Great Moments in respect for Due Process

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I’m not singling Danny Knobler out here as he’s merely reflecting MLB’s thinking and, frankly, the thinking of most people I’ve talked to. But it is pretty telling about our collective sense of justice:

No sense that due process is actually something that’s pretty cool and ignoring it would be reckless and wrong for its own sake. Merely that it would be a tactical mistake. “Being seen” as following due process is important. Due process itself? Eh, whatever.

This sense developed over the weekend that Major League Baseball had backed down or that Alex Rodriguez gained some tactical advantage in this big waltz. I’m not really sure about that. A-Rod is still gonna get hammered. He’ll get to play a bit before then, but he’s still going to be hit hard. The only reason we have that sense, I think, is because baseball and/or its surrogates overplayed their rhetorical hand for so long, talking as if suspending A-Rod under the CBA rather than the drug rules and thereby denying him appeal rights was somehow reasonable when it never was at all.

Oh well. My long-ago observation still holds: no one really cares about due process until process is due to them.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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