Washington national general manager Mike Rizzo was tossed from a luxury suite in Atlanta on Sunday to shout umpires, with longtime crew chief Joe West saying “Enough is enough.”
“I didn’t take from a player. I can’t take from that manager,” West told the Associated Press. “If it was Donald Trump, I would evict him too. But I would still vote for him.”
To set the record for most umpires in the history of the big leagues next year, the 67-year-old West said that Crew told the commissioner’s office on Friday that Rizzo was previously rotating with the umpires in the National-Bristol Series.
“We informed the office that if it continues, we will stop it,” West said. “And we did.”
The latest incident happened in the seventh inning with the nationals batting in the final spot, trailing NL East-leading Atlanta by six runs in a game the eventual World Series champions eventually lost 10–3.
Chris Martin threw a pitch to Eric Thames with two outs, umpire Hunter Wendelstad stepped away from the plate, turned to face the stand and shouted, “You’re out” while holding his thumb.
Rezio was standing outside the box, above the plate in Truest Park, without a mask and barking towards the field.
“He was saying, ‘You’re cruel’ and other things,” West said. “We are in an epidemic situation, you can hear everything.”
With no crowd at the ballpark due to coronaviruses, someone on the field can be heard saying, “Call security.” West then went up to the Braves’ dugout to use a telephone.
Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman said he heard someone shouting before Wendelstadt reacted.
“I think I heard someone shouting a few days ago,”, Freeman said, “There’s no fan in the stand, so we’ve got ourselves to keep shouting.”
National manager Dave Martinez said that “someone shouted”, but said he did not provide more details.
“I talked to Hunter briefly,” Martinez said. “They said we wanted to see what we could do about excluding a certain person.”
Major League Baseball said it had launched an investigation.
MLB said in a statement, “We are already in dialogue with the citizens who have transpired during today’s game and we will talk with the umpiring crew today.” “We would expect Joe West’s crew to provide a complete account of their perspective, and we would follow suit.”
The rejection came a day after the citizens announced a multiyear contract extension for the 59-year-old Rizzo, who is also the team president of the baseball operation.
Washington has struggled this season and is 14-25. World Series MVP Stephen Strasburg was recently ejected from the stand for shouting umpires while the Nationals played the Mets in New York.
Rizzo shocked the umpires in the past, most notably at Sizzo Field in 2016 after losing to Mezzo. Rizzo and ump Jim Joyce had to separate as they argued in a hallway where locker rooms for teams and umpires are located.