Tuesday, November 10, 2020

2020 Ejection of the Year Award - Dan Bellino (x2)

Dan Bellino wins UEFL's 2020 Ejections of the Year Award [2019: Phil Cuzzi & Brennan Miller].

A two-fer win, Bellino ejected Twins 3B Josh Donaldson for exaggeratedly kicking dirt on home plate during a home run trot in Detroit on September 17 for the number one ejection of the 2020 season, having ejected a trio of Cincinnati Reds during a fight situation on August 29, the number two ejection sequence of 2020.

After taking a 2-0 slider from White Sox pitcher Reynaldo Lopez in Chicago, Donaldson stepped back and expressed his displeasure, leading manager Rocko Baldelli to exit the dugout and have a brief conversation with Bellino behind home plate.

Upon his return to the batter's box, Donaldson hit Lopez's very next pitch for a solo-HR to give Minnesota a 3-2 lead. As Donaldson completed his journey around the bases, he made a point of kicking dirt onto home plate while jogging past home plate before returning to make sure Bellino had gotten the message, resulting in an ejection. Donaldson's Twins ultimately surrendered the lead on a White Sox ground ball to third base, where Donaldson would have been playing had he not been ejected; Chicago ultimately won the contest, 4-3.

Several weeks earlier, Bellino presided over a benches-clearing incident in Cincinnati after Reds batter Shogo Akiyama took a 2-1 fastball from Cubs pitcher Adbert Alzolay that replays indicate was located over the heart of home plate, albeit above the height of the batter's head, during a back-pick attempt at first base (catcher-to-first baseman).

Bellino ejected Reds DH Joey Votto, LF Jesse Winker, and Manager David Bell in short order after warning the trio not to come onto the field to participate in the confrontation between teams.

Voting Results (Top 3): 62 Bellino (12.5%), 41-43 Bellino (11.2%), Mike Estabrook (<10%).
Dan Bellino now has 22 points in the UEFL Standings (21 Previous + 1 Award = 22).

The final postseason award, (Best) Umpire of the Year, will be released on Wednesday.


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