Sunday, September 20, 2020

Donaldson Doubles Down...Or Betrays Himself

Ejected after hitting a home run by HP Umpire Dan Bellino for arguing a strike call from earlier in the at-bat, Twins 3B Josh Donaldson wasn't on the field as Chicago scored its come-from-behind, game-tying run on a ground ball to third base, a position Donaldson would ordinarily have occupied if not for his early expulsion.

As Chicago completed its victory over Minnesota during a playoff push that coincidentally clinched the postseason for the White Sox, Donaldson doubled down after the game, telling reporters that, "I felt great" about the sequence of events that led to Donaldson's ejection...perhaps Donaldson didn't notice (nor care) about Minnesota's subsequent come-from-ahead loss.

Twins Manager Rocco Baldelli, meanwhile told the media, he and Donaldson had a private chat about the event and furthermore stated he's "not worried about" the umpires, noting that with good umpires, the next games will continue without incident. And, specifically, with Angel Hernandez's crew (including Bellino) officiating the next Minnesota series, Baldelli is "not worried about that."

Instead, Baldelli said, of Donaldson's frustration and anger, "he's not sure what to do about it frankly."

Gil's Call: Donaldson stated he kicked dirt on home plate and deliberately provoked an ejection in an attempt to hold the umpire to account. This is hardly a unique subject, as umpire accountability is a routine theme that seems to manifest nearly every baseball season: all without regard for the playoff assignment metric or minimum performance standard.

Who is Donaldson picturing at HP?
A tale as old as time, perhaps, the accountability theme interweaves with perception of bias—in this case, bias against care, apparently—but is Donaldson's objective really as selfless as he makes it out to be? Donaldson stated his apparent desire not to transition to a computerized strike zone—he disagrees with some of the robot's calls, after all.

After all, what could be more selfless than having yourself ejected in a one-run playoff-push game, only for the opposition to score a key run on a ground ball to your vacated position, only for the game to continue onto changing the win/loss balance to your team's disadvantage?

Donaldson's EJs favor young umps.
What could be more selfless for a six-franchise player (the penultimate two—Cleveland and Atlanta—lasting less than a year each) than to opt for an early exit during a pivotal game?

Naturally, Donaldson's self-described righteous attempt at holding umpires to account fails to take into consideration two things. First, that a majority of his career ball/strike ejections have been associated with the correct call, and, second, well...Minnesota lost the game after leading at the time of ejection.

Donaldson has gotten himself into multiple fights throughout his Major League career, comprising the only ejections from bona fide Crew Chiefs, as is tradition. Otherwise, Donaldson appears keen on displacing unresolved anger issues, possibly childhood, likely father, onto qualified authority figures, that is the younger, less likely to band-about individuals—think Tripp Gibson, Toby Basner, Chris Conroy, and now Bellino; all ball/strike ejections—Donaldson has yet to confront a certain Joe West: too much exposure there, much easier to attack those equal or marginally higher up the seniority food chain, certainly not within Donaldson’s apparent facade of character to legitimately challenge a senior member of the staff, so newer umpires with less clout it is. Authority, but not overwhelmingly so.

When getting involved in a fight, as in the Blue Jays-Rangers ejection, best to stay in the background (or at least in the cover of a crowd) so as to take credit for being involved, but not necessarily being the primary instigator.

Donaldson thus says he feels "great"—a statement perceivably as strong as a facade can muster.

Although I suppose we won't have to find out... as long as Donaldson doesn't dox Bellino as he did Basner...Dan's a lawyer, slightly out of one's league.

Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Donaldson Doubles Down - What's This Really About? (CCS)


Post a Comment