Charlie Manuel, umpire suspended
PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel and umpire Bob Davidson were both suspended for one game Friday for their behavior during a heated argument during a game Tuesday.
But it was Davidson's suspension that raised eyebrows around baseball.
Manuel was ejected in the eighth inning of a 4-3, 10-inning win over Houston. He thought a ball had been foul-tipped and got into an argument with Davidson that escalated into profanities. Manuel served the suspension Friday night when the Phillies hosted the Boston Red Sox.
Major League Baseball announced that the veteran umpire had been suspended for "repeated violations of the Office of the Commissioner's standards for situation handling." And although umpires have been suspended in the past, Davidson's suspension was unlike any disciplinary action handed down to an umpire in recent memory.
Unlike a 2007 suspension of umpire Mike Winters for escalating a confrontation with Milton Bradley and a 2008 suspension of umpire Brian Runge for bumping Mets manager Jerry Manuel, Davidson was not suspended for a one-time incident.
Davidson has been involved in a number of confrontations with players and managers through the years. So while it was his fiery exchange with Charlie Manuel that caused MLB to act, the league's reference to "repeated violations" was an indication that it was the accumulation of those incidents that resulted in his suspension.
Davidson and Manuel went jaw to jaw Tuesday after Davidson got tangled up with Phillies catcher Brian Schneiderafter Schneider's drop of a called third strike that allowed Houston's Jason Castro to reach first base.
Asked Friday if he felt Davidson had escalated their argument, Manuel said: "What happened was, he didn't get out of the way, and I screamed at him, something like, 'Get the hell out of the way.' And he said, 'Oh, you think I did it on purpose.' And then he turned around, and he said something. And when he said that, I hollered back at him, and he threw me out of the game."
"I didn't care whether he came back at me or not," Manuel went on. "Actually, if you want to know what I said, I don't remember, really. I can remember some of the things that he said. But I can't remember all of them. And I was mad. So to tell you exactly what I said, I can't do that."
Asked if he was surprised by Davidson's suspension, Manuel replied: "Not really, because I think, basically, both of us were doing about the same thing, I guess."
Manuel said the suspension was Major League Baseball's decision and wouldn't say if it gave him any sense of satisfaction that the umpire also was suspended. He then quipped: "I've been around umpires a long time. I never said I liked them."
Davidson also served his suspension on Friday, missing the Minnesota Twins' interleague game at Milwaukee. A minor league call-up umpire took his place.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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