Hot & Bothered MLB Players Are Crushing Their Team’s Playoff Dreams

Is it time to say goodbye to these wild card teams?

When you have roughly 30 games left in the regular season, and you’re fighting every inch of the way to make the playoffs, probably as a wild card, the last thing you need to worry about are suspensions costing your club key players.

Victor Martinez being led off the field by Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus. Photo: AP via ESPN

Yet that’s the position the Tigers are in now after the ejection-fest in Saturday night’s 3–2 loss to the Angels. Words — very bad words — were said about the strike zone of home plate umpire Mike Everitt, and that’s just such a big no-no in the umpire code of conduct.

DH Victor Martinez, right fielder J.D. Martinez, manager Brad Ausmus and hitting coach Wally Joyner were thumbed out of the game by Everitt, who later told a pool reporter: “All of the players, as well as the manager and coach, were warned, and sometimes more than once or twice. I will be filing my report with the Commissioner’s office in New York.”

Photo: AP via Washington Post

Over in Washington, Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper might also be hearing from the Commissioner after his typically explosive ejection in the 10th inning of Saturday’s loss to the Rockies on a called strike three. “You don’t want an umpire to make a mistake in that big of a situation. That’s just not good,” Harper said.

Harper yelled at umpire Mark Winters and threw his helmet to the ground. The Nats went on to lose in 11, and they lost Sunday as well; they are now just 1.5 games ahead of the second-place Marlins in the NL East.

“Everybody blows up from time to time,” Nats manager Dusty Baker said. “These things happen. Especially it happens this time of year; tempers are short. It’s hot, (we’ve) played a lot of games, been around the same people for a long period of time. This is the time of year when tempers do flare up.”

It’s also the time of year when calm, cool and collected prevail if you want to be playing into the postseason. The Tigers and Nationals will be hoping the Commissioner’s office takes all this into account.

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