Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Umpires and teams not making nice
By Andrew Davis
With the summer upon us, many are enjoying the warmer weather. But MLB players, managers and umpires are just bothered.
Not by the weather, but by one another. There were 16 ejections in the first five days of July. Overall, 54 of the 85 umpires to preside over an MLB game have ejected at least one person this season (64 percent).
Some other fun facts about the men commonly referred to as “Blue”:
Rob Drake, an MLB umpire for three years, leads all umpires with six ejections this season. The majority of Drake’s work came on June 5, when he ejected four people in the Nationals-Diamondbacks game for some back-and-forth of hit batsmen.
The four ejections are the most in one game this season and matched Drake’s 2010 total. But the four ejections in one game are still behind the six Marvin Hudson had in the Nationals brawl with the Marlins on September 1 last season.
Veteran umpires Bob Davidson (22 years) and Joe West (33 years) were last season’s “Kings of the Toss-Out” with 10 and 9 ejections, respectively.
Once again, they have provided value in the Umpire Fantasy Ejection League of 2011.
They sit in a tie for second with five ejections apiece, one behind Drake. Davidson was rather reserved during the spring, tossing only one manager. In June, Davidson tossed four in a span of eight days. West has made an enemy of managers, tossing out a league-high four (Brad Mills, Joe Maddon, Ron Gardenhire and Jim Leyland).
Now that you know some of the umpires, let’s explore who is feeling their fury -- and when:
Three managers lead the league with four ejections (Mills, Maddon, and Gardenhire). Of those who have managed the whole season, Baltimore’s Buck Showalter, Cincinnati’s Dusty Baker and Los Angeles’ Mike Scioscia are the lone survivors of an umpire's wrath.
On the player side, 45 have hit the showers early, including four players twice: Rays pitcher David Price, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, Nationals third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. and former Mariners outfielder Milton Bradley.
In large part due to Price and Maddon leading their respective categories, the Rays have had the most ejections (10). All 30 teams have had at least one person thrown out of a game.
This season, 24 ejections happened in the first five innings while 85 players and managers were ejected in the sixth or later. The sixth inning has had the most ejections (20).
After 21 ejections in the month of April it nearly doubled in May with 38. June saw a slight drop to 34, however things have heated up again in July.
Through six days we’re on pace for 74 ejections this month. But it remains to be seen if the bad relationship between teams and umpires will continue throughout the season.