Umpire Instigates Argument and Ejects Beltran and Manuel

Patrick MurraySenior Analyst IJune 25, 2008

Major League Baseball should suspend umpire Brian Runge.

Runge was the home plate umpire when the Seattle Mariners crushed the New York Mets 11-0 on Tuesday night. I think Runge did a good job calling balls and strikes. However, with Carlos Beltran at the plate in the bottom of the fourth, he did something he shouldn't have.

Beltran took an 0-1 knuckleball from R.A. Dickey that Runge called a strike. It was a borderline pitch near the inside corner that could have gone either way.

Beltran didn't like the call and, while staying in the box, said a few things. It appeared to me that Beltran simply asked the ump if the pitch caught the corner, and stated that he thought it didn't.

It could have been over right then and there, but Runge ripped off his mask, and while pretending that home plate needed brushing, confronted Beltran.

Mets' manager Jerry Manuel quickly came out of the dugout to protect his player and prevent him from being ejected.

Manuel became angry and was yelling at Runge. At this point, Runge bumped Manuel, then quickly tossed him out of the game.

Manuel was irate and appeared to yell that it was Runge that bumped him.

After Manuel was restrained, Beltran had a few quick words for Runge, and he too, was ejected. Beltran was enraged at the ejection and screamed at Runge while pointing at him, seemingly trying to make a point that Runge had instigated the whole thing.

Beltran was restrained by Sandy Alomar Sr., and Marlon Anderson took over the at-bat.

Here are the two main things that Runge did that I think warrant his suspension:

1.  He confronted Beltran. If he had stayed at his postion behind the plate, nothing would have happened.

2.  He bumped Jerry Manuel.

Everyone knows that if a manager bumps an umpire, he is immediately ejected. Runge apparently was eager to eject someone, because he bumped into Manuel and then threw him out of the game.

You can view video of the incident at www.sny.tv to form your own opinion.

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