During Game 2 of the American League Division Series between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays, there was quite a bit of talk surrounding home plate umpire CB Bucknor. The talk was mostly negative, and it was all focused on Bucknor's strike zone. It was obvious to those watching on TV, including Minnesota Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson.
He took to social media to call out Major League Baseball's umpires, specifically Bucknor:
"It's embarrassing. It's tough to watch any game," Donaldson replied to former Twin Trevor Plouffe on Twitter. "I don't know why this is so hard to understand. This isn't high school where you can say that's too close to take. As a MLB hitter our job is to take close pitches that are out of zone."
Donaldson's response was to a Plouffe tweet in which he said he respects the league's umpires, but doesn't believe that they're "held accountable"for the mistakes they make during the course of a game.
Bucknor noticeably extended the strike zone an extra couple of inches for right-handed hitters during Game 2. In the guts of the game, Bucknor was making strike calls that weren't all that close to being in the strike zone. Making matters worse is that those calls were coming in key at-bats during Game 2. As USA Today pointed out, Bucknor was extending the strike zone for both teams, and it resulted in unnecessary outs.
Yikes. pic.twitter.com/a94LUeJdJj— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) October 7, 2020
This certainly isn't the first thing that Donaldson has had a disagreement with umpires in an MLB game. In September, Donaldson was ejected for kicking dirt on home plate after hitting a home run. The slugger provided further explanation for his frustrations, telling reporters two days later that there's "no accountability" for Major League Baseball umpires and that the umps "don't care."
"[If] the umpire consistently isn't doing (his) job correctly, that's affecting our careers, that's affecting our success," Donaldson said at the time. "At the end of the day, there's no reprimand, no accountability for the guys that are making the decision. As a matter of fact, they don't care. They don't care at all, most of them. They just want to get the game over with, for the most part, and it's pretty sad because guys are making six figures a year and there's no accountability."