Umpire Paul Schrieber Apologizes


Umpire Paul Schrieber apologized Thursday for making contact with the Tigers’ Magglio Ordonez during a confrontation Wednesday night.

“In yesterday’s game, after I called Magglio Ordonez out on strikes, I inadvertently placed my hand on his back and ushered him away from home plate so that I would not have to eject him for arguing balls and strikes,” Schrieber said, reading from a prepared statement. “I should not have placed my hands on him, period. For doing so, I apologize to both Magglio Ordonez and the Detroit Tigers.”

And some backfill from Leyland and Ordonez:

Both Leyland and Ordonez said Thursday that they did not believe Schrieber’s act had malicious intent.

“I don’t have a problem,” Ordonez said. “I think when you’re in the game, the excitement [takes over]. I don’t think he had any intention to push me. He didn’t push. He went like [hand out], ‘Hey.’ You can’t do that. But like I said, he didn’t have any bad intentions, like [pushing], ‘Get out of here.'”

Said Leyland: “I don’t think in any way, shape or form that the umpire was getting intentionally physical with him. I don’t believe that there was any malice or intention of hitting him or anything like that. I think the umpire was just saying, ‘Get out of here,’ and put his hand on him and started pushing. He can’t do that. He made a mistake.”

No word if there will be any discipline. Based on what else has happened this week, however, we may expect a $750 fine or something.

My original thoughts on the matter are here.

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  1. devil_fingers said...

    Wow. Maturity and perspective all around.

    I know the answer to this, but, rhetorically, why can’t these same people display the same maturity and perspective during the game itself?

  2. chuck said...

    there was NOTHING inadvertent about what he did. i saw the game. i saw the call and i saw him PURPOSEFULLY place his hand on ordonez back and push him aside.  unbelievable that he would say anything differently!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Derek said...

    I don’t understand the hubbub.  Both player and manager agree there was no malicious intent.  That makes me wonder why Leyland was so hell-bent on getting thrown out about it, but I digress.  There are umpires in the league who would’ve happily ejected Ordonez for his little passive-aggressive “I’m not arguing” overlong stand-and-stare job, would would have a) gone completely unquestioned and b) been a much greater abuse.

    The no-contact rules are there to protect the umpires from physical intimidation by the players, not vice versa.  That those rules should necessarily be bidirectionally symmetric in terms of tolerance or enforcement does not logically follow in any way that’s obvious to me.

    People are tired of game officials showboating and abusing their power in all sports.  This guy tried to do the right thing: keep the guy in the game and keep things moving.  I don’t understand why people want to take money out of his pocket for making an obviously innocent mistake in the process.

  4. Richard in Dallas said...

    I appreciate the sentiment involved here, and maybe a mitigating circumstance warrants a mitigated punishment, but punishment there must be.  Maybe a $250 fine, a 1 game suspension, and go through a 4 hour player sensitivity class.  GIVE ME A BREAK!!! The guy took a non-violent path to keeping someone from losing their cool, the ability to finish the game, and a bunch of money!  And then he made a public apology for it!  Am I sticking up for an umpire?  Better lace up your skates and head to hell, cause I don’t know how long the ice will last….

  5. Kelly said...

    Derek—Leyland knew that the game was going to last 5 hours and figured he’d get a jump on the whirlpool in the clubhouse.

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