If you’ve ever paid attention to where on-deck baseball players stand, you’ll realize that it’s very rarely in the actual on-deck circle. The circle itself is usually filled with pine tar and weighted bats and a handful of other things, so players usually just stand somewhere in the general vicinity.
Last night in Texas, Adrian Beltre took up a spot a little closer to behind home plate as he waited this turn to bat. Some players do this so they can get a better view of the opposing pitcher’s stuff, but home plate umpire Gerry Davis didn’t like it. He told the Rangers third baseman to get back in the circle, which prompted Beltre to literally drag the entire circle a few feet to where he wanted to stand.
Davis, not appreciating Beltre’s sense of humor or ingenuity, promptly threw the veteran slugger out of the game.
Here’s the whole clip:
This happened in the bottom of the eighth inning in an 18-6 blowout, so we’re not really sure what Davis’ problem was. Rangers manager Jeff Bannister was also ejected when he came out to protest the initial call.
Beltre is just a few hits shy of 3,000 for his career, which is a huge baseball milestone. He’ll still get there, but it will just take him one extra at bat after being robbed of one last night.
Adrian Beltre was ejected for dragging the on-deck circle after ump asked him to get in it. You can see how far he moved it. pic.twitter.com/EdthGPrLNC
— Tim Healey (@timbhealey) July 27, 2017
According to a check of the baseball rule book by Deadspin, there is no rule that bans moving the on-deck circle. There are some general guidelines about where it should be placed, but they are fairly vague.
Adrian Beltre is good and Gerry Davis is bad. That’s the takeaway here.