It’s bad enough that David Ortiz was being scolded by a former player for his actions, but now Major League Baseball is stepping in by punishing the Boston Red Sox designated hitter with a one-game suspension and a fine.
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Ortiz’s ban stems from an indecent on Sunday that got him ejected from a game against the Baltimore Orioles in the 5th inning for arguing a strike call on an attempted check swing. Ortiz raised his arms in protest and barked down the line to third base umpire Jerry Meals, which warranted an ejection in the mind of home plate umpire John Tumpane. The ejection was due to arguing, but the suspension comes from making contact with the umpire. Ortiz appeared to have bumped Tumpane while arguing the decision to toss him from the game. Manager John Farrell came to his slugger’s defense, but the damage had already been done.
When questioned by reporters prior to Tuesday night’s game, Ortiz claimed to not recall making contact with the umpire, yet also seemed unfazed by the decision.
"“We got rules man,” said Ortiz. “They’re gonna do what they gotta do.”"
Ortiz has rarely seen a strike called against him that he’s agreed with, so having words with an umpire is hardly new territory for him. Making contact with the umpire, even if it may have been unintentional, only escalated the situation. Ortiz mostly deflected questions regarding whether or not past issues with umpires became a factor in MLB’s decision to tack on a suspension to the punishment he already served by being tossed from Sunday’s game, saying only that it was part of the game.
Actually, bumping umpires isn’t part of the game, hence the suspension.
Ortiz is appealing the penalty, so unless his appeal is withdrawn, he will remain eligible to play until the appeals process is completed. He is expected to be in Tuesday’s lineup when the Red Sox open a series in Tampa Bay against the Rays.