Worse Umpiring Requires More Creative Paths To Ejection
1:18 PM EDT on June 23, 2022
Baseball ejections are largely performative matters that have their own sense of kabuki. Umpire does this, manager comes out, argues for five seconds, gets a response he doesn't like and then snaps. For players, it is often more spur-of-moment because players aren't as schooled in the art, but tend instead to go right to Defcon 1, as in, Fuck you and every single thing you have ever stood for! Managers, though, tend to follow the loosely written script.
Ahh, but then we have Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo, who has already been tossed from four games this year and took particular umbrage at the cab-fare punchout stylings of home plate umpire Doug Eddings, who had a brutal day in the 96-degree heat and 12 innings of Tuesday's 7-6 loss to the White Sox in Chicago by any measure, including this one:
And this one:
By contrast, this was Angel Hernandez's scorecard in Minnesota the next day:
But let's not get caught up in Hernandeziana here. Or for that matter, even Eddings. This is about Montoyo and how he took the basic art of objection to a classier level by sending his hitting coach Guillermo Martinez out the next day for the pregame lineup exchange.
Understand first, though, that neither Montoyo nor Martinez had been ejected the night before. That fell to pitching coach Pete Walker, who reached critical mass after Chicago's Adam Engel walked in the 10th. The 17 Toronto strikeouts, including five on called thirds and a particularly hilarious one on Santiago Espinal, was an extreme for them, as they rank only 21st in total strikeouts this year, so they were inspired to take their case to, if not a higher court then a more ostentatious one.
So Montoyo sent Martinez out to say howdy to the crew and have a brief exchange with Eddings on depth, breadth, and scope of his work the night before, which we needn't remind you was quite poor.
Fourteen seconds after Martinez arrived, he departed, having delivered the message Montoyo wanted delivered. Now we're guessing that Montoyo assigned Martinez this duty that morning, though it would be more delicious if it had been planned the night before in the seething wake of the loss.
A man who plans out future ejections for his team is a man who is good on the details, and though Montoyo wasn't helpful on any of the details, because in baseball you never get pissed off and tell, he made it clear that he liked the fight in the boys because they won, 9-5. Espinal walked his first time up, the Jays struck out only five times, none of them looking, and home plate umpire Edwin Moscoso did this:
The Jays have today off while the White Sox host Baltimore, but Charlie Montoyo and Guillermo Martinez will be in Milwaukee, and if the galactic pixies who guide our destinies are on their jobs, the Eddings crew will be there as well. Theater like this cannot be repeated, but it can improved upon. Maybe a conga line of Jays coaches stacked up at home plate to be tossed—Montoyo, the Martinez, then Walker, then John Schneider, then Mark Budzinski and all the way down to bullpen catcher Alex Andreopoulos. Who wouldn't come to the ballpark for that? I mean, they might not be able to catch the Yankees (they are 12 games back and barely holding off the Red Sox in third), so they can damned well out-entertain them.
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