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Mike Matheny got his first career ejection last night

Apr 25, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

Tony La Russa was ejected once every 50 or so games throughout his 33-year managing career, but it took his replacement, Mike Matheny, just three weeks and 18 games to get the boot for the first time.

Matheny received his first career ejection last night when he argued with second base umpire Bill Welke over an extra-inning call in which Tony Campana was ruled safe stealing second base despite Yadier Molina‘s throw seemingly beating him.

Matheny explained afterward that he thought Campana was out and he thought the umpiring crew blew an earlier call as well, so his frustration boiled over in the 10th inning of what turned out to be a 3-2 loss when Campana scored from second base with the winning run on an Alfonso Soriano single.

“It’s a shame is all,” Matheny told Cash Kruth of “First run was a shame and the last run was a shame. Those are my thoughts.

And many more!

  1. okwhitefalcon - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:28 AM

    It was “a shame”, 2 bad calls indeed.

    He might also consider the Tyler Greene experiment at 2nd base “a shame” as well…

    • fearlessleader - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      Oh sweet galloping Jesus YES. The poor guy demonstrates over and over that he’s simply not a reliable big-league ballplayer, and even his greatest asset—his speed and baserunning—doesn’t count for much when he’s so seldom on the bases. Great skills, no mental fortitude. He’s Colby Rasmus without the crappy attitude and the crazy dad.

      • okwhitefalcon - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:11 PM

        He looks totally overmatched both in the field and at the plate, Descalso hasn’t been much better hitting wise but he’s at least a more dependable defensive player.

        With the offense sputtering, I wouldn’t be surprised if we see Schu getting the majority of the work at second if one of the 2 above doesn’t pick it up – and soon.

        Not exactly a comforting thought but reality may be setting in, one looks like he’ll never be a major leaguer and the other may be getting overexposed.

  2. ajcardsfan - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    Didn’t see the game last night, but from what I’ve read, Matheny had every right to blow up at the umps.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:54 PM

      I saw it – the DeJesus run was a good call because Yadier never tagged him, and as he got up, he did touch the base.

      Campana was out though – Greene was blocking the plate and Compana never got a hand in time. I can understand Matheny’s frustration.

      But I’m a Cub fan, so I’ll take it!

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 25, 2012 at 3:09 PM

        I appreciate your opinion Matt. But we didn’t see the homeplate call the same way. I didn’t see him touch the plate. The safe call should have never been made. It should have been a no call. If it’s a no call…Yadi continues with the play. But I realize we are on opposite ends of the spectrum here so I can appreciate the different takes.

  3. cerowb - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Two pretty bad calls from the umpiring crew in that ball game. Matheny had a good reason to get tossed, so at least he made it count!

  4. holleywood9 - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    First call wasn’t a shame. Looked like Molina missed the tag at home. Even if replay is in baseball that safe call stands.

    • stlouis1baseball - Apr 25, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      First call was a shame Holleywood9. It looked like Molina missed the tag? If that is your opinion I will give you that. But it ALSO looked like he didn’t touch home plate. Therefore, it most certainly IS a shame the Homeplate Umpire (Minor League call up at the that)…ruled him safe to begin with. Had he NOT immediately ruled him safe…the play would have continued and Yadi would have most likely tagged him again. Either way…he wasn’t given the opportunity. Cause’ again…the Umpire ruled him safe when everyone seems to be in agreement that home plate was never touched by the runner.

      • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:49 PM

        It was touched when DeJesus got up. And at that point, still no tag.

    • paperlions - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:18 PM

      The safe call can’t stand because the runner never touched the plate…he never came close to touching the plate. He slid past, pulled his hand away to try to avoid the tag, and when the ump called him safe despite never coming close to the plate, he got up and walked to the dugout.

      • meteor32 - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:27 PM

        Watch the replay again. DeJesus didn’t go straight to the dugout. He side stepped Molina who was going to rant at the umpire and touched home plate before going to the dugout. Not that it really mattered at that point b/c the ump had already pointed at the plate signifying the run had scored, but DeJesus did cross the plate before he was tagged and before he went into the dugout.

      • spudchukar - Apr 25, 2012 at 12:38 PM

        Hey meteor, rather than blazing through the atmosphere, perhaps you ought to take another look at the replay, whether Molina tagged him initially is a legitimate argument. But the part about DeJesus is not what happened. He would have been tagged out had he attempted to touch home plate on his original slide. He chose not to, and as Molina moves to tag him out, the umpire inexcusably calls him safe. Molina, unlike the home plate ump knows the rules, and goes ballistic, cause it is clear the DeJesus never got close to the plate. Had the ump done the correct thing, and remain motionless, Molina was clearly in position to make the tag, and was in the process of doing so, before the bone-headed ump gave the safe call pointing to the imaginary spot where he claims DeJesus touched home.

  5. timstl - Apr 25, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    Instant. Replay. Please.

  6. myopinionisrighterthanyours - Apr 25, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    The second call was bad, but understandable. Unfortunately, the ump did not see the runners hand being blocked by the foot of the fielder. Just because the throw beat him by a mile, the tag would have been late, absent the spectacular blocking job that went unnoticed. As for the play at the plate, if Molina did indeed miss the tag (I’ve heard it looks like he got him on the hand in certain replays, the ump should have been on the right side of the plate), the runner is safe until he is out. The ump cannot simply not make a call if the rules are the same to similar sports/levels. But the basic rule is you are safe until you are out. Missing the plate does not make him out, and if Molina missed the tag, the run is official the second he steps on the plate. Still, Matheny had every reason to be bent, but the calls were not as bad as people are making them out to be, especially at game speed. You hope bad calls don’t happen, but sometimes they do.

    • osbornesmith - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      Yes, the umpire CAN “not make a call.” If the runner does not touch the plate and the catcher does not make the tag, the umpire simply makes NO call. It’s not a frequent occurrence, but it’s not that rare either. Both players take it as a sign the play is still live.

      As for the actual play at the plate, … As Spudchukar pointed out it certainly appeared Molina was in the process of applying the tag after DeJesus slid by the plate when he noticed the umpire had incorrectly ruled the runner safe already. The ump’s emphatic pointing gesture at the plate indicated he was ruling DeJesus touched the plate. Thus, it WAS a blown call, not a “He was safe because Yadi never got around to tagging him” issue.

      • baccards - Apr 25, 2012 at 5:51 PM

        At home once the umpire indicates safe or out the play is over. There is not a time out or a cessation of further play on the field, but at home once it is called, it is over, done, ended.

      • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Apr 25, 2012 at 7:05 PM

        Both players take it as a sign the play is still live.

        I obviously don’t ump at any level near the MLB, but at lower levels, this is exactly why YOU HAVE to make a call, not the opposite. And I do not believe a call at the MLB level one way or the other ends the play. Again, don’t ump anywhere near the MLB level, but if a guy beats a throw at third, then overruns the bag and gets tagged out, I make two calls, first a safe, and then an out. I could be completely off base, as I don’t have the MLB rulebook, but I believe both of you are wrong here. Again, I could be the one mistaken.

      • myopinionisrighterthanyours - Apr 25, 2012 at 7:14 PM

        The reason you do not want a no-signal as a play on, at least at lower levels, is you do not want to make either team aware that the play is not complete and subject to an appeal. If a player overruns a base, I don’t want him to know that he has to go back and touch it. Likewise, I don’t want the fielding team to know they can go and simply tag him, or wait for play to stop and appeal it. And it IS in the rules. Again, I realize these are not MLB rules, but I would expect them to be similar for similar reasons.

      • osbornesmith - Apr 25, 2012 at 9:18 PM

        You are correct about not intentionally alerting a runner he missed 2nd if he’s on his way to 3rd, but in that situation you don’t signal anything (safe or otherwise) as he keeps running to the next base. That doesn’t work in this case.

        Regardless of the level, what call would you signal if, as the umpire, you believe the runner missed the plate with his slide AND the catcher missed the tag? You could not call him safe until he touched the plate nor could you call him out until he’s tagged (or maybe left the field of play, not sure about that). There is no call to make. The same thing could/would apply if a pitcher’s covering first and both he and the runner miss the bag. No call should be made until the runner comes back to the bag or the pitcher tracks him down and applies a tag. Seriously, there is no safe or out call to make initially.

        The Ump blew the call because he believed the runner did touch the plate. It’s not the worst call I’ve seen even this year, but it was a bad call.

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