Major League Baseball has suspended Jim Leyland for tonight’s game against the Rays. There is no appeals process for managers, so he’ll have to sit it out. Which is complete and utter b.s.
You’ll recall what led to this: Leyland’s altercation with umpire Marty Foster. You’ll recall the specifics: Foster blows a call — partially because he really wasn’t in a good position to make it — and Leyland argues. A bit of spittle or a sunflower seed flies from Leyland’s mouth, Harvey baselessly and quite ridiculously accuses Leyland of spitting on him and tosses him. Watch the video and you’ll see just how crazy that claim really is.
Of course I’m sure MLB will say that it wasn’t the altercation, it was Leyland’s critical words after the fact which led to his suspension. Never mind that Leyland was right. Never mind that umpires such as Joe West have routinely ripped teams and players and have instigated ugly incidents on the field this season without getting any discipline whatsoever. But the second a manager or a player dares point out the bleedin’ obvious — that today’s umpiring corps is filled with incompetent, thin-skinned megalomaniacs — he has to take the day off without pay.
Baseball does a lot of things right. Intellectual honesty and a basic sense of justice when it comes to issues relating to umpires is not one of those things.