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Ump's needless ejection of Beltre bad luck for Red Sox

Aug 26, 2010, 12:42 AM EDT

On Tuesday night, Phillies slugger Ryan Howard was ejected from a 16-inning loss to the Astros when he argued a questionable check-swing strike call by third base umpire Scott Barry. The hook came quickly, without mercy, and forced the Phillies to move Raul Ibanez to first base and pitcher Roy Oswalt to the outfield.

The Phillies would eventually lose the contest, 4-2.

On Wednesday, an umpire again took center stage when Boston third baseman Adrian Beltre was ejected for – well really for nothing. Take it away, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe:

So it turns out Adrian Beltre was ejected because he told umpire Dan Bellino that he wasn’t talking to him.

After he struck out in the second inning, Beltre was talking to Felix Hernandez in the Seattle dugout, playfully telling him in Spanish that would hit a home run his next time up. As the two went back and forth, Bellino somehow thought Beltre was speaking to him.

When Beltre told him twice that he wasn’t, he was tossed out.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Beltre said. “I never said anything to him. Nothing.”

One thing Abraham fails to mention is that Beltre had complained loudly about the third strike called on him in the second inning – a pitch right down the middle at the knees, mind you – so the Red Sox third baseman isn’t completely innocent in all of this. Watch the video here.

That being said, ejecting a guy for saying “I wasn’t talking to you,” is out of line. Nobody goes to a game to watch an umpire, especially a minor league fill-in umpire, as Bellino is. Without their star third baseman, the Red Sox went on to lose to the Mariners 4-2, missing a chance to pull within 4 1/2 games of co-AL East leaders New York and Tampa Bay.

That doesn’t mean the Red Sox would have won the game if Beltre had played the entire game. But you hate to see a quick hook from a minor league umpire affecting a playoff race in any form.

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  1. quint - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:00 AM

    The amazing thing about Beltre getting ejected for saying “I wasn’t talking to you” is that that phrase has already led to an ejection this year.
    It just shows these umpires are not actually listening or thinking, as soon as a player says something to them they are gone.
    $10 someone is ejected for saying its a nice day to the home plate umpire by years end.

  2. Jess_Ball - Aug 26, 2010 at 1:23 AM

    Hmmm… pace of game more of the issue, here? This is a load of crap. Pedro Martinez always joked around with friends from opposing teams about how he’d strike them out and vice/versa. Kind of like the Nelson Cruz/King Felix playstation commercials.
    Maybe Mr. Umpire thought he was the subject of some joke? Like, did he have a funky Titanium Mask? Shoe untied? There are a few other things I wonder that I won’t go into, here.
    My suspicion, though, was that the rookie umpire thought the other umpires would think he thought he had to make the ejection and they thought he maybe thought he should. Another problem I’ve had, as of late, is the contact with the players. Angel Hernandez has done this several times.
    Overall, I don’t like it. Any of it. Next thing you know, should Bellino make another appearance, is that he’ll be sporting Joe West’s custom-made Wilson umpire gear. Uggghhhh…(as Sideshow Bob would say each time a rake handle hits him in the head).

  3. Cru11 - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:03 AM

    If a player can’t make physical contact with an umpire then what gives Angel Hernandez the right to come up and paw all over Beltre?
    This umpiring crew should honestly be ashamed at how much negative light is shed on them. Thus, I will reiterate my idea of the Rogue Umpire Roundup.

  4. Jess_Ball - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:31 AM

    What is the Rogue Umpire Roundup? I’d assume you’d have to take down Joe West and Crew N.
    I’ll check back after I finish a cigarette. I’m definitely interested in whatever it is you are planning. One idea I had, recently, was to send a bunch of fake CD’s sporting the names of various umpires to clubs around the country to land them gigs… Or Merle Haggard could host a benefit? That went no where. So what is your plan, Cru11?

  5. Jess_Ball - Aug 26, 2010 at 2:48 AM

    I’ll check on the Rogue Umpire Roundup tomorrow to see if Cru11 is back on here. Would I get to be an umpire?

  6. mcsnide - Aug 26, 2010 at 7:27 AM

    Joe West’s crew strikes again. Just as absurd to me as the ejection (which happened before NESN came back from commercial) was that Angel Hernandez and West stepped between Francona and Bellino when Francona was trying to get an explanation. All Bellino had to do was explain to the manager why he had thrown the player out. Instead he pulled the FIFA ref routine.
    Oh, and for the record, if he had thrown Beltre out for arguing that third strike, I wouldn’t have had a problem with it. It wasn’t even a particularly close pitch, and Beltre lingered long enough that it was pretty clear he wasn’t simply asking where the pitch was.

  7. nps6724 - Aug 26, 2010 at 7:50 AM

    So apparently minor-league umpires want to go BACK to the minors because it seems every week one of these fill-ins makes a spectacle of himself.

  8. Paper Lions - Aug 26, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    It is clear that important aspects of umpiring is not being taught at umpiring school. Many of these guys seem to have a tenuous grasp on the strike zone and aren’t much better elsewhere, but they completely fail as arbiters of games.

  9. BleedGreen - Aug 26, 2010 at 8:23 AM

    The home plate Ump had his hands all over Ryan Howard the night before too. As if it was needed with Polanco and Utley holding him back. If the player can’t touch the ump, the ump shouldn’t be able to touch the players, simple as that.
    It was also clear that Scott Barry was trying to look like a hardass, mocking Howard. When will MLB hold umps responsible for their actions?

  10. Jonny5 - Aug 26, 2010 at 8:54 AM

    MLB needs to do something about this. Here we are with the BB commish sitting on his hands and turning his head to what has become a serious issue with the league he’s in charge of. Players and coaches alike should be able to voice their displeasure with a bad call without being tossed. Who are these guys God? Oh wait, if Selig won’t address the issue, these guys have every right to believe that on the field, they are. There needs to be an overhaul of how Umps are trained, and any that show they are as effed up as West, Barry, or this Bellino character should be thrown out of the league. It’s almost like they have injected themselves into the game as an opponent to the players. And instant replay keeps sounding better to me every week. The Howard deal is proof that many Umps will not objectively make the right call every time. A revenge call in the heat of a divisional race that could change the outcome of a game is totally unacceptable and should be followed by immediate termination.

  11. cusoman - Aug 26, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    All umpires act like Frat Boys, and all must have been one at some point in their life. That kind of behavior is learned, and they had to have got it from somewhere.

  12. Cru11 - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    Its quite simple really. Just round up all the rogue umpires and throw them off a cliff without any regard.

  13. BC - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    Well you never know if Beltre threw an F-bomb in the middle of his comment.

  14. turf24 - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:23 AM

    Am I wrong or do these minor league umps get called up when a regular ump takes vacation? How is that even allowed? They get 4 months off every year and they do their job wrong 20% of the time. So why are they allowed to take off during the season. Selig is absolutely worthless, hopefully the next commish is more like Goodell in the nfl. All Bud does is sit around and do nothing while the umps are out of control and he gets 18 mil a year, what a joke.

  15. Paper Lions - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:32 AM

    You aren’t wrong. You think umps should have to spend 6 straight months traveling and away from their families?
    …and they don’t do their jobs wrong 20% of the time, they miss approximately 20% of the close (non-ball/strike) calls, which is about 1/game. There are plenty of things wrong with umpiring, at least be somewhat accurate when complaining.

  16. Paper Lions - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    Umpires act like mid-managers whose bosses have no control over them, which in no way shape or form resembles fratboyism.

  17. mike wants wins - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:34 AM

    Does anyone think Bud will do anything? I don’t. He hasn’t for the last few years, I see no evidence that they acknowledge this is an issue. West still has a job, despite mounting evidence that he is bad at his job.

  18. Buffalo - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:45 AM

    One point to make here, he/they clearly admit he was speaking in spanish as he walked to take his position. I don’t know about anyone else, but I can speak for myself that I believe “some” people talk a WHOLE LOT of trash in spanish behind peoples’ back! So if the ump thought he was trashing him in spanish, and didn’t know spanish…. then that’s Beltre’s poor mistake! After all this isn’t the Spanish Major League Baseball….. food for thought.

  19. Jonny5 - Aug 26, 2010 at 9:50 AM

    I wonder……………?????????????? What would happen if a team had a certain ump blocked from entering the stadium???? Would a team have the balls to do it? Would it cause an instant sensation where teams actually stand up to them? Bring in scabs? I think it would possibly force the Umps union to take this stuff seriously. As of now there really isn’t much recourse that can be taken and these guys are totally out of hand.

  20. Old Gator - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:13 AM

    Scott Barry is a Muslim!

  21. turf24 - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:32 AM

    If their job is to get the call right then missing 20% of the calls means they do their job wrong 20% of the time genius, its very simple, that poll wasn’t just balls and strikes and it was all the calls. And as far as their vacations, they get 4 months off a year, they are paid 6 figures for what they do and they chose that profession, so I don’t feel bad for them one bit. Not all the umps are bad but they are a union so until they all get in line and stop making the game about them, they shouldn’t get these benefits. Maybe try making a valid point if you’re going to argue.

  22. Chitown - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:40 AM

    Honestly Baseball should be officiated like Tennis. Stick one or two umps in the field to make the calls at the bases and in the field. Let computers and technology make the balls and strikes, fair four, and home run calls. Give the teams a couple of challenges for plays at the bases and in the field. Call it a day and take all the authority away from these fat bastards.

  23. G2 - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:44 AM

    Scott Barry should be at first base tonight. Right next to his new buddy.
    I’m sure no one in the first few rows of the first base seats will think to remind them of their past.

  24. BC - Aug 26, 2010 at 10:48 AM

    I’m telling ya…. they should just s—can the entire union and bring in umpires who are accountable to MLB directly. It’s gotten ridiculous. MLB should not treat the umpires any different than players – if you suck, you get sent to the minors or cut. The NFL has it right – they grade every game, are not afraid to just suspend a guy if he totally screws up, and they only give the best-graded guys the playoff games. MLB is a joke. They need to fix this NOW.

  25. Jonny5 - Aug 26, 2010 at 11:07 AM

    I think Sweeny may be playing first tonight if the Umps don’t think ahead and put Barry somewhere else. Howard sat last night. I guess it was his slap on the hand.

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