When Tampa Bay Rays left-hander David Price walked off the mound after fielding a come backer in the seventh inning in a game with the Chicago White Sox yesterday clearly he was unhappy. As the video below shows, Price can be seen displaying a measure of emotion. Price was aggravated over the previous pitch which as the video shows as well was clearly a strike. Price can then be seen looking towards home plate umpire Tom Hallion, and that’s where the story gets a little distorted. Whether or not the pitch was a strike is irrelevant.
Price claims Hallion said “throw the ball over the f***ing plate” ,a version of the story that has been corroborated by several of Price’s teammates. Hallion then adamantly denied that he said those particular words to Price. “I’ll come right out bluntly and say he’s a liar,” said Hallion.
I said, ‘Just throw the ball.’ That’s all I said to him. . . . I’m just telling you, he’s lying. It’s plain and simple.”
That is where Hallion is dead wrong and the incident should be investigated .
The first question he ought to be asked by MLB investigators is why he said anything at all, which as can be clearly seen only escalated the situation. Jeremy Hellickson was tossed out as a result of whatever was said.
Umpires are going to miss ball/strike calls. That being said umpires should not be allowed free reign to do and say whatever they want to say to players. Hallion made the situation worse by walking up the first base line to confront Price, and for that he should be disciplined.