My favorite headlines are the ones where, if you showed it to me a week ago with no context, I’d be like wtf is going on with my job?
But the headline is accurate! If you missed it, earlier this week, Diamondbacks lefty Madison Bumgarner was tossed by umpire Dan Bellino after a check for sticky stuff – but not because Bellino detected anything. Instead, it was because Bellino was SUPER WEIRD about the hand check, which led to Bumgarner saying something, getting tossed in response, and then erupting. It was wild.
I am not exaggerating about the super weird, by the way. If you hadn’t seen it, this is what precede all the screaming and ejecting:
Is this a hypnosis or a hand check? pic.twitter.com/Yw8aeTf4RF
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) May 4, 2022
Had I to guess what was going on, there was probably a little beef between Bellino and Bumgarner beforehand, so Bellino decided to go alpha and bait Bumgarner into a fight. It worked. Not cool.
Thus, Bellino has now issued an apology:
….I fell short of those expectations this week. While I can’t go back and change what happened, I take full accountability. I will learn from this incident, and I sincerely apologize."
— Jesse Rogers (@JesseRogersESPN) May 6, 2022
That’s about as thin as it gets, since he didn’t actually address what he did. He just said he wants to address it. There wasn’t even a Nick Castellanos homer in there anywhere.
I suppose we’ll see if discipline from MLB is forthcoming, but since MLB generally doesn’t do that (and certainly doesn’t immediately demote umpires who make mistakes), I don’t expect much. We’ve seen this kind of Ump Show before, there is just never anything that comes from it. Fortunately the Diamondbacks managed to win the game on Wednesday, otherwise this would be even worse.