The feud between St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol and umpire C.B. Bucknor has officially carried into 2023.
The pair found themselves working on the same field Saturday in the Cardinals' spring training opener against the Washington Nationals, and it didn't take long for the bad blood to come out. Marmol told reporters after the game, including The Athletic's Katie Woo, that Bucknor declined an offer of a handshake during the pregame meeting between managers and umpires.
The incident did not improve Marmol's opinion of Bucknor, one of the most widely maligned umpires in the league.
From The Athletic:
“I went to go shake C.B.’s hand,” Marmol said to St. Louis-based reporters after the Cardinals’ 3-2 loss. “He didn’t extend his. I went into that game pretty certain about my thoughts on him as an umpire. They weren’t very good. It just shows his lack of class as a man. That’s the bottom line.
“I don’t think he’s good at his job, and it just shows a lack of class as a man,” Marmol added. “That’s my thoughts on it.”
The standoff between Marmol and Bucknor stems from an incident during a game between the Cardinals and Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 21 last year.
Bucknor, working as the home plate umpire, called a clearly inside pitch as a strike on Cardinals star Nolan Arenado. The call was bad enough to trigger laughter from the broadcast and some muted criticism from Arenado, which Bucknor reacted to by boisterously ejecting the third baseman.
Soon, Marmol was out and in Bucknor's face. The umpire started the argument with a smirk as Marmol angrily made his case before the run-in devolved into a face-to-face shouting match, which ended with another umpire coaxing away the manager.
CB Bucknor and Oliver Marmol got into a HEATED argument over this strike call pic.twitter.com/uTkYxc8BET
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) August 21, 2022
Clearly, Bucknor is still holding some hard feelings from that day six months ago.
Marmol told reporters that the other three umpires in Saturday's game — Angel Hernandez, Carlos Torres and Ron Kulpa — all shook his hand and apologized for their colleague's behavior.
The Nationals won the game 3-2.