Friday, June 10, 2005

A Byrd Laying Hands Is Worth Two On The Bench

Marlon Byrd has been suspended for two games as a result of the incidental contact he made with the second base umpire on Saturday. He was also fined $1,000.

I was surprised that the punishment was so light. I don't believe that Marlon insitigated the fight, and I don't think he knowingly knocked down the ump -- who should've just kept his fat ass where it was, instead of playing hero -- but MLB also does need to maintain a zero-tolerance policy with these types of things.

I had assumed they'd give him 4-5 games and let him appeal it down to 2-3.

But, apparently, there were mitigating circumstances.
"I think it's wrong," Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden said last night. "I've studied the tape 45 or 50 times, from every angle. It's very apparent to me that the first base umpire was taunting Marlon Byrd."

When taken with Byrd's account of what happened (which we hadn't heard last week), it shows that the first-base ump certainly wasn't very professional either:
After Byrd headed to take his position in left field, Miller ejected him, and Byrd raced across the infield.

"What upset me was me being in left field, and I said, 'That was a bad call,' " Byrd said yesterday. "I said that about four times. When I was turning to the outfield, he threw me out. I didn't curse him."

So, apparently, Miller waited until he was out to his position to eject him, and he didn't display any patience with an angry player. He should have just let Byrd walk out to the position, instead of escalating it further.

And, if Bowden's account is to be believed, Bill Miller's gestures, body language, or words incited Byrd even more.

MLB has even acknowledged as much. Barry Svrluga reported that Bill Miller was disciplined, presumably for his actions during the game.

It’s pretty clear that his conduct was unprofessional. But, as I observed on Friday night, that umpire crew isn't above making fun of the players. Scroll to the bottom for my account of how the umpires were taunting Livan during the game. Bill Miller was the second base umpire for that game.

Byrd is appealing, and has a strong case, especially now that more details are coming out. In the meantime, he can continue to play until an appeal is scheduled.


  • I kinda wish, no matter how justified the appeal is felt to be, that no appeal was lodged. 2 games for umpire contact is not an obscene amount (especially when ESPN Game Day Radio was calling for 10 games), he can serve it against Seattle and be back in time for the Mighty Ducks.

    By Blogger D, at 6/10/2005 12:41 PM  

  • When Byrd didn't play at all last night, I assumed he was sitting out for his suspension. I agree with D--it's not that severe a penalty. Find a pair of upcoming games against right-handed starters when he's unlikely to start, conveniently drop the appeal, and let him sit them out then.

    By Blogger Carl, at 6/10/2005 12:56 PM  

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