Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Joe Torre Backs Ump Segal in Gardner Ejection

Speaking to New York media ahead of a pregame ceremony at Yankee Stadium, MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre backed Chris Segal's ejection of Brett Gardner in Toronto, even if the umpire misattributed Cameron Maybin's voice, saying that Gardner's actions at Rogers Centre merited an ejection.

Said Torre, "Watching enough video and stuff, Gardner earned being thrown out...Maybe not that particular time, but he certainly had the right to be thrown out, even though the umpire, I think there was so much carping from the dugout that he pulled the trigger on what he assumed was Gardner."

Gil's Call: In my column over the weekend pertaining to this sequence, I wrote that Gardner repeated that which he had gotten away with weeks earlier in the Bronx: he pounded his bat against the dugout ceiling while his manager Aaron Boone and others on the NYY bench chirped unsporting content at the plate umpire.
Related PostWhy Umpire Chris Segal Ejected Brett Gardner (8/11/19).
Related PostMLB Ejection 157 - Chris Segal (1; Brett Gardner) (8/9/19).

Joe Torre agrees: Gardner earned it.
My read on the situation was Gardner's three-week old reputation, combined with an excessive amount of bench jockeying from his teammates and coaches resulted in a situation in which Gardner was ejected "because of circumstance." I wrote, "Gardner was indeed guilty of some degree of unsportsmanlike conduct...he just didn't plant the straw that broke the camel's back. His offense was somewhere underneath that pile."

Either Torre reads our site or, what's much more likely, he reviewed Segal's report, spoke with him, and understood what happened, in context. NJ.com's Brendan Kuty summarized Torre's comments thusly: "Considering the things Gardner had said and done before Maybin yelled at Segal, it wasn’t completely unreasonable for Segal to believe it was Gardner’s voice instead of Maybin’s. Gardner had also banged his bat repeatedly against the dugout in protest of Segal."

Or, as I wrote on Sunday, "[Gardner] hits his bat on the dugout ceiling in protest."

Yet just because Gardner earned his ejection doesn't mean that Segal didn't make a mistake in stating the ejection was due to a verbal comment (made by Maybin); had Segal said that Gardner was ejected for banging his bat on the dugout, we wouldn't be here today: "I know there’s been talk about umpires when they make a mistake or they miss a call they don’t have any repercussions—that’s not true," said Torre. And speaking generally, he continued: "They watch their game every single day. They get rated, whether it’s on the bases or balls and strikes [editor's note: remember, it's the Z-E numbers, not the faulty public-facing info]. And next month, when we meet for postseason, that plays a role, that plays a part, deciding who goes to the postseason."
Related PostCall for Umpire Accountability & the 97% Plate Score (4/19/19).

Come October, the baseball world won't see Chris Segal's name on the postseason roster—there's a zero percent chance of that, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the Gardner ejection, even if a handful of frustrated fans inevitably try to make that connection in a month's time. Segal is a call-up umpire, and such fill-in umps are not eligible for the MLB postseason.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: History and reputation explain why Birdman ejected Gardy (CCS)


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