DANDIN, FL – JT Realmoto couldn’t believe its ears.
Reliever Craig Kimbrel had just been called for a pitch clock violation in the bottom of the fourth inning of a Grapefruit League game against the Blue Jays. Kimbrel asked for a new baseball game. Realmuto, the Phillies’ catcher, returned to take his place from home plate umpire Randy Rosenberg. Then Realmuto saw Kimbrel’s eyes go up to the sky. He thought Rosenberg had thrown Kimberell’s new ball himself, so Realmuto slipped his glove.
Next thing he knew, Rosenberg was firing him. Miscommunication, Realmuto claims.
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Rosenberg was putting a ball into Realmuto’s glove when it slipped. The ball fell to the ground, and Rosenberg looked a little foolish. So, he brought out Realmuto – the first time they’ve thrown nearly 2,000 professional games. Everyone’s cranky at the end of spring training.
While reviewing the bar at the visitors’ club at TD Ballpark, Realmuto was less angry than suspicious.
“How does he expect me to know he’s giving me the ball over there?” Realmuto asked. “I don’t even look at him.”
Realmuto said that Rosenberg maintained that Realmuto was trying to show it off because Realmuto was upset about a field clock violation.
“I said, ‘Dude, I thought you were throwing the ball,’” Realmuto said. “He said, ‘I wouldn’t buy that.’”
Rosenberg is a triple-A umpire and a major league “calling umpire” eligible for spring training games and as an additional umpire during the regular season, said crew chief Dan Isogna, who is a “top-down” guy. He did not make Rosenberg available; It is common in contentious situations for only the chief of crew to handle such situations.
Did Yasogna, as Rosenberg’s agent, think Rosenberg acted hastily?
“Did Randy act in such a hurry? No,” Isigna said. “I think Randy felt the situation warranted firing him, and that’s what he did.”
It doesn’t seem to warrant any reaction at all, but beliefs are human, too. The atmosphere of tension surrounding the new stadium clock rules and the general weirdness that accompanies a late spring training game on a humid afternoon may have made everyone a little nervous.
“Sure, something happened in between [Rosenberg and] Either Kimbrel or Realmuto, where I’m from, said Isigna.
So, what did he think happened?
“I couldn’t tell what was going on from my position at second base, but I knew it had to be related to a field clock violation,” Isogna said. “As soon as I saw the output, I knew it was Kimbrel or JT turned on.”
GT, it turns out.
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Realmuto claims he never said anything to Rosenberg before or during the accident. Did Rosenberg tell Iassogna that Realmuto said something inappropriate at some point?
Yasujna said: “He didn’t say he said anything, but he didn’t tell me that he did not do say something.”
Iassogna said the crew would follow the routine that follows any ejection: review the tape and report back to MLB.
Was there some history between the catcher and the umpire? No, Realmuto said he has never crossed paths with Rosenberg before. Of course, they now have a date.
Kind of funny history.
“Now that I understand why he got me… the timing was perfect,” said Realmuto. “First time I was taken out. It was an easy way to get rid of.”
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