In the top of the tenth inning of tonight’s game against the Pirates, an incorrect call was made on the field. Wil Myers was up with two outs and nobody on base. He tapped a ball foul, and the ball bounced up and hit him in the chest. Since his left foot was clearly still in the batter’s box, the correct call is “foul ball” and the play should have been dead. Instead, home plate umpire Tripp Gibson ruled that the ball was in fair territory and that Myers had left the box, in which case Wil Myers was ruled out. Here’s the play in question:
Andy Green came out and argued the play by calmly asking Gibson to consult the first base umpire and crew chief Dan Iassogna, but his request was denied. The coverage went to commercial, so we couldn’t see how ardent Green’s protest was, but play continued with no ejections. It’s worth noting that this particular ruling is not a reviewable call, which is a bit silly. From this fan’s perspective, this was an important at-bat in a close game, and wasting an out on an incorrect call seems a bit neglectful, but that’s easy to say when sitting in an armchair.
Fast-forward a half-inning. The Padres closed the inning with a slick double-play, and the force out at first base was a close call. The call on the field was “out”, which was correct, but in fear of a review, Andy Green immediately called for his players to get off the field quickly. Apparently home plate umpire Tripp Gibson didn’t like the tone of Green’s voice or his demeanor, because he was ejected immediately, which set Green off on a heated tirade. Maybe Gibson thought that Green was piping off about the missed play just minutes prior, but he was out of line. He got his money’s worth as they say, and the team went on to lose the game in memorable fashion for Bucs fans.
Hopefully the umpires learn something as they look back at this game. They missed a call. That happens, they’re only human, but if they had done as Green had requested and brought in an extra pair of eyes, the call may have been made right. Then the overreaction to Green’s vocal directions to his team was a move made in improper context. Andy Green isn’t known to chirp from the dugout at the umpires, and he’s handled himself calmly and professionally when this kind of thing comes up. In time, he’ll develop a reputation and a relationship with the umpires that should hopefully prevent this kind of overreaction. Still, this should stand as a lesson to Gibson, Iassogna, and other umpires that they need to take a moment and assess the situation before making knee-jerk ejections that could change the course of a game.
On a lighter note, all this umpire argument brought about the tweet of the night:
"I wonder why that mad guy is mad, he's been talking to that guy for a long time."— Padres Prospectus (@PadsProspectus) August 6, 2017
- my 6 yr old, on Andy Green