There will always be room for managerial ejections in baseball

There will always be room for managerial ejections in baseball
August 19, 2013, 10:30 am
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Tony Andracki

For as long as the game of baseball has been around, managers and umpires have clashed in the public eye.

Cubs skipper Dale Sveum got as heated as he's ever been in Chicago Sunday afternoon when Donnie Murphy was called out on an obviously horrible check swing call. Sveum was promptly ejected.

The world got a look at a legendary tirade Sunday night from former Cub (and current Yankees manager) Joe Girardi, who was irate following former Cub (and current Red Sox pitcher) Ryan Dempster's plunking of former MVP (and current baseball lightning rod) Alex Rodriguez.

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These outbursts up the entertainment for fans and media, but they serve a purpose, too. Both Sveum and Girardi were sticking up for their players and trying to right a perceived wrong.

So what happens when baseball replay becomes a major part of the game, as is slated to happen next season?

Managerial arguments will still exist, but there will be much less of a medium for them with each coach receiving three replay challenges per game.

Baseball fans remember some legendary tirades over the past couple decades from now-retired managers Bobby Cox and Lou Piniella, but the next generation of fans may not have the same opportunity to check out the truly dramatic side of the game.

"Baseball is a sport, a business and entertainment," Piniella told the New York Daily News this weekend. "The fans enjoy arguments on the field and I'm not sure it's a good thing to take that away."

Piniella was ejected 63 times over the course of his managerial career, 11th all time in baseball history, and had some of the most memorable outbursts in Cubs history over his time on the North Side.

While Piniella was more of a showman with his ejections, lighting a fire under his team or sparking the crowd, Girardi had a clear message he was trying to convey. Hours after A-Rod was plunked by Dempster, Girardi was still steaming and keep using the word "wrong" to describe the events on the field.

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Girardi, a Peoria, Ill., native who attended Northwestern and was drafted by the Cubs, was upset Dempster was not ejected after blatantly throwing at Rodriguez. While instant replay takes a lot of the human element out of calls, there isn't a computer in the world that can tell an umpire when to eject a pitcher for throwing at a batter.

No matter what happens with instant replay, this is still a game centered around people -- both as players and as umpires. There will be arguments, there will be ejections, there will still be the entertainment factor for fans at the stadium and for those watching at home on TV.

Managers just might have to get more creative in their efforts.