The Washington Nationals lost to the Atlanta Braves on Sunday afternoon, but that wasn’t the major storyline from the game.
Mike Rizzo, who signed a three-year extension yesterday, was watching the Nationals alone in a third-level suite. In the seventh inning, after a questionable strike call, Rizzo reacted out loud, apparently loud enough to be heard on field level. Umpire Joe West noticed Rizzo and then ejected him for not wearing a mask.
Yes, you read that correctly.
Mike Rizzo apparently was ejected from Sunday's matchup with the Braves. pic.twitter.com/NQFoF3Jiuj
— Nationals on MASN (@masnNationals) September 6, 2020
In the video, you can see West pointing upwards, making the ejection signal, and saying, “Get out! You’re out.” The only person sitting in that area was Rizzo.
West then turns towards the Atlanta Braves dugout and asks manager Brian Snitker to call security. West eventually was shown standing in the Braves dugout talking on a cell phone.
— Callum (@callum_vol) September 6, 2020
In another video, West is heard telling Snitker, “He doesn’t have his mask on.”
While it is unknown if there is a rule to wear a mask while in the ballpark, Rizzo was outdoors and not within six-feet of any other person, which is proper social distancing.
Ironically, when West walked back onto the field after his phone call, he was wearing his mask incorrectly.
Manager Davey Martinez was not sure what happened but stated that the MLB was looking into it.
Dave Martinez on what happened in the seventh: Somebody screamed from the upper deck, MLB is going to take a look at what happened, Martinez doesn't know the details.
— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) September 6, 2020
Soon after, the MLB released the following statement, tweeted by Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty.
“We have already been in communication with the Nationals regarding what transpired during today’s game, and we will speak with the umpiring crew today. We will expect Joe West’s crew to provide a full account of their perspective, and we will follow up with them accordingly.”
This is textbook Joe West, even if we aren’t 100 percent sure what happened.
Screenshots courtesy of MASN
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