The Loop

Josh Donaldson, lunatic, managed to get ejected after hitting a home run

September 18, 2020

Jonathan Daniel

Here's something I don't think I've ever seen before: A player getting tossed on his home run trot. It happened in Thursday night's Twins-White Sox game, when Minnesota's Josh Donaldson kicked dirt all over home plate after hitting a go-ahead solo shot in the sixth inning, earning the instant heave from umpire Dan Bellino.

D0naldson's immediate beef was a called strike by Bellino in that at-bat, in which Donaldson thought he checked his swing on an outside pitch. When he asked Bellino whether the strike was for the pitch or the swing, Bellino got upset and the two had a brief jawing session. (Earlier in the game, Donaldson had also been upset at another called strike on a ball clearly out of the zone.) Rocco Baldelli, Twins manager, managed to calm things down, but when Donaldson went yard two pitches later, he had not forgotten. At the end of his trot, he slowed down to drag dirt all over the plate—a universal sign of umpire disrespect—and Bellino tossed him.

Watch the pitch in question, followed by the home run and the ejection:

A closer look at the dirt-kicking:

Who's the hero, and who's the villain? Well, Donaldson was technically right about both pitches, and the concept of carrying over that petty grievance even after you hit a home run is funny enough that we'll give him the nod. Also, after the check swing, Donaldson asked a fair question, and Bellino escalated. All told, the dirt-kicking was hilarious, and Bellino comes off as thin-skinned.

Gloriously, there is a Jomboy breakdown of the whole thing. If you're not already following him, do so, and watch the clip below particularly for the audio of the umpire telling him to "get the **** outta here!"