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Harper, Williams strongly disagree with ejections

May 20, 2015, 10:53 PM EDT

May 20, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper (34) looks on after being thrown out of the game in the third inning against the New York Yankees at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Hours after they were tossed from Wednesday night’s win over the Yankees by home plate umpire Marvin Hudson, both Nationals manager Matt Williams and right fielder Bryce Harper remained fired up about their third inning ejections.

Harper and Williams were still confused as to why they were ejected in the first place.

“I’m really not sure. I have no idea. I think the whole thing was me not getting into the box,” Harper said.

“I can’t. I can’t explain it. I don’t believe there’s anything that warrants throwing him out of the game right there,” Williams said.

Both also strongly disagreed with Hudson’s decision.

“I don’t think 40,000 people came to watch him ump tonight. Plain and simple,” Harper continued. “I really don’t think they did. Especially when we’re playing the Yankees. The Yankees are a good team, we’re a good team and we’re rolling. I don’t want to get tossed. There’s no reason for me to get tossed in that situation. I don’t think I did anything bad to get tossed. Maybe he just had a bad morning or he didn’t get his coffee.”

“Doggone it, he’s our best player and arguably the best player on the planet right now. And we need him in the game,” Williams said. “And I don’t feel as if there was any need to throw him out. So that’s why I went out and argued.”

The whole sequence began after Hudson called strike one on a pitch by Yankees starter Drew Warren in the bottom of the third inning. It was a breaking ball that was low as it crossed the plate. Harper thought it was out of the strike zone and let Hudson know about it.

“That was a little down, don’t you think?” Harper recalled saying as he looked down and dug back in for the second pitch.

Hudson then told Harper to get back into the box. Williams and others in the dugout took issue with both the pitch and the exchange and started yelling at Hudson. The umpire then took his mask off to yell back at Williams.

Harper said Hudson then told him to get back in the box, but Harper replied he wouldn’t because Hudson was still talking to Williams. Harper said he made sure to keep his head down as he talked back to Hudson so the umpire wouldn’t think he was showing him up.

“Once you tell me to get in the box then I’m gonna take my time,” Harper said. “I mean truly, I don’t need to get in the box when you’re chirping at my manager. And I don’t need to be in the box with your mask off. I mean that’s an equipment violation if you have your mask off. So nothing I can do.”

Hudson spoke after the game to a pool reporter and clarified some of the situation, though he wouldn’t get into specifics of what Harper and Williams said.

“Had nothing to do with the box,” he said. “[Harper] didn’t like the pitch, and I let him have his say going and coming. The dugout didn’t like it, and one thing led to another and I had to run him. I had to eject him.”

On Williams: “He said something he shouldn’t have.”

It was Harper’s fifth career ejection and his second in a week. Both he and Williams were ejected from last Wednesday’s game in Arizona. The Nationals also rallied to win that game after both were tossed, but this one put them in sole possession of first place in the NL East.

123 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. naterialguy - May 20, 2015 at 11:06 PM

    Umpire’s a fatty face. There, I said it. I wonder if Williams called him that our Something else?

    • scmargenau - May 20, 2015 at 11:23 PM

      Matt said “go eat anoth donut fat face”

      That got him tossed. Bryce told his breath smelled.

      Now I get it….

  2. scmargenau - May 20, 2015 at 11:13 PM

    So it had nothing to do with the box??? What the heck???😡😡😡😡

    • Eric - May 20, 2015 at 11:20 PM

      ::: reviews tape :::

      thought bubble: Oh…sh*t…he was in the box, I was too busy yelling to notice.

      “No no no, it had nothing to do with being in the box, it was his taking issue with the called strike. I actually was yelling at him when I looked to the dugout, cuz I didn’t want to show him up.”

      • scmargenau - May 20, 2015 at 11:21 PM

        Lol, exactly.

      • NatsNut - May 21, 2015 at 12:23 AM


      • llf0701 - May 21, 2015 at 5:52 AM

        Good one Eric

  3. letswin3 - May 20, 2015 at 11:21 PM

    Baseball games are about baseball players and their teams. They are not about umpires, and umpires need to start understanding that. Maybe we need to start a class action suit against major league umpires for compromising the quality of play by tossing players they perceive as being less than condescending to their blue brethren.

  4. Steady Eddie - May 20, 2015 at 11:23 PM

    Chase, your description is really lacking in one completely crucial detail.

    Barves Hudson didn’t just “took his mask off to yell back at Williams”. He stepped completely out from behind McCann and de facto called time by his actions — and then was yelling at Harper to get back in the box when he was neither in his HP ump position or had his mask on.

    That’s crucial because the potential infraction for a batter out of the box is delaying the game. Harper could not have been delaying the game when Barves Hudson was still by his actions in “time called” status.

    And the “nothing to do with the box” is a flat out lie. Look at the video — he’s pointing/waving at Harper to get in the box when he was not in a position himself to demand “batter up”. Bryce on the video is visibly saying “I was in the box” and pointing with his bat to where he had dug in.

    Hudson’s excuse is so transparently fraudulent. But nothing will happen to him.

    • scmargenau - May 20, 2015 at 11:27 PM

      It was braces tone in his response that got him tossed, you can see it on

      So Hudson let the initial comments go, then Matt lit him up, then bryce talked back and was a tad surly/disrespectful. I don’t think he’s lying, I think he over reacted.

      • Steady Eddie - May 20, 2015 at 11:48 PM

        And you know his words were disrespectful, and you can hear his “tone”, how exactly?

    • infideljack - May 21, 2015 at 12:39 AM

      Exactly, Hudson was not in the umpire’s box and play could not have continued until he returned. I believe the rule calls for the umpire to call “play ball” and allowing the ptcher to pitch even without the batter in the box. The rule does not call for the removal of the batter from the game, especially when the game is in de facto time out.

      • Eric - May 21, 2015 at 1:03 AM

        If you watch the clip, I think Hudson actually even calls time just as he starts walking towards the Nats’ dugout.

    • adcwonk - May 21, 2015 at 9:01 AM

      Eddie, you’re 100% correct regarding what happened.

      However, I strongly feel that the ump will get a private reprimand, probably a semi-strong one, from Torre. But we’ll never know about it. Torre used to be a player, and then a manager, so he understands both sides of the issue.

      • letswin3 - May 21, 2015 at 2:37 PM

        I’m sick of backroom private reprimands for umpires. If a player is treated punitively, and fined or suspended, it is on record, published and discussed on every TV network forever … why are guys (umpires) who are charged with simply facilitating the game only chastised, and in PRIVATE? If a players misdeeds should be revealed, then why are umpires held to a different standard? It’s time to demand parity.

  5. Tyler Babip - May 20, 2015 at 11:25 PM

    Just for fun: do you think the Nats would get better or worse, relative to other teams, if balls and strikes were called by an accurate and consistent pitch track machine? Off the top of my head, some factors that might go into this: pitch framing abilities, finesse pitching, the “respect” that vets get vs. rookies, etc.

    • Section 222 - May 20, 2015 at 11:30 PM

      They’d be the same. I don’t think the Nats get any better or worse calls than any other teams. It all evens out. I think both fans and players spend far too much time complaining about balls and strikes.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 21, 2015 at 12:49 AM

        I don’t want calls to even out because of mistake. I want the call is correct,

        It is not rocket science. It’s even in the zone or isn’t

      • Section 222 - May 21, 2015 at 12:53 AM

        I want the calls to be right too MNF, but you obsess about it, and it just doesn’t have that much impact on the game over the course of a season. And I don’t believe the Nats are treated any better or worse than other teams.

        Like everything else in the game, umpiring is hard. A lot harder than you think it is watching all those games on TV.

      • dcwx61 - May 21, 2015 at 8:45 AM

        if it doesn’t matter, might as well go with an unemotional unbiased pitch track

    • Muddy Ruel - May 20, 2015 at 11:45 PM

      I don’t care if the Nats would be better or worse. I want that machine. The technology is available. Let’s use it. Too many balls are called strikes in this age of 95-99 mph heaters from the relief pitching staff.

      And while I’m at it, an non-umpire idea that might help hitters: MLB should allow metal bats. If gloves can be as big as a manhole covers, metal bats should be okay. If they’re okay for college, HS, wherever, they’re okay for MLB. And that would stop pieces of broken wooden bats flying in all directions, especially into the stands. Or else reduce the size of the gloves to the size they were in 1925.

      • infideljack - May 21, 2015 at 12:46 AM

        Metal bats are not the answer. Bamboo bats offer even more than titanium and aluminum. Anyway advanced polymer fiber has already replaced Aluminum and titanium. Big gloves on the infield are one of the reasons for errors. Out fielders and 1st base benefit from larger gloves, but Zimmerman proves that he plays better than many GG 1B’s from the past with a smaller glove. We may look back on him as the best defensive1B in modern baseball.

  6. Section 222 - May 20, 2015 at 11:26 PM


    Was at the game. Hard to see what happened of course, and the twitter commentary wasn’t much better. Now there are some explanations coming. It will be interesting to see if there’s any comment from MLB.

    One thing I noticed as events were unfolding that hasn’t been discussed yet. I’ve now confirmed it by looking at the replay: After the initial strike call, Bryce looked down at where the ball was and said a few words to Hudson. He clearly didn’t like the call, but he wasn’t arguing strenuously. Then he stepped out of the box to gather himself. I’m pretty sure after a called strike he’s supposed to stay in the box unless time is called. Then he takes his time getting back in the box.

    At that point, Hudson starts barking at our dugout. I doubt MW is complaining about the strike call. It was borderline, but not worth a big argument. It looks to me like the dispute was about whether Bryce should have stayed in the box after the initial strike call, or got back in the box quicker afterward. Maybe Hudson said someting about that that MW didn’t like. After When Bryce was pointing at the ground and saying “I was standing right there,” he was talking about when he got back in the box after he initially stepped out, not about whether he should have been in the box after the argument started. And Hudson didn’t like the fact that he kept arguing with him about that, including showing where he was standing with his bat.

    So I don’t think he was tossed for not staying in the box once the chirping started with the dugout. I think it was because he kept arguing about whether he was in the box after the initial strike call.

    It was ridiculous to toss him, but Bryce really need to be careful around these thin-skinned umps. Twice is a week is very bad. He needs to suck it up and stay in the games so he can keep hitting homers and winning player of the week.

    • Eric - May 20, 2015 at 11:36 PM

      Harper is most definitvely in the box, looking at the pitcher, and waiting for the pitch when Hudson removes his mask and steps out from behind the catcher. It even sounds like Hudson calls time as he steps away:

      • Eric - May 21, 2015 at 12:00 AM

        Interesting… The first time you see Williams in that clip, it appears he’s saying “get in the f’ing box!”

      • Section 222 - May 21, 2015 at 12:26 AM

        Eric, did you see him step out after the initial strike call? The video you posted cuts away from him and picks up when he steps back in the box, but you can see him step back. That’s what I’m talking about. He’s definitely back in by the time Hudson removes his mask and starts arguing with MW in the dugout, but it took him awhile.

    • Eric - May 20, 2015 at 11:39 PM

      Oh, but I agree he should just move past that stuff. His comments to the press probably aren’t gonna help him much, either.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 21, 2015 at 12:53 AM

        He is reinventing history.

        Watch Jim Joyce during all this. He is rolling his eyes like he can’t believe Hudson made the umps look so petty.

    • jalabar - May 22, 2015 at 4:21 PM

      Harper did not leave the box AT ALL until after Hudson started barking at Williams. However, after Bryce chirps under his breath, discreetly, about the call, Hudson tells him to get in the box and hit, audibly to Matt Williams, despite Harper ALREADY being in the box ready to hit. Matt Williams started yelling “He’s in the box”. Then Hudson removes his mask to start yelling at Williams, and at that point when he steps out Bryce turns and walks out of the batter’s box.

  7. Eric - May 21, 2015 at 12:53 AM

    I think they actually changed the editing of the clip. The original showed him step out and pace for a few seconds, but there’s a punishment already mandated for that, and it’s not an ejection.

    Once he’s back in, I don’t see how Hudson has any reason to be annoyed with Harper until Harper engages him pointedly about having been in the box. That’s the first and only real mistake Harper made, imo. Even then, it appeared Hudson was being gratuitously unreasonable with Harper at that point, so I can’t say I blame him.

    • Eric - May 21, 2015 at 12:54 AM

      Oops, 222, this was in response to your comment from 12:26 that started with “Eric, did you see him step out after the initial strike call?”

    • Section 222 - May 21, 2015 at 12:57 AM

      I blame him because he has to make sure he stays in the game. The team needs him. For him and MW to be tossed twice in a week is absurd.

      But you’re right, the first thing he really did wrong was engaging Hudson and that’s why he got tossed. He was not ejected for stepping out. He was ejected for arguing with Hudson about whether he was back in the box. Bryce may have been factually correct, but it doesn’t matter. Hudson is a jerk, and has a short fuse, particularly with Bryce it appears. Bryce needs to let that stuff go and not get thrown out of any more games this year– even it means swallowing his pride a bit.

      • Eric - May 21, 2015 at 1:08 AM

        He’s responsible for his actions, absolutely, but I don’t “blame” him (in the “I get where he’s coming from” sense of the phrase) for failing to be a perfect gentleman about 2 umpiring failures in the same AB.

      • Eric - May 21, 2015 at 1:11 AM

        Oh, also, the team is 2-0 in Harper ejections, so twice now they haven’t actually needed him to win 😉

        Seriously, though, at the end of the day, he’s hurting himself more by wearing this stuff on his sleeve than he would by moving past it.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 8:16 AM

        TyMo has hit his 2 HRs in Bryce ejection games.

      • ArVAFan - May 21, 2015 at 9:13 AM

        SSS, but I’ll take that as a silver lining (that I hope we don’t see too often!)

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 9:22 AM

        I just want to see TyMo hit some HRs in games where Harp isn’t thrown out of the game.

      • Joe Seamhead - May 21, 2015 at 9:34 AM

        I’m happy for Tyler’s homers, but I was at the game last night and he scares the crap out of me regarding Denard Span’s safety with Moore in the outfield. That ball Moore stretched out and caught was Span’s but Denard saw there was no stopping Tyler and wisely held up. That could’ve been a disaster. Moore’s going to get somebody hurt out there if he doesn’t learn to defer to the centerfielder on the “tweener” fly balls to the outfield.

        As to Marvin Hudson? He is not just a bad umpire, he carries way too many personal grudges to the field. His overall integrity is questionable, at best. He is bad for baseball.

        And in fairness, Bryce has a lot to learn. Part of being a complete ballplayer is learning how to deal with umpires. Last night’s ejection was unfair, imho, but the team needs him on the field. You can’t get in the ump’s face like he did last week, which I believe is, and will continue to have a residual effect. Fair? Of course not, but it is an issue right now.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 9:38 AM

        “His overall integrity is questionable” +7 for Warren is ridiculous. Usually you call an obvious strike a ball and vice versa and they even out. Nope, just +7 in strikes and JZim only got +1.

        If you want to help the Yankees, get Bryce worked up and throw him out of the game.

        You have to wonder because you never know.

      • David Proctor - May 21, 2015 at 1:39 AM

        Even after Harper barked, he was in the box and set up and ready to hit. He wasn’t talking to or looking at the umpire at that point. That’s when Hudson took his mask off and started yelling at Williams, who presumably was yelling at him. The umpire never should have escalated it to that point. There was no reason for him to do that. If he ignores Williams and another pitch is thrown, it all goes away. Benches yell every game.

        Barry Svrluga is reporting that the Nationals have filed a complaint with MLB about this particular umpire, saying that he goes out of hiss way to seek confrontation and baits player. Harper says the umpire told him to “get your ass back in the box.” Who knows what else was said, from either side.

        I do agree Bryce needs to control his temper, but this was one of the more egregious ejections I can recall. The one in Arizona, Bryce absolutely deserved to be tossed. The ump should’ve checked on the swing, but once Bryce got in his face, he had to toss him.

        This one? The ump was just being petty and trying to make himself famous. Bryce wasn’t an angel, but he didn’t do anything deserving to be tossed.

      • knoxvillenat - May 21, 2015 at 7:04 AM


      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 8:04 AM


      • natsfan1a - May 21, 2015 at 8:06 AM


        “Barry Svrluga is reporting that the Nationals have filed a complaint with MLB about this particular umpire, saying that he goes out of hiss way to seek confrontation and baits player.”

      • dcwx61 - May 21, 2015 at 8:58 AM

        Does the umpire need to show some restraint with his temper as well ?
        He can’t be the only adult on the field who is allowed to act like a 3 year old without consequence

      • Steady Eddie - May 21, 2015 at 6:40 AM

        Sorry, Dueces, “he has to make sure he stays in the game” is equivalent to saying he is to blame for getting tossed no matter what the circumstances of the ejection were. That’s making his responsibility absolute if he says anything or takes any physical action other than standing in the box ready for the next pitch.

  8. npb99 - May 21, 2015 at 1:50 AM

    I’m in San Francisco where I saw my first game at AT&T park. It’s cool that it’s on the water, but it’s more cramped than our park. And the fans here are more obnoxious, at least when they play the Dodgers. But most important of all, when I checked the score, ignoring the ejections and all that, the Nats have sole possession of first place. Yes!

  9. laddieblahblah - May 21, 2015 at 5:04 AM

    It was the umpire who clearly escalated the situation. Harper was in the batter’s box getting ready to hit when Hudson removed his face mask, walked towards the Nats’ dugout, and started yelling at the Nat’s bench, presumably MW. It was Hudson who lost his composure and ignited the series of events which led to Harper’s and MW’s ejections.

    Bryce, of course, should know, by now, that you can’t win those confrontations, regardless of who is primarily at fault, but Hudson, in this case, was the primary culprit.

    I really don’t know what the league does about an umpire who loses it, like Hudson did last night, but repetitions of that kind of umpire-driven spectacle should lead to some kind of sanction. Umpires have a greater responsibility to maintain self-control than the players who, after all, have a stake in the outcome of the game. If Hudson wants to be respected, then he should respect the game more, and react to perceived slights to his fragile ego less.

    Funny, but it looked like MW was telling Hudson to get back in his own box just before he started kicking dirt on home plate.

    Cracked me up. Way to go, Matt. Next time, bring some of that chocolate syrup that Scherzer keeps in his hip pocket, and squirt that on home plate, instead.

    • natsfan1a - May 21, 2015 at 8:04 AM

      That, or he was telling him to go home and get his shinebox.

      “Funny, but it looked like MW was telling Hudson to get back in his own box just before he started kicking dirt on home plate.”

    • manassasnatsfan - May 21, 2015 at 10:58 AM

      When you see the replay next. Watch Jim Joyce’s eyes. He rolls them like…. Hudson you ass you caused all this….

  10. llf0701 - May 21, 2015 at 6:01 AM

    Are umps’ actions reviewed by anyone? Is there ever a consequence for a bad call? Like maybe something that might deter them the next time?

    • laddieblahblah - May 21, 2015 at 7:25 AM

      The umpires formed a union in 2000, and a new 5-year contract was agreed upon in 2009 to run through 2014. Joe West used to be the president of their union. I couldn’t find anything about a new contract for post-2014:

      You would think that personnel issues would be covered by the terms of the union contract between the umps and MLB.

    • dcwx61 - May 21, 2015 at 8:51 AM

      umps have been suspended a game or two for handling situations poorly
      not sure if anything else has been levied upon them

  11. Steady Eddie - May 21, 2015 at 6:35 AM

    “One thing led to another” = yadda yadda yadda

  12. unterp - May 21, 2015 at 6:51 AM

    if it he were my kid, Harper that is, I would slap him. My kids have done and do bad things all the time and I don’t defend them for it; stop enabling him. He was subtlety giving the ump the business…

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - May 21, 2015 at 12:56 PM

      SRSLY? You beat your children for getting thrown out of a baseball game? That can’t be right.

    • Dave - May 21, 2015 at 1:32 PM

      This comment by unterp is one of the more inexplicable I have ever read in these threads. The fault in this situation is so clearly and one-sidedly Marvin Hudson’s that it seems to follow to dispute it.

      • Dave - May 21, 2015 at 1:33 PM

        “Seems folly to dispute it.” Stupid autocorrect.

  13. rayvil01 - May 21, 2015 at 6:56 AM

    One of the questions to MW after the game was, “Do you think the umpire baited Bryce.” He wouldn’t touch it. But, his tone sure suggested that was the case.

    So, how does an ump “Bait” someone? I’m curious.

    On MLB Harold Reynolds broke down the Escobar AB right before Bryce’s. Looks like Blue was already chaffed up pretty good by the time Bryce got in the box. He rung up Esco on a ball. So the stage was set.

    • Steady Eddie - May 21, 2015 at 7:49 AM

      If you watched last nights game, and you’re still “curious”, you must not be very observant.

      He baited Harper by stopping play and then tossing Harper for not being ready to resume play when he himself wasn’t.

      • rayvil01 - May 21, 2015 at 8:10 AM

        I was asking in general terms. Thanks for your reply.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 8:38 AM

        “Do you think the umpire baited Bryce.”

        There’s the garden variety of baiting and then there’s setting the trap and being a master baiter. Marvin Hudson is definitely a master baiter. Made it into an art form. His hand motions were classic. 40,000 people watched Marvin Hudson master bait. I hope he made him feel good because he seemed to get off on it. All about Marv.

      • rayvil01 - May 21, 2015 at 9:09 AM


      • natsfan1a - May 21, 2015 at 9:24 AM

        This could explain a few things, as I told my husband at the time that I thought Hudson had a, um, firm preposition for Harper.

      • nats128 - May 21, 2015 at 9:34 AM

        LMAO, 40,000 watching Marvin Hudson master bait! He also had premature emanation as Marvin is a gaseous wind bag.

  14. ArVAFan - May 21, 2015 at 6:59 AM

    Completely unrelated to the topic, but Hershey’s has just sent 132 bottles of chocolate syrup to the Nationals, to be sure they don’t run out. That should get Mad Max through a lot of celebrations. Like practically one bottle per game, through the end of the post-season!

  15. knoxvillenat - May 21, 2015 at 7:06 AM

    That is a +34 to David Proctor’s 1:39 AM post.

  16. knoxvillenat - May 21, 2015 at 7:12 AM

    That was a +34 to DP’s 1:39 AM post.

  17. Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 7:57 AM

    Here’s the Pitch #1 to Harper. Clearly low and below the knees.

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 8:00 AM

      I wish JZim was trying to pound below the knees for a good comparison to see if there was bias:

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 8:03 AM

        Warren got +7 strikes which is ridiculous. Not only the 2 gift strikes in that Harper/Taylor AB but 5 others and they weren’t just low vertical strikers but look at all the horizontal strikes he got!

        You can’t help 1 pitcher that much. JZim only got 1 gift strike that was way above the strike zone (bizarre)

      • laddieblahblah - May 21, 2015 at 8:36 AM

        That is fascinating, Ghost. Hudson had some noise from the Yanks, but the facts say the Nats had much more cause to be torqued.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 8:49 AM

        The ARod K was laughable and the MASN K zone needs some work, but Warren was getting low and wide on the zone. +7 is ridiculous compared to +1 for JZim.

        A good reason Nats batters were expanding their zone also because of the erratic K zone.

  18. Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 8:15 AM

    Marvin Hudson said after the game, “I had to run him. I had to eject him.”

    No Marvin, you did not have to do any of that, you chose to.

    There’s players that argue balls and strikes that still don’t get thrown out. The umpires have sole discretion at that moment.

    Marvin Hudson had a bad day behind the plate and the big bias went in favor of the Yankees.

    I’m more curious how this target on Bryce’s back will work against him in the future.

    • rayvil01 - May 21, 2015 at 8:19 AM

      Watch his walk rate. That will be your answer. He was getting close calls earlier.

      That Blue was bad. The New Yawkers are tearing him up in their write-ups for the ARod 3rd strike. Clueless how generous he had been to them all night.

      Who’d have thought ARod would come to the plate and not swing his bat in the ninth inning two nights in a row?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 8:24 AM

        Yes that was a poor call and like FP said that was a heck of a frame by Ramos but ARod set himself up by swinging at the 2nd pitch that was even higher.

        The Yankees got all the calls earlier. Hudson needs to go back to Umpire School.

      • rayvil01 - May 21, 2015 at 8:43 AM

        You’re right. I forgot about that swing on strike 2. Only swing in 2 ABs against Drew.

      • Eric - May 21, 2015 at 9:25 AM

        One swing, and an uuuuuuuuuugly one at that! I swung out of his shoes at a pitch exactly 1 foot above the zone. Good times!

    • masterfishkeeper - May 21, 2015 at 8:21 AM

      Yes, that’s the question. Bryce has done a good job with his eye at the plate. Will umpires starting calling more strikes on him?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 8:41 AM

        I’m concerned and this is why I believe and have said so since video challenges started that you should be able to use 1 challenge for a ball/strike call as a bias could turn a game.

        Think of a 3-2 pitch to Bryce where an egregious strike 3 looking was called.

        I’ve said it several times in Bryce’s career that there’s a Bryce bias and it wouldn’t change until Bryce stops swinging at junk. Show you know the K zone better than the ump.

        Well, Bryce apparently does but will it work against him.

      • nats128 - May 21, 2015 at 9:29 AM

        Have to keep a eye on it. If I was Bryce and a ump missed a call, I would just say, “Blue, you owe me one”.

      • masterfishkeeper - May 21, 2015 at 10:09 AM

        I agree that you ought to be able to use your challenge on a ball/strike call. Would make the home plate umpires more accountable.

  19. Candide - May 21, 2015 at 8:42 AM

    Even if we agree that Hudson was baiting Harper, the fact is that Harper can be baited and that there are umps who throw their weight around just because they can.

    But the fact remains that Harper can be baited, and the umps know it, and some of them will bait him because they know they can, where they won’t bait, say, Giancarlo Stanton (not that I’ve noticed, anyway).

    And the result reminds me very much of that classic scene in Shane with the great Jack Palance in his very first bad-guy role.

    Okay, maybe not quite as dramatic as the movie…

    • Steady Eddie - May 21, 2015 at 9:20 AM

      Candide, you present it like you made some great revelation, but the court point is that for an umpire to overtly bait a player is a completely unacceptable abuse of an umpire’s authority, and any response by a player that’s short of a legitimately fining or suspending offense (like bumping or spitting on an ump) should not reflect or have adverse consequences for the player.

      For an ump to escalate as Hudson did — the initial minor interchange with Bryce was totally over by the time he took off his mask — should not be tolerated by MLB. But instead they enable it for anything short of abusive and escalating physical touching by the ump (they suspended Joe West, I think it was (or Hirshbeck?) when he bumped and blocked Papelbon last season. Papelbon is a jerk but that didn’t justify that ump’s escalation, just as Hudson’s was unjustified here.

      • Candide - May 21, 2015 at 10:55 AM

        Candide, you present it like you made some great revelation, but the court point is that for an umpire to overtly bait a player is a completely unacceptable abuse of an umpire’s authority…

        I don’t disagree, but the fact remains that umps do it, the league does little or nothing about it, and Harper is a favorite target. Until anyone in authority tells the umps involved, in no uncertain terms, to knock it off, there is nothing he can do other than suck it up. Otherwise the jerk umps will continue to bait him and run him.

      • Steady Eddie - May 21, 2015 at 12:18 PM

        Normally I would more or less tend to agree with you about needing to recognize who’s a jerk or not, but if Bryce all keeps up his recent performance now orresumes it later in the season, he becomes even the MLB TV folks have described as “must see TV”. Then,tossing him out in the third inning is going to hurt ratings and piss off viewers and advertisers. MLB is happy to let umpires go nuts as long as it doesn’t imperil the bottom line, put catering to a jerk like Hudson at the cost of viewership is not something they’re going to want to cater to.

  20. edbrinkman - May 21, 2015 at 8:46 AM

    Regardless of the umpire, Bryce needs to adopt Ryan Zimmerman’s approach in the box. RZ almost never says anything about a pitch. Harper is paid to play/stay in the game – not lift weights in the locker room during a game with his manager.

    • bowdenball - May 21, 2015 at 9:31 AM

      Bryce Harper is the best hitter in baseball right now. He would be out of his mind to change a single thing. If the intensity he brings to every plate appearance results in him hitting .333/.472/.732 but getting tossed a couple times by terrible umps, so be it.

  21. natsjackinfl - May 21, 2015 at 8:49 AM

    Uggh! Another off day with no Nats baseball. And on top of that, I have to endure all this crap about Marvin Hudson.

    Tuesday night, when Joyce made a couple of questionable calls, I noted to myself that Wednesday nights game would probably be wors when I saw that Hudson was umpiring at 1st base and would rotate to the plate for the next game.

    Man was I right. He is now tied with Angel Hernandez as the worst umpires in all of baseball.

    Aside from his obvious dislike of Bryce, he’s just awful, especially behind the plate.

    At least I can watch the Marlins and their Jonathan Winters look a like manager lose again before the 1300 or so fans that show up for a week day game in what is now being called the world’s largest strip club by true Fish fans.

    • nats128 - May 21, 2015 at 9:27 AM

      Phil Cuzzi is as bad as they get at times.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 21, 2015 at 11:08 AM

        Angel Hernandez is terrible, but I believe he is just bad, not that he does it with malice. But Hudson seems to enjoy it,

        At the end of the game he was trying to bait ARod.

  22. nats128 - May 21, 2015 at 9:26 AM

    That’s not even close. That’s so [expletive] bad” is what the ESPN transcript had as the start of the whole argument with Bryce and the ump.

    Is that enough to get you tossed?

    • nats128 - May 21, 2015 at 9:43 AM

      “That’s not even close. That’s so [expletive] bad”

      sorry, should have all been in quotes.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 9:45 AM

        It’s not good but there’s worse said that doesn’t get you tossed and Bryce was ready to take the next pitch when MW and Hudson then got into it so Bryce stepped out.

        Seems to me that Hudson had more of a beef with MW.

    • Eric - May 21, 2015 at 10:42 AM

      Is that what MW said, or Bryce?

      • manassasnatsfan - May 21, 2015 at 11:09 AM


      • sec112 - May 21, 2015 at 12:25 PM

        I thought the general “rule” – maybe a better word would be “practice” – was that profanity is a cause for ejection only when it is aimed directly at the ump (eg – “you are a {##%^ing idiot”) – not at the call (“that’s a ]}#%ing terrible call). .

  23. Tim Harrison - May 21, 2015 at 9:38 AM

    It was about arguing with the pitch and Harp did show up Hudson by his action of arguing with the pitch. His head wasn’t really down when he was chirping. He stepped out of the box to have his say. Was told to het back in the box and he did. Then our dugout erupted, rightly so, for the exchange Hudson began having with Harper, trying to bait him into getting run.

    Hudson stepped out from behind home ate, took off his mask, and argued with the dugout, and with his mask being put back on, told Harper to get back in the box. Harper said he was in the box, telling Hudson so, and then SHOWED him by pointing to his cleat marks. Bingo! Gone!

    You cannot point to anything in and around homeplate without being ejected. That is TOTALLY showing up the umpire and will get you ejected every time.

    I can remember Harper doing something similar in his rookie year (maybe even in Spring Training) where he used his bat to show an umpire where the pitch was thrown. Bingo. Ejection.

    Bryce and Williams certainly have a beef, but Bryce must learn to stay in the game.

    (By the way, I thought Taylor was going to hit another HR replacing Bryce. Anybody else have that thought?)

    • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 9:47 AM

      “(By the way, I thought Taylor was going to hit another HR replacing Bryce. Anybody else have that thought?)”

      Taylor needed bases loaded. TyMo did his part. Nats won!

    • sec112 - May 21, 2015 at 11:05 AM

      I’m sorry, but the description of events in the Harrison post does not fit what I saw from less than 100 feet away (not my usual seats – and by the way – a LOT of Yankee fans behind the visitors dugout) – or what I saw later on TV. Bryce scrupulously avoided eye contact with the ump and attempted to get on with the at bat. The ump escalated the situation when he got into it with the dugout and then came back and took his frustration out on Harper. Bryce was more demonstrative than he should ideally have been in the disagreement over the box – but the ump created the situation and Harper broke no rule and showed nobody up.

      And I must disagree with this idea that a batter can’t point to anything with or without his bat. Batters do this all the time on foul tips, possible hit batsmen situations, possible out of the box swings or batter hit by ball out of the box. I can think of several famous situations in post season games without even working hard and nobody ever got tossed. It probably happens every 5 games if not more. I think you’re making that up.

      Bryce will clearly be held to a different standard for a while and he needs to deal with that, but there is virtually no controversy about this event – even the YES network announcers thought it was bogus.

      • manassasnatsfan - May 21, 2015 at 11:13 AM

        Harrison is a troll, as obviously he painted a different picture.

        John Sterling told Phil Wood he was shocked, but the fact it was Marvin Hudson involved made it believable.

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - May 21, 2015 at 1:01 PM

        Harold Reynolds made several good points on this. He agrees with you, basically. Ou

      • Sec 3, My Sofa - May 21, 2015 at 1:01 PM

        Harold Reynolds made several good points on this. He agrees with you, basically. Ou

      • Tim Harrison - May 21, 2015 at 1:48 PM

        No troll here. Harp fan and Nats fan since holding full-season tickets in 2005.

        It’s all about not showing up the ump. Although Hudson radically overreacted and didn’t have his morning coffee, Bryce, when showing where he was standing in the box, showed up the ump.

        Shouldn’t be tossed for it.

  24. Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 9:42 AM

    Anyone have any intel about Escobar on 1st in the 1st inning and Bryce grounds out to Teixeira and Bryce takes a few steps and stops and then goes to the dugout. Sure Teixeira steps on 1st and throws down to 2nd so Bryce was out at that point but he wasn’t running out of the box and was carrying his bat, but where’s the hustle.

    Since that doubleplay yesterday, Bryce hasn’t been the same. I hope the dayoff today will help him get his head back into the game.

    • nats128 - May 21, 2015 at 9:53 AM

      No clue. We were late getting into the stadium. Glad I missed the 1st inning altho I missed Desi’s HR.

    • Eugene in Oregon - May 21, 2015 at 9:56 AM

      No intel, but agree about the double play seeming to have discombobulated Mr. Harper. I just hope we don’t look back at in a few weeks as the beginning of an extended slump.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 10:00 AM

        Being as locked in as Bryce has been and en fuego is a hot streak thing and nobody stays that hot for a full season. Just hoping there’s no slump as you say.

    • Sec 3, My Sofa - May 21, 2015 at 10:42 AM

      Just went back to look at that at-bat in the first, and I noticed something else.

      First, the ball Harper hit to Teixeira got there on one quick hop, so he didn’t have much time to get out of the box; as you say, he was out before he could even drop the bat, it was very quick.

      But before that, after the 2-2 pitch, Hudson stepped out from behind the plate, and walked toward the third base dugout, and gestured toward the Yankee bench, pointing and making a “talking” hand sign, as if to indicate someone had been talking and he didn’t like it. Was he warning the Yankees about chirping on calls?

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 10:55 AM

        Yep, the Yankees were on Hudson early. That’s a good observation!

    • Eric - May 21, 2015 at 10:46 AM

      GIDP was Tuesday man! 😉

      Maybe Hudson will be to Harper what Simmons may have been to the Nats: an external focal point for frustration and anger.

      • Ghost of Steve M. - May 21, 2015 at 10:55 AM

        Let’s hope so! I’m just glad Bryce has a “rest” day today.

      • Eric - May 21, 2015 at 10:57 AM

        +1 to that

  25. bowdenball - May 21, 2015 at 10:38 AM

    On the subject of Marvin Hudson’s history with the Nats, does anyone else remember this one?

    Nats were trying to close out the Braves and win their first division title late in 2012. They were in good shape but most people expected them to fade- it seems strange now but at the time they were seen as a bit of a one year wonder. Hudson made one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen, ruling that Adam LaRoche had taken his foot off the bag when reply showed he hadn’t and it wasn’t that close. It was a bizarre call that ignited a two run rally that gave the Braves the win, and then as now Hudson was public enemy #1 in DC for the next 24 hours.

    The guy has quite a history with this franchise.

  26. micksback1 - May 21, 2015 at 10:52 AM

    memo to MLB, do not place this ass behind home plate in ANY nationals game

    • manassasnatsfan - May 21, 2015 at 11:22 AM

      He has done damage at both and third in Nats game too.

  27. 4thgendc - May 21, 2015 at 11:22 AM

    Long time reader, first time poster here. Thanks for a great blog and resource.

    Apparently, barves-fan hudson is a member of the “Optimist Club of Athens” (Georgia) Seems he massively failed in following the first tenet of their creed. Failed on a few others too —–>

    [b]To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.[/b]
    To talk health, happiness, prosperity to every person you meet.
    To make all your friends feel that there is something of value in them.
    To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
    To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect the best.
    To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
    To forget the mistake so the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
    To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
    To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
    To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit presence of trouble.

    Found here:

  28. micksback1 - May 21, 2015 at 11:50 AM

    I can’t believe Mark deleted my post on Hudson

    no sense of humor


  29. micksback1 - May 21, 2015 at 11:50 AM

    oops my bad

    sorry Mark, I misspoke

  30. letswin3 - May 21, 2015 at 2:27 PM

    Umpires should be “designated” by the league as game “facilitators”, and team, player and umpire complaints ought to be reviewed by a standing “Quality & Deportment Committee”. Committee results should be published (“transparency” is the 2015 word of the year) and the league should have the right to fine or suspend players, coaches, managers, umpires or any other party compromising the safety or integrity of the game. The minimum penalty for an offending party ought to be a minimum of a one game suspension, with escalating games and dollars added with increased seriousness of the offense.

  31. rlndtln - May 21, 2015 at 2:33 PM

    It is a lose lose situation for Bryce.He had been getting much better calls especially on the outside pitch all year..Hudson was obviously wrong but think for a minute on how RZIM would have handled it.He is the best on showing a little displeasure and never getting tossed.The idea is to stay in the game.





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