I know umpires like to clear bats out of the way when they anticipate a play at the plate, but one would think that they would do so with a little bit of caution.
During a Chicago White Sox rally in the first inning yesterday against the Toronto Blue Jays and pitcher Alek Manoah, perennial American League MVP candidate José Abreu, who was on deck, was running behind home plate to coach baserunner Jake Lamb on his slide into the plate. As he was moving behind the plate, however, home-plate umpire Erich Bacchus decided to whack his kneecaps like a scene out of Casino.
Seriously, Bacchus, why are you trying to send that bat into the seventh row with that throw? Maybe next time you can casually set it to the side, in your field of vision, where you know it’s safe. Abreu, being the kind of player that you love to root for, stayed in the game. Personally, I’m a fan of the commentator’s suggestion that he should get one free swing at Bacchus.
Bacchus is a 30-year-old rookie umpire that’s been having a bit of a rough go of it this season. A couple weeks ago, his strike zone was less than ideal, leading to a heated exchange between him and Cubs manager David Ross in only the fourth inning on a low pitch called a strike against Kris Bryant.
The mic was hot and you can hear Rossy getting his money’s worth after getting run from the game.
“You’ve been horseshit all night,” he said, amongst many other colorful descriptors of how bad his strike zone was. “Be better. Be better.”
The White Sox are currently in first place in the AL Central, 4.0 games ahead of the Cleveland… still-Indians-but-maybe-soon-Avengers. They will need their star player to avoid freak injuries like being whacked by umpires for them to continue their surge through the middle of the season.