Umpire ejects Pirates catcher Russell Martin with minimal provocation (GIF)
During Monday’s game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves, home plate umpire Dan Iassogna, apparently with an extremely itchy trigger finger, ejected Pirates catcher Russell Martin despite the fact that it appears Martin barely said anything — if anything at all — to warrant the heave-ho.
After relinquishing the lead earlier in the inning but with two outs in the fourth and Braves pitcher Kris Medlen at the plate, Pirates starter A.J. Burnett expressed disappointment with Iassogna’s call of a ball on a pitch. The two exchanged words before the umpire returned to his spot behind the plate.
On the subsequent pitch, Iassogna called another ball. As Martin was returning the ball to Burnett, something must have been uttered by the catcher. And that’s when Iassogna quickly tossed him.
Video of the incident is not embeddable but can be viewed on MLB.com, but here’s a GIF of Iassogna ejecting Martin (via @corkgaines):
After Martin was kicked out of the game, Pirates skipper Clint Hurdle came out of the dugout to protest. Not surprisingly, Iassogna quickly tossed Hurdle as well.
Martin explained how he saw things go down following the game, a 7-2 loss for the Bucs. “The umpire didn’t call a pitch that I thought was a good pitch, and I stood up and I [cursed], and he threw me out,” Martin said. “That’s the way it happened.”
Is this another example of an umpire who believes fans come to the game to see him throw out players or, if Martin’s account is accurate, is cursing on a baseball field now considered sufficient reason to eject a player? Because if so, times have certainly changed.
Oh, and for what it’s worth, here is the Pitchf/x data for this particular at-bat:
No. 1 and No. 2 are the pitches in question. Yeah.
[H/T Business Insider]