As I understand it, in baseball, some subset of the calls made by an umpire are open for review, at the request of one of the team's managers. In those cases, the managers are allowed to leave the dugout and question the correctness of the call. At that point, they can ask the umpire to either officially review the call (which each team has a set number of), or the umpire may decide to voluntarily review it under their own discretion.

However, "judgement" calls by an umpire, such as balls and strikes calls, are not review-able. A player or manager arguing with an umpire over such calls can quickly lead to an ejection.

I can understand e.g. a player at the plate, in the heat of the moment, mouthing off to the plate umpire when they disagree, but for a manager to come out of the dugout and argue knowing they're going to get ejected seems odd. Frequently I will even hear the commentary team speculate that being ejected was the intent of the manager.

So, why do managers argue over these calls when it's always fruitless? Is it always fruitless (e.g. do umpires ever reverse ball/strike calls)? Or is there some reason a manager would want to be ejected from a game?

3 Answers 3


A manager might argue to stick up for his team and motivate them, even if he knows the call was right or it won't be reversed. Here's an article highlighting some of the sillier things managers have yelled at umpires about in order to inspire their team, including Tommy Lasorda yelling about an Italian restaurant.

Another reason is if a batter starts arguing over a strike call the manager may run out of the dugout to argue in the batter's place so the manager will get ejected instead of the player (arguing strike calls is an automatic ejection).


Why do some players argue with officials about being sent off for arguing with officials?

Some people are just that stupid, regardless of what other talent thy may have. At the professional level, ego is a major factor in a number of interactions between those associated with teams and those associated with organising bodies (almost but not quite always on the behalf of the team associate).

In a large proportion which overlaps this,the in-group/out-group nature of competitive sport also has an effect. Put simply, the official is not a member of the in-group and has done something to negative effect on the in-group, marking them as an enemy to be combatted.


Baseball managers have been known to argue with umpires, to the point of ejection, simply to buy time. This might be for a number of reasons:

  • To allow the pitcher calm down & refocus
  • To allow the catcher discuss strategy with the pitcher
  • Most usually, to allow a relief pitcher time to warm up in the bullpen, so that the manager can then change pitchers.
  • Why are umpires arguing with officials? They have no reason and no time to do this...
    – Nij
    Apr 23, 2018 at 22:12

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