Major League Baseball has suspended New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone one game for his run-in with umpire Brennan Miller Thursday afternoon. After getting ejected, the second-year manager got his money’s worth, repeatedly referring to his hitters as “savages” in the batter’s box.
It was the type of behavior every player would like to see from their skipper. And honestly, I found the language relatively tame. There were a few expletives but Boone never said anything personally offensive toward Miller, choosing instead to criticize the performance, not the performer.
One has to think most ejections are equally as salty and spicy. That’s why it’s weird to see Boone suspended, even if only for a single game. And it opens up the questions: does he get punished if one, microphones don’t pick up what he’s saying and two, if the video doesn’t go viral?
MLB said in a statement that Boone “received a one-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for his inappropriate actions, including contact with the home plate umpire.”
It seems like the answer to both questions is no. The first thing is just bad luck. The second, though, may be reflective of Major League Baseball’s complete obliviousness when it comes to growing the game.
I love the sport. It also has real issues for the future. We see the powers-that-be trying everything from a pitch clock to a batter minimum for relievers to automated strike zones. Then you see a clamp down after one of the more enjoyable, shareable, and viral baseball clips makes the rounds.
That Boone video was everywhere. It’s tough to remember a play from this season that has been as ubiquitous on social media. It was fun. Everyone was having fun, save for the umpire.
Look, the ejection was warranted and the shower earned. But this is overkill. More than that, this is killjoy. It’s finding any bit of fun and stifling it.
Here’s hoping Boone and MLB learned a valuable lesson. Clicks and shares come with a cost. Never do things fans might like.