MLB would apparently like managers and certain members of certain front offices to pump their brakes just a bit when it comes to arguing balls and strikes this season.
MLB executive Joe Torre sent a memo Friday to managers, general managers and assistant general managers that said: ''This highly inappropriate conduct is detrimental to the game and must stop immediately.''
Torre said in his note that ''the prevalence of manager ejections simply cannot continue.''
The AP goes on to report that Torre in the memo called out managers who rely on replays or zone tracking tools available in, say, the clubhouse video room to inform their arguments. Torre is MLB's chief baseball officer.
Per Close Call Sports, in 2015 plate umpires ejected the manager on 76 occasions. In 2016, that's happened 37 times, so if anything the pace has slowed just a bit. Rather than the frequency of ejections, though, it may be, as Torre indicated, the manner in which managers and other vested parties are arriving at their grievances -- i.e., availing themselves of technology that the plate ump cannot use in making his ball-strike calls.
As for front office types, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo reportedly engaged in a tunnel shouting match with veteran ump Jim Joyce not long ago. That was over application of sliding rules and not balls and strikes, but the incident may have been somewhere in Torre's consciousness as he penned the memo in question. What most assuredly was about balls and strikes was when Tigers skipper Brad Ausmus earlier this season covered home plate with his sweatshirt.