Skip to content

Umpire Laz Diaz should be suspended for his antics in the Yankees-Angels game

May 6, 2014, 8:21 AM EDT

Laz Diaz has a long history of making the game all about him, instigating arguments and making a big show of his authority on the field. Last night in the Yankees-Angels game it was no different.

When Yankees pitcher Shawn Kelley left the game he had some words for Diaz about the strike zone as he was leaving the field. A lot of players do that. They shouldn’t, but they do. It’s incumbent upon the umpire — or any authority figure dealing with a temper tantrum — to take the high road rather than exacerbate the situation. Show your authority by paying no mind to those who would fecklessly challenge it. Diaz, apparently, never learned this. Watch as he “shoos” Kelley off the field:

There’s no place for that. If Diaz ignores Kelley he walks off the field knowing that his protestations fell on deaf ears, as they should. Instead Diaz made it personal and all about him and ended up running Kelley and manager Joe Girardi from the game.

Major League Baseball shouldn’t tolerate this kind of nonsense. There is no room in the game for umpire ego or showmanship. It’s a disgrace and Diaz should be punished for it.

122 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. yalebusiness - May 6, 2014 at 12:45 PM

    Be objective. Umps make bad calls all of the time. But review his calls at the plate and if the balls and strike ratio is wrong, there would be reason to have him move down to the minors or sit out a couple games. Find out if he is doing a good or bad job, then discipline him, professionally.

    • allsport1980 - May 6, 2014 at 1:04 PM

      This has nothing to do with his ability to make the right calls this is about his professionalism. Players questions umps quite often, but in this video Shawn Kelley is walking away and not being demonstrative at all. Why would the umpire get demonstrative? This ump showed an inability to control his emotions and you simply can’t have that representing MLB. I wouldn’t suspend him I would fire him outright.

      • beaufraser - May 6, 2014 at 1:19 PM

        The worst part is Diaz staring at Kelly, using a demeaning and dismissive hand gesture last seen in high school which only eggs Kelly on.

        What’s the purpose of that?

        Unprofessional.

      • runninggun1024runninggun1024 - Jun 7, 2014 at 9:47 AM

        If billy martin and earl weaver were still around you would see some real fireworks with that ump.There is no way billy or earl would let him do that to one of their players they would be all over him especially billy martin.

    • greggmondo - May 6, 2014 at 6:39 PM

      They should flog the bastard.

    • garb2222 - May 6, 2014 at 11:38 PM

      The truth is Diaz is one of the worst umpires in the league, and has been for a long time.

      Most likely he is a product of Affirmative Action in MLB.

      • mlblogsneville - May 7, 2014 at 10:24 AM

        While I’m no fan of Diaz and his questionable strike zone, to bring up being a product of affirmative action is ridiculous and quite racist..

  2. jfk69 - May 6, 2014 at 12:59 PM

    Yappy Diaz and many teams have history with this clown in an umps uniform. He has a bad tendency to mug it up once he gets questioned. He could however find work as a ref in the WWW.

  3. docqualizer - May 6, 2014 at 1:05 PM

    Umpires should NOT under ANY CIRCUMSTANCE make the game about them, Laz Diaz crossed that line and needs to be disciplined by those who oversee the umpires.

  4. bh192012 - May 6, 2014 at 1:11 PM

    I looked briefly, but I can’t seem to find a set of rules regarding umpire “behavior.” I’ve seen how umpires have authority over everyone else, but nothing covering them.

    Does that make “not making a show of this authority” an unwritten rule?

    I ask this a bit in jest…. but it also makes me think…. Is there a process to deal with this? Can a manager file some kind of grievance or ask for some sort of review of incidents?

  5. righthandofjustice - May 6, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Umpires in the field are like arbitrators in hearing. They are not always right but they are not subjected to punishment even if they make bad calls unless fraud or prejudice is found in the process.

    No. Diaz should not be suspended. The rule is batters are not allowed to argue ball and strike calls. The umpire did warn Kelly before the ejection. He did not do anything outside the rulebook. That rule is dumb, but dumb rules should not be violated before they cease to be rules.

    What needs to be changed is the no argument on ball and strike call rule. With instant replay in place now, strike zone calls should be made challengeable.

    • Jeremy T - May 6, 2014 at 3:10 PM

      It’s not about the rulebook, it’s about Diaz’s conduct. If he had simply thrown Kelley out, it would’ve been an odd choice, and there probably could’ve been an argument about how strictly we want to adhere to that specific rule, but it’d be difficult to argue suspension. The fact is, though, that Diaz was pretty clearly looking for a fight there, and that’s simply not his place as an umpire.

      • righthandofjustice - May 6, 2014 at 3:27 PM

        Which rule of conduct did Diaz violate?

        He might be more animated than our umpires in the process of throwing out Kelly but there was nothing wrong with it. He also clearly warned Kelly to “keep going, keep going, keep going” repeatedly before he threw him out.

        I said MLB always turn a blind eye on all kinds of cheats and misconducts with Bud Selig in his office but this time there is nothing to turn a blind eye on. When the rule says “no argument on ball and strike calls” it means NO!

        The rule should be reviewed and changed, not the enforcers of the rule.

  6. skeeterbarnes - May 6, 2014 at 2:45 PM

    Name me one other pro sports league that would tolerate that level of immaturity from their officials. NFL? No frigging way. NHL? Nope. NBA? OK, well you might have me there (Joey Crawford), but even they would figure out a way to deal with a referee who is mocking a player like that. That is WAY beyond acceptable.
    Seeing that there are so many umpires with reputations that precede them (I’m sure we could make a list!), MLB has a serious issue on their hands. But what do they do? What’s their trump card here? Are there suspension/fines that are available to the Commissioner’s Office?

    • bleedgreen - May 20, 2014 at 7:52 AM

      The NFL told Ed Huchuli to shut his yap, quit showboating, and get rid of his self promoting website (he had a site about him being a ref). They didn’t put up with a ref making it about him. MLB should do the same with their umps. You’re there to be a judge, and not the judge judy type of judge.

  7. Dogsweat - May 6, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    The umpire has the ultimate authority and players abuse the umps on a constant basis, funny how the players whine and cry, when they think the have been abused.

    Pure babies, who can’t take what the dish out. Shut your mouth and play the game. You get paid quite well.

    The Umps are human too. I’m sure the poor little Kelley has never abused anyone with his mouth.

  8. brimab - May 6, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    Yeah that’s weak. Umps need to be above that stuff. Given this clowns history, MLB should cut him.

    • klingonj - May 10, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      I umpired at college and high school level for almost 20 years, I went to clinics where Diaz taught. He is a likeable guy and knowledgeable in the classroom setting. However the amount of incicidents where Diaz escalated the confrontation into an ejection result has grown to a disturbing amount. Time for the league to do something.

  9. ken k - May 6, 2014 at 3:45 PM

    Kelly’s so used to seeing Jeter and Tanaka have the strike zone adjusted to help them out that he probably thought the ump would do the same for him. Anyway, can’t mindlessly agree with this stupid article. Players DO NOT routinely act like Kelly because they get tossed if they do.

  10. onbucky96 - May 6, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    All Hail The Umpire! Or not, get over yourself Blue. Can’t wait for the umps to get replaced by a computer/fox box strike zone.

  11. mrmpr348 - May 6, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    Typical whining stankee fans. He keep talking crap and got what he deserves tossed just like his manager tossed for argument of ball and strikes. Justice was served. Maybe the team as a whole could smear pine tar on their necks and argue balls and strikes in protest.

  12. akgobears - May 6, 2014 at 5:56 PM

    The time has come for MLB to put the umpires back where they belong, as part of the game, not the focus of it

  13. pondersucks07 - May 6, 2014 at 7:05 PM

    You cant have your cake and eat it too. Ump gets writers wanting to have ump fired over his behavior, But hit a homerun and take your tie around the bases. The next time your up Pitcher throws at the batter hits him then starts to say something to the effect of next time don’t show me up and a brawl starts up. Players should have to control their behavior also, But they don’t and its part of the game, Managers kick dirt throw equipment on to the field when they think it was a bad call, But that’s okay too. Please!!!!!!! Pitcher just needs to take hi sorry ass off the field and stop bitching like a baby because he didn’t get his way. Good for the Ump showing up the Big Baby. Umpires strike zones differ from ump to ump also umpires strike zone stays the same through out the game and umpires give pitchers wider strike zone in the first place That pitcher getting calls on the black wanted even more. Who ever wrong this article needs to get over because the umpires are part of the game. Of all the officials in sports MLB umpires get the calls right more than any other of the sports

  14. stupidusername - May 6, 2014 at 7:35 PM

    I will never understand the mentality of umpires. You don’t see this in the NHL or NFL. In fact, NFL refs take coaches screaming at them all game long. They turn a deaf year to almost all of it, very seldom even throwing a flag for it. The line judges hear it after every other play… And it’s at every level with baseball umpires, from when little league to a not-in-BSOYL slow pitch league. Like it’s their game and they’re running it, just be happy they let you play in their game. They’d get a lot more respect for not being overly sensitive by acting more like an authority, and not (like what Diaz did) provoke/taunt/goad the players and coaches. Diaz taunting the pitcher leaving as if he’s on the other team and they beat him is ridiculous.

  15. paulseger65 - May 6, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    Being a former umpire for 25 years and ending my career in high school baseball and ASA softball, also high school girls softball a umpire should not demonstrate the actions he showed in game. The umpire Mr. Diaz should be reprimanded and fined or get a light suspension. As other people have posted a umpire is a arbitrator during the game. To make sure the game is played fair and square. While the umpire does have some authority, he cannot use it to create a argument with a player then eject him because he’s tired of arguing with him. He should tell the player that’s enough and turn a deaf ear. If the player keeps on then eject him. Also “Never Start The Argument” .

  16. gymtruthteller - May 6, 2014 at 9:24 PM

    You can’t argue strikes. WHAT IS SO HARD TO UNDERSTAND? Yankee fans are ridiculous.

  17. -Todd. - May 6, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    MLB must hold Laz Diaz accountable. He is either incompetent or corrupt!

  18. edman222 - May 6, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    I this film clip Laz Diaz is acting like a 2-year old. Making a play to “shoo” the player over and over is immature showboating and if I was the commissioner, this clown would get at least a week off.

  19. campcouch - May 7, 2014 at 1:30 AM

    When was the last time a pitcher beaned a ump. Pedro Martinez where are you?

  20. oldpro71 - May 7, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Better get this guy in check before he cost a team their pennant run by getting a player kicked out and suspended because he is a bully in blue with a bad attitude.
    Don’t be angry Mr. Diaz be thankful your not entitled to that job.

  21. voidhelix - May 7, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Calcaterra, ur a Yankees biased tool. Kelley should`ve shut his mouth. Diaz gave him some rope with the `shooing` and Kelley hanged himself. And The Yankees are the last team in BASEBALL to get pissy about strike calls. They`ve had favourable umpires for generations, Jeter`s had the smallest K zone in baseball his entire career, and wtf were you against Toronto when Hutchsion`s strike zone was moved around more than a nomad on a tricycle?

    Keep bitching, you self-entitled prig.

    • jmg4314 - May 7, 2014 at 12:03 PM

      what a dope

  22. sbblakey777 - May 7, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    Damn… And I thought CB Bucknor was terrible…

  23. jimeejohnson - May 10, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    Kelly forgot about the old Latin “machismo”, or in toher words, an excuse to act like an arrogant a$$hole. Your machismo’s bigger than mine!

    • jimeejohnson - May 10, 2014 at 1:38 PM

      By the way: my post has no racism intended. I love the Latino people, learned their great Spanish language, and love their delicious cuisine. It’s just that a Principal ata school I worked for told me to take it easy on the boys because they had “machismo”, to which I replied that my machismo was bigger. Viva La Gente!

  24. rdlo56 - May 17, 2014 at 12:12 PM

    There have been so few heated arguments or ejections this year that although I find Diaz’s behavior distasteful, not quite Puig caliber but still, the overwhelming need for a good old fashioned, spit-flying base-throwing umpire argument outweighs my usual concern for decorum.

  25. cubb1 - Jun 4, 2014 at 9:38 PM

    Diaz is one of the 3 worst umps in MLB. I don’t know who he blew to get his job, but they should both be fired immediately.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Patience finally paying off for Royals fans
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (2895)
  2. D. Ortiz (2183)
  3. J. Hamilton (2142)
  4. N. Arenado (2116)
  5. C. Kershaw (2084)
  1. G. Stanton (2068)
  2. A. Rizzo (1967)
  3. A. Pujols (1911)
  4. M. Trout (1863)
  5. A. Pagan (1817)