Near the end of the seventh inning of today’s game, David Price thought he had thrown a strike to end the inning. Instead, umpire Tom Hallion called it a ball.
Price was visibly upset by the call and after he got Dewayne Wise to ground out on the next pitch, Price was still agitated. As he walked off the field, Hallion walked towards Price and said something. This is where the stories become a a case of “he said, ump said.”
Hallion claims he just said “throw the ball over the plate.” Price claims Hallion said “throw the ball over the f***ing plate.” And several of Price’s teammates back up his version of the story.
When asked about the comments by the Rays after the game, Hallion didn’t take the high road. “I’ll come right out bluntly and say he’s a liar,” said Hallion.
Price wouldn’t back down saying that his own dad doesn’t speak to him that way, so “some freakin’ umpire’s not going to speak to me that way.” He also repeated that he is not a liar and wouldn’t make stuff up, and even asked on Twitter for someone to give him “the definition of coward.” Jeremy Hellickson added “there’s only one person lying about all this and his name starts with a T and rhymes with pom.” Matt Moore also described Hallion’s version of events as “lies.”
Price would continue to yell in the dugout. And eventually, Hellickson, yes, Jeremy Hellickson, was ejected.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what Hallion said (although it seems pretty clear at this point). Hallion clearly instigated the situation by approaching Price because apparently Hallion’s fragile ego couldn’t handle a player questioning what was clearly a bad call. Umpires are supposed to control the game, not escalate bad situations. Hallion clearly crossed a line and it wasn’t even close.
Here’s the video. You can see the Pitchf/x data for the questionable call below (pitch 4). It is clearly a strike…