With baseball returning on Thursday, fans eagerly anticipated key parts of the pastime, including home runs and ejections. The first incident between a manager and umpire occurred on Sunday, albeit with an added twist. Both figures had to put on their masks prior to arguing.
Footage surfaced on Twitter Sunday showing umpire Jordan Baker tossing Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Derek Holland from a game against the St. Louis Cardinals because the player sat in the stands. Baker yelled the fan-favorite phrase, "You're outta here!" and brought the action to a halt. Pirates manager Derek Shelton stormed onto the field to give Baker a piece of his mind, but the two men stopped and put on their masks.
In the MLB, managers and umpires are now putting on masks before arguing and keeping some distance while doing it 😷 pic.twitter.com/jET8xEmkjA— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 26, 2020
The argument continued in a slightly different manner considering that both men had muffled voices. They also couldn't stand toe-to-toe with each other due to observing social distancing guidelines. Shelton did briefly remove his mask to make a point, but he quickly put it back on.
"Something is actually normalizing about this. Not to mention an example of how to argue in the COVID era - 1) respect distance 2) wear a mask 3) use your words as weapons," one fan commented after watching the altercation. Several others chimed in with varying opinions. Some felt that this was a sign that baseball should not take place while others just said that it was "sad and funny" at the same time.
While the argument between Baker and Shelton created entertainment for some baseball fans, another game prompted criticism on social media. The New York Yankees and the Washington Nationals faced off on Thursday in the first game of the MLB season. Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, headed to the stadium and threw out the ceremonial first pitch before sitting in the stands and watching the game.
While the fans expressed understanding about Fauci heading to the stadium for the first pitch, they had issues with other aspects of the situation. For example, they wondered why Fauci was able to sit in the stands with two other people and watch the game. They also voiced criticism about his mask-wearing.
"Look! It’s Fauci wearing his mask like he tells everyone not wear it. Also, why does he get to enjoy a game while everyone else has to watch from home? Kinda reminds of DC’s new mask mandate: everyone wear masks except for lawmakers and government employees. #doublestandard," one person commented on social media. Several others agreed and said that fans should attend if Fauci could.