Jordan Romero was ejected in the fifth inning of Friday’s 6-3 win against Ole Miss for what home plate umpire Tony Maners termed to Paul Mainieri a “malicious” collision with Rebels catcher Henri Lartigue.
Here is the video of the play, courtesy SEC Network.
Before Mainieri could argue with Maners, tempers flared and benches momentarily cleared. Order was restored and Mainieri proceeded his protest. Here is how the coach said that transpired:
“My first argument was, (Romero) should have been safe. How is that any different than what happened yesterday,” Mainieri said. “Yesterday, their player didn’t slide, their player knocked the ball out of our catcher’s glove. If you look at the video of yesterday, our catcher is clearly way out toward the pitchers mound in front of the plate, he clearly gave him a pathway for the runner to slide. He didn’t slide and dislodged the ball from our catcher. The first thing I wanted to discuss was why is he out? He’s got nowhere to go and he’s trying to go around him and the ball came in, he should be safe.”
Mainieri’s comments about “what happened yesterday” refer to a play in Friday’s 7-6 LSU loss where Rebels right fielder Ryan Olenek did not slide into home plate, knocking the ball from Romero’s hand while he tried to apply a tag. Olenek was ruled safe as Ole Miss’ first run.
Here is that play:
After ensuring his players were all back in the dugout, Mainieri and Maners continued their discussion.
“I go back over to Tony Maners and I try to talk to him about it and he says ‘(Romero’s) gone. And I say ‘Gone, gone for what?!’ He says ‘It was malicious.’ And I say ‘Come on Tony, he was trying to slide, trying to go around him.’ First he told me (Romero’s) done for today but not for tomorrow. Then all the umpires got together and then (Maners) tells me (Romero’s) done for tomorrow too.”
This is where it gets confusing. Let’s first show the chart from the official NCAA rulebook detailing misconduct penalties.ChQQ5vGUUAAiegW
Mainieri said he did not know for which specific offense Romero was ejected and could not definitively say why he was suspended for Sunday’s game.
Nevertheless, LSU will play without Romero tomorrow for a rule that Mainieri said needs more clarity.
“Every umpire interprets the play at the plate differently,” Mainieri said. “Your runners don’t know what to do, your catchers don’t know what to do. The last two or three years, it’s just been so frustrating. Everybody interprets it differently. They actually sent a video about it this year, which I showed to our team, where we went over what’s allowed and what’s not allowed. Tony Maners is one of the best umpires in the world, he’s been doing it forever and I have the greatest respect in the world for him, but I just didn’t see where it was malicious. The guy was clearly in the baseline, but Jordan had nowhere to go, so he went to the inside and his knee got caught and he flipped forward. That’s the way I saw it. Maybe I’m wrong.”