The umpires have been a train wreck to start the 2021 season, and I’m not talking about just the strike zone. The St. Louis Cardinals hit two consecutive batters during last night’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies. And just as we saw with Cincinnati Reds‘ manager David Bell on Sunday, Joe Girardi took the fall for a massive mistake on behalf of the umpires.
If you didn’t see it (video link), in the top of the sixth inning, Genesis Cabrera drilled Bryce Harper in the head with a fastball and then plunked Didi Gregorius in the back with his next pitch. But, rather than ejecting Cabrera, the umpire warned both benches, and ejected Girardi after the Phillies’ skipper argued the decision.
The Reds and Phillies have a common enemy – the umpires.
On Sunday, in the top of the sixth inning with one out, Jonathan India to a fastball off his helmet courtesy of Cardinals pitcher Jack Flaherty. While it was obvious there was no intent, India was visibly upset, this having been the second time this season that the Reds rookie was hit in the head by a pitch.
In the aftermath, the umpires warned both benches and Cincinnati Reds skipper David Bell became incensed, which resulted in his ejection from the game. By rule, once Bell began to argue, the umpires had no choice but to toss him. Even so, Bell was sticking up for his player and had every right to be upset.
Wednesday night’s game had a similar set of circumstances, but the umpires failed miserably and it resulted in Joe Girardi’s ejection. After Cabrera hit Harper in the head, the benches should have been warned. Then, following the next hit batter, Cabrera should have been ejected from the game.
Even without a warning, the umpires are well within their right to eject Cabrera after he plunked Gregorius. Heck, if they felt it was intentional, which it wasn’t, they could have ejected Cabrera after he hit Harper in the head.
The umpires are protecting the Cardinals, and it’s not going to end well.
I’m of the opinion, and I’m sure the majority of Reds Country would agree with me, that the St. Louis Cardinals are being given preferential treatment from Major League Baseball and the umpires. Wednesday’s game only cemented my opinion.
How else can you explain why Reds slugger Nick Castellanos was suspended for two games, all for showing emotion on the field, and yet Yadier Molina received just a fine after he put his hands on Castellanos and incited a benches-clearing fracas on opening weekend in Cincinnati.
The St. Louis Cardinals and Philadelphia Phillies play this afternoon, and because the umpires did not do their job last night and chose not to eject Cabrera after hitting Gregorius, there’s a good chance that retaliation is in the cards…see what I did there?
Had the umpires ejected Genesis after hitting Didi Gregorius, any potential feud between the two teams would have likely ended right there. But now, MLB has a problem on their hands, and it’s highly likely that both benches will be warned prior to the game. I don’t think that will be enough to keep the Phillies from retaliating.
If Major League Baseball is serious about eliminating pitchers throwing at hitters, then Genesis Cabrera should have been ejected. Even though both pitches appeared to be unintentional, the message needed to be sent. It wasn’t, so MLB can reap what they sew when fireworks break out in St. Louis this afternoon.