Ejection Inspection, Week 25: Bryce Harper Gets Second Ejection with Philadelphia Phillies

Bryce Harper
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 18: Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies looks on from the dugout during the third inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on September 18, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Bryce Harper Gets Second Ejection with Phillies

Welcome to Week 25 of Ejection Inspection! 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. This week had 14 ejections. Six occurred on one day, Saturday, resulting in their own column. One highlight from the rest of the week came on Sunday, when Bryce Harper received his second ejection with the Philadelphia Phillies.

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

There were 14 ejections in Week 25 – six players, six managers, a bench coach, and a first base coach. The eight that did not occur on Saturday appear below. For the Saturday ejections, click here.

Ejection Table

1 Thu 9/12 SD CHC B9 Wil Myers CF Ramon De Jesus HP Arguing balls/strikes
2 Thu 9/12 TEX TB T7 Chris Woodward Mgr Mike Muchlinski HP Arguing balls/strikes
3 Fri 9/13 WSN ATL B8 Tim Bogar FBC Tim Timmons 1B Arguing checked swing(?)
4 Fri 9/13 KC HOU 7/8 Alex Gordon LF Lance Barrett HP Arguing balls/strikes
5 Fri 9/13 KC HOU 7/8 Ned Yost Mgr Lance Barrett HP Arguing balls/strikes
6 Sat 9/14 CHC PIT T9 Dillon Maples P Alfonso Marquez HP Hitting a batter after a warning
7 Sat 9/14 CHC PIT T9 Joe Maddon Mgr Alfonso Marquez HP Player hitting a batter after a warning
8 Sat 9/14 ATL @WSN T7 Brian Snitker Mgr Bill Welke 1B Arguing checked swing
9 Sat 9/14 KC HOU T2 Dale Sveum BeC Chris Guccione HP Arguing balls/strikes
10 Sat 9/14 SD @COL T5 Eric Hosmer 1B Carlos Torres 3B Arguing checked swing
11 Sat 9/14 SD @COL T5 Andy Green Mgr Carlos Torres 3B Defending his player
12 Sun 9/15 PHL BOS B4 Bryce Harper RF Gabe Morales HP Arguing balls/strikes
13 Sun 9/15 PHL BOS B4 Gabe Kapler Mgr Gabe Morales HP Arguing balls/strikes
14 Sun 9/15 ATL @WSN T5 Matt Joyce RF Bill Welke HP Arguing balls/strikes

 

Wil Myers, San Diego Padres Center Fielder

When

Thursday, September 12th, vs. Chicago Cubs, bottom of the ninth

Umpire

Ramon De Jesus (HP)

Description

With a runner on second and nobody out, Myers took a 1-1 pitch thigh-high and near the outside corner for a called strike. Myers spun back, stepped out of the box, and pointed at the plate twice, yelling the entire time. He then bent over and appeared to angrily draw a line in the dirt with his finger. De Jesus tossed him, bringing manager Andy Green out of the dugout to discuss the matter further. After he finished with De Jesus, he stood on the grass near the dirt area surrounding the plate. He didn’t move until first base umpire Fieldin Culbreth came over and talked to him.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, for more than one reason. The Padres broadcast team said that both teams had been frustrated with the strike zone all day. In addition, the Padres, who have had a rough season, were down 4-0 at the time.

Was the ejection justified?

From body language and timing, it looked like Myers drew something in the dirt to indicate where he thought the ball was. Major league umpires will always run someone for that, and it’s been that way for decades. Apart from that, it was hard to make out what Myers said, and it looked like De Jesus was giving Myers wiggle room to vent.

Entertainment Rating

Two Weavers. It didn’t last long, but it was amusing.

 

Chris Woodward, Texas Rangers Manager

When

Thursday, September 12th, vs. Tampa Bay Rays, top of the seventh inning

Umpire

Mike Muchlinski (HP)

Description

The Rangers led 5-4 with one out and nobody on. Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi faced Rangers pitcher Jonathan Hernandez. The left-handed Choi took a 1-2 changeup that appeared to be well outside, but Woodward thought otherwise, yelling protests from the first base dugout. Muchlinski took his mask off, faced Woodward, held his hand up, and told him to stop. Woodward persisted, so Muchlinski tossed him with a forceful arm motion.

Woodward sprinted to Muchlinski and had an animated back-and-forth. Muchlinski yelled more frequently and more demonstrably, but Woodward pointed and also held his index fingers about six inches apart. Woodward claimed that Muchlinski had given Rays pitchers six inches off the outside corner “all (bleeping) night.” It was hard to read his lips on every word, but the word “inconsistent” showed up. Muchlinski’s mouth wasn’t visible to the cameras, but he had an incredulous look on his face as he argued. After about 30 seconds, third base umpire Tony Randazzo intervened and separated the two.

Understand the frustration?

Woodward probably felt at least slightly embarrassed when he saw the replay, but he likely reacted to Hernandez’s reaction. The hurler started to walk off the mound as if he had struck Choi out. Muchlinski has been one of the less consistent umpires in the league, so from that standpoint, Woodward’s frustration is understandable.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes, since Muchlinski told him to stop.

Entertainment Rating

Three Weavers. This was a taste of the fun arguments of yesteryear, but it didn’t last long enough to get four or five.

 

Tim Bogar, Washington Nationals First Base Coach

When

Friday, September 13th, vs. Atlanta Braves, bottom of the eighth

Umpire

Tim Timmons (1B)

Description

Trailing 5-0 with one out and a runner on second, Nationals first baseman Howie Kendrick tried to check his swing on a 2-1 pitch out of the zone. On appeal, Timmons ruled that he swung, much to the dismay of the Nationals, who occupied the first base dugout. Kendrick eventually grounded sharply to the first baseman (unassisted) and made a comment as he passed by Timmons. After Kendrick went back in the dugout, Bogar looked like he was trying to make peace. Then Timmons threw Bogar out.

Bogar stood next to Timmons and asked, “Why did you throw me out of the game?” Timmons pointed and explained why (his lips were hard to read), and Bogar responded, “I asked you if you said something,” then repeated it with a colorful metaphor added. He then said several times, “You know me better than that” before telling him that it was a synonym for manure as manager Dave Martinez led him away.

Understand the frustration?

Check swings are tough, and umpires usually get some grief from the dugout on appeal. However, the frustration Bogar had came with the ejection. Rarely do base coaches get ejected, since they talk all game with the umpire stationed by them. For Bogar to get tossed, either he said something really bad or Timmons misunderstood him. Bogar’s reaction was incredulous yet calm. Judging by that, Timmons probably misunderstood him.

Was the ejection justified?

This question cannot be definitively answered without knowing what Bogar said, but, from his reaction, probably not.

Entertainment Rating

One Weaver. This was weird.

 

Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals Left Fielder
Ned Yost, Kansas City Royals Manager

When

Friday, September 13th, vs. Houston Astros, bottom of the seventh

Umpire

Lance Barrett (HP)

Description

Gordon faced Gerrit Cole with one out, nobody on, and the Astros leading 1-0. He went down on a called third strike – one of two called strikes in the at-bat that Cole disagreed with, along with strike one. Both pitches were close but correct. Between innings, Barrett dumped both Gordon and Yost. Neither broadcast station showed footage of the Gordon ejection, but they did show the Yost one. Yost calmly but persistently complained about Barrett’s strike zone with Cole on the mound.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. Cole is tough to hit, so teams are going to be upset with any borderline strike call, even if they are correct.

Was the ejection justified?

No way to know about the Gordon one without any footage. The Yost ejection definitely was, and, from Yost’s reaction to being dumped, he probably went out there intending to be run.

Entertainment Rating

Zero Weavers for Gordon and One Weaver for Yost. Gordon’s has no footage available, and Yost’s was a conversation that didn’t even get heated.

Side note: Yost’s ejection was the 200th of the season.

 

Saturday’s ejections appear here.

 

Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies Right Fielder
Gabe Kapler, Philadelphia Phillies Manager

When

Sunday, September 15th, vs. Boston Red Sox, bottom of the fifth

Umpire

Gabe Morales (HP)

Description

With no outs, a runner on first, and the Phillies trailing 5-1, Bryce Harper took a tailing 1-2 fastball for strike three. It appeared to be thigh-high and near the inside corner – maybe off the plate, but not by much. Harper went to the dugout. After the second pitch to the next hitter, Rhys Hoskins, Harper yelled at Morales from the dugout. Morales removed his mask and launched Harper, prompting Kapler to come onto the field and blow a gasket. The TV broadcast had to mute the on-field mikes due to Kapler’s consistent use of f-bombs. NESN’s broadcast crew said they could clearly hear Kapler from the broadcast booth as he ranted, pointing toward the field several times.

Understand the frustration?

Sort of. The last pitch to Bryce Harper was super close and tailing, but it’s always frustrating to strike out.

Was the ejection justified?

Bryce Harper referred to a replay and yelled that the third strike to him “wasn’t (bleeping) close,” so it absolutely was. Kapler seemed to come onto the field fully intending to be bounced.

Entertainment Rating

Four Weavers. Kapler was steamed and gave an entertaining rant that lasted a while.

 

Matt Joyce, Atlanta Braves Right Fielder

When

Sunday, September 15th, at Washington Nationals, top of the fifth

Umpire

Bill Welke (HP)

Description

While trailing 5-0, Joyce led off the top of the fifth with a called strikeout. He took two pitches that he disagreed with – a 1-0 curveball at the knees and a 3-2 fastball over the outside corner. Both appeared to be in the strike zone. As Joyce headed to the dugout, he yelled at Welke over his shoulder. After a warning, Joyce persisted, and Welke ran him.

Understand the frustration?

The Braves were getting clobbered, and Joyce felt both of those pitches were balls, so yes.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes, and as further evidence, no member of the Braves coaching staff argued it.

Entertainment Rating

One Weaver. This was not memorable in any way.

 

Leaderboard

After 25 weeks, here are the leaders. Fight-related ejections do not count toward the leaderboard.

Managers: Rick Renteria of the Chicago White Sox, David Bell of the Cincinnati Reds, and Ron Gardenhire of the Detroit Tigers (eight each)
Players: Tigers designated hitter Miguel Cabrera (three)
Team high: Reds (19, 23 if you count the fight), Tigers/White Sox (tied at 11). (Royals have 12, but two were fight-related.)
Team low: Cleveland Indians (one)
Umpire: Mike Estabrook (13)

 

Look for Week 26 on Thursday, September 26th.

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

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