Twins’ Josh Donaldson: Umpiring during MLB playoffs ’embarrassing’
Josh Donaldson made some waves during the regular season by sounding off on what he perceives as the sorry state of umpiring in Major League Baseball. Taking in some MLB playoff action on Tuesday night compelled the Minnesota Twins slugger to double down on his stance.
Donaldson missed the Twins’ two-game sweep at the hands of the Houston Astros during the Wild Card round due to a calf injury, but it’s clear he is paying attention to postseason action even with his team eliminated.
The Twins third baseman engaged in a back and forth with former MLB player Trevor Plouffe during Tuesday’s playoff action, and it’s clear Donaldson continues to have a sour disposition on big-league umpiring.
It’s embarrassing. It’s tough to watch any game. I don’t know why this is so hard to understand. This isn’t high school where you can say that’s too close to take. As a MLB hitter our job is to take close pitches that are out of zone.— Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20) October 7, 2020
As some may recall, Donaldson made his antagonism toward umpires abundantly apparent with an on-diamond meltdown during a Twins game last month. After hitting a home run, Donaldson showed up umpire Dan Bellino by kicking dirt on home plate after rounding the bases.
Josh Donaldson was ejected after kicking dirt on home plate, after hitting a HR— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) September 17, 2020
The antics were inspired by Bellino’s balls-and-strikes calls in Donaldson’s at-bats during the game, and the Twins slugger doesn’t believe it’s fair how umps get away with inconsistency.
“[If] the umpire consistently isn’t doing [his] job correctly, that’s affecting our careers, that’s affecting our success. At the end of the day, there’s no reprimand, no accountability for the guys that are making the decision,” Donaldson said in a later video call with reporters, per the Star Tribune. “As a matter of fact, they don’t care. They don’t care at all, most of them. They just want to get the game over with, for the most part, and it’s pretty sad because guys are making six figures a year and there’s no accountability.”
Donaldson clearly believes that there are pervasive issues plaguing MLB umpiring. Whether or not his issues are legitimate is a matter of debate. Either way, odds are Donaldson’s continued griping will not have any tangible impact on how the game is officiated, especially behind the plate.