August 26, 2010

Beltre's Ejection

Adrian Beltre did not agree with home plate umpire Dan Bellino's strike three call in the second inning.
I didn't curse or anything. I said I thought it was low. He said it was a good pitch and I walked away.
A few minutes later, when Beltre was out at his position at third, he was "talking BS" to Felix Hernandez, who was in the Seattle dugout.
We had a little bet. He told me he was going to strike me out three times and I told him I was going to take him deep. He struck me out and I went to my position and he was talking smack to me.

I was facing him and, in Spanish, I told him that in my next at-bat I was going to take him deep over the Monster. I heard the umpire talking to me and I turned around and said I was talking to [Hernandez] and he threw me out. ...

It's frustrating to have a rookie umpire doing something like that, especially with how important this game is for us. ... [H]ow can he take the initiative to take me out of the game in the second inning?
Catcher Kevin Cash confirmed Beltre's account:
Adrian was telling Felix "I'm going to get you." They were going back and forth. The umpire said something to him. At that time, all AB said was, "I wasn't talking to you" and he repeated it again. ... I was shocked.
Beltre and Hernandez played together in Seattle for five years and are good friends. Beltre has Felix's number listed under "King34" in his phone.

Terry Francona tried to talk to Bellino, a fill-in ump up from AAA, but second base umpire Angel Hernandez was shielding Bellino.
He's protecting the young umpire. I guess they have their sort of code or whatever ... I figure if a guy's old enough to throw you out, he's old enough to get yelled at. I just wanted an explanation. I couldn't get around Angel to get an explanation. ... I started cursing. That was real helpful.
Crew chief Joe West had no comment on the incident and said any further information would come from MLB's main office.

At some point before play resumed, the other three umpires should have consulted with Bellino, spoken to Beltre and Hernandez, and reversed the call. (I doubt Seattle manager Daren Brown would have complained. Who knows? He may have heard Beltre and Hernandez yapping, too.)

The umpires' steadfast refusal to do what was right and then to hide Bellino from Francona put the over-matched ump in a more embarrassing light than simply restoring proper order would have. In fact, all of the umpires look incompetent this morning, and they have further cemented their reputation as hard-headed fools who care little about making the correct call. MLB will, as it usually does in this matters, keep silent and condone the unprofessional behaviour.


Iain said...

Joe West and Angel Hernandez on the same umpiring crew? wow - nobody could ever accuse MLB of not having a sense of humour, however twisted it may be...

Tom DePlonty said...

On the radio during Beltre's at-bat at the end of the 2nd inning, Castig was talking about how Beltre and Hernandez were friends and that they had some kind of bet going last night - Beltre saying he'd go deep; Hernandez that he'd strike Beltre out three times.

Cafardo thinks that the Sox lost last night because Francona gave Wake the spot start, further cementing my impression that nothing he writes is really worth reading.

Jim said...

More sad, unprofessional behaviour by an umping crew led by Joe West. But any bets this episode doesn't get nearly the play in the Boston media that the failed Damon resurrection did? After all, how can calling out Joe West improve NESN ratings or help Ace Tickets in their legal scalping endeavours?

Kathryn said...

It is amazing to me that MLB protects the umpires the way they do by not making them man-up and face questions.

I will be shocked if we get a statement from MLB. And if we do, it will be just that, a statement. No questions, no give and take, just a statement.

FenFan said...

Granted, the Sox missed opportunities to win last night, but the ejection of Beltre (and Francona) due to a misunderstanding by a rookie umpire was pure bull. Bellino should face disciplinary action for creating a situation that wasn't there.

johngoldfine said...

Happens to rookie teachers all the time: they are so keyed up, so afraid of losing control, so insecure that they take a nothing as a something, back themselves into a hopeless corner ("NO recess for the whole class for the rest of the year!!!") and then either have to live with the intolerable consequences of their own silliness or back off and try to find some way to regain respect and self-respect.

The latter course is the right one but takes the balls, especially in a hierarchy based on "I-am-right-by-definition."

SoSock said...

Wow. After reading this account I am truly incensed. I was a little peeved last night, believing that Beltre couldn't possibly have said anything bad enough to warrant the ejection after that much time. But to find out that he wasn't even talking to the ump, AND that he was just joking around, not bellyaching, well that just blows me away.
There is NO excuse for affecting a game the way he did on absolutely defenseless grounds. He shouldn't ump another game all season if you ask me. And the rest of the crew, who refused to do what they should have done to correct the situation, should be held accountable in some fashion as well.

Rob said...

Shoulda heard Old Hickory going off on the umpires during the NESN postgame show. "I hope I never see Dan Bellino a Major League game ever again." (paraphrasing)

But he made the same point you made, that MLB always stands behind the umpires and also showed his distaste for umpires - especially rookie umps - going out there and trying to make a name for themselves.

Well he did make a name for himself: Umpire Douche Bag.

tim said...

Crew chief Joe West had no comment on the incident

Well, what a fucking surprise. This coming from some asshole who mimed to Papelbon to "hurry up" by tapping his wrist with his forefinger, during game 1 of the doubleheader.

This douchebag is a real champ, its a shame he and Angel are bringing down future umpires with them.

But hey - I know one sports ref, and let me tell you, its a culture of "I'm right, you're wrong - fuck you" - never argue with an umpire. I guess you could say its a very conservative personality base. Close-minded as fuck.

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