Jim Leyland, Joe West

Joe West’s crew strikes again

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As I mentioned in the recaps this morning there were ejections a-plenty in the Tigers-Angels game. In fact, there was one more than I had mentioned. Rick Porcello’s ejection wasn’t listed in the notes to the box score, seeing as though he wasn’t in the game at the time.  All in all:

  • Jim Leyland got ejected by Joe West after the final out in sixth inning, likely arguing about how Angel Hernandez made Justin Verlander get rid of a baseball he rubbed up behind the mound prior to a pitch. Which is not something I believe I’ve ever seen;
  • Verlander was ejected when he yelled at Angel Hernandez when he was leaving the mound in the eighth. Leaving the mound because he was leaving the game, having been lifted for a reliever.  Why an umpire feels it necessary to eject a guy who is heading to the showers is an open question;
  • As mentioned above, Rick Porcello was ejected in the ninth inning for yelling something from the dugout; and
  • On the Angels’ side, Bobby Abreu was ejected in the first inning for arguing a called strike.

Whenever I bring up this kind of thing someone comments that players and managers shouldn’t be disrespectful to umpires, going crazy arguing and all of that.  And that’s true.  But it’s also true that, as an official, an umpire needs to be a bigger man and not get all bent out of shape when the people he’s officiating offend his sensibilities.

This stuff happens with Joe West and Angel Hernandez way more than it happens with anyone else.  Someone should probably tell them that no one comes out to the ballpark see them run people, and no one likes it when games are decided in part because players and coaches are absent due to being ejected.

UPDATE: And don’t forget to check out the Joe West ejection counter over at The Platoon Advantage. It’s actually a pretty eye-opening look at what West and Co. are really up to.

Tim Tebow hits a homer in his first instructional league at bat

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL - SEPTEMBER 20: Tim Tebow #15 of the New York Mets hits a home run at an instructional league day at Tradition Field on September 20, 2016 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. (Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images)
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Because of course he did.

It wasn’t just his first at bat, but it was his first pitch. It came off of John Kilichowski, an 11th round draft pick of the St. Louis Cardinals out of Vanderbilt.  The ball went out to left center, off the bat of the lefty Tebow.

Next time, meat, throw him a breaking ball.

Joaquin Benoit blames overly-sensitive hitters for benches-clearing incidents

TORONTO, CANADA - SEPTEMBER 12: Joaquin Benoit #53 of the Toronto Blue Jays delivers a pitch in the seventh inning during MLB game action against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 12, 2016 at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
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The other night, Blue Jays reliever Joaquin Benoit needed help getting off the field after the second benches-clearing incident with the Yankees. It was later revealed that Benoit tore a calf muscle during the fracas, ending his season.

Yesterday he pointed the finger at just about everyone else for the incidents like the one that led to his injury. Hitters specifically. From The Star:

“I believe as pitchers we’re entitled to use the whole plate and pitch in if that’s the way we’re going to succeed,” Benoit said. “I believe that right now baseball is taking things so far that in some situations most hitters believe that they can’t be brushed out. Some teams take it personally.”

That “take it personally” line is interesting coming from Benoit as, in this instance, it seemed pretty clear that the whole plunking exchange which led to his injury started because Josh Donaldson took an inside pitch that did not seem to be a purpose pitch at all, too personally.

Did Benoit take a veiled swipe at his teammate here? If so, that’s pretty notable. If not it’s notable in another way, right? As it suggests that Benoit believes it’s OK for his teammates to take issue with inside pitches but anyone else who does is part of the problem?

Which is it, Joaquin?