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Baseball Ejection Rules

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The Umpire

baseball umpire

The umpire has the power, and personal discretion to eject a player, manager or coach. Umpires in Major League Baseball are appointed by the League President. The umpires are responsible for the conduct of the game being aligned with the current MLB Rulebook. They are tasked with ensuring the game is played to those standards and keeping order on the baseball field.

Rule Eight in the MLB Official Rulebook is written solely about umpires' power. According to Rule Eight, each umpire is a representative of the league and of professional baseball. Under Rule Eight, umpires are given the power and are required to uphold every rule listed in the Official Baseball Rulebook. When the line has been crossed and someone has interfered with the umpire administering these rules, that is an automatic ejection.

Rule Eight also gives each umpire the power to rule on any point not specifically covered in these rules. Umpires are not restricted to ruling on player, coach or manager. In section e of Rule Eight, it states that an umpire has the authorization from MLB to eject groundskeepers, ushers, photographers, media personnel who are not supposed to be on the field or are interfering with the game.

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MLB Ejections: "You're Outta' Here!"

There are quite a few violations that will result in the umpire ejecting a player, coach or manager from the game. Once ejected, the player, coach, or manager has two options:

  1. Immediately go to the team's clubhouse. The clubhouse is connected to the dugout and it is expected that no one will be hearing or seeing that individual again.
  2. Change into street clothes and either leave the park or take a seat in the grandstand, far away from the vicinity of his team's bench or bullpen.

After being ejected, the individual may be subjected to additional penalties that will be determined by his League President.

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Ways to Get Ejected

There are nine ways to get ejected; four are based in Rule Six: improper play, illegal action, and misconduct. Those rules clearly state that it is forbidden for any player, manager, coach, trainer or any other team staff, whether it be from the bench or on the field to:

  1. Encourage in any way any kind of demonstration from the fans. Negatively talk about the opposing team, the umpire or the umpire's ruling, or a fan. Call a timeout or say any sort of language while the play is still live that could distract the player's focus on the field.
  2. Make intentional contact with the umpire in any way. Any contact with the umpire would not only result in an immediate ejection but most likely a suspension as well.
  3. Position themselves in the batter's line of vision, or intentionally distract the batter in some way.
  4. Partake in unsportsmanlike conduct or language i.e cursing.
  5. Openly express displeasure with the umpire's ruling. If this happens, the umpire will first give a warning. If the behavior continues, the players partaking in the behavior will be ejected from the bench and directed to the team's clubhouse.

The next three other ways to be ejected fall under violations to Rule Eight: it is forbidden for the umpire, player, manager, coach, trainer or any other team staff, whether it be from the bench or on the field to:

  1. Object to the umpire's ruling on unsportsmanlike conduct or language.
  2. Leave their position from the base, bench, coaches box, field or anywhere within the stadium to come and argue with the umpire on their ruling on balls, strikes, or half swings vs. full swings. This behavior will result in a warning and if the individual continues to protest the call they will be ejected.
  3. Return to the field after ejection, if in an umpire's judgment, the manager knew the player was ejected and should not have returned.

The final two ways to receive an ejection have to do with player's action:

  1. A player's bat handle is often covered or treated with material or substances to improve their grip. If that material or substance is beyond 18 inches from the end of the bat, it is in violation of the rulebook and must be removed from the game. An umpire has the authority to inspect a player's equipment, and if he discovers that the material or substance on the grip is in violation of the rules, it is grounds for ejecting the player from the game.
  2. A pitcher is unnecessarily delaying the game; a warning is given. If the pitcher continues the behavior, they will be ejected for continuing to delay the game.
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