In the sixth inning of Friday’s game against the San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks infielder Nick Ahmed checked his swing. An appeal determined he didn’t go all the way around, and Christian Walker applauded the umpire for making the correct call.
Apparently, that didn’t sit well with home plate umpire Alfonzo Marquez. He ejected Walker from the game.
The ejection shocked Walker, who looked to be clapping about the first base umpire’s ruling that Ahmed didn’t swing. It quickly made its way around baseball Twitter, as well.
Ahmed ended up walking and later came around to score on a double by Dominic Fletcher that put the Diamondbacks ahead 5-4. Arizona wound up winning the game 7-5 as Walker — who went 0-for-2 in the six innings he played — watched from the clubhouse.
Two MLB players ejected after a national anthem ‘standoff’ last week
This isn’t the first time an MLB player was ejected for an odd reason. Last week, umpires tossed Boston Red Sox pitcher Kutter Crawford and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Matt Strahm both after engaging in a classic standoff after the national anthem. Sometimes, players will stay in their place to see who the last one standing is after the “Star Spangled Banner” is over. It’s like a game of “chicken” to see who flinches first.
However, with new pace of play rules kicking in this year, umpires saw it as a delay of game. As a result, they ejected both players.
Strahm — who played for the Red Sox last year — said he and Crawford didn’t plan the standoff. Instead, it was just two former teammates having some fun. But with the pitch clock now in effect, the days of the anthem standoffs might be over.
“Zero of it was planned. Just, (the) anthem was over and I looked across and Kutter kind of gave me a grin and I know exactly what that grin meant so just stood there,” Strahm said, per WEEI’s Rob Bradford. “If you know me, you know competition is everything to me so kind of felt like I was being called out right there. Looking back on it, probably not the wisest decision I’ve made in my big league career. … I guess I should’ve known better with how strict they are with pitch clock.”
The catch with that situation is Crawford is on the injured list. That means he’s facing a larger fine after his ejection. But one teammate is offering to step up and help foot the bill: pitcher Chris Sale.