MLB umpires have a lot of new responsibilities this year, amid the institution of new rules. So far in spring training, they’ve had to adjust to the new realities, just like everyone else.
However, with more responsibility comes more power, as was on display in the Phillies’ final game of the exhibition season against the Blue Jays at TD Ballpark in Dunedin, Fla. Umpire Randy Rosenberg called Craig Kimbrel for a pitch clock violation, and immediately afterward, catcher J.T. Realmuto dropped the new ball that Rosenberg tried to hand to him.
Rosenberg, though, apparently thought Realmuto was showing him up after the call, so Rosenberg exercised his power and ejected Realmuto.
Realmuto, meanwhile, appeared confused by the ejection, indicating the move likely was unintentional. While Realmuto was walking off the field, he pumped his fist to the crowd.
As MLB continues to adjust, it’s possible that the new rules will add friction between teams and umpires. Let’s just hope that no more players get ejected for dropping a ball like Realmuto did Monday.