This is how you treat a future Hall of Famer? Good gravy.
Texas Rangers living legend Adrian Beltre, just four hits shy of becoming the 31st person in the history of the world to collect 3,000 hits, was ejected by umpire Gerry Davis in the eighth inning of a one-sided game Wednesday night in which the Rangers lost to the Marlins 22-10. Beltre was on-deck when Davis, the crew chief told him to move over closer to the on-deck circle. Beltre was standing to the left of the circle, closer to behind home plate. No players stand directly on the circle because it’s slick and dangerous. Most of the time weighted bats and donuts are laying on it.
So when Beltre was asked to move back closer to the on-deck circle, he grabbed the circle and pulled it about four or five feet to where he was standing.
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“I wasn’t being funny. He told me to stand on the mat so I pulled the mat where I was,” Beltre said. “I actually did what he told me. I was listening.”
Davis, lacking any kind of sense of humor apparently, immediately ejected Beltre.
Manager Jeff Banister made his objections known and was eventually tossed too.
The Internet began to erupt with incredulous takes on the incident from across the nation. Former Rangers great Michael Young couldn’t believe what he saw and posted his dismay on Twitter.
Beltre, who was 3 for 3 with two doubles, a home run and a walk, was replaced by Delino DeShields and robbed of his fifth and final at-bat of the night.
Yahoo Sports MLB columnist Jeff Passan summed up the thoughts of most by declaring “Beltre the greatest and Gerry Davis is in need of a sense of humor” in a post on Twitter.
Beltre said he’s been standing in the same area for most of his 20 years in the league, including Monday night when Davis was working behind home plate.
“I stand there every day and I was standing here when he was umpiring home plate and he didn’t say nothing,” Beltre said. “Everybody stands in the same spot. So I didn’t want to move. I didn’t want to get hit [by a foul ball].”
Banister was still incensed after the game.
“Similar to the same spot that just about every other hitter in baseball stands,” Banister said. “Look liked to me that the crew chief didn’t want him standing there anymore. The man’s chasing 3,000, our fans stuck around to see that last at-bat, they didn’t get to see it. Very unfortunate. Don’t know why it needed to be engaged, don’t understand it. This is a man that’s chasing history, [he had an] opportunity to get another at-bat in front of our fans.”
But Davis took that away.