Seattle Mariners outfielder Keon Broxton had a tough Monday.
The 29-year-old was hitless in his last four games and was rung up on a borderline called strike three, which pushed him over the edge.
Broxton flipped his bat, knocked his helmet off backward in frustration and flung his batting gloves behind him in disgust.
One problem: he accidentally hit home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez in the face. That quickly earned him what appears to be his first career ejection.
Broxton didn’t even notice where his gloves had flown until the crowd reacted and he turned around about four seconds later. Clearly not intending to hit Gonzalez, he was quick to apologize.
“He said, ‘You hit me in the face and you’re out,’ and I was like, ‘Agh, I did not mean to do that at all,’” Broxton told the media after the game. “I take full responsibility for it. It’s a bad look. It’s a bad look for the organization. It’s a bad look for me. I definitely regret doing it. I’ve learned from it. Now I know. You just can’t do stuff like that. That’s not how baseball should be played anyway.”
Mariners manager Scott Servais went out to talk to Gonzalez, but it was too late after the ejection. In all it was just a comical series of events for Broxton, who was claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles on July 27.
“He certainly didn’t agree with the call, but it was an accident,” Servais said, via MLB.com. “The umpire knew it was an accident. It’s just one of those things. You can’t do that with the equipment.”
The saga may have been completely silly, but this may not be the end of it for Broxton. Back in June, then-Texas Rangers infielder Adrúbal Cabrera was suspended four games for throwing his batting gloves from the dugout at home plate umpire Bill Miller. It’s reasonable to guess Broxton may receive a harsher penalty for actually making contact.
Did Broxton have a reason to be upset by the call?
It’s OK to get angry and OK to let emotions out, but hitting someone with your equipment is clearly crossing a line. The question, though, becomes whether or not Broxton was right to be upset by the call.
Broxton worked a full count against New York Yankees starter J.A. Happ when he took a 93-mph fastball off the edge that looked mighty close.
Keon Broxton has been tossed by home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez for arguing this called strike 3 which was obviously not a strike. pic.twitter.com/vXZPtxsHeW— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) August 27, 2019
Upon first glance at the replay, the pitch looks off the plate, but the rules state that a pitch is a strike if it passes through any part of the strike zone. You may have to zoom in, but the ball appears to clip the outer edge of the zone.
It’s not going to make Broxton or Mariners fans happy, but according to the pitch data — which is good but imperfect — Miller did not blow the call.
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