Last night, JP Howell was ejected in the eighth inning after giving up a 3-run home run. This came after several questionable borderline pitches that did not go Howell’s way.

After Howell gave up the home run, he almost immediately slammed his glove down in disgust. Technically, that alone was an ejectable offense. The home plate umpire did not see it, and the umpires may have just chalked it up to the “heat of the moment,” and “no harm, no foul.”

But then, when the umpire throws Howell a replacement ball, he first smacks the ball to the ground. He then picked up the ball and tossed it aside.

Did Howell have a right to be upset? Absolutely. Did Howell deserve to be ejected? A thousand times yes.

We have seen hundreds of pitchers get squeezed. But we have never seen a pitcher act like that after it happened. But, hey, we were willing to chalk it up to emotions..

But then Howell opened his mouth after the game. You can see the entire clip below. Here are a few of the more idiotic comments…

On the ball that Howell tossed aside:

Yeah, it wasn’t good enough. The ball he gave me wasn’t good enough. I wanted a new ball. He took it personal.

If you watch the clip below, you will see that this isn’t one of those Joe Maddon tongue-in-cheek comments. It appears that he is actually trying to pass this BS off to the press.

On deserving a better strikezone:

The pitches I made. You make those pitches. You make a lot of money [making those pitches]. You should deserve that call.

Hey JP, the batters make a lot of money also. And while the pitches did look like strikes, it wasn’t like they were down the middle of the plate. They were borderline. Tonight you didn’t get the calls. Another night you will.

In the meantime, grow up.

 
 

52 Comments

  1. Doritoman says:

    The only good thing about this post is the GIF. I hope you only right these for fun, because you aren’t making a leep towards any sort of career in writing.

  2. Rob says:

    This is the second time I have seen JP act like a teenager who is a sore loser. He likes to portray himself as the cool California surfer dude that isn’t phased by anything, but he is basically a spoiled brat in need of a haircut.

    Is it just me, or do the Rays have a really hard time against guys who shouldn’t be in the majors? Westbrook is arguably the worst pitcher in MLB and the Rays were only able to scratch three hits off of him. Earlier in the season a pitcher with 7 years in the majors without a shutout throws one against the Rays. If a hitter is going to hit three homeruns all year, you better believe that one of them will be against the Rays.

    One final thought – if you don’t stop playing all of the crappy videos, .gif animations and advertisements on every single page, people will stop coming to this blog – it is annoying.

    • Joe says:

      It’s gotta be that he’s irritated that he can’t find himself out there because he was that laid back guy back in 08 and 09. He would yell after a HR but that was the beggining and end of it. Now, he really loses his head.

    • Andy says:

      “arguably the worst pitcher in the majors”

      He is the definition of a league-average pitcher, and only arguably the worst in MLB if you’re looking to make a losing argument.

  3. Joe says:

    What I don’t get is he was interviewed in the clubhouse and it seemed like he was manning up that he was wrong and that he can’t do that but then this clip, he’s calling out the umps….

  4. Tone says:

    I thought it was a funny post-game interview. After watching the atrocity that is Rays offense-at-home, I needed something to laugh at. For me, seeing emotion from a player was refreshing, even though he should not have been pitching in that spot in the first place. Can we see some changes in this roster? Please? I already know the front office has passed on this season, but would it kill them to let us see some new players.

  5. MJ says:

    I hope JP realizes 2 things:
    1. he acted like a bitch tonight
    2. he had some of the best stuff he’s had all season. the curve and fastball were moving nicely for the most part. dont get away from that.

  6. petethehat says:

    Why was he gettin squeezed…? Because all Rays pitchers get squeezed…and you guys criticizing Howell go out there n pitch a couple BIG LEAGUE innings n see how you control your temper when the strike zone is all over the place. Some of you people are so freakin’ narrowminded you can’t put yourselves in someone else’s position…if your that freakin’ stupid don’t comment!!!

  7. petethehat says:

    Tone, your a moron…the front office has not and would not pass on this season…we still have the best pitching in the major leagues (other than maybe Philly) who would give up on that, especially trying to get a new Stadium deal…another narrowminded ass.

    • Tone says:

      Nice, you are a classy guy. Can you explain Andy Sonnanstine’s starts and continued presence on the roster? Stu Sternberg himself said he was completely surprised the team was in contention this far into the season; said during Tod Kalas interview nonetheless. Any team looking to compete would not have started Andy Sonnanstine as many times as they did if they were realistically competing; margin is already slim for AL East.

      • Derek says:

        Thats not true at all. Tim Wakefield has seen how many starts? How about Dice-k? The Yanks signed Garcia and Colon over the offseason, people laughed, a lot. How has that turned out????

        • Daredevil says:

          Are you really comparing Sonny’s history to the other pitchers you mention? You are making yourself look like an idiot. Before this year started, Sonny had more than proven that he was not good enough to start in the major leagues anymore.

          • Derek says:

            Oh, we are moving to insults now???

            I wasn’t comparing anybody’s history… But that is a solid job of reading comprehension. I was merely saying, that nobody expected those guys to do anything this year, history or not. And a few have done very well for themselves. Sonny did just fine in the spot starter roll last year, or have you forgotten? He failed at it this year. How you can claim that that is a sign that the FO is doing everything they can to sabotage the team is beyond me. They sent down Dan Johnson in favor of the better all around player. They sent down McGee to hopefully regain his form. They sent down Lopez. The fact is, that the FO thinks that the guys on the 25 man roster are the best available guys. You dont, but you dont know anything.

          • Daredevil says:

            Okay Derek, I apologize for the low blow, but you come off like you know everything while the rest of us know nothing. Sonnanstine pitched respectably IN RELIEF last year. His spot starts were VERY POOR. Go look at the results if you don’t believe me. Sometimes the team will hang onto guys as a financial reason as opposed to best 25 players.

    • Daredevil says:

      I have to side with Tone on this one. You only need to consider that the train wreck known as Kelly Shoppach is still on the team. I think it’s because he had a guaranteed contract for $3 million this year. While it’s true we would have to pay him what’s remaining if we release him, if the Rays really wanted to win this year, he would be gone and Lobaton would be up from AAA. Jose is a very good defender, knows our pitchers, and is hitting over .300 with some power, including over .400 against lefties, which is Shoppach’s role. Those who say Shoppach needs to catch Shields due to their chemistry overlook the fact that Jaso has caught 3 of Shields’s better starts this year. Also, continuing to let Brignac hit when the team is starving for offense. Also Sonnanstine like Tone pointed out. What more proof do you need that management is letting this season slip away without lifting a finger?

      • Derek says:

        Lobaton is worthless.

        • Daredevil says:

          If Lobaton is worthless as you claim, why does management, whom you hold in such high esteem, keep him on the 40-man roster for the past 2 years? Why did they sign him away from San Diego 2 years ago? I maintain that Shoppach is garbage, and we should at least try Lobaton, and if he is in fact not good enough, try someone else. Why keep trotting out a black hole in our lineup when we are contending for a playoff spot?

          • Derek says:

            Again with the cheap shots.

            He is a solid defensive catcher, and they dont want to lose him. Probably because of his ability to handle the young guys coming up the pipeline, not because they think his bat can play in the majors. Shoppach has been very solid on defense this year, and knows all of the pitchers by this point of the season. He hits every once and a while, and thats fine with me.

          • Daredevil says:

            While Shoppach is fine defensively, we need offense! If we had a strong offense, we could perhaps get by with Kelly. But he puts such a drag on an already struggling offense. When Shoppach was injured for 2 months early last year, did our pitchers falter while throwing to a catcher they barely knew (Jaso). They didn’t miss a beat, and so it is over-rated the benefit of Shoppach knowing the pitchers well, or having good chemistry with them. Two of Shields’s best starts this year were caught by Jaso, so the pairing of Kelly with Shields is unnecessary. That is, it shouldn’t be a reason to keep hanging onto Shoppach. Of players who have more than 100 at bats, Shoppach has the highest percentage of swings & misses. Against righties he is hitting .113. He just is too much of an offensive liability on a struggling offensive team.

    • Derek says:

      Hellickson, Niemann, and Davis have all had below average years…. There are several pitching staffs that have done a much better job than this one. Combine that with the suspect bullpen, and you have a third place team.

  8. Joe says:

    People on “other” sites are calling for his release or demotion. Why? Because he went insane? I guess they didn’t see how that curve ball was moving tonight before he lost his temper. Coming off a good outing, he should of had an even better one and got screwed, why would we release that guy?

    If you wanna get rid of a RP, look only at Sonnanstine.

  9. I have no problem with him getting pissed after what happened. You can’t give major league hitters extra strikes or major league teams extra outs. That WAS strike three. Period. The inning should’ve been over. I was pitcher when I was younger. Although I wouldn’t have threw down my glove and had a tantrum on the mound, I sure would have let the ump know he blew the game on the missed call after the inning was over. If Howell would have waited till after the 3rd out (or seemingly 4th/5th out as it seemed to be) and then got in the umps face earning an ejection i think it would’ve been fully justified.

  10. Andy says:

    ” And while the pitches did look like strikes, it wasn’t like they were down the middle of the plate. They were borderline.”

    Um…yeah….my bs meter just went off

    http://cdn2.sbnation.com/imported_assets/752624/location.php-pitchSel_434442_game_gid_2011_07_01_slnmlb_tbamlb_1_batterX_57_innings_yyyyyyyyy_sp_type_1_s_type_1.gif

    If that green dot got jacked out of the park, the postgame review would have read something like “Howell then left one over the fat part of the plate” or something to that effect.

    I understand you are trying to make an argument about Howell’s reaction, but don’t downplay the fact he got royally effed in the process….the two are not mutually exclusive.

    • Cork Gaines says:

      1. You have to be careful with vertical plot on PitchF/x. It assumes all batters have the same strikezone. They don’t. Inside and outside works. Vertical does not.

      2. That pitch is a bad call, but like I said it was NOT down the middle of the plate.

  11. Ken Heller says:

    Funny thing about all you arm chair cowboys and your comments…None of you could even reach home plate with a pitch never mind throwing a borderline strike. You all pontificate about Howell’s reaction yet I wonder how many of you, your wives, your son’s and daughter’s would have reacted the same way if Carrapazi called that game on your hometown LL field. He is simply atrocious. Watch a tape of the entire game. The Rays were getting squeezed at the plate and on the mound all night long. That ump would have had his tires slashed had he performed that way on any other BB field but a MLB one. We decry Upton’s .230 average yet allow umps like this to decide the outcomes of games that impact pennant races. Shame on him, shame on you and shame on MLB. The umps in MLB are incompetent, short fused, wannabe’s.

  12. Cork Gaines says:

    Here is Howell’s entire strikezone plot. Two bad pitches.

    • John says:

      As you said about the vertical zone earlier, those are standardized.
      So it could very well be three bad calls.

      In any case, we agree. JP got squeezed pretty badly and had a right to be upset. What he didn’t have a right to do was act like an ass. Which he did.

  13. LoLJFH says:

    Funny all of this talk is just on JP (rightfully so it is newsworthy). He did pitch well and it has been a while since I have seen THAT type of movement on a ball…consistently. Notice in the bottom of the 8th against Zobrist (and I believe Joyce) that the same pitch was a strike to a lefthanded batter. However, we may not have been in this situation (re: different ballgame/approach) had BJ hustled on two hits in the 2nd inning. That seems glossed over yet I swear all of us here thought that Wade was gonna stare a hole through him (and he was visibly cursing) – and HE slammed his glove when the second run scored because of BJ loafing again. I posted last week he was out at home due to his lackadaisical approach around 3rd, now this. He is back to his old ways if you ask me. Oh, and how much longer is Brignac gonna be around? We basically have 4 SS’s on the squad. He’s killing us!

    • John says:

      This is probably a big part of what cause Howell to overreact. He DID have nasty movement. He was his old self. And he got screwed (in his mind). And when you finally start pitching like you know you can, after all this time, and it still doesn’t work out because the ump squeezes you, that’s got to be frustrating.

      Not excusable, mind you. But I do understand given how long the road back has been, why he wigged out more than he should have. And I do hold out hope that last night was actually a major step forward.

    • Sublime says:

      How did this become about BJ? Hilarious. I was at the game, in the Right Centerfield section by the Devil Ray Tank, he wasnt loafing he merely conceded the run, what Zobrist should have done was put the ball in his pocket on the relay to stop the runner from going to 2nd base. Plus, you would have thought his relay throw home was going to SHAQ it was so damn high.

      • Sublime says:

        The entire team can get no hit and you would still find a way to blame BJ for the team being no-hit! Sh*t is hilarious.

  14. Rob says:

    Andy – Coming into this game he had the highest BA against, OBA against, and an ERA over 5. I know those are not deep sabermetric stats, but how does that make him league-average?

    Anderson and Stats pointed this out and thought the Rays should have had a better night at the plate. Maddon even vaguely alluded to it in the postgame when he said that the Rays took Friday off too after their scheduled day off Thursday.

    • Andy says:

      I didn’t realize that this was the only season in which he’d ever pitched. And if those are the stats you value, we have two guys on our own team that are worse.

    • Derek says:

      He throws a sinker. This team can only hit flat fastballs.

  15. I watched the entire inning before making a comment. JP Howell and the Rays got screwed. It was proven in the NBA that the referees are crooked and they will shave points and change the outcomes of games. They will collude with league officials to make sure most playoff series play out to seven games to maximize profit. They will bet on games and take cash payments from the mob.

    If you think baseball umpires are pristine, I beg to differ. These guys are relatively underpaid, living out of suitcases in strange cities, going out every night, drinking, gambling and chasing women. They certainly could use some extra cash so their wives don’t get suspicious.

    One of those pitches was right down the middle of the plate which got JP pissed off and distracted. Then he threw a breaking pitch that clearly crossed the plate before dropping. His command was impeccable. Those inside pitches should have been called strikes. The mounting frustration caused the balk. His manager getting tossed further increased his ire. He completely lost focus out there which caused the home run. The home run caused the blow up, but he did not blow up on the umpire until the umpire thought that it was about him personally. Then he lit into him for blowing a half dozen calls in the course of 2/3 of an inning. Justifiable insanity. Bravo, JP, bravo!! Maybe this incident will light a fire under the Ray’s asses!

  16. Rob says:

    He is averaging just over 1 WAR a year for his career and that is down this year so far. So if three hits is all we can muster off an average pitcher having a down year, then we have hitting problems.

  17. Jason W says:

    I don’t fault JP for getting angry, he has been horrible so far this year and the one time he pitches well, the ump totally screws him.Baseball is an emotional sport for some guys and I guess JP is one of those players.

  18. Don says:

    LOj… YOU seen the same thing I saw… if Davis could have got hold of BJ in the 2nd..he would of strangled that skinny, lazy no-playing bastar–
    Most of all this team needs an attitude adjustment and Maddon is in the center of IT

    • LoLJFH says:

      Glad to know I wasn’t seeing things Don! Also, Maddon is the master of manipulation and technique. He has either run out of ideas or is tired of trying (not likely) or is waiting for them to put their big boy panties on. Maddon needs to take a different charge and possibly be the one to change tactics on the team a little bit. It’s nice to be loose and feel good, but something has to change and he is the leader. Something to shake them up a bit, make them a little uneasy and fight a little differently. Send guys down, bring guys up, sit some, maybe relieve a certain Shelton of his responsibilities. Something!

  19. ALLEN says:

    Hitting problems???
    When the Rays are away from the Trop they’re hitting .260, averaging 5.2 runs per game, and have a 26-16 record. In the Trop they’re team average is close to BJ’s season averge, a mere .223 with about 3 runs per game. Even Damon can’t hit in the Trop, .215 vs. .315 away!

    The solution seems simple to me. They stop playing in the Trop. Make them think they’re on the road all the time. Give them a series at Raymond James Stadium when the Yanks or Sox come to town, then put them in minor league stadiums for their other home games. The locals can add about 10,000 temporary bleacher seats and it should hold enough for the 10-15k fans.

    If this doesn’t work, cut a hole in the roof of the Trop with a glass wall separating the players from the fan, thus letting the players play outdoors. The fans can remain in the cool of Tropicanna Field.

    Although I don’t favor it, maybe these guys do need a St. Pete downtown outdoor stadium on the bay where they can sweat and swat insects, and get some hits and improve their .223 average.

    GO RAYS!

    • LoLJFH says:

      Blaspemy! You mentioned a game at RayJa. You know that’s in Tampa, right??!! I can feel the heat from Mayor Foster’s cheeks while reading this string all the way here up in Land O Lakes!

    • Rob says:

      I have been to about 12 games this year and I can’t see any difference from last year, but is it possible the team did something different with the lighting in there that could be causing players trouble picking up the ball out of the pitcher’s hand?

      • ALLEN says:

        Good question. There’s got to be some explanation for the difference between home/road hitting, and its not the absence of Crawford and Pena. Apparently, as to overall hitting, the league has figured out Jaso, Rodriquez and Brignac, and those three need to make some adjustments.
        Joyce is the only player hitting better at home than on the road. It can’t just be an individual thing—it’s something impacting the whole team.

    • Sarah says:

      I love this idea. Or maybe just decorate the Trop to look like other stadiums in which they play successfully. Heck, they even played well in Cleveland this year and they never play well in Cleveland.

  20. Michael says:

    I don’t have really any problem with what JP Howell said. What he did was a little stupid.

    But buried underneath his frustration is a truth and that is that big league pitchers make close pitches and should generally get them.

    We’ve seen the Rays offense over the past year or two get obliterated with wide strike calls… it sucks when we don’t get the same courtesy.

    Those pitches are called strikes 90% of the time from what I have seen, and J.P. didn’t get a single one, and it directly resulted in a game breaking homer.

    I don’t think there is any fault to assign here. A part time umpire and an immature pitcher. We got what we got.

  21. Raysfan137 says:

    Lot’s of different discussions and debates here. All I want to add is that I was embarassed to be a Rays fan that night. Pitchers and other players need to let their managers and coaches deal with umps. Acting the way JP did is classless and stupid. Show some disappointment and turn your back. The rest doesn’t help as much as it hurts. Yes, umps suck at times and have no accountability. But what I saw that night was not the Rays I know. I think they know it too. Mistake made, lesson learned, move on. Simple fact is JP made a bad pitch and we lost because of it AND not hitting. I think we had 2 hits t that point. I’m hoping that night was a bit of an emotional purging and we move on from it quickly.

Leave a Comment