I’ve been hearing a lot lately from Boston Red Sox haters that David Ortiz should be suspended for upwards of five games for his destruction of that poor phone at Camden Yards. Everybody take a deep breath. It’s just a phone, and nobody got hurt.
If you missed it, Ortiz was on the receiving end of an egregious call by home plate umpire Tim Timmons. In a 7-2 game that the Red Sox were winning, Ortiz took a 3-0 pitch from Jairo Asencio that was clearly six inches above the strike zone. The pitch was called a strike, likely because Timmons felt he was being showed up by Ortiz, who had already begun to walk down to first base from the moment the pitch was delivered.
Ortiz eventually struck out and then proceeded to bash the phone in the Red Sox dugout. Dustin Pedroia nearly got hit by several pieces of flying phone and attempted to restrain Papi. Soon after, Ortiz was ejected in a game the Red Sox went on to win 7-3.
So what exactly makes this a suspendable offense?
If you’re one of those people who is calling for Ortiz to be suspended because what he did is dangerous, just stop. Baseball is dangerous, and no one got hurt. Ortiz is a millionaire who can just buy 20 new phones for the Baltimore Orioles if that’s the issue, and the outcome of the game was not affected.
If anything, Ortiz should be praised for doing this.
Had he not done this, Timmons’ disgusting call would just be another blown call by an MLB umpire that was quickly forgotten about. Instead, it highlighted a major weakness in officiating. In an era where radar, computers and other forms of technology can easily call balls and strikes, this incident drew attention to how outdated home plate umpires are.
Ortiz doesn’t play the field. He’s paid to pick up a bat and swing at balls that come in the strike zone. By arbitrarily changing what a strike is due to a personality conflict, Timmons was taking away Ortiz’ right to do what he does to make a living.
More importantly, Timmons was making himself bigger than the game. If anything, he should be the one to be suspended, not Ortiz.