The other day Major League Baseball suspended Blue Jays hitting coach Brook Jacoby for 14 games after he got into a confrontation with umpire Doug Eddings in the tunnel underneath Fenway Park. The details of the confrontation were vague, but there was an argument and the reports said that Jacoby “got physical” with Eddings.
Some more background came out on this last night, with Edwin Encarnacion filling in the media with what he saw. This from John Lott of the National Post:
Edwin Encarnacion says he was there in the Fenway Park tunnel when the fracas erupted, and saw everything: the loud, obscenity-laced, nose-to-nose exchange between hitting coach Brook Jacoby and umpire Doug Eddings.
Encarnacion says that it was heated but that, contrary to reports from the other night, Jacoby did not physically assault Eddings:
“I saw it, but I didn’t see anything that they say,” Encarnacion said in an interview. “They’re saying Brook got the umpire against the wall and put his hand on his neck. I didn’t see that.”
Rather, it seems that any contact between Jacoby and the umpire was “probably incidental,” not intentional as the umpire’s report would have it, and that “Eddings turned, came back aggressively and got in Jacoby’s face.”
It’s not cool to run down an umpire in the tunnel to argue balls and strikes after a game. But it’s also not cool for an umpire to respond to that sort of thing and, as appears to be the case here, amp up the tension in an already tense exchange in an enclosed space. There was no word of any discipline of the umpires in this matter.
Now that we’re hearing more, however, it’ll be interesting to see if, like so many other incidents and transgressions lately, Major League Baseball simply declines to pursue it because the target belongs to a group of folks it has historically been loathe to discipline.