Sunday, May 29, 2011

Hairston suspended 1 game, appeals

US Presswire photo
Jerry Hairston argues with Ed Hickox, with Jim Riggleman trying to intervene.
Updated at 1:15 p.m.

Nationals infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. has been suspended one game by Major League Baseball and fined an undisclosed amount for "aggressive actions" with umpire Ed Hickox during Friday night's game against the Padres.

Hairston has appealed the suspension and remains in the Nationals' starting lineup today.

"I had no clue ... in my wildest dreams I would get suspended," he said. "That's why I'm appealing. If I did something wrong, guys, I would admit it. If I did something wrong, I'd step up. But I didn't push or shove him, and the video shows it."

The veteran utilityman, who turns 35 today, was ejected by Hickox in the seventh inning of Friday's 2-1 victory over after he complained San Diego left-hander Clayton Richard quick-pitched before he could get set in the batter's box. Hairston claims Hickox had granted him time out and did not let him reset himself in the box before Richard pitched.

Replays appear to show Hairston clearly re-establishing his position in the box and taking a practice swing before asking for time again, after Richard had already begun his delivery to the plate. Hairston wound up hitting a lazy fly ball to center field, though he never attempted to run down the baseline. Instead he immediately argued with Hickox, who wasted little time in ejecting him.

"You've got to give time for the hitter to get set," said Hairston, who played with Richard in San Diego last season. "I even talked to Clayton yesterday about it. That's what he does. He quick-pitches sometimes. Excuse me, most of the time. When I stepped back into the batter's box, he was already on his way and I wasn't set. That's what I was trying to plead my case. I need a chance to get set."

In announcing the suspension, MLB senior vice president of standards and on-field operations Joe Garagiola Jr. cited Hairston for his "aggressive actions, which included making contact" with Hickox.

Hairston did appear to make incidental contact with both Hickox and second base umpire Brian O'Nora during the argument.

"This is the big leagues, and you're going to have your ups and downs, as far as disagreements with umpires," Hairston said. "I respect every umpire and never have I pushed or shoved an umpire, and I never will. I never cussed at him. I felt I pleaded my case, and that's all I did. Sometimes, I can be an emotional guy. I'm very high-strung, so I can be a little more, I guess, showy at times. But I never pushed or shoved him. The video speaks loud and clear."

Hairston, who has never been suspended previously in his 14 big-league seasons, does not know yet when his appeal with Garagiola will be heard.

Hickox did not respond to a pregame request to speak with a pool reporter.


Anonymous said...

this seems a bit harsh. does league management really not like the nationals?

Anonymous said...

If there is any accountability for the umpires these days, we'll never hear about it. Umpires these days should qualify for czar status it seems.

Anonymous said...

To make matters worse, most MLB umps are totally incompetent.

Doc said...

Jerry Hairston is a good ball player who deserves some respect from the umpires.

It also appears that the MLB beaurcrats are primarily enfranchised to represent the umpires in all circumstances, validity of player claims are immaterial.

Jerry has done his best for the Nats this season in a somewhat thankless substitute role.
When he was appealing to the umps, he was standing up for the team and the fans.

Larry said...

Once you are in the batter's box, and the umpire has signaled to the pitcher, the batter must be ready to swing. You'll see Derek Jeter hold his hand up to umpire until he gets set and, amazingly, the umps honor that. Jeter does that just to avoid quick pitches. Having said that, I agree that Jerry has a beef because Clayton Richard has a history of doing this and the umps should be aware of it and protect the batters.

yankish2 said...

How can the team excuse Hairston for hitting a lazy fly ball to center but not running to first base? That didn't stick up for the team or the fans. Guy is last year's Willie Harris.

tha_prophet said...

I thought he made contact with the other ump, not Hickox.

All things being equal, the Nats have gotten the benefit of several blown calls in this series.

JaneB said...

I. Root g for Jerry. He was quick-pitched, no question. And he should get to argue it.

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