Make room for Eric Cooper in the annals of unprofessional ump behavior.

This foofaraw started earlier in the inning, when A.J. Burnett appeared to strike out Jon Jay on a breaking ball that struck his foot. (If you swing and miss and are hit by a pitch, it's a strike.) Cooper ruled that the ball hit the dirt, so Jay was allowed to take first on a dropped third strike. As the Pirates argued, Jay scampered all the way to second.

On the first pitch to the next batter, Burnett thought he had clipped the outside of the plate, but Cooper called it a ball. Burnett raised his arms and said something, and Cooper immediately began striding toward the mound, jawing at Burnett before Russell Martin planted himself in front of the umpire.


Burnett's temper is legendary. Cooper's got one of his own, with an ejection rate well above the major league average. But passions cooled, the Pirates got out of the inning, and went on to sweep the doubleheader and the series, taking over first place in the NL Central. We eagerly await our lip reader's take on this showdown.

Oh, and Cooper wasn't the only person in the ballpark feeling confrontational. Via Beer Mug Sports:


This image was lost some time after publication, but you can still view it here.