the War with the Umpires enters 2011

illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

As near as I can tell, this is what happened:

–Homeplate ump Angel Campos was making calls early that were not too popular. This was an issue with both Angels and Tigers.

–In the second inning, Howie Kendrick hit a ball to short. Jhonny Peralta fielded it with some effort and threw it to first for a close play. Kendrick was called safe and given a single by Country Joe West, the umpire manning first base. It was clear, however, the Kendrick was in fact out at first and the play should have been a simple 6-3. Tigers, and particularly Jim Leyland, express displeasure with Country Joe’s call.

–Kendrick came around to score in that inning. This turned out to be the only run that Justin Verlander gave up, and indeed the only run of the entire game.

–Leyland and Country Joe had been jawing back and forth on and off throughout the game. Country Joe’s first base post gave him easy access to the Tigers dugout, which is on the first base side in Angel Stadium.

–Just before the start of the 7th inning, Country Joe started edging towards the Tigers dugout and yelling at Leyland. I assume Leyland had been saying things first and that’s what got Country Joe started, but I didn’t see what actually began this confrontation, so I cannot say for sure.

–Country Joe and Leyland screamed at one another for a bit, then Country Joe tossed Jim Leyland. While Leyland was standing in the dugout.

–Having already been ejected, Leyland stormed out onto the field to give everyone a piece of his mind and several fresh samples of his spit.

–With two outs in the 8th inning, Justin Verlander was pulled (by Lloyd McClendon, since Leyland of course was gone by then). As he was leaving the mound, he vented some spleen and said some words that were not to the liking of Country Joe, who swiftly ejected Verlander. Rod and Mario used their mad lipreading skillz to determine that, in part at least, Verlander was telling Country Joe and Campos how they had both had really bad days and had made some damn bad calls.

–So Verlander was out of the game anyways when he was ejected, but this meant he couldn’t stay in the dugout to watch the rest of the game.

–Someone else, I believe Rick Porcello, was also ejected from the dugout, for no readily apparent reason. He must have said something, I guess.

That’s about the sum of it. Country Joe is ejection-happy, to be sure, but this was ridiculous. I know Verlander had to lose sooner or later, but the fact that he lost almost solely because of bad calls is making it awfully hard for me to be zen about this.

Previously in the War with Umpires: one, two, three, four, five.

And don’t forget to Vote Victor!

The Tigers have paired with the Phillies to try to get people in both fan markets to vote the Victor/Victorino ticket. Verily you must vote for the Victors.

6 responses to “the War with the Umpires enters 2011

  1. Let's Go Tigers

    Ahhh FredFred, sticking up for his master!

  2. The calls were terrible, going both ways. At least two of Verlander’s strike threes were a good bit outside the zone, Abreu shouldn’t have been tossed, and who throws out an exiting pitcher and a kid just sitting in the dugout? These umps are an embarrassment to baseball.

  3. Leyland probably would have been able to remain calmer if he’d actually had a lit cigarette in the dugout with him. Or he would have blown ash on Country Joe and been suspended for the rest of time. I guess it could’ve gone either way, really.

  4. As a Tigers fan, I agree that Kendrick was pretty clearly out. However, a batter or two before, Vernon Wells had hit a ball off the wall that looked to me to be pretty clearly fair, and it was called foul. Wells then struck out. If someone else saw it more clearly and it was, in fact, foul, I’ll shut up, but it seems to me that the wrong call against us only resulted in someone on first, and the wrong call against them resulted in one of their batters being taken off second, so we kind of won that one.

    Either way, Joe West did not handle himself well last night.

  5. Bill,

    I was watching the Angels broadcast and I thought it was foul by just a few inches. Even the Angels announcers said it was a good call.

  6. The phillies didn’t hold up their end of the bargin :(

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