New replay proves Astros' Jose Altuve was justified in going ballistic before ejection

It takes a lot to get Jose Altuve to get thrown out of a game, but MLB's umpires managed to pull it off over the weekend.
Houston Astros v New York Mets
Houston Astros v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages

If you are a Houston Astros fan, you can live with a 50/50 call by an umpire not going the team's way every now and again. Some plays are so close that they are basically impossible to get right with 100% certainty in real time and, even with replay, a call could go in multiple directions. The ones that infuriate fans (and players) are the obvious blunders that umps get wrong even after a review, which is precisely what happened to Jose Altuve on Sunday.

Altuve is not usually a guy to cause a fuss during a game. Before Sunday's game, he had been ejected exactly once in his 14-year career. In the seventh inning against the Mets, however, Altuve fouled a ball off his foot and he hopped out of the batter's box in obvious pain as the ball bounced harmlessly into play ... or, at least, so he thought.

Mets third baseman Mark Vientos fielded the ball (which was in fair territory) and threw it to first and Altuve was called out. Altuve was understandably confused given that, again, the ball had clearly struck his foot. The umpires conferred and, somehow, the umpiring crew confirmed the out call. That is when Altuve lost his mind and earned his second career ejection. The replay certainly seems to confirm Altuve's side of things.

Altuve's second career ejection highlights MLB's umpiring problem

After the game, Altuve was mostly diplomatic when describing the moment that led to his ejection. He said that what made him the angriest was that the call came at a big spot in the game, and that his emotions got the better of him. However, he also said he didn't get much of an explanation as to why the call was made in the first place which, considering that replay pretty clearly showed that the ball hit his foot, is definitely a bad look for the umpires.

This is just the latest moment in the sad and growing saga that is MLB's umpire situation. Sure, Angel Hernandez is gone, but there are plenty of bad umpire apples still out there turning the game mealy. Those bad umpires still lack accountability with regularity.

Fans and players know that umpires are human, but that is a lot harder to swallow when plays aren't that close. This isn't Ronel Blanco's ejection for sticky stuff that turned out to be his fault. This is the umps just not doing their jobs.

Fortunately, the call didn't cost Houston the win, as the Mets' bullpen imploded in extras and the Astros ended up winning 10-5 over New York. Overall, things are actually going really well for the Astros as they are playing their best baseball of the 2024 season by a wide margin right now. However, that doesn't mean that Altuve wasn't justified for blowing a gasket on Sunday.

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