Even SI's Peter King think the O's were wronged:
"I'm halfway rooting for the Orioles the rest of the way after that horrendous reversal of a correct call helped Detroit beat Baltimore the other night in Detroit. Brutal call. Mark Reynolds and Buck Showalter deserve to be rip-roaring mad over it."
Peter King's 8/20 MMQB
And Bristol says the Orioles are very much irrelevent (ironically.....by NOT saying it. )
How can this be? We're not talking about a judgement call here. This is a black and white situation: either Reynolds violated a rule where the punishment is ejection, or he DIDN'T. We can complain about blown calls like the guy who was safe by a mile being called out, or the fastball down in the dirt being called a "strike," but even though we may disagree with them, they are essentially judgement calls, ie, it's left up the umpire to say one thing (ie, "ball") or another thing (ie, "strike"), and as long has he calls ONE of them, he pretty much is safe from anything happening to him. But if an umpire can throw a player out of a game for something that isn't, as far as the rulebook is concerned, on the list of "ejectable offenses", what ELSE can umpires do and get away with it? In other words (and I"m asking this honestly), what is stopping a first base ump from throwing a player out because he feels like it....because he doesn't like the way he wears his hair, or chews his gum...? After all, the ump could just make something up. Or, maybe the ump doesn't even have to do THAT much...what did the 2nd base ump say to justify his actions...anything at all? WAS there even a rationalization (does anybody know)?
What I'm getting at is, what it's looking like to me is, the rulebook seems to be besides the point when it gets down to brass tacks. Going from the reality before my eyes, neither Jim Palmer, nor anyone, can say an umpire has "no right" to throw out a player for throwing down his glove/other equipment violation.....because, from what I'm seeing play out, an umpire has EVERY right! If several days later, what we're wondering is not "what's going to happen to that ump?" but "what other punishment are they going to hit Reynolds with?", then clearly, the umps do have this right! I think it's extremely messed up, but it seems as if umpires are God in an MLB game, and can pretty much do damn well what they feel like doing, because if there are not repercussions (as everyone claims) then the rulebook means what the umpires say it means.
Anyone notice the first inning call on Machado last night? He clearly did not swing but was immediately called out by the home plate umpire who's eye should have been on the ball not the bat. I have no problem with the home plate umpire making the call when the swing is indisputable but in this case it was not even a close call!
My problem is, how are you watching location and Machados bat at the same time ? You can't see both at the same time unless it's crystal clear and for the most part it's never that clear.
I have always felt this way....and I umpired for many years. Of course not at the MLB level though.
You ever hear Billy Ripken go off on this very issue on the MLB Network ?
It's a week later and there have not yet been any repercussions for Reynolds' comments. I guess the league realizes he was right.
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