For the second consecutive day, the Ump Show was on display at the Rogers Centre. Yesterday, it was home plate umpire Will Little inserting himself into the game. Tonight, it was none other than Angel Hernandez.
Good ol’ Angel is all too familiar around the league for his antics, and the Toronto Blue Jays were subjected to his tomfoolery behind the plate for the series opener against the LA Angels.
The night after the Blue Jays had their manager, starting pitcher and starting catcher ejected within mere moments, the Ump Show reared its ugly head once again.
After J.A. Happ walked in a run during the second inning of play, he threw a pitch which Russell Martin was convinced was a strike (he held it for a good four-to-five seconds). It was a close call, but nothing egregious by any means.
Happ assumed it was strike three and started walking off the mound. Meanwhile, Hernandez ripped his mask off (much like Little did yesterday), started barking at Happ and stared down the mound.
As Buck Martinez mentioned on the Blue Jays broadcast, this may have been carry-over from what happened during yesterday’s tilt at the Rogers Centre, but Hernandez’ behaviour in this incident was completely uncalled for.
This was almost a carbon copy of how Little baited Marcus Stroman yesterday. Sure, Happ may have uttered an obscenity into his glove after walking in a run, but he never chirped Hernandez.
The only thing Happ was guilty of was walking towards home plate – and I can’t imagine he was doing it to confront Hernandez, Happ was probably moving in to talk to his catcher about the game plan with the bases still loaded.
Once again, this was an umpire with a quick trigger finger who escalated a situation which didn’t need to be escalated. There wasn’t any tension between the pitcher and the umpire, so why even take things to that level?
Were it not Happ – probably the guy with the calmest demeanor on the Blue Jays roster – things may have played out much differently.
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After John Gibbons sauntered out of the dugout and got his two cents, things cooled down and went back to normal. But Hernandez’ reaction to the entire situation was completely unnecessary. He was practically looking for a fight with Happ, but J.A. didn’t take the bait.
The best part of this entire exchange between Hernandez and the Blue Jays? After Hernandez stared down Happ for close to 15 seconds, Martin barked back at Hernandez and ordered him to “put his mask back on”.
Martin to Hernandez – "Put your mask back on". pic.twitter.com/7RJT1zFnTd
— Ian Hunter (@BlueJayHunter) July 29, 2017
No more Ump Shows, please. Surely, the Blue Jays have seen enough of this for one week.