Moments after enduring an injury scare with Chris Taylor after he was hit by a pitch in the left hand, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts received an early exit when he was ejected by home-plate umpire Greg Gibson for arguing balls and strikes.
Roberts protested a pitch to Gavin Lux that appeared to be out of the zone but was called for strike. All in one motion, Gibson turned to the dugout, removed his mask and tossed Roberts, who came running out of the dugout.
Roberts continued to exchange words with Gibson in an animated discussion before making his way to the clubhouse. The Dodgers proceeded to string together a seven-run inning en route to a 12-5 comeback win against the Colorado Rockies.
The fourth-year manager joked Gibson was responsible for the Dodgers’ turnaround, and expressed some belief it was a rash decision, albeit Roberts still heaped praise on the veteran umpire, via SportsNet LA:
“Yeah, that got them going. I just thought it was a ball, and he took offense to it. Gibby’s a pro, he’s been doing this a long time. I got animated and emotional. I thought it was a quick hook, but Gibby is doing the best job he can and he’s really good back there. I’m happy to see our guys responded with that outburst in that inning.”
The ejection was Roberts’ first of the season and it cemented every MLB manager has been thrown out of a game this year. David Bell (Cincinnati Reds), Ron Gardenhire (Detroit Tigers) and Rick Renteria (Chicago White Sox) are tied for the Major League lead with eight ejections each.
Fun fact: Greg Gibson, who ejected Dave Roberts tonight, was also the home-plate umpire when Scott Van Slyke and Joe Kelly had their anthem standoff before Game 6 of the 2013 NLCS. pic.twitter.com/Fp32IVIgQU
— Matthew Moreno (@MMoreno1015) September 21, 2019
Roberts went all of 2018 without getting ejected, was thrown out once in 2017 and twice as a rookie skipper in 2016. The ejection from two years ago memorably came when Roberts and San Diego Padres manager Andy Green were both tossed after an altercation. Roberts was subsequently suspended one game and Green received a fine.
It’s not beyond reason to suspect Roberts could face suspension for his actions on Friday. He and Gibson made contact on multiple occasions, but MLB could just as well deem it incidental or initiated by the umpire.
That’s what wound up transpiring with Justin Turner, when he was suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount for making contact with home-plate umpire Rob Drake. Turner appealed the suspension and got the ruling overturned, which DodgerBlue.com was first to report.