Yadier Molina suspended one game and fined after Sunday’s ejection

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Major League Baseball announced this evening that Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina has been suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount for making contact with umpire Mike Everitt following his ejection yesterday. Molina has appealed the ruling and is in the starting lineup for tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks.

Molina was ejected yesterday after he was called out on a close play at first base in the third inning. The Cardinals’ backstop threw his helmet in frustration, which resulted in the ejection from first base umpire Clint Fagan and a heated confrontation. Everitt, who was the second base umpire, ran over in an attempt to restore some order. Cardinals manager Mike Matheny was also ejected for coming out to restrain and defend Molina.

It’s worth noting that Everitt told Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he thought the contact from Molina was “incidental.” Still, MLB decided to send a message. The guess here is that Molina gets out of the suspension, but pays the fine.

Aaron Judge was involved in a weird play in the fourth inning

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Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge found himself front-and-center in a weird play in the bottom of the fourth inning during Game 4 of the ALCS on Tuesday evening. Judge drew a walk to lead off the frame. After Didi Gregorius lined out, Gary Sanchez flied out to shallow right-center.

Judge must have thought the ball had a high probability of falling in for a hit, so he was past the second base bag around the time he realized his mistake. He retraced his steps, running back to first base. Reddick’s throw hopped a couple of times but first base umpire Jerry Meals called Judge out on the tag-up play.

Manager Joe Girardi requested a review and the call was overturned: Judge was safe. However, Astros manager A.J. Hinch wanted to challenge that Judge did not re-touch second base on his way back. Rather than issuing a formal challenge, the Astros had to appeal the play by having starter Lance McCullers throw to second base, at which point second base umpire Jim Reynolds would issue a ruling. McCullers was a bit hasty, though, and made his appeal throw before Greg Bird stepped into the batter’s box. Reynolds told McCullers that he had to wait. So, McCullers again made his appeal throw.

This time, Judge was running and he was simply tagged out at second base for the final out of the inning. No need for a review.

As Ken Rosenthal explained on the FS1 broadcast, the Yankees were trying to “beat the police.” They knew Judge would have been ruled out — replays clearly showed he never re-touched the base — so they had nothing to lose by sending Judge. If he was safe, the Astros would no longer be able to appeal the play. If he’s out, then it’s the same outcome they would have had anyway.