On Sunday afternoon I had just settled into my recliner, excited to watch the Washington Nationals. Two members of the Colorado Tumbleweed were in the starting lineup, Bryce Harper and starting pitcher Gio Gonzalez. However, little did I know John Hirschbeck was the starting third base umpire, and he was intent on making that fact well known.
After Bryce Harper flopped his arms in disgust at Hirschbeck who called him out on a checked swing (a clown call if I've ever seen one), Hirschbeck then tossed Harper from the game when he then took off his helmet and dropped it on the ground in disgust. (animated gifs here)
This left me trying to describe to a 3 and 4-year old why Bryce Harper was in the locker room taking a shower and why he wasn't playing anymore. I suppose I've heard of starting pitchers being thrown out of games because fans were yelling obscenities, but those were the penal leagues.
Hirschbeck claimed that he had no recourse but to eject Harper after he threw his bat and 'slammed' his helmet. Perhaps Hirschbeck thought he was some how protecting the queen a la Enrico Pallazzo.