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Get the Belt

Lance Lynn becomes first MLB pitcher ejected for throwing his belt at an umpire during a substance check in the Statcast era

August 19, 2021

David Banks

Lance Lynn is not the kind of guy you pick a bar fight with. You don’t make eye contact, you don’t talk to his girl, and if he’s watching Purdue-Indiana, you sure as hell don’t ask the bartender to put the futbol match on. Unfortunately Nic Lentz—the third base umpire in Wednesday night’s game between the Oakland Athletics and Chicago White Sox—didn’t get the memo.

After the fourth inning, with just one run to his name, Lynn left the mound and headed for the dugout, as one does. At the last second, however, Lentz decided he wanted to check for some sticky stuff. By that point Lynn had already reached the top of the dugout stairs, so instead of stand around and drag his feet waiting for some guy who doesn’t have the damn decency to be on time, Lynn left his hat and glove on the railing and headed down to get some work done. Lentz arrived and began inspecting Lynn's articles when something came flying out of the dugout at him …

As you've probably already guessed, that’s Lynn’s not-insignificant belt being tossed in the direction of the umpire, who in turn tossed Lynn from the ballgame, making him the first pitcher to be ejected for throwing his belt at an umpire during a substance check in the Statcast era. An historic night for baseball. An historic night for America.

Obviously without the benefit of slow motion, it’s tough to tell what actually happened, leading some to speculate that Lynn had been ejected for a substance-related issue. After the game, however, Lynn was quick to clear things up, saying, “he’s [Lentz] late getting over there. I’m trying to get some work done to go back out for the fifth and, obviously, I hurt his feelings. He threw me out because I tossed my belt. I said, ‘Well if you were over there on time we wouldn’t have this problem.’”

May we kindly remind you: Lance Lynn is not the kind of guy you pick a bar fight with.