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Out of the box: Umpires eject Nationals GM Rizzo from luxury suite

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Now this was an out-of-the-box ejection.

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was tossed for yelling at umpires from a luxury suite in Atlanta on Sunday, with longtime crew chief Joe West saying, “enough is enough.”

“I wouldn’t take that from a player. I wouldn’t take that from a manager,” West told The Associated Press. “If it was Donald Trump, I’d eject him, too. But I’d still vote for him.”

The 67-year-old West, on track to set the record for most games umpired in big league history next year, said the crew told the commissioner’s office Friday that Rizzo was hollering at umpires earlier in the Nationals-Braves series.

“We informed the office that if it continued we’d stop it,” West said. “And we did.”

This latest incident occurred with the last-place Nationals batting in the seventh inning, trailing NL East-leading Atlanta by six runs in a game the defending World Series champions eventually lost 10-3.

After Chris Martin threw a pitch to Eric Thames with two outs, umpire Hunter Wendelstedt stepped away from the plate, turned to face the stands and yelled “You’re out” while cocking his thumb.

Rizzo was standing outside the box, high above the plate at Truist Park, without a mask and was barking toward the field.

“He was saying, `you’re brutal’ and other things,” West said. “We’re in a pandemic situation, you can hear everything.”

With no crowd in the ballpark because of the coronavirus, someone on the field could be heard saying, “call security.” West then walked to the Braves dugout to use a telephone.

Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said he heard someone shouting before Wendlestedt reacted.

“I think I heard someone yelling a couple days ago, too,” Freeman said, adding, “There’s no fans in the stands so we’ve got to keep the yelling to ourselves.”

Nationals manager Dave Martinez said “somebody screamed” but said he didn’t provide more details.

“I talked to Hunter briefly,” Martinez said. “He said we want to see what we can do about getting a certain guy out.”

Major League Baseball said it had started an inquiry.

“We have already been in communication with the Nationals regarding what transpired during today’s game, and we will speak with the umpiring crew today,” MLB said in a statement. “We will expect Joe West’s crew to provide a full account of their perspective, and we will follow up with them accordingly.”

The ejection came a day after the Nationals announced a multiyear contract extension for the 59-year-old Rizzo, who also is the team’s president of baseball operations.

Washington has struggled this season and is 14-25. World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg recently was ejected for shouting at umpires from the stands while the Nationals played the Mets in New York.

Rizzo has gotten steamed at umpires in the past, most notably at Citi Field in 2016 after a loss to the Mets. Rizzo and ump Jim Joyce had to be separated as they argued in a hallway where the locker rooms for the teams and umpires are located.

Video reviews overturn 42% rate; Boston most successful

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NEW YORK (AP) Video reviews overturned 42.4% of calls checked during Major League Baseball’s shortened regular season, down slightly from 44% in 2019.

Boston was the most successful team, gaining overturned calls on 10 of 13 challenges for 76.9%. The Chicago White Sox were second, successful on eight of 11 challenges for 72.7%, followed by Kansas City at seven of 10 (70%).

Pittsburgh was the least successful at 2 of 11 (18.2%), and Toronto was 7 of 25 (28%).

Minnesota had the most challenges with 28 and was successful on nine (32.1%). The New York Yankees and Milwaukee tied for the fewest with nine each; the Yankees were successful on five (55.6%) and the Brewers three (33.3%).

MLB said Tuesday there were 468 manager challenges and 58 crew chief reviews among 526 total reviews during 898 games. The average time of a review was 1 minute, 25 seconds, up from 1:16 the previous season, when there 1,186 manager challenges and 170 crew chief reviews among 1,356 reviews during 2,429 games.

This year’s replays had 104 calls confirmed (19.8%), 181 that stood (34.4%) and 223 overturned. An additional 12 calls (2.3%) were for rules checks and six (1.1%) for recording keeping.

In 2019 there were 277 calls confirmed (12.5%), 463 that stood (34.1%) and 597 overturned. An additional nine calls (0.7%) were for rules checks and 10 (0.7%) for record keeping.

Expanded video review started in 2014.