Major League Baseball is 'looking into' a spat that occurred between home plate umpire Laz Diaz and New York Yankees catcher Russell Martin on Wednesday night. According to Martin, he and Diaz got into an argument over balls and strikes early in the game and Diaz's bizarre way of holding a grudge was to not allow Martin to throw new balls back to his pitcher:
"He said that it was a privilege that I had to earn, for me to throw the ball back," said the catcher, a seven-year veteran and three-time All Star. "That's never happened to me before. I even told him, because there's guys on base, I like to keep my arm loose. Nope. 'I'm not letting you throw the ball back.' That's pretty strange, to me. That's a good story, huh?" [...]
"I think it happened in the second inning or something," Martin said at his locker after the game. "And then even at the end of the game, after I got hit in the neck, I'm like, 'can I throw the ball back now?' He's like still, no. I'm like, 'you're such a d—. You're a d—, dude. Like, for real. Unbelievable.' "
After the game, Martin again called Diaz a "dick" and told reporters to "write it hard." Oh, it's full on [written].
But yeah, I've never heard of this happening before. I know some umpires in lower levels of ball like to take the liberty to throw the ball back to the pitcher, some doing so as hard as they can, like it's going to impress a scout in the stands. But this… this is new to me.