Welcome to #TotallyRichard!
This is the first post of what hopes to be many. Editor-In-Chief of the Nation Network and large adult son Cam Lewis challenged me to just ramble on once a day here, so I’m going to take him up on it. I got this name from the time I drunkenly stumbled into our group chat and staff writer Brendon Kuhn suggested that I do a weekly column. Originally this was supposed to be once a week thing after a couple cold ones, but since I’m already on the internet 24 hours a day anyway, let’s see how this goes.
As for content, it’s just going to be my unfiltered thoughts. Not in a “please validate me” way like some uh, manalysts, but kind of like how I operate my Twitter, where I try to start conversations about shit. Some days it’ll be analytical, some days it’ll be well-reasoned, some days you’ll see my biases, and some days it’ll be extremely emotional yelling about something.
So, shall we begin?
Earlier this week, a video surfaced from a game in 2016 where Noah Syndergaard was ejected in the third inning of a game for throwing behind Dodger Chase Utley. The intent was obvious, with that at-bat being Utley’s first at Citi Field against Syndergaard since Utley broke Mets second baseman Ruben Tejada’s leg with a vicious slide in Game 2 of the 2015 NLDS the previous year.
Managers blowing up after an ejection are usually cool on their own, but having both the pissed off manager and an umpire mic’d for it gives us this intimate view of things I didn’t even know could exist in this sport. Here you have then Terry Collins, who’s rightfully fuming, looking for anybody to fight, and Tom Hallion, who is umpiring at first base doing his best to help “THA SITUATION.” After Thor gets run for buzzing NINETY FUCKING NINE behind Utley, Hallion rushes to him and Neil Walker to de-escalate and explain why it happened. Collins comes in guns blazing and then Hallion intervenes and gets into it with the Mets manager.
We often forget that umpires are human beings because a few constantly try to manage egos with an ego of their own, but what Hallion did was perfect, even dropping in an “our ass is in the jackpot now,” whatever the hell that means. Umpires need to be accountable when shit hits the fan during games, and often that’s either being an aggressor or just blankly staring off into space while a manager gets his two cents in, which frankly, doesn’t sound like it does much good.
The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive throughout baseball circles, and for good reason. It’s just a perfect example of awareness and how to handle a situation like that. It also sounds like the most New York conversation two people could have. Obviously we won’t be seeing more of it, because how many umpires would willingly let the public be privy to conversations on the field?
Rob Manfred said that the Terry Collins/umpire viral video has been scrubbed from the internet because a collectively bargained agreement with the umpires that said those interactions involving microphoned umpires wouldn’t be made public. MLB is trying to figure out how it leaked
— Jared Diamond (@jareddiamond) June 14, 2018
Even though I enjoyed the hell out of the video, it kind of makes sense. Umpires are already viewed in an extremely negative light and the wrong thing leaking could do a whole world of damage to their reputation. It is fun, and I’d love to see the idea of those types of things being reviewed by the umpire association and then posted, cuss words and all, but I’m not sure the umpires are ready for that yet.
Even still, Tom Hallion is fucking great. Something magical needs to happen for the entire baseball world to make an umpire a hero, but that’s just what happened this week.
Anyways, the video is below. Watch it before it gets taken down (again).
Here's the terry collins rant/ejection reuploaded pic.twitter.com/Uv6supZrwe
— Bring Rajai Davis Back (@DaTornadoz) June 14, 2018