Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Angry Dodgers drop finale in Pittsburgh

Vin Scully would have had a bleep of a time lip-reading had he been in Pittsburgh today.

In what might have been the wildest Dodger game of the season and what was certainly the angriest, the Dodgers lost to the Pirates, 10-6, with Matt Kemp, Don Mattingly and Joe Blanton ejected along the way.

The Dodgers were unhappy with home-plate umpire Angel Campos’ ball-and-strike calls from the first inning on, but according to Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A., the trouble really started in the second inning, in bizarre fashion:

… What made Kemp and manager Don Mattingly so irate, as both heartily argued their points while needing to be restrained, especially Kemp, was that the center fielder was kicked out for cheering his teammate.

“Guys were barking about pitches. Angel looked over and said, ‘I don’t want to hear anymore.’ Just a little bit later, Matt said, ‘Let’s go Dre’ and got thrown out,” Mattingly said after the game. “We’re in a pennant race. I got the guy that was second in the MVP last year. You can’t get thrown out for cheering for your teammate. That’s unacceptable behavior.” …

Those ejections — and the ferocious reactions, which can be seen here — came after Blanton allowed a three-run home run in the first inning to leading Dodger-killer Garrett Jones. The Dodgers then rallied to take a 4-3 lead, thanks in part to James Loney’s first home run since May 21 and a two-run shot by Hanley Ramirez — but the Pirates tied it in the bottom of the fourth and then went ahead in the fifth on a second three-run homer by Jones, who entered the game with a career .946 OPS against Los Angeles.

One batter later, Blanton allowed his third home run of the game and league-leading 26th of the season, to Pedro Alvarez — at which point he was removed from the game by the Dodgers before having words with Campos, leading to that ejection.

Blanton has now allowed 14 runs, 18 hits (including four homers) and seven walks in 15 1/3 innings since Los Angeles acquired him from Philadelphia. He had not walked more than two in a game all year, but now has done so twice in three starts.

Amazingly, despite their starter allowing eight runs in 4 1/3 innings, the Dodgers remained in the contest, cutting the deficit to two runs in the seventh (thanks in part to two batters being hit by pitches and putting Andre Ethier up with the bases loaded. But lefty Pirates reliever Tony Watson came in for starter A.J. Burnett and got Ethier to ground out, and then Jamey Wright surrendered two of his own in the bottom of the inning. Shawn Tolleson extended his scoreless streak to nine innings with a perfect bottom of the eighth, but the Dodgers drew no closer.

Loney, Ramirez and Mark Ellis each had two hits for the Dodgers, who are a half-game ahead of idle San Francisco.


In praise of Rick Rhoden


While on Matt Kemp Suspension Watch …


  1. Anonymous

    When I see Loney crush a ball the way he did today, it’s astonishing that he duplicates that swing so infrequently.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, he really made that looked effortless.  A glimpse of the power hitter we swore he’d become 5 years ago.

      • Anonymous

        Shorter and quicker to the ball. Maybe he should choke up a couple ala Barroid to try to duplicate it.

  2. Anonymous

    I assume there is some procedure in MLB through which the Dodgers will appeal the rulings in today’s games.  If so, I also assume nothing ever comes of such appeals.

    Maybe there is some way in which umpires are evaluated and any such incidents that establish a pattern of incompetence are taken into account in such evaluations, but I doubt it.

    • Anonymous

      back in May this same ump eject Rod B and manager Clint Hurdle of the Pirates in the 1st or 2nd inning for arguing balls and strikes.

  3. Anonymous

    It seems as though the quality of umpiring this season has been truly egregious – lots of blown calls, horrible balls-and-strikes, as well as ridiculous stunts like this one and that business about a catcher “earning the right to throw the ball back to the pitcher”, etc.  What an embarrassment for the sport.

    • Anonymous

      I feel like I’ve seen a lot more restraint the past few years.  There are exceptions, of course, but my recollection is of umps a decade ago being a lot more trigger happy. Dan Iassogna and Angel Hernandez have particularly mellowed out.

  4. Anonymous

    From watching the game on TV and seeing the replays, I think that Kemp is looking at a one- to three-game suspension for brushing or bumping an umpire.  Kemp needed more self-restraint, even if was ejected only for cheering on a teammate.  Home plate umpire Campos had an inconsistent strike zone coupled with rabbit ears, not a good combination.  I also think he allowed himself to be intimidated.  I was surprised — and pleased — that he didn’t throw Ramirez out after Hanley threw his bat down following a strikeout.  Clearly, Ramirez was trying to show up Campos.  Had Campos tossed Ramirez, one can only imagine the fury that would have ensued.  Question:  If every coach had gotten tossed, which Dodger would have been acting manager?

    • If he does get a suspension, and it’s more than one game, that is completely ridiculous. Brett Lawrie this season got 4 games for spiking his helmet at the feet of an ump. ‘Brushing’ up against an ump cannot warrant more than a one game suspension maximum. 

      Oh but who am I kidding, this is MLB and Selig calls the shots.

      • Anonymous

        Marichal got just seven games for attacking Roseboro with a bat. He should have been arrested and charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon.

  5. Anonymous

    From Wikipedia:  “In May 2011, (Angel) Campos ejected Kansas City Royals catcher Matt Treanor from a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Although the two were exchanging words, Treanor was not facing Campos at the time he was thrown out. Royals manager Ned Yost, who was also ejected, was later quoted as saying, “Nobody in the park knew that they were arguing. Nobody. And to eject the guy under those circumstances isn’t right.”

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, this Campos clown has a real big chip on his shoulder. He needs to be relegated to the minors.

      • Anonymous

        He IS a minor league umpire, isn’t he?  Just a vacation fill-in.  Time to get him out of that rotation.

        • Anonymous

          Everything I see in looking up Campos says he IS a ML umpire.
          Wikipedia:Angel Hernandez Campos (born August 22, 1973) is an umpire in Major League Baseball. He umpired his first major-league game on May 3, 2007.


          • Anonymous

            Pretty confusing. On both radio and TV broadcasts they said he was a vacation replacement. That Umpire Camp website says he’s simultaneously: • Major League Baseball Umpire 2007- Present
            • MLB Reserve Umpire 2007-present
            • Pacific Coast League, Triple-AAA 2004–present
            473 games over 5 seasons is just 94.6 games per season. Must be the #1 guy on the call sheet, being a 2000 graduate of the Harry Wendelstedt Professional Baseball Umpire School.

  6. Anonymous

    I’m all for the boys in the dugout cheering on their teamates, but Kemp has got to reign it in – really, brushing the umpire could cost the Ds mightily!

  7. Anonymous

    I like Kemp’s fire.  He’s obviously a full half of the talent and passion in this club.

    That’s the kind of fire that gets rings, and if he doesn’t get at least one in his time in LA, I’m sure he’ll consider it a personal failure.  Relative to his talent, that wouldn’t be incorrect.

    • Vail Beach

      It occurs to me that Matt Kemp is a PVL now.  

      • Anonymous

        No.  You’re misusing the term.  He’s a veteran, yes.  But PVL implies that “leadership” is the best thing the player can possibly contribute to the team.  If it were up to Colletti, he’d have 25 clubhouse leaders and nobody less than 5 yrs past their prime (which prime might not have been all that prime, if you know what I mean).  So maybe Kemp was relegated to PVL status while he was on the DL, and today, after he was ejected, but mostly he’s just a great player.

        • Vail Beach

          Sorry, I was kind of kidding.  That became such a perjorative, because it was why players like Kemp were held back — making way for the Juan Pierre’s of the world.  But now Kemp is a veteran.  

  8. Anonymous

    I was at the game today and seriously, Campos is pretty garbage umpire. He tossed out 3 guys, but what I was completely upset about this was that the other umps had to build a wall around Campos. Kick guys out, but take the rath of angered players head on. Don’t have your Daddy umps protect you…Campos has a track record of kicking guys out in a passive aggressive way…Campos is like a crappy girlfriend…will get you angry and the pull the silent treatment…

    • Well, I think you could say the umps were stepping in to make sure things didn’t get physically ugly. I regard that as more for the Dodgers’ benefit than Campos.  

      • Anonymous

        I hear what you’re saying Jon, but both ballclubs and 28,000 fans saw an amateur ump today. It was good to hear Pirate talk today and they agreed that really, Campos was in the wrong. And please notice that Tim Tschida threw Mattingly out and was “heat of battle,” he did not shy away from Mattingly after he threw him out. That’s all I’m saying…

        P.s. Pirate fans were classy.Sure they booed, but they call things like they see it.

        • I’m not defending Campos at all – I’m just trying to saying that I don’t think cowardice is the main issue. 

          • Anonymous

            That’s what I saw too.  However, if Campos had more time in the game, this would have been a nose to nose argument between him and Mattingly,  Conversely, if he had more time in the game, he walks over to the dugout and tells them to shut up before running anyone.

  9. 5-2 on this road trip. What do those 2 losses have in common? Joe Blanton. Somethings gotta change.

    • Anonymous


      • Anonymous

        give me a break will you.  He picked up a better than average starting pitcher, something we needed, for really nothing significant.  Ned did his job, right now Blanton is not doing his.

        • Anonymous

          Blanton is not a better than average SP. Back up your claim and then I’ll prove you wrong. 

          • Anonymous

            Your comment was amazingly ignorant.  To blame Colletti for those losses is pathetic.  If you are going to blame him for the losses, then credit him for the wins.

          • Anonymous

            I see you cannot back up your claim that Blanton is an above average ML SP so you resort to name calling.
            Trading for Blanton was foolish.BTW, can you read? I didn’t blame Colletti for any losses. I blame him for trading 4 young pitchers for Victorino; yes 4 because if he didn’t trade Lindblom he wouldn’t have had to trade for League. I commented negatively on the League trade right after it became known. Blanton is a below average ML SP; Colletti is a far below average ML GM.

          • Anonymous

            mike_tink, I did not name call at all.  Although after reading several of your posts on this blog, coming up with names to call you would not be difficult.  The point of my comment was that you can’t blame Ned for those losses.  I have no interest in arguing with you about how good/average/bad a player is.  It’s clear from your posts that you have the need to point how wrong everyone else is and how right you are.

    • A replay of the game was on. And before the game the question of the day was which new dodger pitching acquisition will have the biggest impact in the pennant race. And I was thinking like you, if they keep throwing Blanton out there then the answer is Blanton but not in a positive way

  10. Anonymous

    Elbert had a nice rehab outing for the Lookouts tonight; he pitched one inning and struck out all three batters he faced.

    Hot prospect Allen Webster was okay, but… he didn’t allow any earned runs in his 5.1 IP, but he allowed 5 H 3 BB 1 WP 1 HBP. 52 strikes in 93 pitches isn’t all that hot.

    As for the Puigwatch, Rancho Cucamonga won; Puig had an RBI single, a walk, a stolen base, a line-out, and a ground-out.  Now hitting .364, 4 for 11 for RC with 2 SB.

    • Anonymous

      nsx, somehow you made a mistake. Puig now has 4 SB for RC. He also had a CS in the game tonight.
      More important, imo, Lilly pitched 2 innings and I was surprised that Guerrier followed Lilly taking the third.
      Then, Jon Michael Redding threw 1 hit, no run ball for the next 6 innings to get the win. 4 walks and hit a batter though. He is almost 25 and this is his third year in the Cal. League 

      • Anonymous

        I’m sure you’re right on all counts.  I didn’t look up his stats, I only noticed things when watching what passes for a box score when the game is in progress, which isn’t much for that level of MILB.

        Also, Lilly and Guerrier each allowed a run.  Lilly’s was on a home run – imagine that!  (Guerrier allowed a double and a WP.)

        Jon Michael Redding was at Chattanooga earlier this year, relieving in four games, but had a tough time there (8 BB and 10 H in 10.1 IP) and was sent back to RC.

  11. Blue-eyed Gal

    That was just painful to watch. I want to watch baseball, not umpires.

     I have a bad feeling about how MLB is going to respond to Kemp brushing the ump.

    He can bark all he wants, in my book, but don’t do anything that might get a multi-game suspension!

  12. Don’t know if anybody saw Deadspin’s coverage of the ejections earlier with the Pittsburgh feed showing a kid getting the ‘earmuffs’ treatment from his dad, but they updated the story with an awesome gesture from Donnie to the kid:

    • Awesome!  I’ve always said that sports are the best reality shows on TV.

      Except the NBA, which is clearly staged.

  13. Anonymous

    The Pirates must have viewed today’s spectable as an evening of the score: Barajas and Hurdle were also ejected by Campos a few months ago, also in the 2nd inning.  Gotta love that photo.  At least Campos took his mask off for that ejection.

  14. Anonymous

    Tonight’s start is at 4:35 Pacific Time, 6:35 Central Time.
    Reminder: Tomorrow night’s game will be on MLB Network, and Sunday’s on TBS.

  15. Anonymous

    Anybody think Kemp gets suspended?  When Selig looks at this, he has to side against that umpiring, doesn’t he?

    • Anonymous

      The usual scenario is a multiple-game suspension, followed by an appeal reducing the suspension, which the suspendee can take at a date of his own choosing.

  16. i’m often amazed at pro athletes who behave not only badly but in a way that hurts the team just because they’re big babies. how does someone making bad calls in a game cause you to act like a childish over the top little boy. and plus it hurts the team. kemp should get fined 10k by the dodgers if he gets suspended.

    i think there might have been other suspensions if hanley wasn’t busy being a dope at the umpire instead of listening to what the pitcher was saying to him after he struck out. the pitcher was basically challenging him to do something.

    hanley is going to hurt the dodgers(hopefully not physically) at some point with his i see you thing. the dodger players will be forced to defend him and them who knows what happens.

    • Anonymous

      I think people forget how much arguing baseball has had in its history. Since the 19th Century, there have been arguments that would make what happened yesterday pale in comparison.

      When Babe Ruth was a pitcher for the Red Sox, he started off a game by walking the leadoff man on four pitches. He was ejected after that. He wasn’t arguing the call. Instead, he had slugged the home plate umpire. (This was the game when Ernie Shore relieved him and had the baserunner already on caught stealing and then set everyone else down in order for a weird combined no-hitter.) Ruth was ejected from games 12 times in his career. (And one other time as a Dodgers coach in 1938.)

      There have been arguments that have devolved into riots. 

      The umpires and the players and coaches will argue, they will continue to argue, and it’s not going to stop.

      Bobby Cox has the most ejections of any player or manager in history. And he will go to the Hall of Fame.

      While it’s not meritorious behavior, it happens. There are arguments. Yes, they’re stupid. That has not stopped them from happening.

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