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Jonathan Papelbon gets three-game suspension for ump bump

Jun 7, 2011, 6:25 PM EDT

Jonathan Papelbon, Tony Randazzo Getty Images

A rather severe penalty for an incident that was actually incited by the ump.

Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon was suspended three games and fined for bumping home plate umpire Tony Randazzo after being ejected from Saturday’s game against the Athletics.

Papelbon is appealing the penalty and will be available to pitch tonight.

Papelbon has maintained that he was talking to catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia and not Randazzo during the exchange that led to Saturday’s incident.  After Papelbon turned around, Randazzo stepped out from behind home plate and took a couple of steps towards the mound, shouting back to Papelbon.

As soon as Randazzo made that move, it was a given that Papelbon would be ejected.  There was no other way it could have played out.  Papelbon, of course, took the invitation and went chest-to-chest with Randazzo.  He didn’t appear to intentionally bump Randazzo at any time, but there was definitely some contact.

Given the circumstances, Papelbon would seem to have a pretty good chance of getting the penalty reduced.  Randazzo was just as much of a hot-head as he was, and there was no obvious intent to bump (or grind) on Papelbon’s part.

  1. cur68 - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:27 PM

    What a crock. Instigated by the Ump, who likely gets nothing, knowing Papelbon is a hothead and it’s only JP that gets the suspension? MLB discipline is a joke.

    • phukyouk - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

      LOL at all the thumbs down. you may beat Bicepts after all.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:02 PM

        Record-setting voting going on here.

      • cur68 - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:09 PM

        The cur is not bothered by thumbs, either up or down. The cur calls it like he sees it.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:15 PM

        That’s right Cur. Don’t be a tool for the thumbs ups.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:40 PM

        And Alex Burrows likes the taste of them—but fingers will do, also. :P

    • Utley's Hair - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

      Wow…just 34 minutes, and already you have at least 91 votes, cur.

      • cur68 - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:13 PM

        Could it be true UH? I’m bigger than Jesus?

        I am actually floored that any body gives a toss about my opinion but what the heck; bring it with the negative votes. Still doesn’t change the fact that the umpire, Randazzo, started the whole juvenile thing and it’s Papelbon who’s getting the suspension. MLB discipline is a bigger joke than a pitcher’s batting average.

      • jwbiii - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:44 PM

        cur68, on a widely quoted website had apparently claimed that the he was bigger than God, and was reported to have gone on to say that God had never had a 100 down votes. But in fact it was all a ghastly mistake. cur68, talking to a slightly deaf blogger, had claimed only that was bigger than Rod. Ivan “Rod” Rodriguez, Minnesota’s 6th round pick out of Opa Locka, Florida’s Monsignor Pace HS, is expected to be several years away, and indeed, may never be a big leaguer.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:09 PM

      Maybe we got rushed by all those pro-ownership guys over at PFT. It makes sense that they’d like baseball umps too.

      • cur68 - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:27 PM

        Actually halladaysbicpts posted earlier how to rig the thumb voting by resetting your web browser a bit. Someone must have read that and is messing around. Fun while it lasts, though.

      • Charles Gates - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:32 PM

        I <3 billionaires more than millionaires in case one adopts me.

  2. proudlycanadian - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:36 PM

    It is about time that umpires got suspended. Fair is fair.

  3. deathmonkey41 - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:38 PM

    You know- the rules are that if you bump an ump (Woo Hoo- I rhymed!) you get suspended. Francona already got a pass on that- Selig couldn’t go to the mats twice for the Red Sox. But I agree that they should suspend umps that unnecessarily start confrontations- unfortunately, I think the Umpires union doesn’t make any fines or suspensions public knowledge, so we’ll never know if they actually do.

  4. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 7, 2011 at 6:46 PM

    The umpires union is more powerful than the teachers unions! On things like this MLB should look into umps provoking players and managers. I hate to use this word, but i think that would be “fair”.

    • Glenn - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:03 PM

      Enough of the powerful teacher union myth. I’ve taken four paycuts in twenty years, despite having a contract in each case. Pick another straw man to knock down. There are a lot of problems in this world, but teachers aren’t one of them.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:15 PM

        I’m a state worker- in the education field and I believe the biggest complaint against teachers is that it’s almost impossible to fire them unless they fondle a student. I think it’s tenure that bothers people more than anything else. But I agree- lowly state workers have been made scapegoats for the government effin’ everything up. It’s not my meager salary that has this country in so much debt. Getting back to the umpire’s union though- there doesn’t seem to be any consequences for making ridiculous calls or instigating situations. If there is discipline going on, they should be making it public, but they’d probably have to fire a few guys once they made it public knowledge how bad they even think some of them are.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:16 PM

        Ok. How about the AFL-CIO, AFSCME, AFGE, UAW etc…

      • clydeserra - Jun 7, 2011 at 9:11 PM

        No, royals fan, try the Carlyle group or something. Not the unions.

  5. phukyouk - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    “and will be available to pitch tonight.”

    SWEET! now the yanks have a legit shot at winning it in the 9th.

  6. Brian Murphy - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:07 PM

    I have never seen that many “thumbs down” in the first four comments on an HBT post. Apparently, the public really doesn’t want umpires suspended. Or MLB umpires make up a sizable portion of this site’s traffic.

  7. 78mu - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:10 PM

    I have a problem when a starting pitcher can get suspended for 5 games and only miss 1 and a relief pitcher gets suspended for 3 and probably will miss 2 opportunities, MLB has to make suspending starting pitchers matter as muck as relievers.

    Of course I can’t think of too many times when a pitcher got ejected after the umpire called the pitch a strike. JP needs to let things go and wait to rip the umpires after the game. Then it will only cost him a fine and not a suspension.

    • seeingwhatsticks - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:15 PM

      But how many innings is a reliever likely to pitch in those 2 or 3 games? 6 innings at most, and almost certainly less so the overall number of innings that the team loses is probably the same. If anything they’re losing more with the starter suspended for 1 start.

  8. djwhite2710 - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    To me…there is no doubt that there is blame on both side (Paple, Ump). But…IMO, I don’t it was unreasonable reaction by the umpire.

    Paplebon very clearly shows up the umpire in a very public way. You can’t react like that to a STRIKE call like that and not expect problems / ejection…this wasn’t a blown strike call called for a ball, this was a pitch he actually got the call on. Randazzo may not have had the same reaction if he called it a ball when he was a borderline strike.

  9. paperlions - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    The thumbs down are probably because if you watched the entire sequence, you would see Varitek and Papelbon all over the ump, even though he was calling balls/strikes just fine. Give me a break with the “I was yelling something to the catcher” lie. Those guys whisper to each other with their gloves over their mouths like there are lip readers stationed around the stadium; he wasn’t yelling anything to his catcher.

    After Varitek was run, the ump probably wasn’t in the mood for any more crap, and Papelbon couldn’t keep his mouth shut. So he was run. No one made Papelbon charge the ump and make contact. Papelbon precipitated the situation by bitching about calls that weren’t bad and by sucking and giving up a 4 run lead. Unless you think the ump should ignore pitchers and catcher that continue to bitch about ball/strike calls, the ump didn’t do anything wrong here. People point to him coming out from behind the catcher, well…he probably wanted to make sure Papelbon got his final warning to shut it, which, of course, Papelbon couldn’t do.

    It’s pretty simple, if you don’t want to get run, don’t repeatedly argue balls and strikes (especially when the ump is the one that is right and you are the one that is wrong).

    • Utley's Hair - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:39 PM

      No. The thumbs down are from people jerking around with the whole thums up/down mechanism—over on the Rollins thread, halladaysbicepts has incredibly positive feedback on all of his comments.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:48 PM

        I would like to think that is because ‘bicepts often makes valid points.

      • cur68 - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:58 PM

        ‘army I sprayed my screen with beer when I read that. Nice one.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 7, 2011 at 8:00 PM

        Well, those points are often clouded in bombastic verse designed to alienate a lot of commenters on HBT. He’s been doing that from the beginning. There are better ways to get responses from people than to call them idiots and insulting their overall intelligence after each and every comment. He’s gotten a bit better recently, but you know what they say about first impressions. I try to check prejudices against other commenters at the door, but sometimes it’s hard to do that.

        As for sheer numbers, going from such overall negative ratios—regardless of whether they are legitimately earned—to such positive ratios on a late day Phightins-centric post? Hard to believe it’s a legitimate swing there.

        By the way, that’s quite an ugly third inning there for the Phils.

      • cur68 - Jun 7, 2011 at 9:52 PM

        I was really hoping to not have to get all extemporaneous tomorrow. I gotta pay up and write a glowing Phillthy piece to honor my end of the bet I’m in the process of loosing to drmonkeyarmy. But it looks like I’m gonna have to make up all the stuff I’m going to say. I wonder how ‘monkeyarmy is doing right now? Probably a bit like me; on the one hand really happy (the American side is pwnnig the Canadian side in Gold Cup action) on the other, really pissed, the poor fella. The Philthies got pwned by the Dodgers. Frenchy is providing all the offense for the Royals but the Jays still have a 2 run lead in the 6th.

        Well, I shall enjoy writing a glowing review of one of my favorite teams in all baseball even if they did take a tough loss tonight.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 7, 2011 at 10:04 PM

        Cur,
        Nope, I am happy. In my book the Gold Cup trumps baseball in June. Can’t get worked up over 1 game of 162. Only 4 events in International soccer matter in this region. World Cup qualifying, the World Cup, the Gold Cup in the year following the World Cup, and the Confederations Cup should they qualify. That is what, maybe 30 matches over 4 years. This tournament is a big deal.

      • cur68 - Jun 7, 2011 at 10:09 PM

        Cool, man. When you spell “Ibanez” is there a little squiggly thing over the ‘n’? If so what do you cal that there thing and who else on the team has one? I want to do this right.

      • drmonkeyarmy - Jun 7, 2011 at 10:21 PM

        There is a squiggly thing above the “n”. Don’t know what it is called. Nobody else has one. Just and FYI, Cole Hamels is my favorite player.

      • cur68 - Jun 7, 2011 at 10:38 PM

        ‘army, believe it or not lots of people wanted to know that one. A GIS with the term ‘squiggly line over n in spanish called’ answered the question; a ’tilde’ is the name for it. I shall be sure and include it. Check this out; “Raúl Javier Ibañez”. I do believe this will be the first HBT-ATH post that includes everyone that figured in the game’s middle names as well.

        Congratulation to your boys in the Gold Cup, BTW. I hope they go real deep.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 7, 2011 at 11:03 PM

        That result was slightly better than the one against Spain.

  10. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    Is there some reason that the umpires should not be held accountable for bonehead calls (not including balls/strikes) that i am missing?

    • djwhite2710 - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:39 PM

      Considering this post and the comments in it are about balls / strikes I am not sure of your point?

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 7, 2011 at 7:43 PM

        I just think they should be held to some form of accountability.

      • deathmonkey41 - Jun 7, 2011 at 8:00 PM

        Apparently people’s apathy is why they can continue to make awful calls and make asses of themselves without consequence.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 7, 2011 at 8:28 PM

        Death, i agree. Does anyone know for certain what the leagues umps guidelines are for bad calls and punishment of those calls? This is what i found when i googled “MLB umpires punishment”:
        http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/official_info/umpires/rules_interest.jsp

        It says nothing about the umps being help to accountability for their calls, but says a lot about players and managers being reported by umps. Maybe someone from this site could get some clarification on this. I know they have better sources than i do.

    • clydeserra - Jun 7, 2011 at 9:15 PM

      Absolutely should be held accountable.

      2 issues for people to thumbs down

      1) accountably could come in the form of electronic balls and strikes.

      2) there was nothing for Paplebon to complain about in this game.

  11. axltcu - Jun 7, 2011 at 10:08 PM

    I hate how in all sports the refs/umps/etc. are treated like they are infallible by their respective leagues. Such BS.

  12. jwbiii - Jun 8, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    deathmonkey41 – Jun 5, 2011 at 5:20 PM
    Nah, if Bud Selig let a Board of Directors from the Red Sox head the steroid investigation, he won’t suspend the closer.

    In which orifice do you prefer your crow?

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