Major League Baseball umpires have too much control over games and there’s no better example than that of Bryce Harper’s ejection by third base umpire John Hirshbeck in the first inning.
Harper attempted to check his swing on a curveball thrown by Pittsburgh Pirates starter Wandy Rodriguez. The pitch was close with the count 2-2 and the call appealed, with Hirshbeck signalling that he did go around.
There’s no question that Harper did question the call and put his arms up in frustration. Hirshbeck then made the situation worse by throwing his arms up twice when he could have easily just walked away. It got instigated even more when he began to mouth off at Harper and who took exception to that and finally got tossed. Manager Davey Johnson went out to argue.
Those actions shouldn’t get tolerated by MLB and he is deserving of swift and severe discipline especially since it seemed that an umpire was looking to throw a player out.
Also, frustrating is that the situation itself was avoidable as the man calling balls and strikes, Bob Davidson missed the call as the pitch itself was a strike. In another game today, Jerry Meals had every reason to eject Josh Donaldson who made his feelings known after getting caught looking at a called third strike and chose not to.
Of course there are certain actions where throwing out a player or a manager are justifiable, this wasn’t the case for Hirshbeck.