MLB ump Randy Rosenberg ejects J.T. Realmuto for no real reason

baseball, baseballplayers, javybaez, joewest, jtrealmuto, majorleaguebaseball, MLB, randyrosenberg, sports, steveblass, umpire

Take a look at the face of MLB umpire Randy Rosenberg in the image above. If that’s not the face of someone who is slowly realizing that they may have *slightly* overreacted, I don’t know what is. But before we get into it, please take a second to view Rosenberg ejecting Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto yesterday in the fourth inning of a Spring Training game against the Blue Jays. Observe:

I saw this video for the first time yesterday, and while I shook my head in disgust and mumbled “Robo Umps Now” under my breath, as I am wont to do, I hadn’t planned on commenting much on it beyond that.

But then I stewed about it all night — even picking up my phone around 2 a.m. to watch it again. Outrageous! Even more outrageous than I remembered it being the first time. Then I started thinking about retired ump and longtime jackass Joe West and all the times my teams were jerked around by umpires with an ego and, well, here we are, banging away on the keyboard.

It looks for all the world to see as if Realmuto asked Rosenberg for a new ball and assumed he was going to toss it to the pitcher. Possibly he got distracted between the time he asked for a ball and the time Rosenberg tried to put it in his glove. The ball falls to the dirt. And the question I have is…SO?

Worst case scenario, Rosenberg thought Realmuto did a “psych!” thing and pulled his glove away at the last moment, in order to…what exactly? Show him up? Who cares if you get shown up in a Spring Training game that no one is watching? Look, we’re in a strictly run-out-the-clock situation here. We’ve got two more days before showtime, everyone is just trying to make it to Opening Day. Calm down. And anyway, the whole idea of “getting shown up” is part of the same stupid toxic baseball culture that says it’s okay to throw at people because they didn’t run the bases fast enough after a home run and makes guys like Steve Blass decide they hate Javy Baez.

Bring on the robo umps

Every time I bring up robo umps, I get the standard, “but it’s part of the game! What about the human element? Won’t someone think of the children???” (Sex cauldron?) lines. But look, is this the kind of human element you want in baseball? Unpredictable umpires who might toss your starting catcher because he thinks something happened that didn’t or even just because he woke up on the wrong side of the bed or got ghosted on Tinder or spilled coffee down his pants? No thanks. I spent most of my life watching Joe West, a man who was convinced people show up to Major League Baseball to see the umpires, and I don’t ever need to see it again.

But unlike the Southland Conference, who suspended an ump for a call so egregious that it brought the entire internet together in horror, there are never any real consequences for MLB umpires. At least not publicly. Which means yet another season of seeing this kind of garbage repeatedly.

My plea for the 2023 season is this: Can we not start the regular season with umpires who already have a chip on their shoulder and are convinced of their own infallibility and victimization? Can we have people who act like professionals behind the plate? Who don’t believe every player is secretly sneering at them behind their backs? Who have a hair trigger when it comes to ejections? My God. Enough already.

Bring on the robo umps.

Leave a Reply