Lane Thomas Ejected From Game for ‘Looking’ at Umpire

The bar to earn an ejection from an MLB umpire seems to be getting lower.

Washington Nationals right fielder Lane Thomas was stunned to his core when he was booted from the game in the Comerica Park series finale for the egregious infraction of “staring at the umpire.”

Casey Mize, the Detroit Tigers’ pitcher, delivered a 96-mph fastball to Thomas in the top of the sixth inning on a 2-2  count. The ump punched him out, calling it strike three. Thomas glanced back at home plate umpire Emil Jimenez, clearly disagreeing with the call. That is when he was ejected from the game before ever uttering a word.

Thomas was overheard by the on-field microphones saying, “Are you sh**ing me?”

Even the newscasters from the Nationals were taken aback by the bizarre ejection.

Color commentator Kevin Frandsen said they have video and audio that can confirm the batter never said a word.

It’s been a long-held unwritten rule that bat slamming or similar aggressive physical protestations are prohibited; it usually takes a few “magic words” to be tossed from a game. But umpires are becoming increasingly thin-skinned.

During Monday’s midday game against the Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected before even one out was recorded.

While Boone chewed gum and looked out onto the field, Wendelstedt suddenly tossed the Yankees manager. Wendelstedt thought he heard something. 

Boone leaped out of the dugout and gestured toward the stands, telling the umpire that whatever he heard came from a spectator in the stands. Wendelstedt, however, can be heard stating, “I don’t care.”

A replay clearly shows a fan wearing a blue sweater, glasses, and a cap shouting at Wendelstedt.

Even though the umpire should never have ejected the player, once he did, there was no going back.

Umpires may be on edge because more and more people are calling for umpires to be replaced by technology.

Already, their work behind the plate is scrutinized in real time, showing fans at home whether the umpire made an accurate call of the balls and strikes.