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Video: Watch umpire Chris Guccione go out of his way to eject A.J. Burnett

Aug 2, 2014, 9:25 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies v Washington Nationals Getty Images

Phillies starter A.J. Burnett wasn’t having a very good night when home plate umpire Chris Guccione got him hot under his collar. Burnett just surrendered a three-run home run to Anthony Rendon in the bottom of the second with two outs, putting the Nationals up 5-0. Burnett’s next pitch, starting an at-bat against Jayson Werth, was a 93 MPH outside fastball, called a ball.

Burnett said something to Guccione — ostensibly about a previous pitch, as the pitch to Werth was clearly a ball — so Guccione ran towards the mound from his position behind the plate and ejected Burnett right in front of his face. Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg, of course, was livid and he, too, was ejected. Burnett and Sandberg continued stating their case to a crowd of umpires before exiting the field, Sandberg handing his lineup card to bench coach Larry Bowa.

The game didn’t get any better for the Phillies. As of this writing, it’s 11-0 after four innings.

102 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. captaincanoe - Aug 3, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    Hope he gets fined for not leaving the field immediately. Cry baby.

    • renaado - Aug 3, 2014 at 8:38 AM

      It’s called “Pride on oneself”, If someone would do somethin like that to me or anyone… umpire or not, I doubt someone would walk away that easily.

  2. unclemosesgreen - Aug 3, 2014 at 8:35 AM

    The ump went 2 steps onto the infield grass to throw out a mutton-head who thoroughly deserved to get tossed, but Crashburn Bill wants to make it about “ump-show.” Sorry, it’s about a terrible team who were desperate and delusional enough to sign A.J. Burnett in the first place. “He’s the piece that will put us over the top!”

    BIll, you’re writing for a national blog here. You should really try harder not to be such a homer. You got it all wrong, smeared an ump for no good reason and made yourself look really really bad in the process. Total fail.

    • Paper Lions - Aug 3, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Oh please. There is so much wrong with that statement.

      If you really think AJ deserved to get tossed then you must think that Ortiz should be tossed every time he complains about a call and decides to take a stroll before getting back in the box.

      An umpire is an arbiter. His job is to call the game and to moderate. His job is not to take umbrage every time a player complains, and “making a spectacle of yourself” is definitely not in the job descriptions. An umpires job is to diffuse situations, not to create and escalate them.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 3, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        Even Jamie Moyer said that A.J. essentially tossed himself out of that game. He wanted an early exit and found a way to get it.

        Reasonable minds can disagree about Guccione’s comportment in throwing out Burnett. I don’t mind it. He’s Italian, he’s going to get excited now and again. I don’t care and I don’t mind if you do.

        But any pitcher who does what Burnett did is going to get tossed, by any umpire. Those are the facts of life, and every pitcher and every umpire knows them.

      • unclemosesgreen - Aug 3, 2014 at 11:47 AM

        Furthermore, if you go back and watch the whole sequence, (as in before the video Baer linked) the ump had already given Burnett a lot of latitude. I would argue that there are guys who would have run him earlier.

      • recoveringcubsfan - Aug 3, 2014 at 1:56 PM

        The umpire is only one part of this, but he definitely failed to officiate properly. Even those who say Burnett asked for it have also acknowledged that this incident escalated right in front of everyone’s face. Literally everyone watching that game saw that Burnett was getting upset by the calls and that the umpire was getting upset at being questioned. It was specifically shown in the Phollies’ TV feed and I plainly saw the. Both gesturing from my seat near the dugout. You don’t have to be a genius to see trouble coming. Guccione has got to have a way to de-escalate those kinds of situations – what do they teach at umpire school? Instead, he for just as chippy as Burnett and even, following the Rendon HR, when Burnett was the most upset, Guccione himself went out to the mound to give him a new baseball and…what? Give him a talking to? That’s inappropriate.

        But the greater failure belongs to the whole Phollies team. Ruiz didn’t say anything to the ump before that. He didn’t get the ball and take it out himself after the HR. Utley, Rollins, and Howard all stood there and didn’t visit the mound to pick up their teammate, they just watched him stewing. And finally, Sandberg had to have seen the same thing we all did and he did absolutely nothing. No visit in between innings, no mound visit, zip.

      • derklempner - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:58 PM

        …and “making a spectacle of yourself” is definitely not in the job descriptions.

        Yes. The umpire should be fined and suspended for his actions. There was no need for him to run out from behind the plate to make himself seem more important than the game. If he wanted to toss Burnett, he could have done it just as easily from behind the plate, or calmly walking out and talking to Burnett before tossing him.

        As soon as the ump decided to run out and toss him, he made a spectacle of himself.

  3. eagles512 - Aug 3, 2014 at 9:01 AM

    No reason that ump shouldn’t be suspended. They are a disgrace.

  4. brewpack42 - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:18 AM

    Lol watch Jason Worth’s expression/reaction

    • derklempner - Aug 3, 2014 at 10:59 PM

      LOL. He was a statue when it happened. That’s a great catch, brewpack.

  5. stlouis1baseball - Aug 4, 2014 at 11:59 AM

    Isn’t this the Dude Axle Rose is bitching about in the song “Civil War?”
    Seems fitting. Axle was well ahead of the curve on this one.

  6. tmc602014 - Aug 4, 2014 at 3:49 PM

    Is Guccione wearing eyeliner?

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