Todd Frazier hit a walkoff homer to give the Mets a victory over the Miami Marlins in the first game of their doubleheader yesterday. Walkoff homers are big deals! They excite people! When they happen, the player’s teammates all come out to the home plate and mob him when he scores!
Another thing that often happens is that the guy who hit the walkoff homer takes a big leap onto home plate into the celebratory mob. Maybe that’s not the best idea — Kendrys Morales likely has some opinions about that — but it happens a lot.
It didn’t happen in the Mets game, though. Home plate umpire Tom Hallion made sure of that. Watch him and his positioning when Frazier is about to cross the plate:
In case you missed it:
I don’t have any strong negative feelings about Tom Hallion. Indeed, earlier this year I noted that he handled a pretty dicey situation involving the Mets — the famous “ass in the jackpot” argument with Terry Collins — pretty darn masterfully. As such, I have no reason to believe that he was trying to turn this into an ump-show or to show up Frazier here. No one seems to have asked him, but I imagine if he was asked he’d simply say he was there to make sure home plate was touched, to make Frazier’s game-winning run officially count. He does look down at Frazier’s foot at the end, after all.
Still, I’ve never seen an ump get that up-close and personal in those situations. Often times they’ll just offer a glance from a few feet away and let everyone have their dog pile. I guess Hallion just wanted to cross the t and dot the i here. You know, so as not to get his ass in the jackpot.
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.