Ejection Inspection, Weeks 26 & 27: Los Angeles Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts Unjustly Ejected

Dave Roberts
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 20: Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers and umpire Greg Gibson #53 get into an argument during a game against the Colorado Rockies at Dodger Stadium on September 20, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers won 12-5. (Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images)

Dave Roberts Gets Tossed (Unjustly) for First Time All Season

Welcome to a special combo edition of Weeks 26 and 27 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. A highlight of these two weeks came when Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, the lone remaining manager who had yet to be ejected, received his first of the year.

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

There were seven ejections in Week 26 and one in Week 27. Of the Week 26 ejections, there were two players, three managers, a hitting coach, and an assistant hitting coach. The lone Week 27 ejection was a manager.

Week 26 Ejection Table

Date Team Opp Inn. Name Pos Umpire Pos Reason
1 Thu 9/19 KC @MIN B5 Mike Montgomery P Manny Gonzalez HP Arguing balls/strikes
2 Fri 9/20 AZ @SD T7 Eric Hinske AHtC Todd Tichenor HP Arguing balls/strikes
3 Fri 9/20 LAD COL B4 Dave Roberts Mgr Greg Gibson HP Arguing balls/strikes
4 Sat 9/21 NYY TOR B1 Aaron Boone Mgr Joe West 3B Arguing balls/strikes
5 Sat 9/21 NYY TOR B1 Marcus Thames HtC Jeremie Rehak HP Arguing balls/strikes
6 Tue 9/24 PHL @WSN T6 Brad Miller LF Alan Porter HP Arguing balls/strikes
7 Wed 9/25 SEA HOU B7 Scott Servais Mgr Sam Holbrook HP Arguing balls/strikes

 

Week 27 Ejection Table

Date Team Opp Inn. Name Pos Umpire Pos Reason
1 Sat 9/28 MIL @COL T9 Craig Counsell Mgr Mark Carlson HP Arguing replay decision

 

Mike Montgomery, Kansas City Royals Pitcher

When

Thursday, September 19th, at Minnesota Twins, bottom of the fifth

Umpire

Manny Gonzalez (HP)

Description

Montgomery faced Twins catcher Mitch Garver to open the bottom of the fifth. On 1-1, he barely missed low. He did so again on 2-1. After Garver chased an outside pitch to run the count full, he belted a pitch that was right down the middle. It soared over the fence in dead center for a game-tying home run.

After a mound visit from pitching coach Cal Eldred, Montgomery started barking at Gonzalez, ending with “…you (bleeped) it up, that’s why.” Gonzalez, who had started walking back to the plate, turned around and warned him. Montgomery responded with, “Oh, yeah? What are you gonna do about it? That’s (bleeping) terrible!” Gone. “(Bleep) you, man!” Montgomery then said a few more words that were hard to make out before tossing the ball on the ground toward home plate. Upon reaching the dugout, he slammed his glove onto the bench before heading to the clubhouse.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, but not to the point of asking the umpire what he’s “gonna do about it” after he says to stop.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes, and every umpire in the league would have thrown Montgomery out in this situation. That was ridiculous. Furthermore, the Royals broadcast team’s defense of Montgomery and criticism of Gonzalez was absurd. They said that Gonzalez was “looking to throw him out,” which does not seem to be the case. (In defense of the broadcasters, though, the Fox Sports Kansas City broadcast did not show a camera angle that showed Montgomery’s lips.)

Entertainment Rating

Two Weavers. It’s worth a look simply for the “did he REALLY do that?” factor.

 

Eric Hinske, Arizona Diamondbacks Assistant Hitting Coach

When

Friday, September 20th, at San Diego Padres, top of the seventh inning

Umpire

Todd Tichenor (HP)

Description

With runners on second and third, two out, and a 2-0 lead, Diamondbacks third baseman Eduardo Escobar took a splitter over the outside corner and near the top of the zone. Tichenor rang him up, ending the half-inning.

Tichenor had an issue with the Diamondbacks dugout, snapping his head toward them and yelling, “What’d you say?” as manager Torey Lovullo came out of the dugout to try to mediate. While Lovullo was on his way, Tichenor booted Hinske. Lovullo asked what Hinske said. As Tichenor explained, the look on Lovullo’s face was one of “I am NOT buying this, but what can I do?” Hinske couldn’t believe it, chuckling incredulously as he headed to the tunnel.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. That pitch looked high from the dugout.

Was the ejection justified?

No clue. What Hinske said is not public knowledge, and it wasn’t discernable from video or audio replay.

Entertainment Rating

Two Weavers because of the look on Lovullo’s face; otherwise, it would have been One Weaver.

 

Dave Roberts, Los Angeles Dodgers Manager

When

Friday, September 20th, vs. Colorado Rockies, bottom of the fourth

Umpire

Greg Gibson (HP)

Description

With a runner on first, no one out, and the Dodgers trailing 4-2, second baseman Gavin Lux took a 2-0 pitch that appeared to be below the knees. It looked like it was right next to where the previous pitch crossed the plate, but Gibson called it a strike. Dave Roberts and his coaching staff shook their heads in disbelief. As Gibson looked into the dugout, Roberts said, “That’s low. That’s low.” BANG! Gibson launched Roberts, prompting him to explode from the dugout with a huge sense of injustice.

Dave Roberts arrived and yelled, “Did you throw me out? Are you (bleeping) (bleeping) me?!???” A highly animated exchange ensued, with Roberts furiously pleading his case and Gibson yelling back with a pompous sense of smugness. The ensuing discussion occurred with their mouths covered. After about a minute, third base umpire C.B. Bucknor stepped in as a peacemaker, and Roberts headed to the tunnel.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. The pitch appeared to be low.

Was the ejection justified?

Cannot defend this at all. While the rules say that no one can argue balls and strikes, this was an unusually quick trigger. Gibson did not even hold his hand up toward the dugout, let alone tell anyone to stop. It appeared as if Gibson wanted to be the guy who finally ran Dave Roberts this season – like he’d win a prize or something.

Entertainment Rating

This sequence earned Four Weavers, both for length and animation purposes. Rarely does one see a guy as mild-mannered as Dave Roberts get this animated over something.

 

Marcus Thames, New York Yankees Hitting Coach
Aaron Boone, New York Yankees Manager

When

Saturday, September 21st, vs. Toronto Blue Jays, bottom of the first

Umpire

Jeremie Rehak (HP, Thames) and Joe West (3B, Boone)

Description

Yankees left fielder Giancarlo Stanton dug in against T.J. Zeuch with two out and a runner on first. The first pitch came in near the knees over the inside corner with lots of downward movement. Rehak called strike one. The next pitch dipped a bit lower but still clipped (or at least came close to clipping) the front of the zone for strike two. Two pitches later, the same type of diving pitch came in, but it wasn’t as low as the second one. Strike three, side retired.

Stanton voiced displeasure before heading to his position. Boone yelled like crazy from the dugout, pointing a few times. There were lots of f-bombs and other profanity that started with “bull.” Boone then yelled toward West, “(Bleep) you! (Something imperceptible) I’ve got nothing to say to you!” West, of course – as any other umpire on the planet would have done – sent him to the showers.

Boone jogged out of the dugout to get in some parting shots with West. He stayed for several seconds. Unfortunately for this column, his lips were mainly out of view of the cameras, although several times he said something that started with “horse.”

Meanwhile, Thames gave Rehak an earful from the dugout. Rehak asked, “You wanna go?” then held his hand up and said, “That’s enough. I’m not talking to you…” Thames said something else, so Rehak gave him the heave-ho.

Understand the frustration? Was the ejection justified?

The “savages” who take borderline pitches and then throw a fit when they are called strikes are at it again. Boone jockeying from the bench for pitches is understandable. Managers do that. He also knows where the line is, as does every other manager. Consequently, the frequency of these events for Boone and his players is getting absurd. If Boone’s yelling loudly enough from the first base dugout for West to hear him at third base, that’s pretty loud. Furthermore, he told West “(bleep) you” when he saw that West was looking at him. That simply poured gasoline on the fire. Boone only has himself to blame here.

Furthermore, Rehak is known for having a big zone. Teams have scouting reports on players. They also have scouting reports on umpires. The Yankees certainly know this about him. They need to adjust. Fortunately for the Yankees, Rehak will not be calling any postseason games, so they won’t have to worry about his big zone.

Entertainment Rating

Three Weavers for length and silliness.

 

Brad Miller, Philadelphia Phillies Left Fielder

When

Tuesday, September 24th, at Washington Nationals, top of the sixth

Umpire

Alan Porter (HP)

Description

Leading off the sixth in a 1-1 game, Miller worked the count to 3-2 before taking a nasty third strike. It was a belt-high breaking ball that ran in toward his fists. He yelled “No!” among other things as he chucked his bat to the side and began laying into Porter. Manager Gabe Kapler charged in from the dugout, trying to keep his left fielder from getting bounced, but arrived too late.

Kapler pulled Miller away. Before heading toward the clubhouse, Miller yelled several f-bomb-laced protests as Kapler aired grievances to Porter in an animated fashion. Porter, to his credit, heard Kapler out without ejecting him. After about half a minute, Kapler returned to the dugout, and the game resumed.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, although the pitch was a strike. It was a tie game, and Miller expected to be heading to first.

Was the ejection justified?

Yes. Porter gave Miller a long leash, yet he did not take the pathway out.

Entertainment Rating

Three Weavers. The bat tossing and animated yelling were lovely television.

 

Scott Servais, Seattle Mariners Manager

When

Wednesday, September 25th, vs. Houston Astros, bottom of the seventh

Umpire

Sam Holbrook (HP)

Description

Shortstop J.P. Crawford stepped to the plate with one out and nobody on, hoping to get his team’s first hit of the day against Zack Greinke. The first pitch dove as it reached the plate, clipping the very bottom of the zone for strike one. Servais yelled protests from the dugout, saying the pitch was low. Holbrook looked at him and replied, “No it is not! That’s enough!” He continued, so Holbrook chucked him.

Servais came onto the field, saying, “Are you (bleeping) kidding me?” before offering several profanity-laced evaluations of Holbrook’s performance. He continued the conversation for a few seconds before leaving.

Understand the frustration?

Yes. His team still had no hits, and they haven’t been playing well since April ended.

Was the ejection justified?

Holbrook told him to stop, yet he continued, so yes.

Entertainment Rating

One Weaver. This was not memorable at all.

 

Craig Counsell, Milwaukee Brewers Manager

When

Saturday, September 28th, at Colorado Rockies, bottom of the ninth

Umpire

Mark Carlson (HP)

Description

With two out and the speedy (yet hobbled by a left ankle injury) Lorenzo Cain on first, Brewers left fielder Ben Gamel lifted a high fly to shallow center. Center fielder Yonathan Daza dove, but the ball tipped off his glove and fell next to him. Cain, running the whole time since there were two out, rounded third and headed home. Daza’s throw arrived a split second before Cain did. Catcher Tony Wolters caught it and immediately cradled the ball as Cain ran into the tag. The two fell to the ground. Wolters hung on, making the third out.

The Brewers challenged, alleging that Wolters did not give Cain a lane to the plate, but the replay review confirmed the (correct) out call. Counsell argued the decision, forcing Carlson to dump him in the process.

Understand the frustration?

Yes, since the Brewers needed to win to tie for the division lead.

Was the ejection justified?

Any manager who argues a replay decision is automatically ejected.

Entertainment Rating

Zero Weavers. Counsell did not get animated at all.

 

Leaderboard

Here are the leaders after the conclusion of the regular season. 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)
Team low: Cleveland Indians (one)
Umpire: Mike Estabrook (13)

 

Look for the Season Ending Awards on Thursday, October 3rd.

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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