Umpire John Libka just couldn’t contain his joy when it came to giving St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Nolan Arenado the ol’ heave-ho.
The Cardinals were in Chicago taking on the Cubs. Arenado was facing a full count when Cubs pitcher Luke Farrell fired a pitch low and outside. He checked his swing, but Libka ruled that he hadn’t pulled back enough.
Arenado was hot under the collar.
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol came to his third baseman’s defense but it was too late.
Umpires take a lot of grief, and few things seem as satisfying for them as being able to toss an irate player. In this instance, Libka let the joy sneak out, if only momentarily.
Arenado may have had a case because the angle from the side shows that it was a close call. The Cardinals ended up losing that game 7-1, but got their revenge the next day, topping the Cubs 8-3.
Umpires have been getting a lot of attention this year with increasing calls for Automated Ball-Strike Systems, or Robo-Umps, to be brought to Major League Baseball.
Hopefully, the human element of an umpire throwing someone out of the game never gets the robot treatment.
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