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Umpire Stares Down Madison Bumgarner, Massages His Hand Before Ejecting Pitcher

Umpire Dan Bellino stares at Diamondbacks pitcher Madison Bumgarner
Image via Bally Sports Arizona

Madison Bumgarner’s start today ended after one inning, and it wasn’t because he pitched poorly or got hurt. Umpire Dan Bellino tossed the Diamondbacks left-hander from this afternoon’s game against the Marlins during an inspection for foreign substances. Bumgarner, already redassed in his default setting, was furious.

It didn’t appear that Bellino tossed Bumgarner for actually using a foreign substance. The ejection seemed to be prompted by whatever the pitcher said to the umpire while he having his hand checked. Bumgarner is famously irascible even by the standards of an MLB starting pitcher, and had griped about balls and strikes in the first inning, but those were called by home-plate umpire Ryan Wills, and Bellino was the first-base ump. Maybe Bellino was standing up for his crewmate or something, but his inspection took a little longer than usual. Opposing starter Elieser Hernandez received a more routine check by third-base ump Adrian Johnson during the game.

From this angle, Bellino wasn’t even looking at Bumgarner’s hand. Whatever he was doing there was closer to reading a palm than checking for gunk. A key part of inspection, just as a general rule, is to look at the thing you’re inspecting. In this case, Bellino was seemingly waiting for Bumgarner to notice and say anything that could be actionable. (Bellino is a lawyer, after all.) However grouchy Bumgarner is here, Bellino is the one exhibiting cop behavior here:

The Diamondbacks replaced Bumgarner with Corbin Martin, who pitched four innings and gave up two earned runs. The big winner in all this, really, is Angel Hernandez. Now some other ump gets to be yelled at for a couple of days.