Absolute Absurdity: Ump Calls Three Balks in *ONE* Plate Appearance

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Absolute Absurdity: Ump Calls Three Balks in *ONE* Plate Appearance

Baseball Is Fun

In his eight-year major league career, Marlins reliever Richard Bleier has never been called for a balk. Not once. But that changed on Tuesday night, when he was called for three of them … IN THE SAME AT BAT!

Bleier was ejected by home plate umpire Ryan Blakney for arguing the trio of balks in the same at bat. Bleier is the only player since 1900 to balk thrice in the same at-bat, according to Elias Sports Bureau. After the game, Bleier called the sequence unbelievable.

“Words cannot describe what happened in that inning on my end,” said Bleier, a seven-year veteran who hadn’t been called for a balk in his first 303 big league appearances. “I don’t know. It was wild.”

To make matters worse, Bleier’s three balks allowed Jeff McNeil to make his way around the bases and score after McNeil reached base on a two-out, infield single in the eighth inning.

Marlins’ skipper Don Mattingly called the situation “ridiculous” …

“I know I’m gone the minute I walk out of the dugout,” Mattingly said. “It’s just ridiculous. I guess you see something new every day in this game, and that was new for sure.”

Bleier said that he disagrees with the calls and insists that after watching the tape, there was no difference in his move between last night and the rest of his career.

“It’s the same move I’ve been doing for 300 innings, and here we are,” Bleier said. “Maybe I was balking. I watched the video. I completely disagreed, but I’m biased, so I don’t know.”

(Michael: From where I stand, this is pretty egregious (on the part of the umpire). I know MLB keeps their balk rule almost purposefully vague (it’s tough to argue something that’s almost expressly subjective), but there was nothing there to suggest an attempt to trick the runner. That’s just petty nonsense by an overzealous umpire if you ask me).

Author: Patrick K. Flowers

Patrick is a Staff Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @PatrickKFlowers.