Blog Entry

Umpire too quick to eject Gonzalez

Posted on: May 19, 2011 12:11 am
Edited on: May 19, 2011 1:35 am
Chris Dickerson

By C. Trent Rosecrans

This is not to diminish what happened to Chris Dickerson -- it was scary and I surely hope Dickerson is OK -- but the story to me is how home plate umpire Dan Bellino overreacted and tossed pitcher Mike Gonzalez.

Gonzalez had just given up the lead on a two-run double by Robinson Cano and then a 93 mph fastball got away from Gonzalez and hit Dickerson in what appeared to be the helmet. The ball reportedly cracked the helmet and was taken to a Baltimore hospital to be examined.

Dickerson had a welt on his left temple and was replaced by pinch runner A.J. Burnett, but the Orioles had to get another pitcher up and use Jeremy Guthrie -- Thursday's scheduled starter -- to clean up the mess. He allowed a sacrifice fly and then got two more outs to end the inning with the Yankees leading 4-1 in the 15th inning.

There was no reason to toss Gonzalez. The former Pirates closer was held out of the game until the 15th inning for a reason -- he's been horrible this season, allowing 19 hits in 12 2/3 innings and has an ERA of 8.53. Gonzalez later told reporters he'd tried to throw the ball low and away and it got away from him. With a runner on third in an extra-inning game and no outs, there was no reason for him to try to throw at Dickerson, who just came up from the minor leagues on Tuesday. Bellino just saw a batter on the ground and perhaps a scary injury and tossed the pitcher without giving proper thought.

"It was kind of shocking," Gonzalez told the New York Times. "I hit him, and obviously I get thrown out. I was more worried about how he was doing down there. You see a player go down like that, obviously in the head area, I really wasn't sure if he threw me out. First of all, I didn't understand why, and second of all, Dickerson's down there on the ground. That's the last thing you want to see."

Gonzalez said he didn't argue because he didn't think that would be right with Dickerson on the ground -- a classy move on his part.

Bellino wouldn't talk to the Times reporter, but crew chief Brian Gorman said Bellino tossed Gonzalez because he thought it was intentional -- a conclussion with no supporting evidence other than the body. 

Orioles manager Buck Showalter was not happy, according to's Roch Kubatko: "First of all, you take a deep breath. Regardless of what decision that umpire makes, a young umpire just starting out in the major leagues, you've got a guy laying on the ground and you don't know how seriously he's hurt, and I have a lot of concerns for that. I'm not going to go out there and vehemently argue while a guy's laying on the ground, potentially a real tough situation physically."

In the interesting subplot that seems to come up in these extra-long games, the Yankees were forced to shuffle their lineup more to make up for the loss of Dickerson. Eduardo Nunez moved from shortstop to right field and Derek Jeter to abandoned the designated hitter to play shortstop. 

Meanwhile, Showalter said he may start Brad Bergesen to start Thursday night against the Yankees. Baltimore was rained out on Tuesday, giving Showalter some flexibility with his rotation.

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 10, 2011 11:48 am

Umpire too quick to eject Gonzalez

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Since: May 17, 2008
Posted on: May 19, 2011 11:01 am

Umpire too quick to eject Gonzalez

The ball reportedly cracked the helmet and was taken to a Baltimore hospital to be examined.
Nice writing -- the ball was taken to the hospital or the helmet?  LOL.  All kidding aside, I certainly hope Dickerson is okay but I do think the ejection of Gonzalez was ridiculous.  There is just no way that was intentional in that situation.  The umpire needs to think a little clearer, and perhaps be more worried about the injured player than immediately ejecting the pitcher.

Since: Sep 28, 2006
Posted on: May 19, 2011 8:50 am

Umpire too quick to eject Gonzalez

Dan Bellino may be a rookie umpire but first of all his strike zone was pathetic. He really should be calling Triple A games. Most will probably agree with me that Michael Gonzalez is so wild that he too does not know where his pitch is going to end up. Unfortunatley the pitch ended up hitting Chris Dickerson. As much as I hate the Yankees it really scared me once he hit the ground and didn't move I was fearing for the worse. Thank God he got up and wanted to remain in the game. The trainer and Joe Girardi did the right thing and took him out. I thought that Gonzalez did not do it on purpose so he should have never been ejected. He does however have a history of pitching up and in on hitters. He doesn't hit many but he is consistantly wild. The way he has been pitching lately was the main reason why Buck didn't want to pitch him but he really had no choice since he used up the entire bullpen. 

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: May 19, 2011 8:14 am

Umpire too quick to eject Gonzalez

It was a double. Cano advanced to third on an error by Orioles' center fielder Adam Jones.

Since: May 19, 2011
Posted on: May 19, 2011 4:17 am

Umpire too quick to eject Gonzalez

The fact that the writer here is repeating the ESPN error that it was a double and not a triple Gonzalez gave up to Cano remphaisez the point that you shouldnt write about what tyou didnt see with your own eyes. The reason the ump tossed Gonzalez so fast is because of the way he reacted after the Cano triple -- he was clearly angry, curing, and out of control and Showalter, by his failure to yank him right then or even signal his catcher or pitching coach to go calm him down was proof to all who actually saw it that what was coming next was ok with Bucky, who shouldve been bounced with his dirty pitcher. And btw, the fact that the writer here uses the word classy in the same sentence as Gonzalez is highly telling where his sympathies lie. Epic fail here in every way imaginable.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: May 19, 2011 1:49 am

Umpire too quick to eject Gonzalez

60? you mean 6? he was tossed immediately. in fact, i went back and watched on and they had just the yankees feed, and put a stopwatch to it -- well, it was at 7 seconds after the ball struck his head the yankees commentators say gonzalez was tossed. i was watching the game on the orioles feed and they showed the ejection and it was more clear. i really think it may have been 6 seconds -- a lot different than a full minute. six seconds is hardly enough time to make that kind of decision

Since: May 19, 2011
Posted on: May 19, 2011 1:09 am

Umpire too quick to eject Gonzalez

Gonzalez was walking around with a smirk on his face while everyone else was gathered around Dickerson's limp body trying to determine if he'd been critically injured. I think that's what got him ejected, the ejection didn't happen until about 60 seconds after the HBP.

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