Dave Roberts Doesn’t Believe Umpires Traveling With Dodgers Was Factor In Ejections
Dino Ebel, Mark Ripperger, Dave Roberts
Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers didn’t put together their sharpest effort against the Seattle Mariners, yet still had an opportunity to steal the game late as they loaded the bases in the ninth inning.

Corey Seager struck out swinging to end the game, with the 6-4 defeat snapping the Dodgers’ season-best winning streak at seven games. In addition to suffering a loss, the Dodgers finished the game without manager Dave Roberts, hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc and Max Muncy.

Each was ejected by home-plate umpire Mark Ripperger in the sixth inning for arguing balls and strikes. Van Scoyoc was first to go, as he objected to a strike call while Muncy was at the plate.

Roberts emerged from the dugout to protest Ripperger’s decision, and he was promptly thrown out. Muncy’s at-bat ended in a strikeout and he was ejected after voicing his displeasure, though doing so while looking toward the ground. Muncy had exchanged words with Ripperger during a prior at-bat.

“There were a couple at-bats where there were some questionable calls that he didn’t like,” Roberts said after the game. “So after the punchout he was walking away and said something. Told me he didn’t direct anything towards Mark, and got tossed and wasn’t happy about it.

“As far as Robert Van Scoyoc, didn’t agree with a couple calls and got run. For me, I just came out to question to question why would he throw out our guy, and then I got tossed.”

The ejection was Roberts’ first this season and sixth of his career.

Umpires too close for comfort?

Among the changes implemented with MLB’s health and safety protocols are having umpiring crews travel on chartered flights. It’s not always a given, but Ripperger has been with the Dodgers for multiple series now.

“That’s kind of unique to the world we’re in and it’s completely understandable, accepted by all and the right thing to do,” Roberts said of the arrangement. “As far as on the field, they have a job to do, we have a job to do.

“Everyone is competing and doing their best. Once we’re done playing I don’t think it has any effect.”

Roberts and multiple Dodgers had previously downplayed any significance to umpires traveling with teams this season. They reasoned players and coaches sit further back on the plane, thus creating a healthy separation.

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