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David Price is not happy with umpire Tom Hallion

Apr 28, 2013, 7:25 PM EDT

David Price Reuters

Rays lefty David Price held the White Sox to three runs over seven innings en route to an 8-3 victory, his first of the season, but Price was furious thanks to umpire Tom Hallion. Walking towards the dugout after the seventh, Price said a few choice words to Hallion before leaving. Shortly thereafter, Hallion appeared to eject Price but it was actually Jeremy Hellickson, who was also yelling at Hallion from the dugout.

Mark Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times tweeted about the exchange:

There is a lot more, but it’s mostly a “he said, he said” battle. Rays pitchers took to Twitter to defend Hellickson and explain the situation:

There’s more if you have the urge to check out Price’s Twitter feed.

We will certainly be hearing more about this.

  1. js20011041 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:31 PM

    I don’t know who said what, and I don’t particularly care. It’s quite possible that Price misheard Hallion, but even if he didn’t, if you’ve got a problem with an umpire, bring it up with him there on the field. To bring that to the reporters after the game comes across as petty and childish. You’re not a 13 year old girl Price. Grow the fuck up.

    • flamethrower101 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:35 PM

      I agree completely. Still, with the recent string of poor umpire behavior in the past few years I wouldn’t be totally shocked if Price was right about Hallion. It looks bad on both ends…except to MLB, where the umps can do whatever the hell they want.

      They’ll find a way to defend Hallion.

      • js20011041 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:46 PM

        Even if he said it, I don’t find it all that egregious. I’m not one to normally defend umpires, but they take a TON of abuse. From the players, managers, fans. If Price is bitching about a call on the field, I don’t have a huge problem with Hallion telling him that if he wants strikes to throw the ball over the plate. Whether he used the word “fucking” is irrelevant. I actually find crying about it to the media far more offensive. Leave this shit on the field.

      • djpostl - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:45 PM

        Yeah, sure Skippy. It isn’t the umpires job to tell a pitcher where to throw anything. It is his job to call the game, nothing more.

        This is just another case of a douchenozzle umpire with “look at me” mentality. So far a couple of former pitchers have come out and said that Hallion has gotten into it with them in the past and is a hothead.

        I’m not a Rays fan but in terms of demeanor Price, Hellickson and Moore have all showed themselves to be even-keeled so I have no real reason to doubt their version of events.

        Hell, sometimes it feels if Hellickson is going to fall asleep on the mound as he is pitching he’s so laid back so I was shocked when he ended up getting tossed.

        But in the end the umpire won’t have shit done to him and the players wil be reprimanded because MLB and Bud Selig don’t have either a backbone or a shred of common sense.

    • msankey86 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:52 PM

      Bring it up with the umpire? That’s a joke, right? They toss players out of the game just for breathing incorrectly. MLB has allowed them to become completely infallible, and does absolutely nothing when they screw up majorly. That’s just on in-game calls. How many times have they changed the outcome of a game because they have eyesight worse than Mr. Magoo? I’m not even going to get into the inconsistency of the strike zone.

      Now they’re berating the players? They’re REALLY overstepping the boundaries of their authority.

      • flamethrower101 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:55 PM

        Ditto. If MLB can defend the call that gave Joe Nathan his 300th save (pretty much aliens on other planets knew that was wrong) there is no way David Price is coming out smelling like a rose on this.

      • js20011041 - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:12 PM

        This is not the mid 90’s. Not even close. The umpires on the whole are nowhere near as adversarial as they used to be. The players get away with a lot on the field. Hallion telling Price to throw the ball over the plate if he wants to bitch about balls and strikes isn’t even on the same planet as the shit you see from guys like Bob Davidson or Joe West. I’m all for holding umpires accountable and I hate it when you see Bob Davidson follow a batter to the dugout to instigate an argument. But lets not go overboard here.

      • djpostl - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:47 PM

        What MLB are you watching where they aren’t adversarial? They are just as big a group of asshats as they’ve ever been.

    • indaburg - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:25 PM

      If anyone needs to grow up in this situation, it’s the umpire. It was an unusual situation that Price was asked a question about and he answered. The umpire was out of line. I watched the game live, and it was obvious that he was trying to anger Price. The umpire is not supposed to escalate a situation. Many umpires allow their ego to overshadow their better judgment, and sadly, there seems to be no repercussions for their actions. I also doubt Price misheard Hallion. His fellow pitchers in the dugout heard what the umpire said, and reacted swiftly and loudly to defend Price, resulting in Hellickson’s ejection. Note that Price was not ejected–the normally quiet and calm Hellickson was. For me, it’s bad enough the ump can’t call a strike zone and eggs a player on, but then he lies about what he said?

      • js20011041 - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:55 PM

        I honestly don’t know how you can draw the concusion that Hallion escalated the situation from what was shown on TV. Or that Hallion set out on a mission to “anger” Price. Price was yelling after the call on the field. He was yelling during the final out. He was yelling as he was walking off the field. If anyone on here has, I encourage you to rewatch that portion of the game. The only time Hallion is even shown is as he’s tossing Hellickson. Hallion probably should have left it alone but I don’t have any sympathy whatsoever for Price. You know what, don’t yell at someone if you don’t want a response. And certainly don’t cry about it to the media after the game. Price and his teeny bopper mates in the rotation come across as extremely immature here.

      • indaburg - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:11 PM

        I disagree for the reasons I have previously stated.

        The strike zone during the entire game was ridiculous. Learn to call strikes properly if you don’t want to hear a player complain about it.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:58 PM


      • indaburg - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:09 PM

        Damn straight. I saw the game and I saw what happened.

      • js20011041 - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:22 PM

        My objection isn’t to the fact that Price was angry over the call. It was a bad call. My objection is to how he handled the whole situation. He spent the rest of the inning bitching about the call and Hallion responded to him. If you’re going to yell at someone, at least have the balls to meet them face to face. Price instead decided to yell from the mound and from the dugout. Then he whined about it to the press. Sometimes calls don’t go your way. I’m sure he’s been the beneficiary of plenty of bad calls. I’m also quite sure that he didn’t insist that the umpire correct it on the field. My point is that Price needs to grow the hell up and get over it.

      • indaburg - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:36 PM

        I stand by my original comment. We’ll have to agree to disagree.

      • hittfamily - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:36 PM

        Tell em berg. Hallion’s zone was BS all day. Hallion needs to toss Price if Price is barking too much. If he isn’t STFU and do your job. Don’t take your mask off, yell an insult to him, and curse at him.

        My only question is where was Joe Maddon during this?

      • indaburg - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:51 PM

        He came out to run interference. I’m honestly surprised that Price and Maddon weren’t ejected. Even Staats and Andersen were wondering at first who was ejected.

      • hittfamily - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:32 PM

        Yeah, I was watiching. It was 10-15 mins before we knew. Hellickosn is the last person I thought would get tossed. I think if maddon knew what was said, he’d have argued for 10 minutes.

        There is going to be a shitstorm erupt over this in the MLB fines division. SeanRod has taken to twitter too. He, Moore, and Hellickson don’t act like they would publicly complain unless they really feel an injustice has been done. Even David Price, who is usually pretty calm, is surprising. Price retweeted a photo of one of his pitches called a ball. I really hope he doesn’t get suspended over this, because he is taking it really far. I’m going to try to embed Sean Rodriguez’s tweet, but I don’t know if it will work. If it doesn’t,

        That shows me that hallion(umpire) knew he missed the call. His defense mechanism kicked in (pride and ego). We’re human we make mistakes…— Sean Rodriguez (@SeanJRodriguez1) April 28, 2013

    • basedrum777 - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:17 AM

      I think Umpires should be held accountable and potentially lose their job when they miss too many calls.
      That being said, didn’t DP play for Lou Pinella? I mean he’s acting as if cursing is a taboo in baseball? Umpires get cursed at and dirt kicked on them almost regularly. If someone was arguing balls and strikes with me as an ump I’d also tell them to F’n throw it over the plate so i could call it a strike (not withstanding that this ump’s zone was bad today). Just saying, cursing should not be the focus. If DP was giving it to the ump did he think the ump was just going to take it? Seems a bit immature/unreasoned to think that.

  2. flamethrower101 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    The only sad thing about this is that MLB will probably side with the umpire when the umpire is clearly wrong and then someone on the Rays team will be punished. It’s just unbelievable.

    MLB does not have the guts to punish an umpire when he’s clearly in the wrong. If Carl Crawford can get fined for wearing mismatching cleats on JACKIE ROBINSON DAY then why can’t an umpire be suspended and fined for this kind of behavior. This makes absolutely no sense.

    Wait, it’s Bud Selig. Of course it makes sense…

  3. realgone2 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:49 PM

    What grade are these people in?

  4. mc1439 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:52 PM

    Fuck the human element! Bring the technology NOW bitches!

    • flamethrower101 - Apr 28, 2013 at 7:56 PM

      It will come in time, child. Just wait until Bud Selig retires after 2014. Or 2016. Or 2018. Dude, seriously it’s like he found the fountain of youth or something.

      • msankey86 - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:17 PM

        Quick, someone invent the fountain of aging or something. (I’d suggest something related to intelligence, but you can’t fix stupid.)

    • crackersnap - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:18 PM

      That technology is going to prove to be the pitchers’ worst nightmare. No more “expanding the zone”. No more “catchers framing the pitches”. No more veteran advantage (especially against rookie batters). No more strikes below the knees.

      The only thing the pitchers are going to get out of robots might be the high strike. But, since non-umpire humans will be defining the upper and lower limits of the robot zone for each batter, out of sight and beyond the reach of the players/managers/public, maybe that part will remain as controversial as ever.

      • mc1439 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:48 PM

        You’re first paragraph is what I hate the most about the “human element”. And I agree one of the more difficult parts will be defining the strike zone for each individual player but dammit it needs to be done.

  5. paperlions - Apr 28, 2013 at 8:25 PM

    I’m not sure why Hallion would tell Price to throw the ball over the plate. According PitchFX, you didn’t have to throw the ball over the plate today for Hallion to call a strike and even if you did, that didn’t guarantee a strike call. Hallion was pretty freaking bad today…but, consistently bad, so…that’s….something.

    • flamethrower101 - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:08 PM

      I think the biggest issue is that MLB refuses to enforce accountability with these kinds of situations. Yes, umpires miss calls and do stupid stuff. But if they were to just say “I missed the call,” or “I shouldn’t have said that” everybody would let it be. Instead, the umpire comes out and calls Price a liar just like that. Even if Price is in the wrong for taking his frustrations to Twitter, the ump is no better for his postgame comments. Had he explained the situation truthfully or just as simply used a better choice of words, this whole drama could’ve been avoided.

  6. hittfamily - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:32 PM

    Reverse the situation. If Price yells “If I throw it over the plate, call it a fucking strike!”, he is tossed. Hallion should not tell Price to “throw it over the fucking plate”, or even “throw it over the plate”. If Matt Moore and Jeremy Hellickson react the way they did, then take to Twitter, you know they are telling the truth. I have watched nearly every game of their career, and it is rare to see either of them even speaking, let alone arguing, or getting thrown out.

    Hallion called a ball on a pitch to either De Aza or Wise that literally was right down the middle. This guy had a bad game. He made it worse by cursing at Price. He then made it worse by lying about it.

    • hittfamily - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:44 PM

      Price’s last batter. Pitch 4 was called a ball, on a 1-2 count. I guess Price should have “thrown the ball over the fucking plate” even further.

  7. evanwins - Apr 28, 2013 at 9:34 PM

    TO anyone who defends the umpires job as being “hard” I say too bad. If their job is too hard for them to do and do right then maybe they shouldn’t be doing it and/or maybe they should have some help via instant replay to do their “hard” job.

    Personally I think umpires do lousy jobs and base their calls on factors other than what actually occurs. Every year there is some kind of proof to back this up, like the Brett Lawrie situation last year.

    A professional keeps his personal feelings about a situation or a person completely out of the equation when they do their job. I don’t think any umpire in baseball acts like a professional.

    • skids003 - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:55 AM

      This coming from a guy who probably couldn’t umpire a checker match.

  8. 13arod - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:20 PM

    there was alot of games this season that tampa had problem with umpires and i am tired of these umpires some are really nice and some are not so nice why does this have to happen eith tampa one of the best nice club in mlb and they are the ones that are getting puninshed we need tecnolgy to take over for the umpires soon as possible this is getting on my nerves and the mlb will be better if tecnolgy took over

  9. ryanw822 - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM

    100% on the power hungry umpire.

    Price was walking to the dugout and Hallion walked up the first base line to engage Price as he walked off the field. Stay in the batter circle and watch from a distance. If you think Price is crossing the line then simply toss him. Don’t escalate the situation by walking down the line and make comments AFTER being the one who is IN THE WRONG!

    • hittfamily - Apr 28, 2013 at 10:38 PM

      That’s what I thought too. Umps should either throw the player out, or do nothing. Don’t “warn” someone, because it is just an excuse to yell at the player. Price was barking with his head down as he walked off the field. Hallion followed him, hurled an insult, walked away, then reengaged the dougout. An ump who thinks he is the star, has no business being in the MLB. Besides, after that Joe Nathan/Ben Zobrist strike 3, the umps owe the Rays the benefit of the doubt for a while.

  10. hittfamily - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    Umpire Hallion said to Price: “I said, “Just throw the ball.” That’s all I said to him’

    Why would you say that Tom? The inning was over. Price was almost in the dugout. Did you want him to get a fourth out?

    Gotta love Hellickson’s tWtW this game. His “the will to win” points are through the roof today,even though he wasn’t even playing.

  11. deaninajijic - Apr 28, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    The problem here is not just Hallion, but the whole Umpire system. I know it’s a tough job, I did some Little League umpiring and that was hard enough. The problem is there is no review of the Umpires. The Union is too strong and won’t let the Umps be reviewed, disciplined, or fired. As long as Torre and Selig don’t do anything there will always be this problem. Some of the Umps are just to old or too fat or not trained well enough. They’re to far to one side or not low enough on balls and strikes and fail many times to get into position on the base paths. MLB has the technical tools to review Umps balls and strike calls. Review them with them and discipline if they can’t get it right.
    The other issue is a replay system with flags like the NFL. If 2 flags is too many, I don’t think it is, then use it one time. Too many games are being decided by blown calls. I really understand that’s the game is fast, plays are close, and some of the calls are difficult. But the replays are available. 2 or 3 a game won’t slow it down too much. If they need to but a replay ump upstairs. It’s time umpiring got into the 21st century.

  12. bbk1000 - Apr 29, 2013 at 5:33 AM

    All umpires/referee’s etc should be wired, end of story. Let the players know they are wired as well, and there is an issue the recording will be reviewed.

  13. philliephaninva - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:00 AM

    Oh dear, did the big, bad ump hurt wilttle Price’s feelings? Suck it up Princess!

  14. dexterismyhero - Apr 29, 2013 at 7:33 AM

    Pitcher’s tweeting. Geez, just play ball and quit whining. You nothing but an overpaid entertainer.

    Maybe you and Kim K can tweet about it also.

  15. jdubfla - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    My job moves me around the country and for the last 20 years i have lived and followed the Cubs, Dodgers,Giants,Reds and now the Rays

    No team , broadcasters, and writers whine more about the umpires than the Rays.
    If you ever get a chance, listen to a broadcast

  16. nolasoxfan2012 - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    Taking a dispute with an umpire to the public is really not smart. I mean, none of the other umpires are paying attention, right? This is a direct result of how often Joe Maddon publicly carps about umping. Now the players think it’s the thing to do. Good luck with that.

  17. happster - Apr 29, 2013 at 8:59 AM

    Oh no! Poor thing, having to hear that awful potty talk. Shut the hell up and throw the ball over the f’in plate. This is MLB, you Pansy.

  18. hisgirlgotburrelled - Apr 29, 2013 at 9:42 AM

    I can’t stand when an umpire blows a call, knows it, and then when he’s told about it he gets confrontational and throws people out of the game. I mean, what better way to get over your blown call than to eject everyone that saw it?

    This shit has got to stop. I’m so tired of seeing umpires escalating these disagreements. It was about balls and strikes and he knew he was throwing someone out of the game the second he started walking over to the dugout. He could have just stayed behind the plate between innings. And just to show his power he throws out a starting pitcher who isnt even playing.

  19. stex52 - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    I was watching the game, but missed the exact deals of the interchange. Absent real knowledge of the exact events, here are my thoughts.

    Balls and strikes are almost beside the point in this. Yes, Hallion has to do better.

    If Price was yelling for a call, and he replied “Put it over the **** plate” then he might consider his phrasing but that’s a pretty fair answer.

    If Hallion followed Price back to the dugout he should be sanctioned. The umpire is not there to get personal with the players over his hurt feelings.

    • hittfamily - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:50 AM

      Price was yelling into his glove after the blown strike 3 call. The next pitch was hit back to him. He took a few steps towards first and underhanded it to first. Then he walked back, head down to the dougout (1st base side). He was clearly yelling, but not at anyone, at the ground. Hallion takes his mask off, walks into the grass and yells “Hey….Throw the ball over the fucking plate”.

      He was unprovoked. Price did not show him up.

  20. sdfan91911 - Apr 29, 2013 at 10:58 AM

    C’mon Price stop crying!! So he probably did say it but youre all grown men & that shit is happening all the time I imagine over all the games being played over the states so just drop it man!!

  21. blovy8 - Apr 29, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    While it would be better to have camera/computer help on balls and strikes, don’t act like it will completely change this sort of exchange. Pitchers and batters are still going to complain, except they’ll say the camera was misaligned and the computer program was hacked. Some “person” is still going to be involved.

  22. kungfubowler - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    When a batter gets lippy they get beaned (or did back in the day) – so I’d see no problem with a fastball “getting past the catcher” and providing a little reality check to the ump. When umps start seeing themselves as part of the game, there is an issue. Nobody has ever gone to the game to see the umps.

    I’d keep Twitter and reporters out of it.

  23. tipstopten - Apr 29, 2013 at 12:56 PM

    So what, the game is to slow, and pitchers are part of the reason. Yeah, just throw the ball over the bleeping plate.
    Grow up.

  24. nolasoxfan2012 - Apr 29, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    For every call an ump blows for you, there’s another one going the other way. The Rays should know this since their catcher is a top-shelf pitch framer. He gets them extra called strikes every game. Roll with it. Taking the debate to twitter is idiotic.

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