Saturday, July 25, 2020

Near-Ejection - Wegner Warns Verdugo in Boston

As if MLB's COVID season couldn't get wackier, 3B Umpire Mark Wegner nearly ejected Red Sox player Alex Verdugo during an argument potentially running afoul of MLB's social distancing rules after Verdugo took issue with Wegner's tone during a prior play.

The sequence began when baserunner R1 Verdugo took second base on a wild pitch in the bottom of the 8th inning of Saturday's Orioles-Red Sox game. After batter Jackie Bradley Jr. struck out swinging for the second out of the inning, Baltimore skipper Brandon Hyde opted to substitute pitchers.

During the pitching change, Verdugo walked to third base to visit with base coach Carlos Febles, and in Wegner's judgment, lingered around Febles too long, upon which Wegner had to remind Verdugo to return to his position at second base before play resumed. Ensuing batter Kevin Plawecki flew out to end the inning.

After Verdugo subsequently took the field in the 9th, he again became involved in an argument with Wegner and 1B Umpire Alan Porter, ultimately resulting in Wegner motioning to the Boston dugout in warning. According to Red Sox Manager Ron Roenicke, Verdugo took issue with the way the umpire spoke to him.

Verdugo said in a postgame press conference he "forgot" his position was on second base.

Official Baseball Rule 8.01(b) states, in part, "Each umpire has authority to order a player, coach, manager or Club officer or employee to do or refrain from doing anything which affects the administering of these rules, and to enforce the prescribed penalties."

Wrap: Baltimore Orioles vs. Boston Red Six, 7/25/20 | Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Wegner warns wayward whippersnapper while withdrawing (BOS)


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