(KMOV) -- First base umpire Clint Fagen was awfully quick with the heave ho when he ejected Yadier Molina on Sunday.
Molina was angry at himself, not the ump, when he was out at first on a close play and slammed down his helmet.
I believe that players should be allowed an initial burst of emotion before an umpire ejects them. If they continue to scream at the umpire and/or act like they want to attack him, they absolutely should be thrown out of the game.
But not for just a loud groan or a brief display of anger. Molina probably shouldn't have been ejected so quickly by Fagen, but that doesn't excuse Molina's behavior after he was tossed.
If it was a little leaguer that acted that way toward an ump, or a high schooler, or a college player, they would surely be disciplined in a harsh way.
A major leaguer should be held to the same standard of conduct. Molina went way overboard in trying to get at Fagen, and had to be held back by two coaches. What would he have done if the coaches hadn't been there? Would he have physically attacked him?
No matter how bad a call is by an umpire, players and managers don't have the right to engage in that kind of threatening behavior. You can get your point across arguing with an umpire without acting like you're going to beat him up.
Molina has been suspended before for a run in with an umpire. In 2011 he was upset at a called third strike in Milwaukee and went overboard arguing with umpire Rob Drake. Molina bumped into Drake and sprayed spittle in his face.
The league handed Molina a five game suspension. This weekend's incident wasn't as clear cut as to whether Molina should be suspended, but if the league office wants to make sure its umpires are protected and respected they'll likely hand the Cardinals catcher a couple of days off he didn't ask for.