One play in the sixth inning of Sunday’s Brewers-Nationals game spawned three arguments with the umpiring crew.
The Brewers were up 3-2 and had the bases loaded with one out when Milwaukee’s Norichika Aoki put down a squeeze that was handed by Washington’s Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez conceded the run and made the throw to first, but it was off target, forcing Steve Lombardozzi to stretch into foul territory to try to handle it.
I’ll let the AP take it from there:
First base umpire Tim Welke ruled Aoki safe, and Lombardozzi immediately began to argue while holding the ball in his glove. Seeing the argument, Cody Ransom then sprinted home. However, home plate umpire Mike Estabrook ruled time had been called and sent Ransom back to third.
Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke came out and argued with Estabrook that time out had not been called. Washington manager Davey Johnson and Lombardozzi were arguing with Welke at first at the same time while Ransom was complaining to third base umpire Laz Diaz.
Paul Schrieber at second base was the only umpire not in an argument.
None of the arguments proved successful. Ransom ended up scoring when Carlos Gomez hit a sac fly, making it a 5-2 game. The Nationals got out of the inning from there and came back to tie the game at 7 against the dreadful Milwaukee pen in the eighth.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter is not expected to retain his position with the club beyond the 2018 season, according to multiple reports from Jon Heyman of Fancred and Bob Nightengale of USA Today Sports. Nothing appears to be finalized just yet, however, and the Orioles have yet to address rumors of Showalter’s impending departure or news of a possible contract extension for general manager Dan Duquette.
Even so, it’s been a year of near-unprecedented disaster for the 62-year-old skipper, who helped lead the team to a 44-108 record prior to the outcome of Friday’s series opener against the Yankees. With the Orioles’ 108th loss — a 4-6 heartbreaker against the Blue Jays on Tuesday — they tied the 1937 St. Louis Browns for the second-most losses in a single season, eclipsed only by the 43-111 record of the 1939 Browns. As they have just 10 games remaining in the regular season, this year’s team has no chance of climbing out of last place in the AL East and may well finish with the worst record in the AL to boot.
While the Orioles’ missteps don’t bode well for Showalter’s future in Baltimore, he’s brought far more good than harm to the organization over the last eight and a half years. He assumed the managerial position from interim manager Juan Samuel in the middle of the team’s 2010 season and guided the club to five winning seasons and three postseason appearances in 2012, 2014, and 2016. Entering the 2018 season, his record sits at 666 wins and 677 losses, the winningest mark by any of the team’s skippers since Earl Weaver wrapped his 17-season run with the team in 1986. Whether the Orioles believe Showalter is capable of recovering from two consecutive losing seasons and returning the team to their former days of glory (and the occasional division title) remains to be seen, of course, though there’s plenty to recommend him as they prepare to advance a full-scale rebuild over the offseason.