Up All Night: That Time the Umpire Kinda, Sorta Charged at Jon Lester
Well, how about this June incident involving Chicago Cubs pitcher Jon Lester, catcher David Ross, manager Joe Maddon, and a particularly aggressive homeplate umpire, Andy Fletcher.
To set the scene: the Cubs were playing the Dodgers in a strange game they would go on to lose 4-0. Lester was struggling with his command, and was visibly angry with himself.
He gave up a walk at one point on a close call, stared at the plate a bit, yelled a bit, and then the homeplate umpire took a bee-line toward Lester. David Ross did his best to block the ump without actually impact the ump, but Fletcher was pretty assertive – for an umpire, anyway – in trying to move Ross out of the way. Until I re-watched this video, I’d forgotten just how testy it all was:
Len Kasper exclaiming, “I’ve never seen this” pretty much sums it up.
Ross would later say that in all his years he’d never had to step in front of an umpire like that, and Lester confirmed that he was simply yelling at himself. Incredibly, no one was ejected throughout that whole thing, not even Maddon, who definitely got his thoughts in.