Dave Martinez of Washington Nationals critical of umpire Laz Diaz’s spat with Bryce Harper

MLB


Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez had pointed words after plate umpire Laz Diaz and star slugger Bryce Harper jawed during a game against the Atlanta Braves on Friday.

Harper and Diaz were arguing with each other much of the night. It started when Harper disagreed with a call in the fifth inning and continued when Harper was in center field as they yelled at each other during the next inning.

It stopped short of reaching a boiling point in the seventh when Diaz called a strike on a pitch that appeared to be off the plate. Harper argued with Diaz while looking straight ahead, not making eye contact with the umpire.

Martinez came from the dugout to back Harper, but Diaz did not eject either.

“I’m not going to make any comments on balls and strikes there, but umpires are supposed to be nonconfrontational, they’re supposed to uphold the peace on the baseball field,” Martinez said. “For me, I think the MLB needs to take a look at that. That’s all I’m going to say. I’ve known Laz for a very long time, and I’m not going to throw anybody under the bus, but we’re in a pivotal moment of the game, and he’s saying things to Harp, and I thought that was uncalled for.”

Harper said after the game he wasn’t surprised he didn’t get thrown out.

“You know, that’s my biggest thing this year is I don’t want to get tossed. So I think I go to the edge, then kinda quiet up,” Harper said. “I don’t ever want an at-bat to get taken away from me, especially with guys on base.”



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