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July 23, 2010

Wigginton facing three-game suspension (updated with quotes)

Ty Wigginton has been suspended three games and fined $2,500 for his actions Thursday night in the Orioles' 5-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

"Shocked, surprised," Wigginton said when learning of disciplinary action.

Wigginton will appeal the suspension, allowing him to play tonight against the Twins. He's batting third in the lineup and will play first base.

"I've never been suspended and it's only my second ejection that I can remember," Wigginton said. "The other one I just got a little fine and it was over with. This is the first time there's been anything else. We'll figure out how it works."

On Thursday, Wigginton ran screaming at first base umpire Gary Darling over a blown call at first and was face-to-face, chest-to-chest before Orioles manager Juan Samuel could intervene.

Darling said after the game that he had been bumped and that information would be in his report to the league office. Wigginton did not think he bumped Darling during the altercation.

"It wasn't like a definite bump. I feel like if I bump someone, they're going to move back," Wigginton said. "I know my jersey, I know I got as close as I could, I know you that can't bump an umpire. If I did and didn't realize it, my bad. But I think it was more of a brush if anything."

The official announcement of Wigginton's suspension should come at 5:30. The Orioles expect Samuel, who was also ejected last night, to be fined but not suspended.

Samuel said he reviewed the questionable play -- which clearly showed Wigginton tagging J.J. Hardy at first base -- but he didn't watch replays of the arguments.

"I tried not to," Samuel said. "I went home and started watching ESPN and when they brought it up, I changed channels."

Posted by Baltimore Sun sports at 3:43 PM | | Comments (18)


I wonder how many games Major League Baseball will suspend incompetent umpire Gary Darling? Darling ranks right up there with Richie Garcia as far as needing glasses.

Please tell me where to mail my follar to help Wiggy with any fines. It was worth it to see an Orioles player with that much fire!

I thinks all fair in war with this kind of thing usually, and I will call out the Orioles players when they are wrong, but this is legitimate BS. The Umps and MLB are obviously worried about public perception. Sure, you can agree that maybe Wiggi took it too far, but he didn't get physical. MLB is worried about the appearance that they slant calls against the cellar team by trying to make Wiggi look like a hothead who let his frustation explode, instead of a player who was upset because they made a clearly bad call. This move shifts the culpability onto Wigginton.

Hope this doesn't knock us out of the pennant race.

Wigginton is basically a journeyman bench player whose selection to the All Star team is almost laughable. It was certainly a sad reflection on the other members of the Orioles.

This is so sad for a once proud and mighty franchise.

What happened to Schmuck's blog?

At least one Oriole has a pulse.

The ump made the wrong call and he admitted it after the game. Bud S. should consider how bad the umpiring has been this year and pass on wiggy's suspension. Hell he didn't suspend any of the admitted steroid users. I can't name them all here, but Bud knows who they are. Enough said.

Agree-= Darling must be fined and suspended , the umpiring this year has been atrocious!
Hahn was just as bad with balls/strikes which did affect millwood. who is i charge of umpires now?

ty wigginton should not be fined or suspended juan samuel should not be fined. gary darling should be fined and suspend for being so inept at his job.

Do I take it that skipper Juan Samuel escaped a suspension and fine?

Jeff Z's reply: That hasn't been decided yet, but it appears that Juan will escape with just a fine .

Now I actually wish I used my tickets for Wigginton t-shirt night.

Not really, does anyone still care about this team?

I'm all for giving jobs to the blind and all, but I don't think umpiring is quite the career path I'd have in mind.

Let's look at the facts. Ty Wigginton vehemently argues a call and in so doing contacts Gary Darling. Darling puts his hands behind his back so he doesn't appear to be aggressive and Wigginton makes contact with his person. He wants to appeal the 3 game suspension-why? He's admitted as much as there was contact, so what's there to appeal? Wigginton should be thankful that the fine wasn't more severe! I think at $2,500 he's been given a break!

As for the umpire, Gary Darling admitted after seeing the replay that he kicked the call. What else more do you want from him? Why do fans feel they are entitled to punish officials for a bad call?
Let's look at the facts about this guy. Gary Darling has been a MLB umpire for 23 yr. and since '04 has been a crew chief. That alone should tell you how competent he truly is. He has worked post season assignments and been a crew chief on at least one ALDS. The guy's personal stats speak volumes. Gary Darling is a MLB umpire and they friends are truly the best in the world!

So umpire Gary Darling blew a call. How many does he get right? I'd say probably around 98%. Most umpires on the bases are around that percentage. He made a mistake, we all make mistakes. I'm fine with Wigginton's 3 game suspension and his fine, although I was expecting 2 games. He acted like an out of control lunatic out there and he made contact with the umpire. Sure he didn't mean to do that but the fact is he did and that's showing disrespect. Make your point like a professional and move on. His "Shocked, surprised" comment is way over the top. I wasn't shocked or surprised that he got suspended and fined.

Being an umpire for 23 years does not mean Darling is competent. It means MLB lacks a system for assuring quality umpiring.

And working post seasons makes him a good umpire? Did you watch the umpires in the postseason last year?

What do I expect from him? How about not missing incredibly obvious calls right in front of him? This was not a close play.

He hasn't even clearly said he blew the call. He said Hardy was probably out

The eloquent wimps at the bottom of this blog must never have played baseball in their lives. To say Wigginton disrespected the ump or assume someone is outstanding at their job simply because they have it is laughable and estrogenical. The bottom line is when you blow a call and admit that you blew the call. You let a little yelling go. Wiggy wasn't overly physical, he was deliberately waving his arms to the side so as to not make contact. The report could've been written with that part left out. When you mess up like that, you look the other way; you don't get a guy suspended. Don't get me started on the spinelessness of the home plate ump that night either..

I didn't see if Wigginton bumped the ump, but I'm with Ty - that was a lousy call and the ump should be taken out of the rotation for a while.

Yeah the ump blew the call but Wigginton's tag didn't help. Dont go waving your glove around chasing body parts. Tag the man and get your glove outta there.

Wigginton's got some weird body language. He skips around like a schoolgirl.

The intensity of his argument was absurd. He was embarrassed because the blown call made him look bad.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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