Conduct and Responsibilities of Umpires
STANDARDS FOR REMOVAL FROM THE GAME
- MLB Umpires are entrusted with the authority to remove any participant from a game. This responsibility should never be taken lightly. Major League Baseball recognizes that every situation is unique and that umpire discretion is essential to proper rule enforcement. While there are unique and extraordinary circumstances, players and Clubs look to the MLB umpiring staff for uniformity in applying consistent standards for ejection. The following general principles should be considered when deciding whether to eject a player, coach, manager, or other person from a game:
- Use of profanity specifically directed at an umpire or vulgar personal insults of an umpire are grounds for ejection.
- Physical contact with an umpire is a ground for ejection.
- Refusal to stop arguing, and further delaying the game after the umpire has provided a player or manager adequate opportunity to make a point, is a ground for ejection. The umpire should warn the player or manager that he has been heard and that he should return his position or be ejected.
- If a player, coach, or manager leaves his position to argue balls and strikes (including half swings), he should be warned to immediately return or he will be automatically ejected.
- If a Replay Review is initiated, no uniformed personnel from either Club shall be permitted to further argue the contested calls or the decision of the Replay Official. On-field personnel who violate this provision shall be ejected. In circumstances in which Replay Review is not available (e.g., the call is not reviewable, no Manager Challenge or Crew Chief review is available or, after the eighth inning, the Crew Chief has communicated that he has declined to initiate Replay Review), if a manager, coach, or player makes reference to having observed a video replay that purportedly contradicts the call under dispute, such person is subject to immediate ejection from the game.
- Use of histrionic gestures (e.g., jumping up and down, violently waving arms, or demonstrations) while arguing with an umpire, or stepping out of the dugout and making gestures toward an umpire, are grounds for ejection. Throwing anything out of a dugout (towels, cups, equipment, etc.) is a ground for automatic ejection.
- Actions by players specifically intended to ridicule an umpire are grounds for ejection. Examples include drawing a line in the dirt to demonstrate location of a pitch or leaving equipment at the plate after striking out with less than two outs.
- Throwing equipment in disgust of an umpire’s call may be a ground for ejection. Umpires are encouraged to utilize equipment violations as an intermediary step to warn and discipline a player while attempting to keep the player in the game. If the violation is deemed extremely severe, the umpire may eject the offender immediately.
- Any player, manager, or coach who fails to comply with an order from an umpire to do or to refrain from doing anything that affects administering the rules and regulations governing play is subject to ejection in accordance with
Official Baseball Rule 8.01 . Examples of this include failure to stay within the lines of the batter’s box after warning from the umpire, refusal to submit a piece of equipment for the umpire’s inspection, etc.
- Team personnel may not come onto the playing surface to argue or dispute a warning issued under Official Baseball Rule 6.02(c)(9) . If a manager, coach, or player leaves the dugout or his position to dispute a warning, he should be warned to stop; if he continues, he is subject to removal from the game.
- Arguing after a replay review.
While the standards listed here may justify an ejection, Official Baseball Rule 8.01(d) grants umpires the discretion to eject any participant “for objecting to decisions or for unsportsmanlike conduct or language.” In addition, there are situations listed in the Official Baseball Rules and the Rule Interpretations portion of this manual that result in immediate ejection. These situations include violations such as arguing a “step balk,” pitcher in possession of a foreign substance, batter charging the pitcher with the intention of fighting the pitcher, pitcher intentionally throwing at a batter after a warning, etc.