The victory of the Toronto Blue Jays over the Kansas City Royals (5 - 2) this weekend is overshadowed by the escalating feud between the two MLB teams as tempers flared due to the calls made by the umpire during the game.
Although their team won the match, Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista felt that the Toronto athletes had been wronged on Sunday by home-plate umpire Jim Wolf. Speaking to the press before the Blue Jays' game against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday, Bautista lamented the manner by which the umpire handled their MLB match against the Royals. "I believe the warning was put in too early," shared the Blue Jays player, according to The Star.
Even before the objections turned to heated arguments and eventual ejection of some of the Blue Jays' staff and players, the match against the Royals began in shaky ground and already foretold the possibility of a controversial face off.
When Edinson Volquez, a starter for the Royals, drilled Blue Jays' Josh Donaldson during the first inning of their Sunday game, the home-plate umpire sent out a warning against both teams. The Royals star then again took another swipe at Donaldson during the third as he missed high and inside, throwing a pitch that flew to the backstop. Following the incident, the Blue Jays suffered yet another perceived physical attack as Royals reliever Ryan Madison hit the forearm of newly acquired Toronto shortstop Troy Tulowitzki in the seventh inning.
Even with what appeared to be premeditated hits on the Blue Jays stars, no calls for ejection were made by Wolf. The issue further escalated when Donaldson was buzzed once more following the plunking of Tulowitzki. Taking exception to the call, Donaldson was seen arguing with Wolf and was later on joined by manager John Gibbons. The discussion among the Blue Jays' player, staff and home-plate umpire resulted in the ejection of Gibbons from the MLB match.
"But after the warning is put on, you gotta respect it, right?" Blue Jays' Bautista said, referring to the first warning issued by Wolf. However, the right fielder could not help but express his dismay over the call as he believes that the home-plate umpire had "100 percent" certainty over the "intent of a particular pitch after a warning is put on."
The Blue Jays star then pointed out that the hit taken by Tulowitzki even after Wolf issued a warning earlier showed how disrespectful the Royals were of the decision. Bautista then went on to blast Wolf's failure to eject the Royals' players, saying, "Why put a warning on if somebody is going to get hit with a fastball and not be taken out of the game?"
Donaldson echoed the sentiments of his Blue Jays teammate. Commenting on the issue, he shared that Wolf "did not make good decisions" during their match against the Royals, according to USA Today. Meanwhile, Volquez appeared to be incensed by the reaction of Donaldson on the hits he took on Sunday. Calling the Blue Jays star a "baby" and taunting him by saying he "cried like a baby" when he got hit, the Royals player pointed out that Donaldson's reactions indicated his practice of "pimping" everything he does to gain sympathy from the crowd.