Last night, David Ortiz took out his frustration that he felt about the acumen of home plate umpire Tim Timmons on the bullpen phone in the Sox dugout last night, narrowly missing Dustin Pedroia on his backswing.
You can see the video below.
That's the summary, now here are the detes.
Here's what happened
It was the top of the 7th inning in Camden Yards and there was one out and the bases empty in the game that that would eventually end in a 7-3 Boston win over Baltimore.
David Ortiz went to a 3-0 count against the O’s Jairo Asencio and as the pitch was about to be delivered, Papi appeared to step out of the batter’s box, without asking for time.
Gordon Edes of ESPN.com describes what happened next:
Ortiz was incredulous when Timmons called it a strike, barking at the umpire. He became more agitated when Timmons also called the next pitch, which appeared out of the zone, another strike, and became inconsolable when he swung at the next pitch, which was down and in, to strike out.
After the at bat
As Big Papi left the plate he complained about the call to Timmons:
"When I'm walking away, I'm telling him he was acting like he was right about the call. No, he wasn't. He wasn't right. Don't be giving me that BS. If you miss it, tell me you missed it and I'll walk away. I don't have a problem with that. You're not perfect. You're human, you know what I'm saying. But don't act like you made the right call. It was ball four."
Ortiz continued seething as he returned to the dugout and then headed into the dugout, attacked the bulpen phone, was ejected and then got his money's worth screaming at Timmons.
He burst out of the dugout and started heading towards home plate but was interecepted by manager (and free safety?) John Farrell. Ortiz returned to the dugout, threw some of his protective batting gear onto the field and called it a night.
Ortiz was wrong
It is sacreligious in Red Sox Nation to criticize David Ortiz. But I will take my chances now.
Umpires make bad calls. They sometimes vastly miss balls and strikes. Timmons didn't in this case.
Look at the map of the at bat above and you can see the location of the fourth pitch of this at bat that upset Big Papi so much. It's at the top of the strike zone.
- 0-0 - Ball on a 86 MPH Changeup - Outside
- 1-0 - Ball on a 87 MPH Changeup - Low
- 2-0 - Ball on a 92 MPH Four Seamer - Inside
- 3-0 - Strike Looking on a 91 MPH Four Seamer - Over the Plate
- 3-1 - Strike Looking on a 86 MPH Changeup - Outside
- 3-2 - Strike Out on a 87 MPH Changeup - Low
Now I understand that (unfortunately) umpires don't frequently call high strikes, but as Ortiz backed out of the batters box, Timmons called one.
If Ortiz wanted to complain about a call, it should be on the fifth pitch of the at bat, but after showing up Timmons on the previous pitch, Ascensio could have thrown the pitch into the press box and gotten a called strike. In fact, if there was any bad judgement shown it was on the swing and miss by Oritz on the sixth pitch of the at bat, but once again Ortiz would have swung at any pitch there short of it being thrown in the dugout.
Just so you know, according to the rule book, Timmons could have called the pitchin question a ball even though Ortiz was stepping out the batter's box.
What should happen next?
What happens next is anyone's guess. My feeling is that MLB should suspend Ortiz for a couple of games and the Red Sox should fine Ortiz for the cost of repairs and at least a little more.
If that's all that happen, the Red Sox should consider themselves lucky.
The bat and shards of wood came dangerously close to Pedroia, if he had been in any way injured the Sox postseason chances would have been put in jeopardy.
As for Ortiz, a couple of days in the clubhouse would do him good.
He has no problems in showing up pitchers as he preens after a home run so he's in no position to speak about being disrespected on the ball field.
Ortiz was quoted as saying:
“I want to hear what the argument’s going to be [in favor of a suspension]. I want to hear that because I have a good one,” said Ortiz. “When situations like that happens, I think MLB should do something because that was horrible. We’re not playing this game for fun, we’re playing to win and if you walk, I walk, I’ve got no problem with that. But you’re not going to take my at-bat away from me. I hit that’s what I do. And I work really hard to be who I am at the plate. That might be the worse call of the year right there. That was bad. Definitely.’’
When Papi says, "That was bad. Definitely.’’ I can only presume he's referring to his over-reaction.
Ortiz was wrong, not wronged.