Bill Hall was ejected from last night’s game in the seventh inning for arguing balls and strikes and today the Astros infielder had plenty to say about home plate umpire Tom Hallion.
Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle has the full transcript of Hall’s angry rant about Hallion yelling at him to get back into the batter’s box and ultimately tossing him, but here’s an excerpt:
I didn’t really say anything to him, and once I got out of the box, he was yelling at me, cussing me out, telling me to get the [expletive] in the box. …After I swung and missed at the third one, I cussed myself out. I didn’t look towards him. I said “dammit” going back to the dugout, and he threw me out of the game. It was just ridiculous. The whole situation was ridiculous.
It’s amazing how umpires can get away with so much stuff and nothing happens to them. It’s all about them trying to get something on ESPN punching someone out or getting their spot on ESPN. I have no idea. It’s getting ridiculous. It’s gotten worse over the last few years, and hopefully somehow some way it can be calmed down a little bit because it’s a little out of hand.
I’m sure Hall was far from a totally innocent bystander for whatever took place leading up to his ejection, but it’s certainly tough to argue with his larger point about umpires needing to be reigned in significantly. Regardless of whether their actual calls are right or wrong, escalating situations with confrontational behavior is something that has no real value whatsoever.
Or as Hall put it: “They just need to calm down.”
People are the absolute worst sometimes. The latest example: someone stole one of Jose Fernandez’s high school jerseys, which had been displayed in his old high school’s dugout for a vigil last night.
That report comes from Anastasia Dawson of the Tampa Bay Times who covered the vigil at Alonso High School in Tampa yesterday. Her story of the vigil is here. Today she has been tweeting about the theft of the jersey. She spoke to Alonso High school’s principal who, in a bit of understatement, called the theft the “lowest of the low.”
The high school had one more Fernandez jersey remaining and has put it on display in the school. In the meantime, spread this story far and wide so that whatever vulture who stole it can’t sell it.
In an earlier post I made a joke about the Indians starting Dennis Martinez if forced to play a meaningless (for them) game on Monday against the Tigers. On Twitter, one of my followers, Ray Fink, asked a great question: If you had to hand the ball to a Hall of Fame-eligible pitcher to give you three innings, who would it be?
The Hall of Fame-eligible part gets rid of the recently-retired ringers, requiring a guy who has been off the scene for at least five years, ensuring that there’s a good bit of rust. I love questions like these.
My immediate answer was Mike Mussina. My thinking being that of all of the great pitchers fitting these parameters, he’s the most likely to have stayed in good shape. I mean, Greg Maddux probably still has the best pitching IQ on the planet, but he’s let himself go a bit, right? Mussina strikes me as a guy who still wakes up and does crunches and stuff.
If you extend it to December, however, you may get a better answer, because that’s when Tim Wakefield becomes eligible for the Hall. I realize a knuckleball requires practice to maintain the right touch and subtlety to the delivery, but it also requires the least raw physical effort. Jim Bouton went well more than five years without throwing his less-than-Wakefield-quality knuckler and was still able to make a comeback. I think Tim could be passable.
Then there’s Roger Clemens. I didn’t see his numbers for that National Baseball Congress tourney this summer and I realize he’s getting a bit thick around the middle, but I’m sure he can still bring it enough to not embarrass himself. Beyond the frosted tips, anyway.
So: who is your Space Cowboys-style reclamation project? Who is the old legend you dust off for one last job?