I’m not gonna lay last night’s loss at the feet of the home plate umpire for ringing up Javy Baez on a check swing that he decided he could call from behind the plate instead of simply asking the first base umpire, but I am certainly going to offer up some grief for that call and the subsequent ejection of Baez and Maddon.
Here’s the play and the ensuing ridiculousness:
— Aldo Soto (@AldoSoto21) July 22, 2018
First up, I just hate when home plate umps make that call on a close checked swing. It’s hard to tell without the side view whether Baez really offered at that pitch, but it certainly didn’t look obvious to me. And you’ve got a home plate umpire who is supposed to be tracking the pitch, itself, and you’re telling me he can also see – at a very precise level – whether there was a swing? Get outta here with that. It’s always driven me crazy when it’s close, whether it’s the Cubs or not. Just use your other ump. He’s there for a reason.
So then there’s the second issue: why the hell was Baez ejected? He asked for the appeal, asked why the ump didn’t appeal, and then walked away, throwing his bat and helmet away from the ump. That happens *ALL THE TIME* when guys are upset about an inning-ending strikeout, and they certainly aren’t tossed with any kind of regularity.
As for the Maddon ejection, well, he was sufficiently pissed off that it was clear he was courting the ejection from the moment he ran out of the dugout. He later confirmed that, yes, he was getting ejected from that game once he got out there. So I guess you can call that one deserved, though it happened only because of the ridiculousness with Baez.
Of the ejection, Baez pretty much summed up the “Ump Show” to Cubs.com: “I didn’t think I said anything to disrespect anyone. It was a pretty close call. I only asked for [Little] to check with the umpire at first. [Little] didn’t say anything. I threw my helmet and he threw me out for no reason – I guess for my helmet [toss]. My message – we’re not animals. Sometimes we ask, ‘Where was the pitch?’ or if it was a strike. They want to come at us like we’re offending them. I think we can talk the things out. If you disrespect somebody, then you get ejected. I don’t think there was anything there to get ejected.”
You are quite correct, Javy. Unless Baez said something wildly inappropriate as he turned – which he apparently did not – then it’s absurd to eject a guy for chucking his gear after a strikeout with two guys on base to end an inning. Like I said, we see that all the time. And you’re going to eject him because this time it was preceded by him asking you why you didn’t appeal to first base on a check swing? Total Ump Show.