Guardians drill umpire Larry Vanover with throw on Yankees' Kyle Higashioka double
By Adam Weinrib
Well, Wednesday afternoon's game between the Cleveland Guardians and New York Yankees was just like any other day game.
The sun was shining. The birds were singing. The Guardians were given two free runs after an illegal challenge in the first inning, then an umpire was drilled in the head by a relay throw and popped right up, leading to an extra Yankees run in the fifth.
Wait, what now?
Yes, after about an hour of Yankees-related crying about improper implementation of the rules, one of the offending umpires, Larry Vanover, found himself mere feet away from a full-speed relay throw from Andrés Giménez.
He left the game, and we wish him the best, though early indications are Vanover is an absolute G.
Yankees score free run after umpire Larry Vanover drilled with a baseball
The Yankees are lucky Gleyber Torres and DJ LeMahieu weren't playing in this one, actually. If they were on the field, surely the ball would've found them and drilled them, too.
Hilariously, the Yankees dealt with this accident by erasing it from their highlight footage entirely.
In their world, Kyle Higashioka brought home two runs with a double, and there was nothing else to it.
Nope! Kiner-Falefa scored in a completely normal way! Definitely not because a bruised-and-battered umpire was writhing on the grass as the ball squirted around the playing field.
The Yankees can't play this game under protest, despite the umpire's strange first inning behavior; that rule was changed back in 2019. Vanover might be umpiring under protest the next time they drag him back out to the field, though, haunted by memories of Giménez's dangerous throw.