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Scott Kazmir ejected in the second inning for correctly questioning umpire Jerry Lane’s judgment

May 17, 2014, 9:05 PM EDT

Bob Melvin, Jerry Layne, Scott Kazmir Bob Melvin, Jerry Layne, Scott Kazmir

Athletics starter Scott Kazmir was ejected with one out in the second inning for expressing his bewilderment at umpire Jerry Layne’s judgment. With a 3-2 count against Indians first baseman Jesus Aguilar, Kazmir threw a pitch right down the middle but it was called a ball for a walk. Kazmir seemed dumbfounded at the call and made a comment to Layne. Layne was quick with the heave-ho, ejecting Kazmir from the game almost immediately. It’s not apparent if Kazmir was crude, but based on his demeanor and body language, the left-hander seemed under control.

Manager Bob Melvin came out and harangued Layne for a long time, but was not ejected. As the commenters on the Athletics broadcast mentioned, that Layne let Melvin argue his case for so long seems to indicate that somewhere along the way, Layne realized the error of his ways.

You can see the incident here.

Kazmir was replaced by Dan Otero, who got out of the inning without any further damage.

  1. imnotyourbuddyguy - May 17, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    There’s a chance Kazmir said something way outta line, at least you would hope so, otherwise this is really sad.

    • dmoas - May 17, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      That doesn’t explain how you go from a warning to an immediate ejection without a single additional word or motion made.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 17, 2014 at 11:14 PM

        I didn’t know if there was a warning at all, it seemed like Bang, he’s outta there.

    • jeffkx - May 18, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      I watched the game. Kazmir’s back was to the camera and he yelled something to the umpire after the ball four call (I assume it wasn’t something nice). Then they did a closeup of Kazmir. I think Kazmir said “You want to mess with me?” before he got tossed. Not sure if that was worthy of an ejection.

      • mdyoung1971 - May 19, 2014 at 6:41 AM

        Actually, I’ve seen another camera angle, and reading his lips Kaz said “you gotta be kidding me”, and bang, hit the showers. By rule there has to be a warning before an ejection, except in cases of personal attacks or a fight. What Kaz said certainly was not a personal attack.

      • skids003 - May 19, 2014 at 12:49 PM

        Where is that rule?

  2. wilmyers09 - May 17, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    this i why we need computer umpires for crap like this it was right down the fudging middle

  3. wilmyers09 - May 17, 2014 at 9:27 PM

    this i why we need computer umpires for crap like this it was right down the fudging middle

    • theuncletodd - May 17, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      must of went to public schools–form sentence maybe I do

      • chiadam - May 18, 2014 at 3:48 AM

        *Must HAVE, not must OF.

    • hittfamily - May 17, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      Oh my god arod and raysfan changed his name again

  4. tampabayirish - May 17, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    Is it my imagination or has officiating gotten worse in baseball, football and hockey? (Don’t watch basketball). Baseball umpires seem to be the worst and also want to be part of the show. Good officials are never noticed at the game, an all too rare phenomenon.

    • sabatimus - May 17, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      I think it’s imagination. It seems worse, but then again today there’s all sorts of camera angles, replays, and minute scrutiny that make officiating look worse than ever before.

      That said, you only need a pair of eyes to see that Layne horrifically blew this call. I can’t remember a ball four so perfectly splitting the plate into quarters like that.

    • professor59 - May 17, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      It’s always been like that, or worse. Harry Kalas used to have a standard call for it, it happened so often. He’d say, “Right down the middle… for a ball.”

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 17, 2014 at 10:24 PM

        Props for the fond memory – but I must correct one point. It was his Whiteness (Richie Ashburn) that used to say that. He also was fond of “6 inches off the plate for a strike”….all of which would eventually lead to “Harry, I wouldn’t last to the 3rd inning these days…”

    • renaado - May 18, 2014 at 12:58 AM

      “Don’t watch Basketball”

      I agree with this, only my fellow Filipinos gives a crap about this game. Very overrated is the only word I can describe it.

      And as for Baseball umpires not just in the MLB but all across professional Baseball leagues around the world, from what I can say, they really have a lot of pride themselves and sometimes doesnt want to admit their mistakes even though they made one, I’m positive not everyone of em are like this though, still gotta agree about em bein part of the game “TOO MUCH”.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 18, 2014 at 11:05 AM

      MLB should remove the umpires ability to toss players from games, only for bean-balls after warnings, charging the mound and stuff that happens when the benches clear.

      Which should be happening anyways, anyone who leaves the dugout/bullpen/their position because the batter charged the pitcher should get a suspension.

      Leave it one on one until the umps break it up

    • moogro - May 18, 2014 at 3:37 PM

      It’s probably always been mediocre in baseball. TV has gotten better. Remember, these are often old men. They have to crouch pitch after pitch with varying degrees of effort, looking askance at the plane of the strike zone, partially blocked by another person. The crazy thing is ever thinking this is an ideal system.

      I think hockey officiating is probably the best of all sports, and they have by far the toughest work conditions.

      • mdyoung1971 - May 19, 2014 at 6:54 AM

        Oh yeah, that’s why there is still the old saying “I went to fight and a hockey game broke out”. Hockey refs are a complete joke. NFL refs are fair, but still really screw things up often, NCAA football refs are visibly biased at times. Basketball refs are just plain stupid. These guys do a lot of blind calls, where they see a play and “expect” that there “should” have been a foul even though they didn’t see it, so they call a foul anyway. This is very easily seen in any NCAA game, and the bias is even easier to see in some cases. Baseball umps are actually the best of the bunch, and the most consistent. They are either consistently wrong or consistently right. I think some very visible screw ups in recent years brought in the replay, and it’s making them jumpy. I saw a camera angle where any lip reader could tell Kaz said “you gotta be kiddin me”, and the ump was out of line for the heave ho.

  5. patm77 - May 17, 2014 at 10:06 PM

    Pretty sure i have seen worse called balls tht may be down the plate but definetely could be low

    • clydeserra - May 18, 2014 at 1:00 AM

      no. it wasn’t low

  6. bmore55 - May 17, 2014 at 10:08 PM

    Anyone with eyes can clearly see that the ball was right down the middle but you can also see that the catcher caught the ball below the knees of the batter and pulled his mitt up above the knees therefore it’s a ball

    • paperlions - May 17, 2014 at 11:03 PM

      Anyone with the internet can find the Pitch FX data and see that the ball was not low, and that during the same at bat the ump called a ball 4″ lower than that one a strike.

      Anyone with the internet can also find the strikezone map for that game and see that the ump called that pitch and lower pitches strikes all day…except for this one.

      Finally, anyone with common sense knows that it is no the umps job to seek out conflict or reasons to eject players from games, which is exactly what this ump did.

    • dmoas - May 17, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      It’s not wear he catches it, it’s where it crosses the plate. And as you can see, the ball dropped through the zone.

    • clydeserra - May 18, 2014 at 1:01 AM

      it was poorly framed, and it missed the intended inside target. but it was not low.

  7. theuncletodd - May 17, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    we heard the F-word from Kazmir after he got tossed on the Cleveland feed on STO—granted after the fact but still giggle worthy (big bad FCC)… and yes, Kazmir got jobbed on the call, no question

  8. DelawarePhilliesFan - May 17, 2014 at 10:28 PM

    My 3rd grade lip reading came up with “Where was that?” prior to getting tossed. So….if that is now ejection worthy…how will we ever get through games?

    On the flip side, everyone has a bad night. Looks like Jerry had a bad night. Pick it up tomorrow, and remember – no one comes to the games to see you. The player didn’t like your call? Suck it up

    • blacksables - May 18, 2014 at 4:03 AM

      Wow, you really need to read the rule book. Once you do that, you might understand baseball. You know, the game, not the peripheral stuff you talk about.

      • Detroit Michael - May 18, 2014 at 5:48 AM

        I think blacksables needs to read rule 9.02:
        “Any umpire’s decision which involves judgment, such as, but not limited to, … whether a pitch is a strike or a ball, … is final. No player, manager, coach or substitute, shall object to any such judgment call.”

        The complaint against the umpire ejecting Kazmir is NOT because it goes against the rule book but because it goes against common practice to eject a player in that situation.

      • blacksables - May 18, 2014 at 7:07 AM

        “in that situation”

        What does that even mean? The rule book only counts when you want to count, and when you don’t, it doesn’t?

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 18, 2014 at 8:47 AM

        You give personal attacks for a simple comment like that? Good lord!

        I do not believe simply saying “where was that?” is worthy of an ejection, something that happens all the time. Granted, perhaps there was something else I didn’t see (hence the cheeky reference to “3rd grade lip reading”). I am not aware of any rule that mandates an ejection in that spot – it is a judgment call.

        It seems you feel differently, and it should be an ejection. You have a nice day

      • blacksables - May 18, 2014 at 9:08 AM

        The rule book states specifically that arguing balls and strikes is an automatic ejection. I don’t feel differently about the rule, I know it is.

        That fact that umpires still listen to a lot of crap from the players and coaches is a testament to their professionalism. They give them a lot of leeway, and it is an extreme case when someone is ejected for it, as per the rules.

        Why do you always blame the umpires for doing their job, and fail to call out the players for not doing theirs?

        Getting ejected over a rule that they all know is stupid on the players part.

      • DelawarePhilliesFan - May 18, 2014 at 10:08 AM

        Your very angry about this, aren’t you?

        The question is what constitutes arguing? Would you toss every person who had a muffed look? Would you toss every person who stomps away from the plate shaking his head? The umpire has to make a judgment of when it crosses the line to becoming an argument.

        As for me “blaming” the umpire – I said he had a bad night. Which happens to everyone.

        You are in no way obligated to listen to anything I say – but relax, will ya?

      • blacksables - May 18, 2014 at 9:08 AM

        But you knew that already, since you know so much about the game.

      • blacksables - May 18, 2014 at 12:07 PM

        I’m not angry about anything. I just don’t understand how you can come on here and complain about rules you don’t even know, and then expect the umpires to be perfect.

        You’re the one with the issues, not me, and not the umpires.

        Read the rule book, learn something about the game, go out and actually umpire a game, if you have the balls to do it, and then come back and complain once you know what it is you are actually complaining about. I’ll listen to you then.

      • madhatternalice - May 18, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        I’m guessing blacksables is a former umpire.

  9. wheels579 - May 17, 2014 at 10:31 PM

    Two separate issues here. Layne indeed appeared to get the call wrong, which was unfortunate. However, Kazmir was totally out of line with his reaction. Fox Sports Ohio had a clear shot of Kazmir yelling “Are you trying to f— with me?” at Layne, which is fair grounds for ejection. If this was an ego-trip by Layne, he would have run Melvin too for questioning his decision. Bottom line, you can’t talk to an umpire like that regardless of whether a call was missed. So no, Kazmir was not ejected “for correctly questioning umpire Jerry Layne’s judgment,” as your sarcastic headline incorrectly states.

    • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 17, 2014 at 11:19 PM

      If all he said was that, I don’t get the ejection. I want pitchers approaching Deadwood levels of cursing before getting tossed.

      • ltzep75 - May 18, 2014 at 1:35 AM

        Kazmir: “It’s not the f***ing hour. It’s not the f***ing vantage of the chair. It’s you, that’s changed the level of your suction somehow. That’s the f***ing sum and substance of it.”

      • blacksables - May 18, 2014 at 4:04 AM

        Then go watch wrestling instead of baseball.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 18, 2014 at 10:50 AM

        Good one, you keep supporting MLB Umps who have no fear of putting themselves about the game.

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 18, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        And I already watch Hockey, Football and Basketball.

        In the first two a player would never get tossed for words said to an Umpire/Ref.

        See there’s this CRAZY idea that it’s just words
        That games are played with emotion and emotional outburst will happen and should be excepted.

        But not baseball, they still operate under this idea that their billion dollar enterprise benefits in some way by allowing umpires to engage the players rather than being professionals, understanding and ignoring them.

        And spare me your clap-trap about the rule book, there’s plenty in there that gets ignored, beginning with the strike zone.

      • blacksables - May 18, 2014 at 12:09 PM

        Yet you support players who put themselves above the game, and that’s acceptable?

      • imnotyourbuddyguy - May 18, 2014 at 12:15 PM

        Put themselves above the game by being human? Being emotional? That’s putting themselves above “the game”.

        The players are the game, and it’s a business. Nobody is paying to see an Ump toss a starting pitcher in the 2nd inning.

        I’m not going to bother debating someone who’s obviously entrenched so much so that he’s saying things like “the game”.

        It’s people who pretend it’s “the game” before “it’s a business” that have kept baseball in the dark ages.

      • blacksables - May 18, 2014 at 12:20 PM

        No, the players are not the game. The game is the game. In all it’s incarnations, good and bad, the game itself is what matters. Not any individual, regardless of what their role is.

        Again, your lack of knowledge of the game, and hero worship of players, does not make you right.

  10. Rene Folsom - May 17, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    The pitch looked low to me

    • kardshark1 - May 17, 2014 at 11:18 PM

      That’s because the camera is above the hitter. And before you say it looked outside, that’s because the camera is to the right of the pitcher. If you adjust for the angles, or look at pitch track, it was pretty much down the middle.

  11. kardshark1 - May 17, 2014 at 11:16 PM

    “Bottom line, you can’t talk to an umpire like that regardless of whether a call was missed.”

    “Are you trying to f— with me?”

    This offends you? If this does, you have serious anger issues. If somebody said that to me after I royally screwed up affecting somebody’s job, I would apologize for the awful mistake I had just made and feel lucky I’m not docked pay or fired.

  12. Marty Silvert - May 17, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    This one umpire that needs to be suspended. The umps have an incredible hard job to do. I know I couldn’t do. Apparently, neither can Jerry Layne.

  13. wheels579 - May 17, 2014 at 11:47 PM

    Kazmir is responsible for his own ejection, plain and simple. His priority should be moving on to his next pitch instead of provoking an argument with Jerry Layne. The idea that you can say anything you want to an umpire after a missed call is ludicrous. Hopefully Kazmir showed some accountability after the game because he let his team down and they did a great job to win that game.

    • daveitsgood - May 18, 2014 at 12:43 AM

      Hopefully Layne showed accountability for missing the call, giving an absurdly quick hook and then MLB replay offices also showed accountability in explaining why Donaldson’s ball that hit above the yellow line, bounced off the rail behind it and back onto the field was ruled to be a triple. All of those are far more egregious than Kazmir supposedly dropping an F bomb in disgust of a bad call.

    • blacksables - May 18, 2014 at 4:16 AM

      Hey, wheels, remember, this is a Bill Baer post. It has to have an inflammatory and incorrect headline in order to get the ‘virgins’ to click and post.

      Virgins – those who don’t know anything about the game, but like to post on any controversial issue that comes up in order to impress other with their knowledge of baseball, while proving every step of the way that they are indeed, virgins.

  14. greej1938l - May 18, 2014 at 12:21 AM

    Lol at those who actually think that was a ball

  15. drewsylvania - May 18, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    Jerry Layne = Frank Drebon when he needs to stop the inning from ending.

  16. thetooloftools - May 18, 2014 at 2:42 AM

    I WAS THERE.
    I’m a Tribe fan but that pitch WAS a strike.
    Own the truth.
    Kaz got tossed for nothing.
    Even the batter was shocked it was called a ball.
    It wasn’t a game changer though because my Indians SUCK and got curb stomped.
    The Indians are forcing fans to buy over priced tickets (Dynamic Pricing… where they SCREW the walk up fan needing tickets ) for a team that is NOT worth watching.
    We are pathetic.
    It is what it is.
    We are what we are.

    • hoopmatch - May 18, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      Yeah, but you have the “Brohio” section.

    • clydeserra - May 18, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      Yeah, I liked the way aguilar started to walk to the dugout, then looked at the umpire and threw the bat away.

      Also his reaction to the the ejection is priceless. He turned around like all the yelling was to him, telling him that it actually was strike three.

  17. 4grammarpolice - May 18, 2014 at 6:57 AM

    commentatOrs, not commentatErs.

  18. papajack1259 - May 18, 2014 at 8:33 AM

    There should be accountability for umpires and referees who make terrible calls and then defend them against the evidence a strike is a strike a trip is a trip and these guys play it’s a tough job card send this clown to minors with a three week suspension this is small town “your uncle fired my dad” umpiring Accountability that’s all I ask

  19. jamesd1234 - May 18, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    I hate when I watch dirty umps. What was up with that idiot. It was right out of the movie ‘the naked gun’. And then he ejects the starting pitcher in the 2nd inning, knowing that Oakland’s bullpen is suspect. And then there was a home run that wasn’t called a home run even after a review! Cleveland still lost big. Hope he did too.

  20. hoopmatch - May 18, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    Why not just give the plate umpire a feed to the Pitch F/X data and use that to determine balls and strikes?

  21. miedwards - May 18, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    There was a pitch to the prior batter that was in the same location and called a ball. I’m not quite sure what Layne’s deal was yesterday but those blatantly missed calls should warrant some sort of downgrade in his performance review.

  22. geejon - May 18, 2014 at 11:01 AM

    Kazmir started whining after the 3-1 pitch that was clearly a ball. He should have gotten his warning then. The 3-2 pitch was indeed a strike but he had already pissed the ump off one pitch earlier. Ump shouldn’t have tossed him without a warning. Can’t have pitchers crying about every close pitch but just warn him and move on. If he does it again toss him.

  23. bkool37 - May 18, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    You can toss a hitter for a quick comments, but as an ump you have to display more constraint in regards to a starting pitcher. Taking a SP out in the 2nd inning impacts more than just that game. When the bullpen has to pitch 7 plus innings it can impact the team for days.

    • blacksables - May 18, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      If the manager doesn’t want his bullpen to go for seven innings, then maybe he should tell his starter to not be such a dick.

      • mdyoung1971 - May 19, 2014 at 7:16 AM

        The only real dick in this whole matter is you blacksables. The rule book says nothing about it being an immediate ejection. Even if it did I’ve seen pitchers scream BS at an ump and not get tossed. Your comment that the players aren’t the game is completely untrue. Today many fans go to the park to see certain players, the stars. Those stars attract fans to the park, increasing revenue for the teams and the MLB. Layne made a horrific call and knew it, and then compounded that with a vanity toss of a starting pitcher which could throw the entire pitching staff off for days. If you don’t know the game, don’t post. Is it coincidence that the first letters of the two words making up your name are BS?

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