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Thursday, July 30, 2009

MLB investigating LaTroy Hawkins comments

Major League Baseball is considering disciplinary action against Houston reliever LaTroy Hawkins for questioning the integrity of plate umpire Mike Everitt after Monday night’s game at Wrigley Field.

Hawkins claimed Everitt “wanted” the Cubs to win the game, a charge that MLB does not take lightly.

It all began when Everitt ejected Hawkins in the eighth inning after he disputed a called ball to Aramis Ramirez and continued to complain after Everitt ordered him to “knock it off.” After the game, which the Cubs won 5-1 on Alfonso Soriano’s walk-off grand slam in the 13th inning, Hawkins sounded off.

“Maybe he was having a bad day,” Hawkins said. “I thought he had determined who he wanted to win the game anyway.”

...Asked by Houston reporters whether he regretted the remark, Hawkins replied: “Why would I?”

Hawkins said he had not heard from MLB, but added: “I’m fighting” any disciplinary action.

“I have my own opinion, and he had his opinion,” he said. “He thought I was showing him up. I saw [ Alex Rodriguez] do way worse [when I was in the American League]. He undressed the umpire. Whatever he said, it was in his face. It’s America, dude.”

Hey, anyone that says “It’s America, dude.” SHOULD be investigated…at least as a fringy part of the Marsh Chapel Experiment, anyway.

Repoz Posted: July 30, 2009 at 11:08 AM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros, cubs

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Downtown Bookie Posted: July 30, 2009 at 12:49 PM (#3273488)
I saw [ Alex Rodriguez] do way worse [when I was in the American League]. He undressed the umpire.


Isn't this type of innuendo about AROD ever going to go away?

DB
   2. Craig Calcaterra Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:08 PM (#3273508)
"It's America, dude" is going to be my answer to pretty much anything anyone asks me today.
   3. RJ in TO Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:12 PM (#3273514)
"It's America, dude" is going to be my answer to pretty much anything anyone asks me today.


It'll be mine too. This may cause my co-workers a significant amount of confusion.
   4. villageidiom Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:13 PM (#3273515)
Clearly Paul Sullivan is acting here as a media mouthpiece for the Red Sox front office. Take this as a sign that the Red Sox are trying to pick up Hawkins, and are looking to tear down public opinion of Hawkins in Houston so he'll be available for a low price.
   5. Spahn Insane Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:16 PM (#3273516)
...Asked by Houston reporters whether he regretted the remark, Hawkins replied: “Why would I?”

Hawkins said he had not heard from MLB, but added: “I’m fighting” any disciplinary action.


Here, I thought he'd just attribute his comments to the stress of pitching in front of all those racist Cub fans.
   6. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:19 PM (#3273520)
My recollection of the game was that Everitt was being very generous calling low strikes to pitchers on both sides. It surprised the hell out of me when Hawkins was kicked out.
   7. strummer Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:26 PM (#3273527)
Clearly Paul Sullivan is acting here as a media mouthpiece for the Red Sox front office. Take this as a sign that the Red Sox are trying to pick up Hawkins, and are looking to tear down public opinion of Hawkins in Houston so he'll be available for a low price.


It's clear to Omar and me that Paul Sullivan wants a position in the Astros' bullpen.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:31 PM (#3273533)
LaTroy Hawkins is still in MLB? Huh. Who'd thunk it.
   9. base ball chick Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:32 PM (#3273535)
the umps have most definitely been calling balls and strikes QUITE different for the cubs than they are the astros

- not just my own bias - i checked with gameday

and from all the strikes the astros pitchers threw which were called balls, i'd say hawkins is dead right

(oh yeah - and i am NOT saying that moehler and hampton didn't suck donkey ovaries, because they did)
   10. WillYoung Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:34 PM (#3273537)
I didn't realize that LaTroy Hawkins has been hanging out with Snot Boogie.
   11. base ball chick Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:37 PM (#3273542)
strummer

if paulie can pitch, he's welcome

snapper,

yeah. i hear tell that he did something different after joining the astros.
- probably "throw some strikes which are not unmoving FB down the middle"
   12. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: July 30, 2009 at 01:44 PM (#3273554)
yeah. i hear tell that he did something different after joining the astros.
- probably "throw some strikes which are not unmoving FB down the middle"


He was throwing BP when he was with the Yanks.
   13. Andere Richtingen Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:13 PM (#3273585)
- not just my own bias - i checked with gameday

Sorry bbc, but you'll have to do better than that to convince me that it's something other than your own bias. Not necessarily an Astros fan bias, but a bias.
   14. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:21 PM (#3273593)
Wait, you can get in trouble with the league for questioning the integrity of an MLB official? What's the discipline? Being slapped with a glove and challenged to a duel for impugning the honor of the gentle umpire?
   15. Tricky Dick Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:26 PM (#3273601)
Hawkins surprised me when he first started pitching for the Astros last year. The first few times he came into the game and threw fastballs at 96 or 97, I thought, "whoa, this guy was supposed to be finished." I like Hawkins. He is super competitive on the mound, and he will take on whatever role he is given, without complaint. He also doesn't seem to be afraid of any hitters.

My take on the Hawkins incident is that the umpire was very thin skinned (which seems more common nowadays) and was too quick to throw him out of the game. On the other hand, Hawkins has to expect that the umpires are going to react to the "frustration" gestures at balls/strike calls. But Hawkins was back on the mound and telling the ump he was ready to pitch when he was tossed. Hawkins had gotten an MRI for back pain earlier in the day in Houston, and arrived in Chicago after the game had already started. The back pain turns out to be a painful case of shingles, which doesn't go away when he is sent in to pitch. I suspect that Hawkins was having a bad day, too, and was in a bad mood. After the game, Hawkins was DL'd for the shingles.
   16. Moses Taylor, aka Hambone Fakenameington Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:31 PM (#3273605)
Wait, you can get in trouble with the league for questioning the integrity of an MLB official? What's the discipline? Being slapped with a glove and challenged to a duel for impugning the honor of the gentle umpire?

Sure. There's a big difference between saying he was wrong and saying he wanted the Cubs to win. I'm guessing just a fine, and probably not that big.

he will take on whatever role he is given, without complaint.

And Twins and Cubs fans will tell you he'll be terrible at closing...
   17. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 30, 2009 at 02:33 PM (#3273607)
i am NOT saying that moehler and hampton didn't suck donkey ovaries


That's just great, just absolutely brilliant really.

MLB should drop the hammer on Hawkins in my opinion. This is far and away the most serious charge you can levy against an umpire, that he is willfully favoring one team over another. Letting that kind of thing even get suggested is harmful to the sport. It is commonly suggested (even pre-Donaghy) in the NBA and that hurts their credibility.

(and obviously if an umpire were doing that he should at the very least be fired on the spot and if there is a crime to charge someone with for rigging a sporting event the ump should be charged with that as well.)
   18. Harris Posted: July 30, 2009 at 03:12 PM (#3273642)
- not just my own bias - i checked with gameday


please supply link to evidence for 3rd party assessment.
   19. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: July 30, 2009 at 03:25 PM (#3273651)
MLB should drop the hammer on Hawkins in my opinion. This is far and away the most serious charge you can levy against an umpire, that he is willfully favoring one team over another. Letting that kind of thing even get suggested is harmful to the sport. It is commonly suggested (even pre-Donaghy) in the NBA and that hurts their credibility.

(and obviously if an umpire were doing that he should at the very least be fired on the spot and if there is a crime to charge someone with for rigging a sporting event the ump should be charged with that as well.)


Sure, it's a serious charge, but to impose speech codes and fine players for even suggesting it? Do players really not say this stuff all the time? I think somebody said it at every game I played in high school, and it certainly didn't damage the league or anything. That's crazy. And what if Hawkins is right? I mean, he's likely not, but the guy's got a right to an opinion, misguided as it might be. Something about this just rubs me the wrong way. It's America dude.
   20. cardsfanboy Posted: July 30, 2009 at 03:29 PM (#3273654)
Is this Russia? c'mon what is wrong with opinioning that an ump may have had a bias. I think the NFL is ridiculous in the fact that they have rules that basically say any complaint about the ump in the press, even legitimate complaints is fineable. This is ridiculous if Hawkins gets fined.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: July 30, 2009 at 03:30 PM (#3273655)
This is far and away the most serious charge you can levy against an umpire, that he is willfully favoring one team over another. Letting that kind of thing even get suggested is harmful to the sport. It is commonly suggested (even pre-Donaghy) in the NBA and that hurts their credibility.


More harming to the sport is when the officials ARE willfully favoring one team, like in the NBA.

IMO, what hurts the NBA's credibility is that it is not suggested enough, that they kind of swept the whole thing away.

Talking about fixed games hurts credibility WAY less than actually fixing games.
   22. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: July 30, 2009 at 03:31 PM (#3273656)
Sure, it's a serious charge, but to impose speech codes and fine players for even suggesting it? Do players really not say this stuff all the time?


It doesn't seem like it is said very often at all. I'm all for letting guys complain about the quality of umpiring but this is beyond what I feel is acceptable. I think this is the sort of thing that just by virtue of being hinted at gravely impacts the public perception of the sport as a fair competition and needs to be stopped promptly.

As I said in the previous post, if Hawkins is right the umpire should be fired and charged with any applicable crime.

To me the integrity of the sport is the single most important thing sports have going for them. Guys are going to do whatever they can to get an edge, this isn't Sunday school, but once umps start being accused of favoring a team over another or players are throwing games it's nothing more than WWE.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: July 30, 2009 at 03:39 PM (#3273663)
It is commonly suggested (even pre-Donaghy) in the NBA and that hurts their credibility.


What hurts the NBA's credibility is that it's always been believable.
   24. Brian Norton Posted: July 30, 2009 at 03:39 PM (#3273664)
This might be the problem with Hawkins accusing an ump of bias.

And using "It's America, dude" is really out of fashion right now. The latest trend is apologising for being American. {ducks for cover}

-Bri
   25. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: July 30, 2009 at 03:59 PM (#3273686)
On the "all crybaby team" -- LaTroy definitely has a spot in the bullpen... perhaps as the primary setup man, if not the closer.
   26. SUBJ is staring out his window, waiting for spring Posted: July 30, 2009 at 04:04 PM (#3273694)
Hawkins can be the 8th inning RHP on that team; Kent Mercker already has the LHP spot sewn up.
   27. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: July 30, 2009 at 04:06 PM (#3273696)
I think this is the sort of thing that just by virtue of being hinted at gravely impacts the public perception of the sport as a fair competition and needs to be stopped promptly.


See, I just don't agree that it gravely impacts public perception of the sport as fair. The public can watch the games and decide for itself if it's fair or not, and they can take whatever Latroy Hawkins - with his very obvious and upfront biases - says with a grain of salt. Maybe I'm giving the public too much credit, but if it's obvious that the umps aren't biased one way or the other, then nobody is going to care what Latroy Hawkins says.
   28. SUBJ is staring out his window, waiting for spring Posted: July 30, 2009 at 04:15 PM (#3273706)
the umps have most definitely been calling balls and strikes QUITE different for the cubs than they are the astros


Anecdotal evidence only: there were 3 pitches yesterday, and a couple of more on Tuesday night, where I thought, "wow...Cubs got a break there". I specifically remember one to Fukudome where he took an obvious strike three, I let out a little hiss of breath and began to shake my head...and the ump called it a ball.

I went to look that specific pitch up on Gameday and couldn't find it, so maybe I'm imagining it...although in his 4th inning at-bat on Tuesday, Gameday shows three pitches thrown just off the plate, pretty much overlapping each other. Two were called strikes and one was a ball.

I think this is just a usual case of "umpire suckage" vs. "umpire bias".
   29. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 30, 2009 at 04:15 PM (#3273707)
My take on the Hawkins incident is that the umpire was very thin skinned (which seems more common nowadays) and was too quick to throw him out of the game.

I thought so, too, when it first happened. But the replay shows that the ump warned Hawkins two or three times to knock off his complaining. He did not, so he got tossed.
   30. Tricky Dick Posted: July 30, 2009 at 04:30 PM (#3273724)

And Twins and Cubs fans will tell you he'll be terrible at closing..


I am aware of that background. That is why I was mildly surprised that Hawkins performed pretty well for the Astros as closer when Valverde was out with an injury. But my point was more general; Hawkins doesn't complain whether he is used as a RH platoon specialist, set up man, closer, middle reliever, or coming in with runners on base, etc. It seems like many relievers take offense or sulk if they are given a change in role. If anything, Hawkins is too willing to pitch, even when he is sore or fatigued. My primary concern about Hawkins is that he was on course to be overused and I expected him to run down by September. Maybe the DL stint for shingles will solve that problem.
   31. Anonymous Observer Posted: July 30, 2009 at 04:31 PM (#3273727)
It's America dude.


This is our country.
   32. karkovice squad (0OPS) Posted: July 30, 2009 at 05:53 PM (#3273959)
Is this Russia? c'mon what is wrong with opinioning that an ump may have had a bias.


In Russia, the balls and strikes call the umpire.
   33. Roger Cedeno's Spleen Posted: July 30, 2009 at 06:20 PM (#3274022)
After the game, Hawkins was DL'd for the shingles.


Number 1 starter hurt.
Best hitter on the DL.
Setup man heading to the DL, with maybe a hefty suspension waiting for him when he gets back.

Oh, joy...
   34. UCCF Posted: July 30, 2009 at 06:38 PM (#3274076)
"It's America, dude"

Strangely enough, this was the first draft ending to Chinatown.
   35. Zonk is a Doppleclapper Posted: July 30, 2009 at 06:45 PM (#3274091)
Number 1 starter hurt.
Best hitter on the DL.
Setup man heading to the DL, with maybe a hefty suspension waiting for him when he gets back.

Oh, joy...


Hey, them's the rules if you want to be a contender for in the NL Central. You must be beset with substantial injury issues.

I would say, though -- can Roy Oswalt really still be called the ace of the Houston staff? By any given metric -- even the silly ones sportswriters use -- Wandy has been far and away the best pitcher on the Astros. If not for his little June funk, he'd probably be somewhere in the win-place-show CY mix.

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