Umpires, warnings and rules

Umpires and rules are all well and good, but sometimes… the umpires need to impose the rules while using their common sense. We’re not in court, no one’s life is at stake – a strict interpretation is not always necessary. Let’s just play ball.
Here goes: My understanding is that Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw hit San Francisco Giants Aaron Rowand and was ejected from the game because both benches had already been warned about bean balls. I hate it when the umpires warn the pitcher and both benches. I know they think they’re going all Minority Report on us, but I feel that they’re just taking away the inside of the plate from both teams for the rest of the game. I think this warning-then-bean-ball-ejection-system needs to be removed from the rules – I doesn’t work. Also, Joe Torre was suspended for 1 game for this. Which leads us to…
Don Mattingly managing in his place. He goes out for a mound visit with Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton before an Andres Torres at bat. After Mattingly left the pitcher’s mound and started back to the dugout – now this is really incredible – he turned around and advised first baseman James Loney at what depth he wanted him to play. Giants manager Bruce Bochy knows the rule; once you leave the mound, the visit is over and you have to go back to the dugout. Since Mattingly turned around again and spoke to the first baseman, this constitutes a double visit, and Broxton had to come out of the game.
I read about this on They’re worried about the mound visit issue, which I do agree is ridiculous, but the circumstances that led to this instance is a way bigger problem and should never have happened in the first place.
This is the dumbest shiz-ight I’ve ever heard. How often do you see coaches and mangers yelling and gesturing from the dugout railing to position their fielders? Does it really matter if Mattingly stopped for a second and said one more thing to the first baseman that he could have legally told him from the dugout in just a few seconds? The umpire needs to exercise some common sense and tell Bochy that while he appreciates his fortunate turn of memory, he needs to relax and go sit down. Rules are all well and good, and you could say that my argument opens up a Pandora’s box of which rules to ignore and which rules to follow… but really, it doesn’t. So Mattingly advised Loney how to position himself. Big deal. Get over it. It’s just baseball, and this rule shouldn’t exist anyway. I think the umpire could have easily ignored Bochy on the grounds that Mattingly didn’t speak to the pitcher and the fact that, again, the bench positions fielders all the time, so what’s the difference if he did it on his way back to the dugout? No one plopped down their hard earned cash to see Broxton get removed from the game on a lame technicality.
This is dumb. This strict interpretation of Rule 8.06 (d) is totally unnecessary, just like the warnings about pitching inside. Both of these rules need to go.

About Jamie Insalaco

Jamie Insalaco is the author of, and editor in chief of

Posted on July 22, 2010, in 2010 Season and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I saw this online earlier… the whole double visit thing is just splitting hairs. If he had gotten to the dugout, then come back out and delayed the game further by talking to the first baseman, sure, charge him with another visit, but all he did was turn around and give a little bit more instruction. He didn’t even talk to the pitcher. That’s taking the rule a little bit too literally, if you ask me.

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