According to Marc Carig, Russell Martin had a few choice words for home plate umpire Laz Diaz following last night’s victory over the Angels. Russ said Laz wouldn’t let him throw the ball back to his pitcher when a new one was in play after the two had argued over balls and strikes during the game.
He told me I had to earn the privilege. Even at the end of the game after I get hit in the neck. I’m like, can I throw the ball back now? He’s still like no. I’m like you’re such a (expletive*). Like for real. Unbelievable. I even told him like when there’s guys on base I like to keep my arm loose. No. I’m not letting you throw a ball back. That’s pretty strange to me.
*If you’re wondering what the expletive was, Carig does all but paint you a picture.
Despite sounding eerily similar to a valley girl with his use of the word “like,” Martin has a point. Diaz was clearly trying to show the backstop up — something that certainly wouldn’t fly if the roles were reversed — and it’s a shame that he can get away with it. With the lack of accountability from umpires, they can pretty much do whatever they want. (Think Brett Lawrie. Had he not been goaded by an intentionally blown call two weeks ago, that situation never would have happened. Instead he overreacts and the ump comes out looking like the martyr.)
And telling Martin that he has to “earn the privilege” to throw the ball back to his own pitcher? That’s just Laz Diaz being a prick. Anybody who’s in MLB has already earned that right, let alone a guy who’s a seven-year vet, three-time All Star and Gold Glove winner. It’s really mystifying how much umpires love making the game all about themselves. It’s even mystifyinger that they can get away with it. With the aforementioned lack of accountability from umpires, they will continue to act this way and botch calls just for shits and giggles. NoMaas already touched on this subject yesterday.
Until Bud Selig steps in and does something (which he never will), the umpires will continue to run baseball diamonds the way bullies run school playgrounds. It’s funny how referees/umpires in other sports don’t inject themselves into games the way MLB umps do. Maybe it’s because other sports have replay and their refs are held accountable…nah f’ it, gotta love the human element. **eye roll**
Russ didn’t get into it with Diaz on the field, a VERY wise decision, but had a Costanza “Jerk Store” moment in the clubhouse after the game talking to reporters.
Now, thinking back, I should have shown him the gold Rawlings sign on my glove.
He also felt the umpire was trying to egg him on into getting ejected, a la Lawrie.
I feel like that’s what he was trying to do, trying to get me. But it wasn’t going to happen.
He’s not a bad guy. It’s just, I don’t know…There’s pride involved right there. I don’t know. It’s strange. It’s all right. We won the game. That’s all that matters to me.
I know he can hold a grudge.
If we hold players to higher standards as role models, we should also do the same for umps. After all, little kids don’t come to games to watch the umps, but they do see their actions and can be just as easily influenced by them.