Manny Machado Deserves the Suspension: An Ejection Inspection Special

Manny Machado
DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 14: Manny Machado #13 of the San Diego Padres hits a RBI double in the 12th inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on June 14, 2019 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

Welcome to a special edition of Ejection Inspection! This article normally goes up once a week – Thursdays, usually – but Saturday, June 15th had so many – seven – that it warranted its own column. San Diego Padres shortstop and perennial villain Manny Machado was ejected and subsequently suspended (rightfully so – see the section on his ejection), but his wasn’t the only one that day. In fact, it wasn’t even the only one in that game. Therefore, Saturday gets its own special Ejection Inspection column.

The premise and ground rules are detailed here. The condensed version: each ejection from the previous week (Thursday through Wednesday) is listed in a table. The author – a former player/coach/umpire – analyzes each ejection and assigns it an entertainment rating of one to five Weavers in honor of late Baltimore Orioles manager Earl Weaver.

(For a list of every article in this series, click here.)

Here are the ejections from Saturday:

Date Team Opp Inn. Name Pos Umpire Pos Reason
1 Sat 6/15 DET CLE T6 Ron Gardenhire Mgr Manny Gonzalez HP Arguing balls/strikes
2 Sat 6/15 CWS NYY T8 Welington Castillo C Phil Cuzzi HP Arguing balls/strikes
3 Sat 6/15 CWS NYY T8 Rick Renteria Mgr Phil Cuzzi HP Protesting Castillo’s ejection
4 Sat 6/15 SEA @OAK T4 Scott Servais Mgr Carlos Torres HP Arguing balls/strikes
5 Sat 6/15 SD @COL T5 Manny Machado SS Bill Welke HP Arguing balls/strikes
6 Sat 6/15 SD @COL B6 Andy Green Mgr Bill Welke HP Misunderstanding
7 Sat 6/15 SD @COL B6 Matt Strahm P Mike Everitt 3B Misunderstanding

 

Ron Gardenhire, Detroit Tigers Manager

When

Vs. Cleveland Indians, top of the sixth

Umpire

Manny Gonzalez (HP)

Description

With one out in the top of the sixth and the Indians leading, 3-0, the first pitch to Indians left fielder Oscar Mercado was called a ball. It appeared to be low and inside, but it was similar to a pitch the previous half-inning that had been called a strike. Gardenhire began griping from the dugout. Gonzalez warned him, but Gardy continued, prompting the ejection.

Gardy came onto the field and got in Gonzalez’s face, getting his money’s worth before leaving. His lips weren’t visible other than seeing a word that starts with “bull” a few times. It was mild as far as intensity goes. However, as he left the field, he kicked dirt over home plate. Some of it hit Mercado’s legs. As Gardy walked by him, he said, “Sorry, buddy,” prompting laughter from the Cleveland dugout.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. His team is not having a good season, so he’s going to be crabby. He also seems to have a persecution complex regarding his team and strike zones, although in this case he seemed to have a point.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes. Gardenhire was barking protests from the dugout, which the rules say is an ejection.

Entertainment Rating

The ejection itself was not all that entertaining. However, the dirt kick and subsequent apology to Mercado earned a bonus point. Two Weavers.

 

Welington Castillo, Chicago White Sox catcher
Rick Renteria, Chicago White Sox Manager

When

Vs. New York Yankees, top of the eighth

Umpire

Phil Cuzzi (HP)

Description

With a runner on first and the White Sox trailing, 7-0, Yankees designated hitter Clint Frazier batted against Thyago Vieira. On 2-1, a fastball barely missed inside. The previous half-inning, Castillo took a pitch near the knees and on the inner half of the plate for strike three. He felt that this pitch should have been a strike, also, so he stood up, turned around, and argued with Cuzzi. It did not take long for Castillo to get the thumb.

Renteria charged out of the dugout to keep Castillo from doing anything stupid. He got between Castillo and Cuzzi, moved Castillo away, and protested the ejection. Castillo yelled from the side, “That was right down the middle.” Renteria repeated that twice while pointing toward the plate. Cuzzi said, “Don’t talk about the pitch.” The camera cut away to show Castillo walking into the dugout. Then it cut back to the discussion in time to show Renteria walk toward the plate, point at it, and say, “It was right down the middle!” That did it – Cuzzi chucked him.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, although Cuzzi was probably right. The Sox were getting creamed, and they honestly felt that pitch was a strike.

Was the ejection justified?

Both were justified. Players and managers cannot argue balls and strikes. When it comes to catchers, as long as they remain facing forward, umpires let them say just about anything they want. However, if the catcher stands up, he’s playing with fire. If he turns around and faces the umpire, that will be a guarantee. Renteria also knew he would get run if he continued talking about the pitch but did it anyway. It is likely that he intentionally got himself ejected in order to fire up the fans and his team.

Entertainment Rating

Castillo was mildly irritated, but it was nothing memorable, so he receives One Weaver. Renteria was a bit more animated but did not look very angry, so he receives Two Weavers.

Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners manager

When

At Oakland Athletics, top of the fifth

Umpire

Carlos Torres (HP)

Description

Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager took a 3-2 pitch that was over the heart of the plate but about four inches below the knees. Expecting it to be ball four, he started to trot to first but halted upon hearing Torres ring him up. The Seattle dugout howled in protest as Seager turned around to plead his case. Servais sprinted from the dugout to get Seager out of there. He then calmly yet incredulously said, “That nearly hit the ground.” Without raising his voice, he continued to tell Torres how low the pitch was. He then said, “That’s (bleeping) terrible,” at which point Torres tossed him. Amazingly, Servais never raised his voice as he continued to point out how low the pitch was.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. It’s baseball, not golf.

Was the ejection justified?

Even though Servais had a point, the rules clearly state that coming out of the dugout to argue balls and strikes warrants an ejection, so yes.

Entertainment Rating

Servais is the most docile manager in the league, which never amounts to a high Weaver rating. This one gets One Weaver, unlike what went down in Denver around the same time. Speaking of…

Manny Machado, San Diego Padres shortstop

When

At Colorado Rockies, top of the fifth

Umpire

Bill Welke (HP)

Description

In the top of the fifth, Manny Machado came to the plate with Eric Hosmer on first and one out. The Padres trailed, 7-4, against Rockies starter German Márquez. The first pitch was between the belt and letters and over the inner half of the plate for strike one. Machado stepped out of the box and had several things to say to Welke. As he stepped back in, he shook his head as he said several more words. Machado fouled the next pitch off then shook his head. After a pitch missed high for ball one, Machado fouled off another. The next pitch broke sharply across the plate. Even though the catcher caught it wide of the plate, it looked like it caught the outside corner as it crossed. Welke called strike three.

Manny Machado turned toward Welke and started complaining as he walked toward him. After Machado took two steps, Welke gave him the heave-ho. Machado yelled, “That’s (expletive)!” He spiked his helmet and continued to scream, “That’s (bleeping) HORRIBLE! That’s (bleeping) horrible! That’s (bleeping) (expletive)! You’re (bleeping) calling that all (bleeping) day. ALL (bleeping) GAME!”

Manny Machado Loses His Mind

Manager Andy Green arrived in a sprint as Machado continued screaming that it was (bleeping) bull manure. Green asked, “Why did you run him? Why did you run him?” Welke calmly pointed at Machado and said, “Well, look at what he’s doing.” Welke continued to explain, but his lips were hard to read. Crew chief Mike Everitt and third base coach Glenn Hoffman arrived as Machado fired his bat against the backstop and led Machado back toward the dugout. After a few steps, barrel-chested hitting coach Rod Barajas took over for Everitt. During this time, Machado repeated his two-word expletive three more times before yelling, “You (bleeping) suck! You (bleeping) suck!” Machado continued to scream f-bombs at Welke after he got to the dugout. After about four of those, he went into the clubhouse.

The camera cut back to the plate, where Green asked again why Welke tossed him. Welke said, “He walked up to me and told me it was a horse (expletive) call. After getting a warning.” Green then returned to the dugout.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, even though Welke made the correct call. Pitches that break across the plate that sharply never look like strikes to a batter.

Was the ejection justified?

Unquestionably. Machado had been warned. He should have known better.

Furthermore, his conduct afterward warranted a suspension. Although he did not touch Welke, contrary to the claim of the league, his conduct was still unacceptable. Players simply cannot be throwing their bats against the backstop like that, and that is the reason that the league should have given for the suspension. One game was a fitting punishment. More than that would have been harsh. Machado is appealing, and results were pending as of this writing.

Entertainment Rating

This was one of the most memorable of the year. Five Weavers, easily, and there were more coming the following inning…

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Andy Green, San Diego Padres manager
Matt Strahm, San Diego Padres pitcher

When

At Colorado Rockies, bottom of the sixth

Umpires

Bill Welke (HP) and Mike Everitt (3B)

Description

With the Rockies now leading 11-7, Phil Maton took the mound to try and keep his Padres in the game. Catcher Tony Wolters led off with a fly to center for the first out. What followed was one of the strangest sequences of the season.

The Padres were yelling, “Come on, Phil!” to encourage the young pitcher. Everitt heard, “Come on, Bill!” and thought they were bench jockeying the plate umpire. Explanations from the Padres fell on deaf ears. Green came onto the field to explain the situation to Welke. While he did that, Everitt threw pitcher Matt Strahm (who was in the dugout) out of the game.

Meanwhile, Green kept telling Welke that his team was not talking to Welke but to Maton. At one point he said, “They were yelling for Phil.” After Green tried in vain several more times to explain, Welke said an expletive that starts with “bull” and walked away. Then Green said to Welke’s back, “You screwed it up.”

Green Gets Tossed

Welke turned around and sent Green to the showers. Green said, “What is WRONG with you?” Some of what he said was hard to read lips on, but one point he was making was, “They weren’t even talking to you!” Another was, “They weren’t piping off!” The camera cut to Barajas, who was on the field trying to reason with Everitt in front of the Padres dugout. It then went back to Green, who was yelling every word now. He said to Welke, “Are you kidding me?” Green then said something about Strahm yelling to his teammate before continuing, “You BLEW that one! AND THEN YOU RAN ME!” The broadcast showed Barajas again talking to both Everitt and second base umpire Chris Guccione before going back to Green, who said, “They were YELLING at PHIL! They were yelling at the PITCHER! They weren’t even TALKING to you!”

Welke turned and walked away as first base umpire Lance Barrett arrived. Barajas then came and got Green, but Green would not leave the field. Infielders coach Damion Easley tried to help Barajas, but Green grew even more agitated and continued screaming at Welke. As Green neared the dugout, Everitt said something that got Green riled up again. Barajas and Barrett held Green back and turned him toward the dugout. First baseman Eric Hosmer had come all the way over from his position to try to calm the situation, and it was a good thing. It took Easley and Hosmer to settle Everitt down as second base umpire Chris Guccione inexplicably stood there with his arms folded.

Understand the frustration?

It started off as confusion. After the misunderstanding, the Padres were rightfully frustrated. The whole situation could have been avoided had Everitt not turned into Mr. Rabbit Ears. Remember, Rabbit Ears doesn’t mean that the umpire hears everything. They need to hear everything in order to manage the game properly. Rabbit Ears means reacting to everything, even when it isn’t warranted. That is what Everitt did here, and it was not fair to the Padres.

Was the ejection justified?

No and no. As mentioned before, the Padres had a legitimate gripe. What made it look worse is that it was Green’s second ejection of the year, and both were by Bill Welke.

Entertainment Rating

This entire situation was so bizarre, drawn out, and hilarious that it also earns Five Weavers. For the first time all season, there were multiple ejections that earned four or more Weavers in the same game.

 

Look for the rest of Week 12 on Thursday, June 20th.

Evan Thompson played baseball as a youth and teenager. He also umpired between 1995 and 2004 and has coached at the high school level.

Main Photo
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