‘He is responsible’: Umpire justifies embarrassing Aaron Boone ejection to save skin

Aaron Boone protests his wrongful ejection by umpire Wendelstedt at Yankee Stadium on April 22, 2024.

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The Yankees have been dragging their feet up the hill over the past few weeks. The root of those problems can be conflated with their anemic offense, but also with the occasional defensive blunder, as was the case during the 2-0 loss they suffered on Monday afternoon against the Oakland Athletics. On that occasion, Yankees’ manager Aaron Boone got ejected in the first inning after a fan in a blue shirt shot his mouth off, hurling insults at umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.

Boone reacts to unfair ejections, umpire Hunter Wendelstedt stands by decision

Hunter Wendelstedt, the umpire, ejects Aaron Boone, the manager of the New York Yankees, during the first inning of the game against the Oakland Athletics at Yankee Stadium on April 22, 2024. The stadium is located in the Bronx, New York, USA
AP

A recent Yankees game was marred by controversy when manager Aaron Boone found himself ejected by home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt a mere five pitches into the first inning. The incident left Carlos Rodon’s wife, Ashley, fuming, prompting her to vent on Twitter: “I’M SO WEAK. He got tossed for a fan yelling. This is soooo trash.”

Boone, still incredulous after the game, branded the situation “embarrassing” and admitted, “I couldn’t believe it.” He maintained he said nothing to warrant the ejection, a claim backed up by television replays.

It all stemmed from Boone’s complaint over a checked swing call in the previous at-bat. Wendelstedt issued a warning to the Yankees dugout, and when a fan behind them heckled the umpire soon after, Wendelstedt mistakenly pinned the taunt on the silently observing Boone.

“Bulls—. What do you mean you don’t care? I did not say a word. It was above our dugout,” Boone protested hotly as he confronted Wendelstedt, who was unmoved, retorting, “I don’t care who said it. You’re gone.”

Wendelstedt’s post-game defense was curious. He claimed “tensions were high” following an earlier incident and that he heard “a cheap shot” from the “far end of the dugout.” Though acknowledging Boone pointed to a specific fan, Wendelstedt stood firm: “Aaron Boone is the manager…and is responsible for everything that happens in that dugout.”

The fiery Boone vowed to take the matter to MLB, though he didn’t feel his volatile reputation impacted this call. “I’m sure it’s human nature — I’m obviously more fiery and vocal than some…but overall I feel like I’m treated fairly.”

Yankees players like Anthony Rizzo were stunned, with the first baseman admitting he’d “never seen a manager ejected so quickly.” Rodon, who dominated on the mound, said “I saw the fan pointing to himself…seemingly trying to take the heat off Boone.”

As Boone groused, “He came at me hard.” Wendelstedt, meanwhile, brushed it off: “If I saw Aaron…he’s gonna ask me where I’m going to dinner. I hope he has a good time with his family tonight.”

What happened?

Aaron Boone manager of the new york yankees
newsday

The individual responsible for Aaron Boone’s ejection from the Yankees game has been identified. Boone found himself ejected by home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt mere moments into Monday’s game against the A’s at Yankee Stadium, following a disagreement initiated by a fan’s complaint that Wendelstedt mistakenly attributed to the Yankees’ manager.

Shortly after the incident, the YES Network provided clarification. According to play-by-play announcer Ryan Ruocco, the fan in the blue shirt was the one who caught Wendelstedt’s attention with a comment, prompting the umpire to eject Boone, who was quick to assert his innocence, stating, “Whoa! I didn’t say anything!”

Further, the Yankees bench coach Brad Ausmus clarified that it was indeed a fan’s remark, but Wendelstedt, as captured by the audio, dismissively retorted with an “I don’t care!”

The ejection occurred in the top of the first inning after a pitch from Carlos Rodon to Tyler Nevin. Boone, adamant that he was not the source of the complaint that irked Wendelstedt, confronted the umpire after the latter’s dismissive response.

Boone had previously expressed dissatisfaction with Wendelstedt’s ruling on the game’s first batter, Esteury Ruiz, arguing that Ruiz had not swung at a pitch that hit him, thus awarding him first base. Boone’s ejection marked his second of the season, with Ausmus stepping in as manager for the remainder of the game.

The event underscored the occasionally tense dynamic between managers and umpires calling the shots.

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