MLB, Pittsburgh Pirates

Derek Shelton gets in MLB’s first socially distanced manager-umpire argument

Pirates manager Derek Shelton got in a socially distanced argument with umpire Jordan Baker

The Pittsburgh Pirates manager wasted no time in making his feelings known to umpire Jordan Baker. Shelton, in just his third game in charge in the Steel City, was barking orders from the dugout after pitcher Derek Holland was ejected from the left field stands.

Shelton wasn’t about to let Baker get off easy, however, and maintained appropriate distance while arguing with the home plate umpire. In an event surely unique to the 2020 season, Shelton took several steps back from Baker and even let him put his mask on, while ensuring that his own face covering was applied.

Derek Shelton gets in socially-distanced umpire argument

For Holland, his first ejection in a Pirates uniform came before he ever pitched a game. Despite having no Pittsburgh statistics to his name, Shelton fought for his pitcher, giving managers a crash course on how to get their point across, but not break any rules in the process.

Surely, there is no ‘appropriate’ way to get into a verbal spat with an umpire and keep distance. Baseball is not a clean game (it’s literally played on dirt), and as much as MLB is hoping to keep things pristine in 2020, there’s bound to be a few slip-ups.

Thankfully for Shelton, his shining example isn’t one of them.

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