Boston Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli hasn’t had much luck at the plate this season, so he certainly didn’t need an umpire to make matters worse.

Unfortunately for him, home plate ump Tripp Gibson decided to eject Napoli on Sunday for one of the most bizarre reasons ever.

In the top of the second inning against the host Tampa Bay Rays, Napoli took a 3-2 breaking ball from right-hander Chris Archer. It was a pitch that could have gone either way, but Gibson called it a strike and rang up Napoli.

Not pleased with the call, the first baseman dropped his bat and aired his displeasure to the ump. The conversation didn’t last long or appear to get overly heated, but as he walked away, Napoli found himself tossed from the game.

Why? The 33-year-old didn’t pick up his bat.

Here’s what Napoli said about the ejection after the contest, per’s Gordon Edes:

He told me I forgot my bat. I stopped a little bit, and (then) he told me to come back and pick up the bat. I pointed at the bat boy, who picks up our bats, and he tossed me. So then, when he tossed me, I told him how I felt.

I was walking away, I was going back to the dugout, and he was telling me to come back and pick up my bat when it was over. It’s kind of embarrassing (for Gibson). I don’t know how you can throw someone out for that. I’m not trying to get thrown out in the second inning. We have a short bench.

It’s not unusual for a player to leave his equipment in the batter’s box after a strikeout and let the bat boy come out and get everything. However, that usually only happens when the strikeout ends an inning.

Gibson may have been on edge after Napoli made it known that he didn’t agree with the call. When the player didn’t listen to him, the umpire decided enough was enough.

This appears to be just another case of an ump with a short fuse. The bat was going to be picked up by somebody, but because Napoli—who perhaps forgot about it after arguing the call—refused to do so, Gibson used his power to punish the player. 

Boston was able to overcome the ejection and win the series’ rubber game, 5-3.

[h/t Deadspin]

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