the dugout to talk to Hallion, who told him to return to the dugout. He stayed and said a few more words, so Hallion ran him. Tingler stayed on the field to say a few more words before heading to the clubhouse.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, even though the pitch was called correctly. The Padres were about to get swept, so they were understandably frustrated. When that happens, teams often disagree with any close call that doesn’t go in their favor, even if said call was correct.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes. Coming onto the field to argue balls and strikes warrants an ejection. Hallion even gave Tingler a chance to return to the dugout, but Tingler ignored him.

Entertainment Rating

One Weaver, the third of three yawner ejections. This was unremarkable.

Read Week Four here.

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

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Players/managers mentioned:
Earl Weaver, Alex Cora, Wade Miley, Taijuan Walker, Luis Rojas, Jayce Tingler, Ryan Jeffers, Matt Andriese, Christian Vazquez, Shane Bieber, Jesse Winker, Michael Conforto, Jurickson Profar, Brad Boxberger


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