Perhaps the video below might provide some clarity into the encounter between Louisville baseball coach Dan McDonnell and Big East umpire Mike Shields during the U of L-St. John’s game on Saturday. A few things one might want to note in the video:

  • How far off the plate the pitch is to Louisville’s Drew Haynes.
  • Haynes disgustedly flinging the bat, getting ejected.
  • How McDonnell returns to the dugout after initially protesting the call.
  • How the umpires seem to be acting more like overzealous security guards at times.
  • How something an umpire says spurs McDonnell into returning to the field.
  • How little contact, incidental at most, is initiated by McDonnell with any umpire.

You be the judge but nothing will change the fact that the U of L coach has been banned for the next three games. And, as a wise man said very recently, “No use getting the bad side of umpires. You can’t win that fight.”

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By Charlie Springer

Charlie Springer is a former Louisville editor and sportswriter, a public affairs consultant, a UofL grad and longtime fan.

14 thoughts on “Video: Dan McDonnell’s Brush With Umpires”
  1. I know t1 of these umpires, and there is no way these umpires in a conference tourny, are gonna ( bait) a coach as you guys call it.. these guys are trying to get to the College world series, and doing anything like this will ruin there chances for this. Sometimes the player/coach does not see eye to eye with the umpire. it happens.

  2. In every sport, the officials have only two basic jobs: know the rules, and watch the game. Why is it the Big East collects so many officials in so many sports who can’t do either job well enough to justify their pay?

  3. It’s so obvious that the home plate umpire baited Coach Mac. One of the other umpires bumps into McDonnell so he would be written up as “bumping 2 or 3 umpires.” The Big East had better clean up their umpiring crews and soon.
    Seems like ever since Mike Tranghese left the Big East it has been sliding down hill.

    In that regard, I predict that very soon you will see the ACC make a major move to get U of L. 8 months ago I said that ultimately there will be four 18-team super conferences and you can be sure that the big boys are already lining up their dates for the dance. The Pac Ten and Big Ten have already started.

  4. While I agree that there was an “incident” and Dan was ejected for it….what I don’t agree with is that the umpire Mike Shields (1st base umpire..shouldn’t have even been @ home plate in the discussion) decided to file the complaint for such a minor infraction of the rule which Dan broke.

    He could have left it on the field after the ejection, but he chose to use his “power” to further punish Dan bc of his ego. Most umpires let it go….after the ejection. How often have you heard of coaches being suspended for 3 games?? Not many and it’s simply bc most umpires can move past it without further filing paperwork required for the 3 game ban.

    This is a personal agenda on the part of this umpire and he should be ashamed of himself. Mike Shields is selfish and petty and I hope he never shows his face again @ Patterson.

  5. What this video does not reveal, however, is the previous several calls that the announcer Moth questioned, repeatedly. Haynes and McDonnell were surely already aggravated, thus their quick reactions. At any rate, athletes and their leaders HAVE TO back off. Temper tantrums serve no good end. The rules are there and have to be abided by. Yes, the umpires seem to be trying to intimidate McDonnell, but were they trying to protect each other from a raging coach? Did they advance toward McDonnell? Or was he just too hot, consequences be hanged? Sympathy for their plight now but sorrow that all parties involved went too far.

    1. bcs,
      I agree that coaches need to keep their cool but these umps obviously were enjoying baiting McDonnell and without question trying to show him up. If you talk to Sean Moth (not the lightweight doing pbp for XM Radio) I think Sean will tell you that he saw this coming. Moth knows Coach Mac well and that it takes a lot to set him off. This crew doesn’t like coach Mac and it may go back to an earlier game in the tournament. The writeup and suspension smell like vendetta to me.

  6. I don’t think there’s any question regarding the contact, but I would hope that the Big East would look at the obvious provoking that the officials seemed to do with their puffed up chests and mouths, they definitely escalated the situation instead of diffusing it as they should have done after what appears to be a bad call.

    1. Keith,
      I agree. You hit it right on the head. The video clearly shows an ump move agressively toward Mac and chest bumping HIM. The guy that Mac touches when he first runs on the field was coming at him with his arms extended in a postion to push the coach. Mac pushes the ump’s HANDS, he doesn’t bump him. (The ump may have been ticked off because he broke a finger nail) These umps proved that they are definitely cry babies.

      1. Wouldn’t someone in the Big East review a this video, especially since a coach is being suspended for 3 games? I’m not saying it would change the outcome, but maybe enlighten someone as to the ump’s behavior also.

    1. Something to the effect: “get back to your f’in seat and sit the “f” down….

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