Yankees manager Aaron Boone ejected after fan mouths off to home plate umpire


New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone, right, argues with umpire Hunter Wendelstedt during the first inning of the baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium Monday, April 22, 2024, in New York. Boone was ejected from the game. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected from his team’s game against the Oakland Athletics on Monday for doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.

This isn’t a “gotcha” scenario, or a bait-and-switch. Boone did nothing to get ejected by home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt besides standing in the dugout. Unfortunately, he was standing directly underneath a mouthy fan who may have sounded an awful like Boone.

The whole incident started during just the second at-bat of the game. With right fielder Tyler Nevin batting, Boone had been jawing at Wendelstedt, which Wendelstedt wasn’t having. He warned Boone that he’d be ejected if he said anything else. Then, barely 10 seconds later, Wendelstedt ejected Boone, who went totally nuclear.

It was obvious from the video Boone hadn’t said anything, so why did Wendelstedt eject him? A slo-mo replay revealed a fan sitting above the Yankees dugout yelled something at Wendelstedt, who thought it was Boone.

It’s also possible that Wendelstedt knew it wasn’t Boone and didn’t care. When Boone insisted to Wendelstedt that he hadn’t said anything, Wendelstedt responded: “I don’t care who said it. You’re gone!”

When an all-timer of an ejection happens, you know it, and this was an all-time ejection. There was drama. There was rage. There was the traditional avoidance of blame on the part of the umpire. It’s a classic example of the manager vs. umpire dynamic, in which the umpire exercises his infallible and unquestionable power whenever and wherever he wants with absolutely zero accountability or consequences of any kind, and the manager has no choice but to take it.

Wendelstedt is a second generation umpire who has been on the field since 1998. He isn’t as well known as guys like C.B. Bucknor or Angel Hernandez, but knowing an umpire’s name off the top of your head isn’t necessarily great — you only know them because they’re memorably bad at their jobs. Unfortunately, Wendelstedt may have entered the same rarefied air as Bucknor and Hernandez on Monday afternoon, because no one will forget him after that display.





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