WATCH: Joey Votto ejected, appears to bump umpire Chris Conroy
Reds first baseman Joey Votto went a bit nuts on home plate umpire Chris Conroy after being ejected Wednesday night.
Let's keep in mind that we will find out further details after the game. For now, the moving pictures will be what we have.
First, Votto didn't appear to like this strike call in the third inning.
Can't say I blame him. Anyway, Votto would swing through the next pitch and strike out on a foul tip on the third pitch of the at-bat. He would then walk down to first base -- as he had just made the third out of the inning.
Here's where it gets hazy. The Reds broadcast speculated that maybe there were words between Votto and Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole. UPDATE: Further replays show Votto yelling something along the lines of "you pitch, I hit," which would indicate Cole said something.
Regardless, Votto slammed down his helmet when he first started walking to first and still appeared to be yelling at someone (whether Cole, Conroy or anyone else). He was ejected.
And then ...
A closer look at the possible contact with Conroy:
I think the NBA folks call that a flop, right?
Anyway, the aftermath ...
This is out of character for Votto and also seemed like a real quick ejection, thus, it's not hard to believe there's more than meets the eye here. What that is, we don't know so there's no reason to speculate.
Update: And I guess we won't find out. Votto was contrite after the game and didn't go into much detail.
Via the Cincinnati Enquirer, here's what Votto had to say:
"I feel like I need to be accountable for my actions."
"As a major-league player, I have a responsibility to be a good example for younger players. Making contact with an umpire is unacceptable."
"Just because I have a verbal disagreement with someone doesn't make it OK to make physical contact with someone."
Also, Cole told reporters that he didn't say anything to Votto or hear anything from him. So that "I hit, you pitch" thing will also remain a mystery.
What we do know is that Major League Baseball doesn't tolerate contacting the umpires. There's no real degree of being allowed to touch them during an argument because that opens itself up to slippery slope arguments. It does seem like Votto contacted Conroy at least a little bit, even if Conroy way over-acted on it, too.
So, unless we find out something unexpected after the game, expect Votto to be suspended or at the bare minimum, fined.
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