Ump Show: Why in the world was Nolan Arenado ejected?

St. Louis Cardinals superstar Nolan Arenado was unhappy with the ump’s wide strike zone… but why was he ejected? 

Welcome to a new installment of the “Ump Show.” A few days ago, the St. Louis Cardinals were blessed with an extremely wide strike zone that may have cost the Dodgers a win. Now, the tables have turned: a conspicuously wide strike zone led to frustration from Cardinals 3B Nolan Arenado… and his ejection.

Naturally, Arenado was frustrated with a call… but he wasn’t arguing it directly to the ump. In fact, he was walking off the field after a groundout, his body turned completely perpendicular to home plate umpire Will Little. The ejection-worthy act? A slight shake of the head and maybe a couple choice words mumbled under his breath.

To make matters worse, Little doubled down with a swift ejection of Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol, who came out to defend his player and debate the strike zone.

Ump show: Why was Cardinals star Nolan Arenado ejected?

Luckily for St. Louis, the ejection didn’t negatively influence the outcome of the game. The Cardinals still managed an 8-5 victory over the Cincinnati Reds, continuing their recent surge in the standings. After a brutal start to the 2023 campaign, St. Louis has gradually started to stack wins behind the strength of their bats. Arenado is obviously central to their offense.

Umps are notoriously thin-skinned, and this is a prime example of an ump getting too emotional. Is Arenado criticizing him? Probably, but it’s not a direct confrontation. To quote the broadcast: “Will Little needs to tuck the ears in a little bit.” Every minor slight, every shake of the head or sigh of exasperation, can’t be enough to warrant ejection.

Marmol’s ejection is more understandable: coaches only get face-to-face with the ump when they’re planning to get canned. But that doesn’t happen if Arenado isn’t rather inexplicably tossed from the game. It’s an avoidable chain of events.

Fans pay to see the best players on the field — don’t toss them from the game without good cause.

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