The Nationals’ bench did not like home plate ump Will Little’s strike zone early in Sunday’s game against the Orioles in OPACY, and they let Little know it. Profanities galore. Some, it seemed, real heat directed towards home. And then, it happened again. Like it did in New York where Stephen Strasburg got ejected from the stands for excoriating the ump in Citi Field: Aníbal Sánchez got ejected. He didn’t understand why, but he left the stands at the request of umpire Angel Hernandez.
The box score on MLB.com notes on the Ejections line reads: Ejections - Nationals Hitting Coach Kevin Long ejected by HP umpire Will Little (2nd); Nationals pitcher Aníbal Sánchez ejected by HP umpire Will Little (2nd).
How ... ever:
“Just to clarify, Sánchez didn’t get thrown out of a game, he just got asked to leave the stands,” Nats’ skipper Davey Martinez told reporters after the Nationals’ 6-5 win.
“So, he just had to leave, so that’s why I went over there to tell him, ‘Just go inside.’”
The, uh, the, well, the, uh, the difference? If there, you know, is one? Are we in distinction without a difference territory?
“I guess. [Third base ump] Angel [Hernandez] said, ‘Hey, can you have him just leave?’ So I said, ‘What do you mean leave?’ ‘Don’t let him sit in the stands no more.’ I said, ‘Sure, sure. C’mon Sanchie,’” Martinez explained.
Martinez laughed off that situation, though Little’s strike zone, in Soto’s second inning at bat in particular, was [searches for a word] egregiously bad.
So, yeah, Nos. 5-6 were both called strikes. No. 3? Ball. You get the picture. Gripes. You know.
When Max Scherzer got squeezed on a pitch in the bottom of the second inning things got out of hand.
Hitting coach Kevin Long was heard pretty clearly screaming expletives at Little. He too got tossed. Him we’re sure about.
Martinez heard the audio after the game, and he actually apologized for what went out on the airwaves when he spoke to reporters after the game.
They are, like, you know, aware that you can hear just about everything that’s said with no fans in the stands, right?
“I’m starting to be aware of it,” Martinez laughed.
“We’re going to have to make some adjustments.”
“I’ve just heard the [audio] from K-Long,” he added. “It’s something we need to talk about. You can’t really — we’re all competing and we’re all trying to do the best.
“Those things happen. It kind of stinks that you can hear everything. I try to muffle everything with this mask.
“If I do say something I try to cover it up with my mouth. It’s just part of the game, but it is ugly. I’m not going to lie to you.
“Sometimes you say things that you really don’t want to say. It just happens. I’m glad Game 6 [of the World Series] they didn’t hear what I said. Woof. That would not have been good.”