Josh Donaldson has high praise for his own bizarre post-home run ejection in Thursday’s game against the Chicago White Sox. However, the Minnesota Twins third baseman isn’t holding Major League Baseball or its umpires in the same regard.
Donaldson made that clear in a video call prior to Saturday’s game against the Chicago Cubs. When asked about the moments leading up to and following his ejection by home plate umpire Dan Bellino, Donaldson says he’s happy about how he handled the situation, but is frustrated there’s “no accountability” when incorrect calls are made.
On his celebration, courtesy of MLB.com:
"I felt great about it," Donaldson said.
"I think I nailed it, actually," he later added. "I heard [television analyst Justin Morneau], you had a lot of people texting you and saying they were embarrassed. Well, I'm not. This is my livelihood and this is part of what makes me the player I am. And at the end of the day, if I have something on my chest, that's going to be what it is."
On the umpires, courtesy of ESPN:
"[If] the umpire consistently isn't doing his job correctly, that's affecting our careers, that's affecting our success," Donaldson told reporters on Saturday. "At the end of the day, there's no reprimand, no accountability for the guys that are making the decision. As a matter of fact, they don't care. They don't care at all, most of them. They just want to get the game over with, for the most part, and it's pretty sad because guys are making six figures a year and there's no accountability."
Why Josh Donaldson was mad
On the pitch directly before the home run, Donaldson took a 2-0 fastball for a called strike that he felt was off the outside corner. Words were exchanged and manager Rocco Baldelli was forced to diffuse the situation before it escalated.
Little did anyone know that was just an appetizer before the real fireworks.
Not Baldelli, nor anyone else in the ballpark, expected this to happen after Donaldson rocked the next pitch over the fence.
Chill out, Josh Donaldson pic.twitter.com/Fgfhrd768X
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) September 17, 2020
Does Josh Donaldson have a point?
To say there’s absolutely no accountability might be a stretch. Then again, to suggest MLB is proactive about evaluating umpire performance or calling out mistakes also feels inaccurate. At least based on information that’s made public.
Overall, there’s not a lot of consistency from one game to the next, or one umpire to the next for that matter. That’s what frustrates the players more than anything. Calls are going to be missed. That’s the human element. When the strike zone moves around, that can impact several games and easily get in a player’s head.
Based on Donaldson’s comments, it seems his frustration has been building over time. Of course, airing it all out won’t change MLB’s approach, but it might take a load off his mind and his chest. If nothing else, it will definitely lighten his wallet.
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