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Yankees manager Aaron Boone ejected after fan mouths off to home plate umpire

Yankees manager Aaron Boone ejected after fan mouths off to home plate umpire

New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone was ejected from his team's game against the Oakland Athletics on Monday for doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.

This isn't a "gotcha" scenario or a bait-and-switch. Boone did nothing to get ejected by home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt and was simply standing in the dugout. Unfortunately for him, he was standing directly underneath a mouthy fan who might have sounded an awful lot like Boone.

The whole incident started during the second at-bat of the game. With right fielder Tyler Nevin batting, Boone had been jawing at Wendelstedt, which Wendelstedt wasn't having. He warned Boone that he'd be ejected if he said anything else.

Barely 10 seconds later, Wendelstedt ejected Boone, who went totally nuclear.

It was obvious from the video that Boone hadn't said anything, so why did Wendelstedt eject him? A slo-mo replay revealed that a fan sitting above the Yankees dugout yelled something at Wendelstedt, who apparently thought it was Boone.

It's possible that Wendelstedt knew it wasn't Boone and didn't care. When Boone insisted that he hadn't said anything, Wendelstedt responded: "I don't care who said it. You're gone!"

Asked about the ejection after the Yankees' 2-0 loss to the A's, Boone said it was embarrassing and added that he could reach out to MLB about the call.

"It's embarrassing," Boone said of Wendelstedt's decision to eject him. "It really is a bad — it's embarrassing. … Obviously, it was not right."

Wendelstedt also offered his account of what happened postgame, claiming that he heard somebody complain from the Yankees dugout after his warning and chose to eject Boone because Boone “is responsible for everything that happens in that dugout.”

“In my opinion, the cheap shot came toward the far end [of the dugout]," Wendelstedt said, per The Athletic's Chris Kirschner. "So instead of me being aggressive and walking down to the far end and trying to figure out who might have said it, I don’t want to eject a ballplayer. We need to keep them in the game. That’s what the fans pay to see. Aaron Boone runs the Yankees. He got ejected.

“Apparently what he said was there was a fan right above the dugout. This isn’t my first ejection. In the entirety of my career, I have never ejected a player or manager for something a fan has said. … I heard something from the far end of the dugout, had nothing to do with his area, but he’s the manager of the Yankees. So he’s the one that had to go.”

When an all-timer of an ejection happens, you know it, and this qualified. There was drama. There was rage. There was the traditional avoidance of blame on the part of the umpire. It's a classic example of the manager vs. umpire dynamic in which the umpire exercises his unquestionable power whenever and wherever he wants with little accountability or consequences, and the manager has no choice but to accept it.

Wendelstedt is a second-generation umpire who has been on the field since 1998. He isn't as well known as guys such as C.B. Bucknor or Angel Hernandez, but knowing an umpire's name off the top of your head isn't typically a good thing; fans only know them because they're memorably bad at their jobs. Wendelstedt might have entered the same rarefied air as Bucknor and Hernandez on Monday, because no one will forget him after that display.

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