I know umpires like to clear the sticks when they anticipate home plate play, but you’d think they’d do it with a little bit of caution.
Yesterday at a Chicago White Sox rally in the first inning against the Toronto Blue Jays and pitcher Alek Manoah, eternal American League MVP contender José Abreu, who was on deck, was running behind the home plate to train base runner Jake Lamb on his slide into the plate. However, as he moved behind the plate, home plate umpire Erich Bacchus decided to hit his kneecaps like a scene of Goodfellas.
Seriously, Bacchus, why are you trying to send that bat down the seventh row with that pitch? Maybe next time you can put it to the side, in your line of sight, where you know it’s safe. Abreu, being the kind of player you like to cheer on, stayed in the game. Personally, I’m a fan of the commentator’s suggestion that he should get Bacchus a free shot.
Bacchus is a 30-year-old rookie referee who has struggled a bit this season. A few weeks ago, his strike zone was far from ideal, which led to a heated exchange between him and Cubs manager David Ross in just the fourth inning on low ground called a strike against Kris Bryant.
The mic was hot and you can hear Rossy getting his money’s worth after being kicked out of the game.
“You’ve been in shit all night,” he said, among many other colorful descriptors of his strike zone’s severity. “To be better. To be better.”
The White Sox are currently number one in the AL Central, 4.0 games ahead of the Clevelands… still-Indians-but-maybe-soon-Avengers. They will need their star player to avoid abnormal injuries like getting hit by the referees so they can continue their push until the middle of the season.