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#pounditSunday, May 19, 2024

Umpire Hunter Wendelstedt has ridiculous explanation for Aaron Boone ejection

Aaron Boone glares ahead

May 6, 2023; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA;New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone (17) looks on against the Tampa Bay Rays ]during the fifth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt offered a fairly ridiculous explanation of his decision to eject New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone from Monday’s game.

Boone was ejected five pitches into Monday’s game, with video suggesting he was tossed because of something a fan near the dugout said. Speaking to a pool reporter after the game, Wendelstedt disputed that, claiming instead that he heard someone in the “far end” of the dugout make another comment after he had warned Boone. Thus, Wendelstedt decided to eject Boone, because the manager is responsible for whatever happens in the dugout.

“I know what Aaron was saying that it was a fan above the dugout. That’s fine and dandy. There were plenty of fans that were yelling at me before I called a pitch till the end of the game,” Wendelstedt said. “What happened was, it wasn’t him, it wasn’t over where (bench coach Brad) Ausmus was. It wasn’t where the coaching staff and Aaron (were), but Aaron Boone is the manager of the New York Yankees and is responsible for everything that happens in that dugout.

“In my opinion, the cheap shot came towards the far end. So instead of me being aggressive and walking down to the far end and trying to figure out who might have said it, I don’t want to eject a ballplayer. We need to keep them in the game. That’s what the fans pay to see. Aaron Boone runs the Yankees. He got ejected.”

Essentially, Wendelstedt was totally dismissive of what Boone said, not to mention what video appeared to show. He openly admits that Boone was not responsible for whatever is said, but ejected Boone anyway because in his mind, the comment came from the dugout, and Boone is responsible for anything that happens in the dugout.

Perhaps Wendelstedt really did hear something from the other end of the dugout. Even if he did, turning around and tossing Boone is an odd choice. The video, however, certainly suggests he might not have heard what he thought he did.

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