PDA

View Full Version : Umpire Bill Hohn's Fist Bump with Marlins' Catcher John Baker Following Braves' Loss



savafan
07-30-2009, 08:37 PM
http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090730&content_id=6156730&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

By Mark Bowman / MLB.com

07/30/09 8:01 PM ET

MIAMI -- Having ejected Bobby Cox twice this season, veteran umpire Bill Hohn had already drawn the ire of many Braves players. But when Hohn was seen exchanging a fist bump with Marlins catcher John Baker at the end of Wednesday night's game, it's safe to say that he infuriated Chipper Jones and his Atlanta teammates.

"I've never seen it before in my 16 years," Jones said. "You exchange banter back and forth all of the time [with umpires], but it's never a shake of the hand or a fist bump. I guess Baker felt he deserved a handshake."

After Wednesday's 6-3 win over the Braves, Baker turned toward Hohn with his fist and the veteran ump then extended his.

When provided an opportunity to explain what had transpired on Thursday evening, Hohn said that he didn't have a comment. Crew chief Gary Darling said, "There's nothing to it," and ushered Hohn into the umpire's locker room. Hohn then added, "The league has reviewed it all."

But the Braves were asked early Thursday evening to send Major League Baseball tapes of what happened during the final two innings of Wednesday's game.

Hohn became the center of attention during the eighth inning, when he rankled Brian McCann by calling a 1-0 pitch a strike. Jones opened the inning with a four-pitch walk, and McCann was retired two pitches later, when he grounded into a double play on Dan Meyer's 2-1 pitch.

After McCann returned to the dugout, Hohn heard something that led him to walk to the edge of the Braves' dugout. Cox then came onto the field and exchanged words with the 20-year veteran umpire, who responded by saying that he had to throw somebody out of the game.

When Hohn pulled out his lineup card to review a list of Braves players, Cox pointed toward the card and asked to be ejected for the 147th time in his career.

McCann was ejected before the start of the next half-inning, when he asked Hohn, "Can you at least admit that you missed the pitch?"

Cox said that he had no comment about Hohn's fist bump, and McCann said, "I said enough last night."

Jones and Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton both said that they were shocked when they saw the exchange between Hohn and Baker.

"I don't think it was very professional, just let me say that," Pendleton said. "He may have done it before. Somebody else might have done it. I've never seen it. It was shocking, to tell you the truth."

Hohn ejected Jones, Cox and left-handed reliever Eric O'Flaherty during a heated seventh-inning exchange on June 21 in Boston.

Jones contends that he never cursed and was ejected simply for asking why it appeared that Hohn had baited O'Flaherty, who was upset about a potential third-strike call that he didn't receive while facing Boston's J.D. Drew.

"He'd never thrown me out of the game before," Jones said. "He baited O'Flaherty into throwing him out in Boston and he baited Bobby last night. That's where I think some umpires use their power and their authority, but the league office will see the game. They'll see the tapes."

After both of their losses to begin this week's three-game series against the Marlins, the Braves have complained about the strike zones of umpires Jerry Meals and Hohn.

"The last two nights' performances by the officiating is something that makes you sit back and wonder," Jones said. "As a player, it makes me not want to play when that stuff happens, because you don't have a chance."

traderumor
07-30-2009, 09:06 PM
Wow, that type of action (fist bump) could/should be grounds for immediate dismissal. An umpire can never demonstrate that it is personal, even though we all know that humanness requires that it be so.

GAC
07-30-2009, 09:18 PM
I liked this part of the article....


Cox then came onto the field and exchanged words with the 20-year veteran umpire, who responded by saying that he had to throw somebody out of the game.

When Hohn pulled out his lineup card to review a list of Braves players, Cox pointed toward the card and asked to be ejected for the 147th time in his career.

He HAD to throw somebody out of the game? But then needs to pull out the lineup card for review and to determine who it should be?

Maybe I'm missing something here. :lol:

savafan
07-30-2009, 09:25 PM
I liked this part of the article....



He HAD to throw somebody out of the game? But then needs to pull out the lineup card for review and to determine who it should be?

Maybe I'm missing something here. :lol:

I guess it's like when the cops get called to a domestic disturbance... :dunno:

George Anderson
07-30-2009, 09:58 PM
I've shaken hands with catchers after games before, though I prefer not to .

The Marlin catcher had nothing to do with the Braves players being ejected. Sounds to me like Cox and the Braves are trying to find a reason to get back at the umpire.

hebroncougar
07-30-2009, 10:14 PM
I've shaken hands with catchers after games before, though I prefer not to .

The Marlin catcher had nothing to do with the Braves players being ejected. Sounds to me like Cox and the Braves are trying to find a reason to get back at the umpire.

ehhhhhh.........after what occurred in the eighth inning, it looks pretty unprofessional. Honestly, I don't know that I've ever seen it, and I've coached hundreds of high school games, and umpired probably close to 100 games.

traderumor
07-30-2009, 10:21 PM
I've shaken hands with catchers after games before, though I prefer not to .

The Marlin catcher had nothing to do with the Braves players being ejected. Sounds to me like Cox and the Braves are trying to find a reason to get back at the umpire.Then you are wrong, also if you are exchanging such pleasantries with the winning team, esp. in this context. An umpire has to avoid ANY appearance of bias, even it means refusing a handshake you know is innocent.

I umpired too, only little league, but I could not imagine throwing out a player and manager on one team, then knuckle bumping the opposing catcher. I would fully expect to rightly receive charges of cheating or favoritism.

Like I said before, when you side with the ump in any situation, it is clear you are not looking at things objectively, George.

George Anderson
07-30-2009, 10:32 PM
Then you are wrong, also if you are exchanging such pleasantries with the winning team, esp. in this context. An umpire has to avoid ANY appearance of bias, even it means refusing a handshake you know is innocent.

I umpired too, only little league, but I could not imagine throwing out a player and manager on one team, then knuckle bumping the opposing catcher. I would fully expect to rightly receive charges of cheating or favoritism.

Like I said before, when you side with the ump in any situation, it is clear you are not looking at things objectively, George.

Why do you think the knuckle bump had anything to do with the ejection of the other team??

Maybe the catcher and Hohn knew each other from the minors or were casual freinds. Maybe the catcher just told Hohn good game and that was it. I think you don't realize the human factor in that if someone goes knuckle bump or shake hands you respond instinctively to return the gesture. Umpires are humans and if someone reaches out to shake my hand more often than not I am going to do it if for any other reason out of habit.

I am not saying this is a good idea but no doubt horribly blown out of proportion and IMO an attempt at Cox to get back at the umpire.

George Anderson
07-30-2009, 10:34 PM
ehhhhhh.........after what occurred in the eighth inning, it looks pretty unprofessional. Honestly, I don't know that I've ever seen it, and I've coached hundreds of high school games, and umpired probably close to 100 games.

Well many times when i am walking off the field I have a coach or player that wants to shake my hand. I certainly NEVER initiate the hand shake but to me its somewhat rude not to not return the gesture if someone puts their hand out.

Tony Cloninger
07-30-2009, 10:50 PM
You don't think by them extending their hand they are not trying to soften you up for next time?

This is a joke and the fact that Gary Darling is still in the game as an umpire is even a bigger travesty.

George Anderson
07-30-2009, 10:51 PM
You don't think by them extending their hand they are not trying to soften you up for next time?
.

Yea and in that hand shake they pass us money to thank us for calling the game in their favor.:rolleyes:

WMR
07-30-2009, 10:52 PM
I usually shake hands with BOTH coaches before the game when I introduce myself and lay down the ground rules.

cincinnati chili
07-30-2009, 11:03 PM
More importantly, dudes with mustaches like this just shouldn't be trusted

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/images/official_info/umpires/y2008/3049.jpg

Scrap Irony
07-30-2009, 11:10 PM
He should probably be suspended simply for doing something that stupid. He obviously has a difficult time with Atlanta and with Bobby Cox. (Not that that is something altogether new to any umpire.) But the appearance of favoritism smacks of idiocy, if nothing else.

He deserves to be suspended for being stupid.

(And I, too, have umpired my fair share of games. The first rule I was taught by a veteran umpire I used to carpool with is to NEVER shake hands with anyone. Keep your hands behind your back at all times. If they offer, nod your head but don't ever shake hands. It was his cardinal rule and it became mine.)

Tony Cloninger
07-30-2009, 11:11 PM
Your sarcasm has been duly noted.

Screwball
07-30-2009, 11:23 PM
I usually shake hands with BOTH coaches before the game when I introduce myself and lay down the ground rules.

I think that's completely different from the Hohn situation.

WMR
07-30-2009, 11:24 PM
I think that's completely different from the Hohn situation.

Oh I agree, I was just throwing my two cents into the whole shaking hands with umps conversation.

BCubb2003
07-30-2009, 11:41 PM
Wouldn't a fist bump be considered making contact with an umpire? Shouldn't the catcher have been suspended?

Scrap Irony
07-30-2009, 11:56 PM
Fox News, when covering the Obama Democratic nomination, called it a "terroristic fist bump".

Perhaps both Baker and Hohn should be held under observation by Homeland Security?

*BaseClogger*
07-31-2009, 01:49 AM
I usually shake hands with BOTH coaches before the game when I introduce myself and lay down the ground rules.

I usually shake hands with both head coaches after the game too. I guess I have been breaking a cardinal sin? :confused:

TheNext44
07-31-2009, 02:06 AM
Why do you think the knuckle bump had anything to do with the ejection of the other team??

Maybe the catcher and Hohn knew each other from the minors or were casual freinds. Maybe the catcher just told Hohn good game and that was it. I think you don't realize the human factor in that if someone goes knuckle bump or shake hands you respond instinctively to return the gesture. Umpires are humans and if someone reaches out to shake my hand more often than not I am going to do it if for any other reason out of habit.

I am not saying this is a good idea but no doubt horribly blown out of proportion and IMO an attempt at Cox to get back at the umpire.

That just it, no one knows why it happened, so it looks even worse. Why give the other team a reason to doubt your impartiality?

I've never thrown anyone out of a game, but I have had teams made at me for certain calls. Every time that happened, I would make sure that I stayed as stoic and unemotional throughout the rest of the game. I know I would already have that team watching my every move, trying to find any reason to question my impartiality.

That's why what Hohn did was so wrong. It got everyone questioning his impartiality, which is death to an ump.

hebroncougar
07-31-2009, 07:57 AM
Well many times when i am walking off the field I have a coach or player that wants to shake my hand. I certainly NEVER initiate the hand shake but to me its somewhat rude not to not return the gesture if someone puts their hand out.

I gotcha, shaking hands. I've seen plenty of that, sorry I thought you meant fist bump with a catcher as a game ends. Shaking hands with coaches, I've seen and done after the walk though line between teams. Nothing wrong with that IMO.

Ltlabner
07-31-2009, 08:04 AM
The umps should wear welding masks and big BBQ gloves. Then they can avoid both eye and hand contact.

George Anderson
07-31-2009, 08:05 AM
That just it, no one knows why it happened, so it looks even worse. Why give the other team a reason to doubt your impartiality?

I've never thrown anyone out of a game, but I have had teams made at me for certain calls. Every time that happened, I would make sure that I stayed as stoic and unemotional throughout the rest of the game. I know I would already have that team watching my every move, trying to find any reason to question my impartiality.

That's why what Hohn did was so wrong. It got everyone questioning his impartiality, which is death to an ump.

Like I said earlier, what Hohn did was really not a good thing and probally deserves at most a reprimand. But some posters are calling him to be fired or suspended over this and IMO that is incredibly insane. This is no question in my mind Cox and the Braves found a very minor infraction that the umpire did wrong and blowing it out of porportion to get revenge. It happens all the time.

If anyone gets suspended or fined it likley will be Chipper Jones, his media comments after the game towards Hohn are not good.

Roy Tucker
07-31-2009, 08:10 AM
MLB umps shake hands with coaches/managers at the pre-game exchange of line-up cards, don't they? That being said, I think Hohn was out of line. You *never* want to show any partiality to either team.

When I umped, I'd shake hands with both coaches both before and after the game. But always both of them. Even if they had given me grief. Actually, particularly when they had given me grief. I didn't want bad blood to extend to the next game I did for them. And I've seen umps (kids mostly) participate in the post-game good-game-good-game-good-game handshake lineup but I never did.

George Anderson
07-31-2009, 08:14 AM
I gotcha, shaking hands. I've seen plenty of that, sorry I thought you meant fist bump with a catcher as a game ends. Shaking hands with coaches, I've seen and done after the walk though line between teams. Nothing wrong with that IMO.

I think at the HS level and College level it is kinda different because umpires are not under the microscope that MLB umpires are. If a catcher wants to shake my hand after the game and tell me good game then I will gladly do it. Again, I NEVER make the first gesture but if someone offers their hand to me I think it is incredibly rude to snub them. But also at the same time I do not stand there and carry on a conversation with anyone after the game. I simply shake hands and leave quickly.If someone idiot in the stands or on the field wants to make an issue that since I shook someones hand after the game so I must be dishonest, that person to me has real issues.

If you coach HS then you know that unlike MLB, HS and college umpires more often than not do not have a gate right behind home plate to immediately go thru after the game. We have to pass thru a team to get thru a gate so the opportunity for a handshake is going to be much more common than a MLB umpire that comes no where close to making contact with either team after the last pitch.

RANDY IN INDY
07-31-2009, 10:10 AM
Hohn set himself up to be questioned, over and over, by doing something incredibly stupid. He has made a nasty bed for himself, in my opinion. Being a veteran umpire, he should know better. Already having a bad relationship with the Braves, and then doing something like that after that kind of game, is really unexcusable. When an umpire loses his code of impartiality, he loses all credibility in my book. Hohn should be reprimanded severely. This kind of conduct by an umpire should never be tolerated by MLB and really sets itself up to all kinds of accusations. I would not take it lightly.

George Anderson
07-31-2009, 10:18 AM
Hohn set himself up to be questioned, over and over, by doing something incredibly stupid. He has made a nasty bed for himself, in my opinion. Being a veteran umpire, he should know better. Already having a bad relationship with the Braves, and then doing something like that after that kind of game, is really unexcusable. When an umpire loses his code of impartiality, he loses all credibility in my book. Hohn should be reprimanded severely. This kind of conduct by an umpire should never be tolerated by MLB and really sets itself up to all kinds of accusations. I would not take it lightly.

You have never shook an umpires hand while on the field after the game?

And would you raise a huge stink if you saw the coach or a player of the of the other team shake the umpires hand after a game?

Scrap Irony
07-31-2009, 10:24 AM
It's the appearance of bias, George, not that he is biased. (Although I think he might be, at least in part. As is human nature.)

George Anderson
07-31-2009, 10:28 AM
It's the appearance of bias, George, not that he is biased. (Although I think he might be, at least in part. As is human nature.)

Well if we are going to consider Hohn knuckle bumping the Braves catcher as an appearance of bias then I would assume you would have an equal problem when occasionally you will see an umpire and player chatting casually in between innings? This to me is a much bigger concern because who knows what they are talking about?? Maybe they are somehow plotting to fix the game??

RANDY IN INDY
07-31-2009, 10:31 AM
You have never shook an umpires hand while on the field after the game?

And would you raise a huge stink if you saw the coach or a player of the of the other team shake the umpires hand after a game?

At the levels that I have coached, I have but that is not the point. What I have never seen is a player or manager shake an umpire's hand after a Major League Baseball Game, much less, a game where there was so much animosity between the umpire in question and the other team. At that level, impartiality should never have to come into question and based on that and the norms with MLB, I see why the Braves have reason to question it.

traderumor
07-31-2009, 11:43 AM
Why do you think the knuckle bump had anything to do with the ejection of the other team??

Maybe the catcher and Hohn knew each other from the minors or were casual freinds. Maybe the catcher just told Hohn good game and that was it. I think you don't realize the human factor in that if someone goes knuckle bump or shake hands you respond instinctively to return the gesture. Umpires are humans and if someone reaches out to shake my hand more often than not I am going to do it if for any other reason out of habit.

I am not saying this is a good idea but no doubt horribly blown out of proportion and IMO an attempt at Cox to get back at the umpire.

It doesn't matter if it had anything to do with the ejection of the other team.

George, I am a CPA, so we have in our code of ethics with regards to independence a stipulation that not only do we need to be independent in fact, but also in appearance. For example, our independence (impartiality) can be impaired by unpaid fees for prior year(s) work, under the premise that, even though most CPAs would not let that issue affect their independence, a user of our audit report could argue that we only issued a clean opinion to help ensure that our bill got paid. So, we must have payment through the last report we issued for a client to maintain our independence with that client and be able to perform the engagement.

That is the point here. The gesture was inappropriate because it could (and does) impair his appearance of impartiality. We cannot read his mind, and perhaps the gesture was spontaneous and unrelated to the problems with the other side, but objective third parties can easily construe the gesture as showing partiality to the other side. And I would be surprised if the MLB did not have this issue addressed in their code of conduct for umpires.

If that doesn't get it, just imagine being a defense attorney who was found in contempt of court for behavior in the courtroom because of a disagreement you had with the judge and find out from an associate that the prosecuting attorney and the judge knuckle bumped at the end of the session.

George Anderson
07-31-2009, 12:00 PM
If that doesn't get it, just imagine being a defense attorney who was found in contempt of court for behavior in the courtroom because of a disagreement you had with the judge and find out from an associate that the prosecuting attorney and the judge knuckle bumped at the end of the session.

It is funny you bring up the defense attorney because I was earlier thinking that what Bobby Cox is doing is similar to what a defense attorney is doing. He is trying to find anything no matter how small to hang his hat on to support his belief that the umpire was biased against him. This gesture is something Cox is trying to use to make his case.

Like I said earlier yes what the umpire did was somewhat wrong but for all we know he may have done it in the past as well several other umpires. The difference is the other times the umpires have done this they don't have a revengeful coach in the dugout just looking for any reason to get the umpire in trouble. Trust me this happens all the time, after a game or even during the game I have had many times coaches try to get me to say something or do something that they could use to get me in trouble. Especially if they have just been ejected they try and bait me to get me to say something inapropriate to show that I am biased against them or to report me to the IHSAA and get me in more trouble. I see this incident with what Cox is doing as somewhat similar.

I guess the point I made earlier that while yes this was wrong because to some it shows the umpire is biased then we need to be equally concerned about the occasional player umpire chit chat we see alot of times in between innings. I would be equally concerned about what the ump and player are talking about as opposed to a umpire returning the gesture of a handshake from the catcher.

RANDY IN INDY
07-31-2009, 12:17 PM
Umpires and players talk, all the time. Even during the game. They always have, and I am sure that there are certain umpires and players that are friendlier than others, due to length of service, professionalism, etc. Does that chit-chat affect calls. I would hope not. Most of that chit chat is probably how you doing, how are the wife and kids, did you catch the Bengals game on Sunday, and things like that. That even filters down to the lower levels where you get to know people a little bit after so many seasons. Those are the chit-chat conversations that I have had with umpires in the past. I don't think that stuff affected the appearance of the game or the outcome of a game. Sure, I think that there is a certain human nature that will influence a close call at times. Guys that have been around longer seem to get the close calls, particularly balls and strikes. Always has been that way. You earn your respect.

The umpires that I always respected most were the fair ones. If I can talk an umpire into a call, so can someone else. I don't like that. They have a job to do and so does the player. I don't think the chit-chat between innings and during the game is going to keep a professional from being a professional. Fist bumps at the end of controversial games are another thing all together from where I am sitting............

traderumor
07-31-2009, 12:55 PM
I guess the point I made earlier that while yes this was wrong because to some it shows the umpire is biased then we need to be equally concerned about the occasional player umpire chit chat we see alot of times in between innings. I would be equally concerned about what the ump and player are talking about as opposed to a umpire returning the gesture of a handshake from the catcher.I would add to that the pregame player fraterinization rules being revived, or enforced, as well. I don't know about chit-chatting with players, but in light of the NBA ref cheating, all professional leagues need to reinforce rules in place that are designed to ensure that all who take part in the game, from owners down to fans, have confidence that the contests are legitimate and fair athletic competitions between adversaries.