We had an ump show lastnight

I’m not going to lie.  I turned off last night’s game as the score started to settle into a blow out, and very nearly missed a nice comeback toward the end.  I also managed to miss one of the stranger ejections of the season.  Deadspin has the story.

MLB is lucky last night’s Royals-Blue Jays game was a victory for the Jays, because if the Royals had pulled ahead late and Troy Tulowitzki hadn’t been there to bat in the bottom of the ninth, all of Canada would be calling for home plate umpire John Hirschbeck’s head.

Between the seventh and eighth inning, Hirschbeck busted out one of the stranger ejections you’ll ever see, running Tulowitzki from the game as the shortstop was taking his position in the field. The two had a brief argument over a called third strike during the previous half inning, but it didn’t look like there was much else to precipitate the ejection:

I think most of us can agree the line for ejecting a player usually gets pushed a little more loosely during the playoffs, and it should take something pretty egregious or at least obvious to remove a player from a game with so much on the line.  From the video it appears that not only was Tulo on the more innocent side, but Hirschbeck actively perused a confrontation.  We obviously don’t know who said what to whom, but it seems like Tulo was likely complaining to a teammate, on the other side of the field, something we’d likely all do, and was doing so in a manner that was not showing up the umpire at all, when John decided he had enough.  We’ve talked about it many times before, umpiring has become increasingly confrontational lately and it’s a problem that is not going away.  MLB really needs to address this and to address it soon.  One more food for thought.  Remember that umpires are generally selected by seniority, not overall performance.

In the end, I suppose we should all just be glad the field didn’t end up covered in trash.

10 thoughts on “We had an ump show lastnight

  1. I’m leaning toward cutting Hirshbeck some slack, mostly because he’s not Joe West. Unlike Cowboy Joe, he does not have a long and inglorious history of making bad calls and then instigating confrontations. We don’t know what Tulo said, either at the plate or in the field. We also don’t know if Hirshbeck had told Tulo to cool it when he argued the strike call at the plate (remember that, by rule, Hirshbeck could have ejected him then and there).

    We also will never know for sure, but it would be unsurprising if the events from game 5 of the ALDS affect how the umps are thinking in Toronto now too.

    Lastly, you are right, seniority appears to be the primary qualification used in picking the umps for the playoffs. However, so far, there’s been no Cowboy Joe and no Angel Hernandez behind the plate. Let’s hope it stays that way.

    Liked by 2 people

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