This past Saturday, Noah Syndergaard threw a 99-mile-per-hour fastball behind Chase Utley, which sure seemed like retribution for Utley’s takeout slide of Ruben Tejada in Game 2 of the NLDS last October. Tejada broke his leg on the play, which, of course, ended his postseason.
Seven months later, revenge.
Only home-plate umpire Adam Hamari was having none of it. He didn’t give Syndergaard a warning, either. He immediately ejected the fiery 23-year-old, thus incensing both Syndergaard and Mets manager Terry Collins, who was also ejected.
Given the recent altercation between Jose Bautista and Rougned Odor, might we see more umpires cracking down on beanballs as Hamari did Saturday?
“You might,” Fox, MLB Network and Sports Illustrated MLB analyst Tom Verducci said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “It’s certainly at this time on people’s conscience, what happened in Texas. That type of brawl, as you guys know, it’s pretty rare to see in baseball where somebody lands a clean shot. But I’ll say this: A lot of people have criticized the umpires (and said), ‘Where’s the consistency?’ Well, you’re not going to have consistency because, by definition, it’s a judgment call on the umpire’s part. So it’s all up to the umpire to decide was this guy throwing intentionally at a hitter or not? And you pretty much have to read the tea leaves. The guy does not announce before he throws the pitch, ‘Hey, Mr. Umpire, I’m throwing this pitch at the guy on purpose,’ So you’re talking, by definition, judgment calls by umpires. So people who are arguing, ‘Hey, we need more consistency,’ you’re not going to get it when it comes to something that is subjective.”
While Collins had a major issue with Syndergaard’s ejection – probably in part because Syndergaard is 5-2 with a 1.84 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 62 and 2/3 innings – Verducci was okay with it.
“I actually didn’t have a problem with (Hamari) ejecting Syndergaard,” Verducci said. “I thought it was obvious, and the rules state if the umpire thinks he does it on purpose, he doesn’t have to have a warning to eject the player. So you may see more of those ejections, certainly coming right on the heels of that episode in Texas. But I don’t blame the umpire in this case at all, and I don’t expect consistency when you’re looking at something that’s so subjective.”