The NFL’s replacement refs have had some people frustrated the past couple of weeks, but that frustration pales in comparison to some of the incidents involving Major League Baseball umpires recently.
A day after Matt Kemp and Don Mattingly blew up on home plate umpire Angel Campos, Orioles first baseman Mark Reynolds did some venting of his own.
Reynolds was ejected in the Orioles’ 5-3 loss to the Tigers on Friday night. An ejection is enough to get any player hot under the collar, but the circumstances of Reynolds’ dismissal were rather bizarre, and the veteran was none too pleased.
Baltimore third baseman Manny Machado made a nifty backhanded snag on a groundball off the bat of Jhonny Peralta. Machado then fired to first, where Reynolds made a fantastic play, sprawling to catch the errant throw while keeping his foot on the bag.
That’s when things got interesting.
First base umpire Jeff Kellogg initially called Peralta out, which replays show was the correct call. However, after protests from Peralta, Tigers manager Jim Leyland and first base coach Tim Brookens, Kellogg asked home plate umpire Tim Timmons — who was the crew chief Friday — for help. The umps eventually reversed the call, determining that Reynolds had been brought off the bag.
The overturned call immediately sent Reynolds into a fit of rage, and his ejection only made him more upset. Reynolds had slammed his glove down to the ground after the call was reversed, and second base umpire Vic Carapazza ejected him. Carapazza wasn’t involved in the umpires’ discussion regarding the call, and it was certainly a quick toss. Orioles manager Buck Showalter then expressed his displeasure, and he joined Reynolds out the door.
That’s when things really got interesting.
Following the game, Reynolds was still pretty ticked, and he voiced his opinion about the umpires, which could lead to a call from the league office.
“I don’t understand how an umpire can miss a play at home plate that’s right in front of him and see that play from home plate at first base,” Reynolds told reporters, also referring to another missed call by Timmons earlier in the game. “It’s embarrassing that they would overturn a call that obviously has an impact on the game in the middle of the pennant race. Obviously by the way I acted, it’s very frustrating. I’ve never seen it in my life an umpire reverse a call after the right call is made. And it’s obviously on the replay I kept my foot on the bag. I was pretty mad.”
You don’t say, Mark. Well, Reynolds’ frustration didn’t end there. Following a reference to a terrible call earlier in the season involving Rockies first baseman Todd Helton, Reynolds went off on the lack of repercussions the umps face in the wake of such missed calls.
“And it’s a shame they don’t have accountability,” Reynolds said. “They don’t have any, if they make a bad call, it’s like, ‘Ho-hum, next day is coming.’ If we have a bad couple of games we get benched or we get sent down. They have nobody breathing down their throats. They have nobody, they are just secure in their jobs. And they are probably over there right now laughing about it because they don’t worry about it. This game is way too important right now, where we are in the season, for these kind of calls to happen. And it’s very frustrating.”
Reynolds was also frustrated at his ejection by Carapazza, insisting that slamming his glove was simply an equipment violation, and something that the umpire had no authority to toss him over.
“You are supposed to point at it and the league offices decide what to do there,” Reynolds said of the quick ejection. “He just threw me out right there. I didn’t do anything wrong. If I go up to him and say something to him, that I shouldn’t say, that’s fine. Throw me out there for that. But you can’t throw me out for throwing my glove. What’s the difference between a guy throwing his helmet after a bad call? It’s just part of it and everybody goes on their way. He had no right to throw me out there. There’s just so many words I can’t say on this camera right now that I want to say.”
Perhaps Reynolds’ biggest gripe, however, is that calls going against Baltimore seems to be a recurring thing. As mentioned, there was a play at the plate earlier in the game, which involved Nick Markakis wrongfully being called out, and there’s been a few other questionable calls in recent weeks that ultimately brought Reynolds to his boiling point.
“It’s almost like ‘Screw the Orioles’ by the umpires,” Reynolds said. “I mean [Adam Jones] was obviously safe at first base the other day, cost us a run against Boston. There’s got to be some kind of replay for this. It’s to the point where all these calls that get missed and it costs people runs, costs people outs. It cost [starter Tommy Hunter] extra pitches. I can’t say how I really feel but it’s pretty obvious.”
Yes, Mark, it’s obvious. But it’s also very much warranted.
Check out the play and the ensuing ejections in the video below, courtesy of MLB.com.
Buck Showalter is not a happy camper.
We just want to get the play right, and that’s what we did there.
–First base umpire Jeff Kellogg, sticking to his guns over the whole Orioles dilemma
I’ll let you slide.
@nesn Fan since 1967.Read about, watch, listen to baseball 365/24/7.Just happen to look better in my pink Red Sox hat. Hate to be lumped in.
— Sue (@suesabs) August 18, 2012
Never change, Bill Cosby.