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Ron Gardenhire’s ejection on Monday came because he asked the ump to “check the ball.”

Aug 20, 2014, 10:30 AM EDT


Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was ejected from Monday night’s game after arguing about a foul tip strike three to Joe Mauer that he did not believe was a foul tip strike three. Rather, he believed — as did Mauer — that the ball hit the dirt before bouncing up into the catcher’s glove.

Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports that the ejection didn’t come from any magic words being used by Gardenhire. But merely because he pointed out to the umpire that there was an obvious way to check to see if, indeed, the call was correct. He told the umpire, crew chief Fieldin Culbreth, to “check the ball” to see if it had dirt on it:

“‘Check the ball’ should not get you thrown out. There’s other things I’ve said, believe me, that deserve a pitch, but not that one. Everybody has a right to ask that — except me . . . We play with a baseball. You should look at the thing. They throw every ball out nowadays that has a mark on it — every ball. So why not check that one and see if it has a mark on it?”

Eh. Here’s the replay. Looks to me that the catcher may have trapped it, but it’s hard to tell. But given the way he caught it — kind of a snow-cone thing, in which it came down and hit the dirt while in his glove — “checking the ball” may actually have been misleading here. Pretty inconclusive and a close call either way.

Still: unless Gardenhire’s tone on “check the ball” was super jackwagony, I’m not sure why that warrants an ejection.

  1. migoli - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:35 AM

    I don’t see how anyone can say that ball didn’t clearly bounce up into the glove, you must be the guy in NY looking at these replays?

    • happytwinsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:41 AM

      It looked to me like the catcher got his glove on the ball just as it hit the ground and sort of trapped it. If it bounced it was less than an inch. Probably an incorrect call but a very close one.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      I couldn’t CLEARLY see it either way. It was very borderline if it was trapped or caught. Either way, dirt being on the ball is not evidence of anything other than there being dirt on the ball.

    • moogro - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:26 PM

      Dust doesn’t magically poof in front of the glove. Watching from the side and then to the front angle, it clearly hit the dirt first.

  2. happytwinsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    I believe he told the next hitter, Vargas, to request that the ball be checked for a scuff, a request which is normally routinely granted. When the umpire turned down the request, Gardenhire got himself thrown out by protesting, probably because the umpire saw the whole thing as a scheme to show him up.

    The funniest Gardenhire ejection came when the umpire was making a series of questionable ball – strike calls and suddenly Gardenhire was heard yelling from the dugout to the umpire “bear down, bear down…you can do it”

    • Cris E - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:01 PM

      Here’s a tweet from the MN beat writer this morning:
      Gardy on whether foul tips should be reviewable: “I suggested that at home plate, which didn’t help my cause.”

  3. roseann894 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:45 AM

    The Ump did the Twins a favor. Their nervous rookie pitcher was stewing on the bench between innings while Gardy was initiating replays, arguments etc, wasting time in the midst of a season in which nothing can be gained except building for the future.

    • recoveringcubsfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      That is perhaps the most obscure and inane thing I have read lately.

  4. migoli - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    It really doesn’t matter if he snow coned it because the ball can’t be touching the ground . Just comes off as another umpire injecting his personal feelings into the situation.

    • byjiminy - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:33 PM

      Good point! A trapped foul ball is still not a strikeout!

      FWIW it looks to me like that ball is coming back up when it hits the glove. But I got caught up in the whole pseudo-debate too. Either way, it’s not a strikeout.

  5. Jack Glasscock's Cup - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    When did stoicism exit the realm of umpiring? Rabbit ears are unbecoming. Gotta clip those things before they grow.

    • vapor54 - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:16 PM

      yep JGC

  6. yahmule - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    If I had the power to eject people in everyday life, it would take me less than an hour to start abusing it.

    • stex52 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      This ^^^^^^^^

  7. takemytalentstosoutheuclid - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    Perhaps Ron should have spent more energy on his pitching staff that choked away a 5 run first inning lead and lost the ball game?

    • dluxxx - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:13 PM

      Or perhaps you should have spent energy reading the article and seeing that they were talking Monday’s game, not yesterday’s…

      • dluxxx - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:14 PM

        I mean, come on. It’s in the headline…

  8. janessa31888 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:54 AM

    Over sensitive ump syndrome.

  9. tigersfandan - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:58 AM

    If wasn’t because of what he said, but the fact that he kept saying it over and over and over.

  10. scoutsaysweitersisabust - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:05 AM

    I don’t think he got tossed for asking to check the ball, it seems like he got tossed for not dropping the argument. He came out and protested, and the umpire let him have his say. Then he went back in the dugout and continued to yap. At that point the umpire had heard enough. I give a lot of umpires grief for having bloated egos and for being confrontational, but in this case I’m siding with the ump. If you wanted him to check the ball you should have said so when you were on the field arguing the first time. But once you return to the dugout you have to either drop the issue or get tossed.

    • musicman1434 - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:28 PM

      You are absolutely correct. Gardy does not have the ability to stop an argument without getting in the last word.

  11. sportsfan18 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    Valid point that checking the ball might have been misleading here…

    But that is not the point here.

    The point is that a manager was tossed just for asking him to check the ball.

    Again, checking it might have resulted in the wrong call, but that isn’t what’s newsworthy here.

    The ump overstepped his bounds.

  12. sdelmonte - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Am I imagining this, or are the bad umps actually worse this year? It’s as if with replay and the 7.13 rules, they are trying harder than even to maintain control, or the illusion of control, or something.

  13. Bryz - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:42 AM

    What happened in the game was that Gardy first came out to discuss the play with the ump after Mauer struck out, but was not ejected. He returned to the dugout, and as happytwinsfan said above, had the next batter Kennys Vargas request that the ball be checked for a scuff. When that was denied, Gardy came running out of the dugout and was ejected.

  14. West Madison's town Whore - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    Its gardy- who cares, i mean the twins would be better off with out his clown show antics.

  15. getyourownname - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    There may not be many people who understand, but if this ump had been behind the plate in the 1969 series, the Mets may not have won.

  16. dluxxx - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    It seemed like a pretty questionable call. It certainly could have gone either way, but if Mauer had been hit in the foot and granted 1st base, Yost could have come out and asked the ump to look at the ball to see if there was any shoe polish on it. You see that all the time. Why can’t Gardy ask the ump to check the ball? Stupid ejection.

  17. serbingood - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:16 PM

    It’s Karma. The Twins were once my hometown Washington Senators. It’s Karma I tell ya…..

  18. stevem7 - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Ron Gardenhire rated an ejection for one reason and one reason only — Umpire Arrogance. They know they can get away with anything because Joe Torre sits fiddling away in the MLB Tower more concerned with changing hit calls (For D. Ortiz/Against D. Jeter) than with the substandard level of umpires officiating MLB games.

  19. kalinedrive - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:09 PM

    That should be reviewable. It’s not a judgment call like a called strike or a checked swing, it’s a question of did the fielder catch the ball or trap it. Should be reviewable just like a trapped ball anywhere else on the field.

  20. crackersnap - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    Man, it’s a good thing that this kind of play didn’t happen at an important moment in some critical playoff game.

    Like maybe the 3rd out in the bottom of the 9th of the 2005 ALCS or some such crazy thing.

  21. musicman1434 - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    It wasn’t that he just asked to see the ball that got him tossed it was the way he always acts. Gardy has been thrown out 72 times now in his career and has a reputation around the league for being a hot head with no self control. I am a Twins fan and was watching the game live and Gardy simply wouldn’t shut up after he was warned. I am sick and tired of this buffoonery from this disgrace of a manger and don’t blame any umpire for sending this immature petulant child to the showers. I just wish the Twins GM had the courage to do the same.

    • West Madison's town Whore - Aug 21, 2014 at 8:43 AM

      agreed ^ he does suck at life in general !

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