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When the umpire makes an attempt at eye contact a little weird, it can be understandable that the target could get a little heated.
As Arizona Diamondbacks lefty pitcher Madison Bumgarner finished up the first inning, first-base umpire Dan Bellino approached the veteran pitcher to complete a sticky-substance check.
Things got weird and uncomfortable from there.
Rather than actually checking for a sticky substance on Bumgarner’s hand, Bellino appears to be massaging the pitcher’s hand. Coaxing him to make eye contact. Once Bumgarner glances up at Bellino to see his intense eye contact, the pitcher becomes rather uncomfortable with the situation and pops off.
Bumgarner had to be held back by manager Torey Lovullo, two coaches, and catcher Jose Herrera when the pitcher got into a verbal argument with Bellino.
Umpire who ejected Madison Bumgarner appeared to try and sell the presence of sticky stuff
After the ejection, all eyes were on Bellino.
It does look like Bellino is cooking up what he’s going to say when asked about this strange incident. Bellino did tell a reporter, “I wouldn’t say (Bumgarner) took exception to it. It was just a hand check.”
Really? That looked like more than just a random hand check. There was intent in Bellino’s eye contact. It looked like he was attempting to instigate Bumgarner.
The pitcher and Herrera did appear to not be happy with some calls during the inning. The pair and infielders headed to the dugout after they believed they had struck out Miami Marlins hitter Garrett Cooper, only for home-plate umpire Ryan Wills to call the pitch a ball.
Bumgarner returned to the mound only to get Cooper out with a flyout. Bumgarner did appear to be saying something to Wills as Bellino approached for the hand check.
Bellino said Bumgarner was ejected for “profanity directed at an umpire.”
Bumgarner told reporters that he knows why he was thrown out. “I don’t know if I can say anything that would make the situation better. … You guys have all seen it, and you can back and see it all again, and it’s pretty clear.”
Indeed. It’s crystal clear that Bumgarner was removed after getting salty with Bellino due to some uncomfortable eye contact. The question remains why Bellino felt the need to push things as he did and instigate the incident which put Bumgarner in an uncomfortable situation where he felt he had to defend himself. It’s too bad the umpire can’t be checked after this weird incident.
The Diamondbacks defeated the Marlins 8-7. The team has Thursday off to return home for a series with the Colorado Rockies.