Whether Matt Adams is a rookie or not, the Cardinals did not believe their big first baseman should have been shown up by home plate umpire Dan Belino after striking out in the ninth inning of the Cubs’ 3-0 victory Thursday night.
“That’s wrong,” manager Mike Matheny can be seen yelling at Belino, who had taken off his mask and shooed a frustrated Adams back to the visitors’ dugout, a gesture generally considered disrespectful in the game’s always-intriguing unwritten rules.
Matheny wasn’t finished with Belino. As soon as Jon Jay lined to left for the game’s final out, the second-year manager met Belino outside the visitors’ dugout at Wrigley Field. Matheny was quickly ejected but didn’t seem to notice. He stayed in Belino’s face until other umpires stepped in. Afterward, Matheny said he had no reason to dispute the strike call but he did not believe an umpire should disrespect one of his players.
“It had more to do with the umpire and how he mistreated one of our players, Adams,” Matheny told reporters in the post-game news gathering. “It had nothing to do with the call. Had everything to do with him going too far.”
Matheny admitted that Adams voiced his objection to Belino but did “nothing out of the ordinary.” “I’m sure the umpire didn’t like it,” Matheny said.
Adams turned around after striking out for the first out in the ninth, his beef apparently over a borderline, high and tight fastball that was called for a strike. Based on what you see on TV, he appears to say, “No chance.” Adams then walked a few feet, looked back at the umpire and appears to have said, “That ball was inside.”
Belino felt the behavior egregious enough to unnecessarily banish Adams to the dugout or, suggested Matheny, the umpire wanted to get a little too involved when he didn’t need to.
“It’s ridiculous,” Matheny said. “You can’t take your mask off and motion somebody away. We had not had any trouble. We hadn’t been complaining all game long. He wanted to be seen so now he’s going to be seen.”
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