Ejections With Passion
Baseball has been a timeless staple in American culture since inception. One of the greatest spectacles that occur within a game is the beauty of a good old fashioned ejection. Managers/Players/Coaches get ejected for a multitude of reasons; to spark the team, to get a point across to an umpire, or believe it or not, the umpire may have missed a call… I know hard to fathom an umpire ever kicking a call, but even blue botches one every now and again.
Let’s breakdown a few classic ejection situations, and show how passionate us baseball lifers are about our game, and that it’s part of the baseball culture that we stick up for our team when duty calls within a game. The appreciation for the ejection stems from seeing how passionate the manager/coach/player is to defend what he feels is justified, and while replay has dampened that ejection passion to a certain degree at the Big League level, it makes for some good fireworks when you do get that magical moment in a game. Hope you enjoy!
It wouldn’t be a Korked blog if we didn’t leadoff with the man, the myth, the legend himself: Joe Maddon. Talk about the king of self-awareness, both on and off the field, the dude is constantly flipping the right switches in key moments, and pushing the right buttons in the clubhouse to get the most out of his guy’s game in and game out. Sometimes there are situations within a game you have to stick up for your guys, and this was no doubt one of those times. Much like we introduced in the opening notion, umpires kick calls at times, but in a big league game, it’s unacceptable for the plate umpire to give the courtesy 3-0 strike when the ball clearly misses the zone by that much. I applaud Joe for his willingness to battle for his guys, and let Jerry Meals know that we’re out here competing today, and major league pitchers don’t need that much wiggle room throughout the zone.
Here is a classic case in which Wally Backman sticks up for his hitter who gets ejected for arguing balls and strikes, which arguing balls and strikes is a huge no-no if you’re a youth player reading this blog. Backman comes out to get an explanation from HP umpire, and when he wasn’t getting the answers he wanted, the situation escalated into that “magical moment” we talked about. While excusing the language, this is an example in which a coach is sticking up for his player in a situation where we might have a case of umpire rabbit ears. Wally was saving face for the position player by arguing on his behalf so that he doesn’t do something that could result in suspension, and missing games later in the season. Wally knows what he is doing, and is no wonder he had a successful big league career, and then transitioned into a coach who gets it and no doubt his players understand that.
This final ejection finds us with the MLB leader in ejections, Bobby Cox, getting his money’s worth after O’Flaherty and Chipper let the plate guy know what’s up. You can clearly see a pitch split middle-middle and the Braves didn’t get the call, and the next pitch gets rattled off the wall scoring the go ahead run. Obviously it’s a critical, important juncture in the game, and you can just see the passion oozing from Chipper, O’Flaherty, and then Bobby makes sure to get his money’s worth at the end to hammer home the point of how critical it is for everyone to be checked in the game at all times, even the umpires. Such a beautiful display of proverbial fireworks on display that fateful day in Boston when the umpire balls a middle-middle strike.
Ejections are almost a game within the game, as you have to pick and choose your timing, the situation, and moment within a game. Do it at the wrong time, and you could look completely NOT show, but you interject a well-timed ejection in a game, and you will have fans fired up and ready to rally around the squad! The only thing better than being in the yard for a “magical moment” ejection if you’re in the yard rocking a Korked baseball gear in case you make your way on TV, or want to start a conversation. so check out our new Summer 2016 line that just dropped, and gear up for the playoff push!