Sometimes, calling balls and strikes isn’t enough for an MLB umpire and they feel the need to inject themselves into the game a little more.
Brian Gorman got a little power hungry in the first inning when the Detroit Tigers were in Chicago to take on the Chicago White Sox on Monday, throwing Miguel Cabrera out of the game for running his mouth. Cabrera was upset because Chris Sale hit him with the first pitch of the at-bat, but the home-plate umpire said Cabrera had swung at the pitch and called it a strike.
Cabrera asked for an appeal to the umpire down the first base line, but Gorman decided to call it that way on his own.
If it was a swing, it wasn’t much of one. Cabrera had a couple words with Gorman after fouling off the next pitch and he was quickly tossed. It was his first at-bat of the game. By ejecting him so quickly, he unnecessarily injected himself into it. He didn’t appear to give Cabrera much of a warning before ejecting him.
Jim Leyland’s ensuing argument with Gorman earned him an ejection as well.
This was the second time since the All-Star break Cabrera has been tossed in the early innings. Chad Fairchild tossed him from a game in the third inning against the White Sox on July 28. Fairchild has a history of having a short leash as well, and certainly didn’t waste much time before throwing Cabrera out of that game either.
In both instances, the umpire acted way too quickly in tossing Cabrera. Leyland probably should have run out and asked for an explanation himself to spare his best hitter’s ability to stay in the game, but that doesn’t change the fact that this was a hasty action.
As far as umpires are concerned, the standard of a good game from a fan’s perspective is based on whether or not they notice they’re there. They make the right calls and keep control of the game without upsetting people. Umpires like Fairchild and Gorman need to figure out a way to manage verbal disputes without resorting to kicking players out of the game. Fans don’t come to watch them — they come to see the people with their name on the line up cards.