Arthur: Ejections are way up this season, but why?

From SABR member Rob Arthur at Baseball Prospectus on July 12, 2019:

Just before the All-Star break, Phillies starter Jake Arrieta hit Mets third baseman Todd Frazier with a high, inside changeup. Frazier took issue — as did his manager, Mickey Callaway — and before long, home plate umpire Tripp Gibson had ejected the both of them for jawing with him and Arrieta. (Gibson believed Arrieta’s wayward pitch was unintentional.)

In a season full of Mets misfortunes, it’s tempting to consider this just another indignity. But Sunday’s events have been common this year: tensions between the umpires and the teams have been high throughout the league. The pressure between the two sides is manifesting as the highest ejection rate since 2015, when new pace-of-play rules may have created friction between the two sides. With no similar explanation for this season’s spike and conflict spreading outside the lines, the current spate of expulsions may be a more troubling sign for the league.

We’re only halfway through the season, but there have already been 114 ejections so far, a total that wasn’t reached in 2018 until early August.

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Originally published: July 12, 2019. Last Updated: July 12, 2019.