Phillies C J.T. Realmuto ejected by ump for ... not catching a ball

Spring training is all about preparation, and one umpire apparently decided that a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and Toronto Blue Jays would be the best time to rehearse an ump show.

The drama occurred in the fourth inning, when Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto stuck his glove back for home plate umpire Randy Rosenberg and pulled his glove back as Rosenberg was about to place a ball in it. Rosenberg took offense, and by "took offense," we mean "immediately ejected Realmuto with no questions asked."

Realmuto was initially more perplexed than angry, though he eventually grew plenty angry.

Rosenberg apparently believed Realmuto was making a point because Rosenberg had just issued a pitch clock violation to Phillies pitcher Craig Kimbrel. After some arguing and a very dramatic arm-shaking exit for Realmuto, the Phillies replaced him behind the plate with Max McDowell.

The Phillies won the game 5-2.

Rosenberg is not an official MLB umpire but a Triple-A umpire who works as a fill-in ump for spring training. He has worked 39 MLB regular-season games, nine of them at home plate, the past three years, according to Retrosheet.

Mar 27, 2023; Dunedin, Florida, USA;  Philadelphia Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto (10) is ejected by umpire Randy Rosenberg (113) against the Toronto Blue Jays in the fourth inning during spring training at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
J.T. Realmuto might have already won the award for the weirdest ejection of the season. (Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports)

Per The Philadelphia Inquirer, crew chief Dan Iossagna did not make Rosenberg available to reporters after the game, instead defending him:

“Did Randy act hastily? No,” Iassogna said. “I believe Randy felt like the situation warranted an ejection, and that’s what he did.”

As for Realmuto, he reportedly called his ejection "a soft way to get thrown out" and pointedly asked how he could have known he was going to leave Rosenberg hanging.

“How does he expect me to know he’s giving me the ball right there?” Realmuto asked. “I’m not even looking at him.”

The Phillies have one spring training game remaining against the Blue Jays before their Opening Day against the Texas Rangers on Thursday.