Two days after Minnesota Twins star Josh Donaldson was ejected for kicking dirt on home plate after hitting a home run, the slugger provided further explanation for his frustrations. Donaldson told reporters 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 told reporters on Saturday, including Phil Miller of the Minnesota Star Tribune. "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."
Donaldson spoke more on the sixth-inning confrontation with home plate umpire Dan Bellino during Thursday's 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Bellino had called a strike on a checked swing that had Donaldson frustrated with the call.
He homered on the following pitch, and after rounding the bases, kicked dirt on home plate as he crossed it. Bellino ejected Donaldson immediately.
"I asked him very clearly, 'Hey, I want to know where you had the pitch.' I asked him three times, very clearly, and he couldn't answer my question, Donaldson told the Star Tribune.
"When (manager Rocco Baldelli) came out, the umpire's explanation was, 'I think he's just getting excited.' No, I'm not getting excited, I'm asking you a question and you can't answer it, and now you're trying to revert the attention back to me. He was wanting me to do something, so I gave it to him. I was like, 'Look, if he really wants this attention, I'll give it to him.'"
This offseason, Donaldson signed a four-year, $92 million deal with the Twins. Donaldson, 34, is slashing .225/.356/.507 with six homers and 11 RBI on the season. The main reasoning behind his push for more umpire accountability is because they can negatively affect MLB players performances and future contracts, Donaldson explains.
"The players are the only ones who can hold these guys accountable, because there's no fines or suspensions for these guys. They just go out and show up every day at 6 o'clock and they're out of here 30 minutes after the game," Donaldson said. "It doesn't matter to them. They don't realize we're playing for our families, we're playing for our livelihood.
"Fortunately for me, I have a contract. But at the same time, I want to win and compete. For a lot of these guys who do not, the difference between consistently bad calls against one individual can definitely affect their career one way or the other."
The Twins, meanwhile, clinched their second consecutive trip to the postseason with an easy 8-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Saturday night (box score).