Umpire Dan Bellino issued an apology through the league for his actions that led to Arizona Diamondbacks left-hander Madison Bumgarner’s ejection from Wednesday’s game in Miami.
“When I began my MLB career almost 15 years ago, I received some good advice,” Bellino said in a statement issued through Major League Baseball. “I was told to umpire every game as if my children were sitting in the front row. I fell short of those expectations this week. While I can’t go back and change what happened, I take full accountability. I will learn from this incident, and I sincerely apologize.”
After the bottom of the first inning, Bellino appeared to use a standard foreign-substance spot check with Bumgarner as a chance to incite a reaction from the Diamondbacks’ pitcher.
In an interaction that was caught entirely on camera, Bellino never once looked at Bumgarner’s hand, instead staring at him until Bumgarner said something. Bellino then ejected Bumgarner almost immediately, infuriating the pitcher, who had to be restrained by bench coach Jeff Banister.
Bumgarner was not accused of having a sticky substance on his hand.
A league source indicated that Bellino had been disciplined in some fashion, perhaps with a fine rather than a suspension since Bellino was set to work a game on Friday night.
During the bottom of the first on Wednesday, Bumgarner was visibly upset with home plate umpire Ryan Wills, who did not give him at least a couple of borderline calls against the Marlins. Bumgarner appeared to be voicing his displeasure about those calls as he made his way off the field just prior to his interaction with Bellino.
The Diamondbacks managed to win despite getting just one inning from Bumgarner, rallying to beat the Marlins, 8-7, on a ninth-inning, two-run home run by Pavin Smith.
Manager Torey Lovullo said the club had considered moving Bumgarner’s next start up by a couple of days because he threw so few pitches on Wednesday but was leaning against it. If the club remains in rotation, Bumgarner would pitch next on Tuesday vs. the Marlins at Chase Field.
Reach Piecoro at (602) 444-8680 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @nickpiecoro.