Takedown Breakdown: Matt Kemp vs. MLB Umpire Jordan Baker

BY Elias Cepeda • June 11, 2015

At 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, Jordan Baker isn't just the tallest umpire in Major League Baseball (and a strange litterbug), he is also -- to lift a phrase once coined for UFC president Dana White -- built like a fighter. He used all of that size to help him take down San Diego's Matt Kemp Thursday in Atlanta after the Padres outfielder attempted to charge Braves pitcher Julio Teheran after getting hit with a bean ball in the first inning.

Baker's size and strength were likely the biggest factors in his scoring the takedown on Kemp as, though he'd tower over UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez, he posesses none of the wrestler's grappling skill. If you observe the video above, you'll see Baker give up his initial inside position with his right arm as Kemp shuffles to his own right.

Still, Baker at least moved his right hand to a decent control placement in front of him -- on the left hip of the two-time All-Star. That, plus a decent slip, helped Baker complete his slam despite not making full use of his left arm which, though clearly in position to at least make an attempt to, never swam inside of Kemp's right arm.

If he had, Baker could very well have moved to make his own body perpendicular to Kemp's while pulling down on the player's shoulder and pressing forward and using good forehead-on-temple head position. That control could have very well set up all sorts of trips or even lateral drops.

All that said, Baker did a good job of changing levels, and keeping his hips under Kemp's, to maintain a good base. Though, sometimes good timing and being bigger is enough to get the job done, though, even in the UFC.  


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