Sunday, September 6, 2020

Non-Ejection - Joe West Removes WAS GM Mike Rizzo

Four years after Washington GM Mike Rizzo confronted umpire Jim Joyce after a game in New York, HP Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt and Crew Chief Joe West called for Rizzo's removal/ejection during Sunday's Nationals-Braves game from the stands/club level several decks above the field at Atlanta's Truist Park.

History: In 2016, Rizzo confronted Jim Joyce after a game in New York following a slide rule interference call that went against Washington. The incident was reported to the league and reports noted that it wasn't Rizzo's first argument with umpires at Citi Field.
Related PostReport - Nats GM Rizzo Confronts Jim Joyce After Game (7/8/16).

In 2011, Rizzo was suspended for a similar confrontation with officials and in 2012, he was fined for comments he made about Cole Hammels.

Vic Carapazza mirrors his crewmate.
The Play: Back in Atlanta, with two out and one on (R1) in the top of the 7th inning of Sunday's Nats-Braves game, Nationals batter Eric Thames took a 2-1 sinker from Braves pitcher Chris Martin, ruled a strike by HP Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt, who turned toward the luxury suites at Truist Park and appeared to order the removal of Rizzo, stating, "You're done, you're out. We'll wait for you...Brian [Snitker], call security."

A maskless Rizzo yells back at the umpires.
Replays indicate the pitch was located off the outer edge of home plate and thigh-high (px -1.17, pz 2.67) [administrative note: there is no Quality of Correctness assigned for a non-ejection, see UEFL Rule 4]. At the time of West's removal request, the Braves were leading, 7-1. The Braves ultimately won the contest, 10-3.

Following Thames' subsequent swinging strikeout, Wendelstedt appeared to issue an equipment violation (fine) for Thames' spiking of his bat.

Joe steps aside to place a phone call.
Official Baseball Rule 8.01(b) grants umpires the authority to "order a player, coach, manager, or club officer or employee to do or or refrain from doing anything which affects the administering of these rules, and to enforce the prescribed penalties."

Rizzo as General Manager of the Nationals, would fall under a club officer, while West's request for assistance from Atlanta security would qualify under the employee category. As a Tier 2 employee, Rizzo under COVID-19 health and safety protocols would be expected to wear a mask or protective face covering in the ballpark, an observation West pointed out to Braves Manager Brian Snitker. Rizzo appeared to be the only occupant of his suite.

Prior to Sunday's game, Dan Bellino was the last umpire to request the removal of a non-uniformed person from a game, having called for security to escort a fan out of the stadium at Yankee Stadium for disrupting the game by calling out pitch locations during an at-bat.
Related PostDan Bellino Orders Fan Removed for Tipping Pitches (9/6/17).

On August 2, 2016, Bob Davidson requested security remove a Phillies fan for inappropriate conduct after the fan allegedly made homophobic comments, while Tim Welke called for the removal of a fan during a September 16, 2014 Nationals-Braves game in 2014 after the fan exhibited persistent vulgar behavior while profanely heckling then-National Bryce Harper.
Related PostUnofficial Ejection - Bob Davidson Requests Fan Removal (8/2/16).
Related PostTim Welke Calls for Removal of Harper Heckler (9/16/14).

Wrap: Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves, 9/6/20 | Video as follows:

Alternate Link: Wendelstedt wants Washington wacky wailer wafted (ATL/CCS)


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