Ejection Inspection, September 14th: Atlanta Braves Manager Brian Snitker Defends Charlie Culberson

Brian Snitker
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 14: Manager Brian Snitker #43 of the Atlanta Braves argues with umpires Tim Timmons, left, and Bill Welke, right, after getting ejected in the seventh inning during a baseball game against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on September 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Brian Snitker Loses Mind after Charlie Culberson Injury

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. With only two weeks left in the regular season, this is understandable. One that would have been understandable no matter when it occurred happened on this day. Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker went berserk after the Charlie Culberson injury when his substitute did not go to first base.

(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 six from Saturday appear in this column. For the other eight, 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

 

Dillon Maples, Chicago Cubs Pitcher
Joe Maddon, Chicago Cubs Manager

When

Saturday, September 14th, vs. Pittsburgh Pirates, top of the ninth

Umpire

Alfonso Marquez (HP)

Description

The Pirates had plunked four Cubs hitters in the first six innings. After the fourth – David Bote – Marquez issued warnings. Bote was livid since it was the second time of the season that Clay Holmes had drilled him.

In the ninth, Maples hit Elias Diaz and Erik Gonzalez in consecutive at-bats, though not on consecutive pitches. After the second, Marquez threw Maples out, and, by rule, had to eject Maddon as well.

Understand the frustration?

The Cubs didn’t seem to be frustrated since they were ahead 14-1 at the time. If this were a close game, they probably would have been, though. Maples has had control problems all year. The first HBP was a slider that got away from him, and the second was a curveball that had done the same.

Was the ejection justified?

It didn’t seem like it. Keep in mind, however, that Marquez was backed into a corner after issuing the warnings.

Entertainment Rating

Zero Weavers. It was a rule-based ejection that had no clear argument whatsoever.

 

Brian Snitker, Atlanta Braves Manager

When

Saturday, September 14th, at Washington Nationals, top of the seventh

Umpire

Bill Welke (1B)

Description

Braves pinch hitter Charlie Culberson squared around to bunt the first pitch from Fernando Rodney. There were runners on first and second with nobody out. Rodney’s fastball got away from him and traveled high and tight. Culberson tried to pull the bat back and get out of the way but couldn’t. A frightening moment ensued as the ball caught him squarely in the right cheek. (Thankfully, it didn’t damage his eye socket.) After the medical staff from both teams took care of Culberson, he got up on his own and headed for treatment.

On appeal, Welke ruled that Culberson had offered at the pitch. By rule, this meant that the pitch was a dead ball strike. This incensed Snitker, whose explosive protest resulted in Welke sending him to the showers. After being tossed, Snitker vented the frustration that his batter was “hit in the (bleeping) face” and yet his substitute didn’t get first base. Before leaving the field, Snitker yelled “Shame on you” twice.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. Every manager in the LEAGUE would have been ejected here, even if the call were correct. (According to replay, it wasn’t.)

Was the ejection justified?

Yes, but Snitker didn’t care, and no other manager would have, either.

Entertainment Rating

Snitker’s reaction would normally be worth Four Weavers. However, the scary incident leading to it makes it tough to even watch it, let alone be entertained by it.

 

Dale Sveum, Kansas City Royals Bench Coach

When

Saturday, September 14th, vs. Houston Astros, top of the second

Umpire

Chris Guccione (HP)

Description

The Royals were still reeling from the previous day’s strike zone. In the top of the second, a 1-0 pitch to leadoff hitter Alex Bregman crossed the heart of the plate above the knees. Guccione called it a ball. Later in the at-bat, a 3-1 sinker near the inside corner and belt-high was ball four. After the first pitch to the subsequent hitter was well inside, Guccione lifted his mask and yelled for someone in the Royals dugout to stop yelling, ending it with, “I’m working. I’m working.” Sveum continued, so Guccione booted him.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, especially with the Bregman at-bat, and considering the strike zone from the night before.

Was the ejection justified?

What Sveum said is unknown to the public. However, given that manager Ned Yost did not react at all, it probably was.

Entertainment Rating

One Weaver. This was unremarkable.

 

Eric Hosmer, San Diego Padres First Baseman
Andy Green, San Diego Padres Manager

When

Saturday, September 14th, at Colorado Rockies, top of the fifth

Umpire

Carlos Torres (3B)

Description

Hosmer tried to check his swing on a 1-0 pitch in the dirt. On appeal, Torres ruled that he swung. Replays disagreed. Hosmer ultimately grounded to second. On his way back to the third base dugout, he yelled twice at Torres that it was “terrible.” As Hosmer was about to go down the stairs, Torres chucked him.

Hosmer walked up to Torres and protested his ejection. Green quickly joined him as third base coach Glenn Hoffman pulled Hosmer away. Plate umpire Paul Nauert intervened with Green, and as Green walked away, he finished his sentence to Torres. When Green said a parting sentence, Torres bounced him.

Understand the frustration?

Absolutely. Both Hosmer and Green were walking away when they were dumped.

Was the ejection justified?

Technically, yes, but both felt like quick triggers. Hosmer could have been handled just fine with hands up and, “Eric, that’s enough.” Green was walking away. Had he said more than one sentence while walking away, then, yes, toss him, but this seemed trifling.

Entertainment Rating

Three Weavers. The ejection was strange, and the aftermath lasted a while. Plus, Green is fun to watch when he argues.

For the other eight ejections from Week 25 and the leaderboard, click here.

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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