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In the eighth inning of game during which the Texas Rangers were getting killed by the Miami Marlins by a score of 18-6, Adrian Beltre was told by umpire Gerry Davis that he needed to stand on the on-deck circle mat. Beltre recalled after the game that he had expressed his concern to Davis about moving away from the spot he claims he has been standing at for 20 years to a spot where he has been hit before, but Davis insisted and told them he had to move and that he “didn’t care” that Beltre had been hit before.
So Beltre did what Davis asked; sort of. Like a boss, he went over, picked up the mat, and dragged it over to his preferred spot as the home crowd cheered him on. But those cheers quickly turned to boos as Davis must have felt humiliated by Beltre and threw him out of the game.
Sure, in an ordinary situation, Beltre should probably follow the rules to avoid getting ejected. But coaches stand outside of the first and third base boxes all of the time, and like Beltre said in a post-game interview, other players stand where he stands and never get chewed out, much less thrown out of a game. He really did nothing wrong.
But this outcome was unfortunately determined purely by the emotions of a sour umpire. And that concept was vindicated when Davis proceeded to throw out Rangers’ manger Jeff Banister seconds after he started arguing with him about the bogus call.
“I wasn’t trying to be funny…I don’t think I showed him up. I just did what he told me to do,” stated Beltre in a post-game interview.
Beltre, Banister and the announcers all agreed that Davis engaging the situation to begin with was ridiculous, as players stand where they want to all the time, with Beltre’s spot being no different. And even more ridiculous was the fact that Beltre got thrown out over it.
Is this really what baseball has come to? How much power do umpires really have nowadays? Sure, we can laugh about how awesome Beltre was and praise him and all that, but in the end, we have to ask ourselves. Are umpires’ feelings and emotions going to affect an important outcome one day? At this point, it’s anyone’s guess.