David Bell, Yasiel Puig, and Amir Garrett were ejected following an on field altercation between the Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates. The umpire, however, is to blame for the skirmish.
The Cincinnati Reds and Pittsburgh Pirates got into a scuffle during Sunday’s series finale at PNC Park. Chris Archer incited the disruption when he threw a 93-MPH fastball behind Derek Dietrich after Dietrich homered in his pervious at-bat. The home plate umpire, Jeff Kellogg, did not immediately eject Archer and that’s what caused the altercation.
This entire fracas could’ve been avoided if Kellogg would’ve ejected Archer immediately after he intentionally threw behind Dietrich. It was obvious retaliation for Dietrich admiring his 2-run bomb in the second inning. Did Dietrich take a bit too long observing his homer? Probably, but that doesn’t mean the opposing pitcher can intentionally throw at him without repercussions.
Had Kellogg done the right thing and ejected Archer right after he’d thrown the pitch, then David Bell would’ve never left the dugout. The alternative would’ve been to not issue a warning to both benches, leaving open the option for the Reds to retaliate without an automatic ejection.
If this was 1989, Dietrich would’ve been lucky if the ball was just thrown behind him. Thirty years ago, that ball would’ve wound up in his ear hole. Pitchers do not like the idea of a batter “showing them up”. However, in today’s game, bat flips and a long gaze toward the bleachers after a home run are common.
Now look, I’m not saying I like it, but it’s become part of the game. If I’m being honest, I’ve always been the guy who says “act you’ve been there before”. But, we’re in the age of “let the kids play”. Baseball is competing against other sports where emotion and showboating are commonplace.
In the NBA, if a player throws down a massive dunk on his opponent, it’s likely that he’ll scream with his arms flexed. Heck, in football we’re watching choreographed celebrations after a team scores a touchdown. Is this self promotion good or bad? I don’t know, but regardless it’s part of today’s game.
Players are allowed to show emotion. How is Dietrich observing his big fly any different than when a pitcher pumps his fist in celebration after getting a crucial out during a game? I’ll let you think about that one.
Back to my original point; the umpire caused this entire situation to become what it was. David Bell was sticking up for his player and his players were sticking up for him. Bell flew out of the dugout and ran directly at Kellogg, showing his players that he’s got their back.
Hopefully no one from either team is suspended because if Major League Baseball takes an honest look at what happened, the whole situation could’ve been avoided with just one ejection. The Cincinnati Reds play the Pirates again on Memorial Day. I can’t wait for that one.