Monday, February 3, 2020

ABL Players Bash Umpire Thomas After Ejection

After HP Umpire Trent Thomas denied Canberra batter Kelvin Melean's late request for 'Time' during the Australian Baseball League Semifinals, the Cavalry shortstop struck out and was ejected, but the unsportsmanlike conduct spilled over to Facebook, where other players joined in to personally insult the umpire as social media continues to carve a pathway to prolong such temper tantrums.

Ejection Report: HP Umpire Trent Thomas ejected Cavalry SS Kelvin Melean in the top of the 7th inning of the Cavalry-Giants game. With one out and none on, Melean attempted to request 'Time' prior to the 0-1 pitch from Giants pitcher Ryan Chaffee. Thomas denied Melean's request pursuant to Official Baseball Rule 5.04(b)(2) Comment* as Melean requested time after pitcher Chaffee had already begun his delivery, generating an argument from Melean. When Melean subsequently struck out looking to conclude the at-bat, he was summarily ejected after further dissent. At the time of the ejection, the Giants were leading, 4-3. The Giants ultimately won the contest, 6-3.

IF Zach Wilson airs grievance on Facebook.
*OBR 5.04(b)(2) Comment states, "Umpires will not call 'Time' at the request of the batter or any member of his team once the pitcher has started his windup or has come to a set position even though the batter claims 'dust in his eyes,' 'steamed glasses,' 'didn’t get the sign' or for any other cause." Todd Tichenor ejected Red Sox LF Jonny Gomes over a similar complaint in 2013, which exemplifies proper enforcement of this rule. Yet the call's quality of correctness—denial of "Time" vs quick-return pitch—isn't where this play ends.

Cyber Bullying: After the game, several players from around baseball, including the ABL, CanAm, and former MLB, took to social media to complain about umpire Thomas: For instance, Zach Wilson (2018-19 with Canberra, 2018 York of the Atlantic League, and 2018-19 Quebec of the CanAm) posted on Facebook, "That ump is absolute trash...not just one game. It's every game. He's terrible," with former York, Lancaster, and ABL-Sydney Blue Sox player Ty'Relle Lee Harris posting a reply in support.

On Twitter, former ABL and MLB player Travis Blackley wrote, "Can't Robson just call every game. He's the only one capable," with players Luke Hughes and Todd Van Steensel also jumping into the conversation. Added former Canberra/Brisbane/Auckland player Nathan Crawford, "Dude's f*ing trash."

In a welcome break from some of our past stories on player use of internet media to personally insult or attack umpires, it appears that in this case, ejectee Melean left his dissent on the field and did not join in on the cadre of angry Facebook and Twitter rants.

In the States, the umpires' union (MLBUA) previously took umbrage with MLB's purported failure to adequately respond to instances of umpire abuse from active players as recently as 2019; see our previous article and video concerning the MLB-MLBUA workplace violence saga for more context. For instance, even if a league does have a social media policy for players or coaches, its penalties can be fairly inconsequential, such as MLB's 0.1%-of-salary fines for postgame umpire insults that are little more than a veiled instruction to draft a tax-deductible donation to charity.
Related PostMLB Rejects MLBUA's Workplace Violence Tweet (6/19/19).

Wrap: Canberra Cavalry vs. Adelaide Giants (ABL), 2/1/20 | Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Trent Thomas' Semifinal EJ of Kelvin Melean Goes Online (ABL/CCS)


Post a Comment