It’s safe to say Ron Roenicke won’t be having umpire Mark Ripperger over for tea and cake any time soon.
After a night spent enduring Ripperger’s inconsistent strike zone and the havoc it caused for Brewers pitchers, Roenicke went off on the umpire in fine-worthy fashion (via Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel):
“This is the thing that bothers me: this is the same umpire that we had before, and he is terrible behind home plate,” he said. “He calls pitches that aren’t even close. The catcher sets up six inches off the plate and he calls them strikes. I should have been kicked out the last time that we saw him. He was behind the plate.
Roenicke did get kicked out this time, being run by Ripperger in the ninth inning after the Padres’ Rene Rivera tagged normally unhittable closer Francisco Rodriguez for a game-tying home run.
“I’m tired of sitting here watching the catcher set up off the plate and hitting his glove and (the umpire) calling it a strike. They’re balls. So Frankie misses, OK, it’s off the plate this much, the first one he calls a ball. He’s been calling it all night. The next one was a little further off, but he’s been calling that also. Just call the same pitches, but they’re balls.
“I should have been kicked out in probably the second inning today. It’s the same guy.”
So there you go Mark Ripperger. The gauntlet has been thrown. Ron Roenicke dares you to throw him out of the game the next time you are behind home plate for the Brewers.
It is on very much like Donkey Kong.