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Michael Bourn on ejection: “I just didn’t understand and then he threw me out of the game”

Jun 20, 2011, 11:51 AM EDT

michael-bourn-astros-ejection Getty Images

Michael Bourn was ejected from yesterday’s game after being called out on strikes by umpire Jeff Nelson, but afterward the Astros center fielder told Steve Campbell of the Houston Chronicle that he didn’t understand why he got the boot:

I don’t argue too many calls. I was just asking, “Where was it?” I didn’t cuss at him, didn’t do any of that. He said I can’t talk about a call. Why not? I thought that’s what we do. I just didn’t understand, and then he threw me out of the game.

Bourn had to be restrained following the ejection and then manager Brad Mills got tossed in the next inning, saying later: “I thought they were both unnecessary, but that’s not my call.”

  1. noozehound - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    These umps are way too jumpy. There is a difference between arguing balls and strikes and asking how big a strike zone is.

  2. stoankold - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    I didn’t see the play but I am so sick of umpires that can’t handle the simplest of situations. Ejecting somebody should be the last resort, not the first.

  3. SmackSaw - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:44 PM

    You get one question about balls and strikes. It’s that simple. When you stand there and keep talking after the blue has answered, walk away. Bourn kept talking.

    • paperlions - Jun 20, 2011 at 12:58 PM

      Because the guy didn’t answer….and you are wrong anyway, you can ask questions of the ump, who is obliged to answer. It isn’t that hard to just say “it was on the corner” or “it caught the top of the zone”. Many players ask questions and usually umps just answer and that’s it. Bourn is perfectly within the rules to ask where a pitch was…there is no reason for an umpire that knows where the pitch was (or at least where he interpreted it to be) to answer the question.

      • SmackSaw - Jun 20, 2011 at 1:02 PM

        You’re wrong. The ump answered.

        I watched the game. The ump answered him. Bourn kept chirping and got tossed.

      • Utley's Hair - Jun 20, 2011 at 1:37 PM

        From the replay, Nelson points down at the corner of the plate, and Bourn continues to talk to him. As peeved as I get when umps get it wrong and make it about them—and they do quite a bit—if they don’t deserve blasting, they shouldn’t be. This guy answered Bourn, who then appears to get even more animated.

      • dluxxx - Jun 20, 2011 at 2:10 PM

        Thanks for the clip Utley’s. At first I was inclined to agree with the first few posters, but upon watching the replay, that was more than just “asking.” Bourn’s body language said he was pissed about the call and arguing. Tone and posture play a big part in it, and that last word when he turned around and wagged his finger at the ump is what got him tossed.

  4. dluxxx - Jun 20, 2011 at 2:12 PM

    Okay, more of a wave than a finger wag, but you get my point.

  5. yettyskills - Jun 20, 2011 at 2:29 PM

    Another ump who is too stupid to realize that the electronic strike zone is taking his job in about 20 years.

    Umps ruined their own profesion years ago and have not made any attempt at saving it.
    Too stupid and too large of ego’s to say “it was a strike, its not changing, go away”
    Instead they want to ENGAGE the players, debate the issue as if the is something to be gained.

    Its going to make the transition to a electronic K zone that much easier.

    And ohhh, you dinosaur/purists get ready for thumbs down, but it wont save the electronic k zone that IS coming in your lifetime, unless you’re 55+.
    And spare me your “I wont watch, ruin baseball” garbage Yes you will and no it wont

    • Utley's Hair - Jun 20, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      For one thing, I would say a majority (though I don’t have actual numbers on that) would go along with the robot overlords taking over ASAP.

      But go watch the clip I added above—it clearly shows that Bourn is the instigator here, not Nelson, so your rant is misplaced. Quite a lot of instances recently have provided opportunity for the argument about umps egging on players/managers, but this one does not.

      • yettyskills - Jun 20, 2011 at 4:56 PM

        I seen it, he argued no doubt, still doesnt change the fact that the ump could just turn his back on him. Players gripe, its sport. A Hockey player can cry and bitch about a call as long as he does not go too far and get animated. The refs just keep skating looking forward, keeping their cool, never do they get emotional and engage in a debate.

        The MLB Umps are a sad sorry joke for the most part when compared to NFL and NHL officials and refs.

        If they are going to engage in a debate, they should accept that THEY have escalated they situation and now should give they player/coach more rope to hang themselves, they made it legitimate. But instead they escalate then kick the after the player reacts to the goating of the unprofessinal ump.

        Epic Earl Weaver
        Ump and Coach on 1st name basis calling each other Liars, no good, debating hall of fame merits, oh and punching in the nose.

  6. nofunleague - Jun 20, 2011 at 5:39 PM

    I always wanted to be a Major League umpire, but they disqualified me when they found at I had 2 parents.

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