It's a sad day when absurd actions by an umpire overshadow a game. Normally, we'd be talking about Joe West and his ridiculous antics. But he hung up his mask last year. Or maybe we'd be talking about Angel Hernandez and his complete disengagement from reality. But that's also not the case here. I know calling balls and strikes is simply a matter of making judgment calls, and all people make mistakes. But when you get outside those calls and insert yourself into a game, you've probably gone too far as an umpire.
A Fragile Ego And Quick Temper Eject J.T. Realmuto
J.T. Realmuto got ejected for this ?
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 27, 2023
It's the bottom of the fourth inning of an eventual 5-2 Philadelphia Phillies win over the Toronto Blue Jays, and Phillies reliever Craig Kimbrel asked for a new ball. So catcher J.T. Realmuto simply put his glove back behind him to get a new ball from home plate umpire Randy Rosenberg. The catcher then thought that Rosenberg was throwing a ball to the pitcher and pulled his glove back down. A moment later, Rosenberg went to drop a ball into where Realmuto's glove had once been, only for it to hit the ground.
Without hesitation, Rosenberg spun around and made a fool of himself by ejecting Realmuto from the game. Realmuto was visibly confused, as were many viewers and, ultimately, scores of people across social media. When Phillies manager Rob Thomson came out to find out what was going on, Rosenberg calmly made his case. It was as if some vulgar name was just hurled at him and there was absolutely no changing his mind. While Realmuto was the one tossed from the game, Rosenberg is the one who comes out of this looking most foolish.
"I said, 'Dude, I thought you were throwing the ball,'" Realmuto explained following the incident. "He said, 'I'm not gonna buy that.'"
Many are calling for Rosenberg, who has only a partial season's worth of Major League Baseball umpiring experience, to be suspended by MLB. This sort of raises the question about accountability for umpires and referees across different sports. Their jobs aren't easy, that's for sure, but why are they treated like a protected species? Why are we fining players who speak out against officials' decisions? That's a whole other can of worms. But, for now, Rosenberg looks like an absolute clown, and there's no getting around it. Time will tell if MLB does anything about it, though its history shows it probably won't.