Umpires Made Tigers Manager Ron Gardenhire Fix His Mask In The Middle Of An Argument

Baseball is a sport full of traditions, and one of the most time-honored of those traditions is managers screaming at umpires at close range. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic may have made those arguments somewhat more socially distanced, of course, but they’re still happening as the MLB season continues.

On Sunday, however, we saw something that’s likely never happened during a manager’s argument with an umpire: the latter asking a manager to fix their mask while they exchange words. That happened during the third inning of a game between the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland. With the score tied at 3, a play in the outfield made Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire come out to complain about the call.

Gardenhire objected to umpire Tim Timmons calling a ball stuck under the padding in the outfield a ground rule double, rather than letting the play carry on and potentially getting the Tigers extra bases. The argument was notable for a few reasons, the first of which being that Timmons was caught on a hot mic cursing the Tigers manager out.

The other, of course, was something far more of-the-moment: eagle-eyed viewers noticed that Gardenhire was arguing with his mask on, but not covering his nose. And at one point during the close-range discussion, the umpire actually motioned to Gardenhire to pull up his mask, which he did.

It’s definitely another addition to what’s been a very large pile of odd 2020 visuals due to COVID-19, but it is notable for another reason. MLB has had a number of coronavirus outbreaks that have threatened the league’s ability to actually finish the season logistically. With all that in the background, it’s nice to see that people are trying their best to stay safe. Even in a heated moment on the field.