My Case for the Appeal of J-Bob Thomas’ 7-Game Suspension
Now that the dust has settled on Texas Tech's baseball season, I'd like to reexamine a spot in Sunday night's contest that featured J-Bob Thomas getting tossed from the game for arguing balls and strikes.
Let's go back to Friday night before we get to the ejection or the resulting suspension. In the back half of the rain-delayed game one between Notre Dame and Texas Tech, the umpire made a call on a pitch that the Texas Tech dugout disagreed with. The umpire took off his mask and dramatically went to the front of the plate, stopping the game, to write in his notebook that he'd warned Tim Tadlock and the dugout.
Fast forward to Sunday and Texas Tech is reaching the end of a frustrating weekend offensively at the ballpark in Georgia. The Red Raiders had scored 7 runs through three and a half games and tensions were getting stressed. The home plate umpire had been called out by the neutral broadcast several times already for pitches that were called balls that the color analyst Gabby Sanchez thought were strikes and vice versa.
Late in the contest, with Hudson White at the plate, another pitch crossed the plate. Thomas disagreed with the call and said something. The umpire stepped out from behind the plate to issue a warning, just like the Friday guy had done.
Thomas must have continued to disagree with the umpire who didn't even take out his notebook before tossing Thomas from the game.
At that point, Thomas made his way to home plate to make sure the umpire understood his point of view.
During the discussion with the home plate umpire, the third base ump squeezed in between Thomas and the original ump. The third base ump then initiates contact with Thomas and begins to say, "That's four games!" Or at least that's what my remedial lip-reading skills deduce.
Finally, Tim Tadlock walked out slowly to collect Thomas and continue the game. Then Tadlock had to do a coaches interview where he basically backed up Thomas for the ridiculous of the umpire crew.
TO ME, it looks like the home plate umpire baits Thomas with the warning, just to toss him. Then the third base umpire chest bumps Thomas to initiate the four-game suspension. Again, that's just what I saw.
It's now been reported that the suspension for Thomas to begin next season will be 7-games. One for being a non-head coach to be ejected, two for prolonged arguing, and a whopping four games for the umpire bumping his chest.
The footage above clearly shows the second half of the disturbance which also clearly shows the third base umpire inserting himself into the proceedings. Thomas was baited into saying something to the umpire who moved from behind the plate and toward Thomas before making the warning gesture and subsequent tossing motion.
There's only one thing that needs to be done here. Free J-Bob.
Especially when the NCAA is allowing NCAA sanctioned umpires to physically push players down the baseline when they feel like they are showboating too much. If the games are coming down to a fragile ego of an umpire, the sport is screwed.
In closing arguments, the umpire initiated the argument. If Thomas needs to be suspended for the ejection, so be it. Rules are rules. But to say he initiated contact with the umpire when the umpire immediately calls out the four-game suspension like it was premeditated is absolutely ridiculous and I won't let it stand.
Also, what kind of garbage ambiguous language is "prolonged" arguing.