Just a couple days after umpire Bill Welke called Clark "Bush League" for leaning his elbow out over the plate, Clark was called out by umpire Alfonso Marquez for being out of the batting box in the Brewers' 9-6 win over the Phillies.
Now I'm trying not to be a homer here, but both of these incidents should never have happened. Yes, the rulebook says you cannot try to get hit by a baseball; in fact, you have to make an attempt to get out of the way. Yes, the rulebook says that you have to be in the batter's box.
But those are just the general overview of the rules. Look a little deeper and Welke and Marquez both owe Clark an apology.
In the first incident, Welke should have kept his damn mouth shut, and if Clark's elbow got hit by a ball while he was leaning it over the plate, Welke should have refused to issue Clark first base. Ned Yost probably would have come out to home plate, but it would be a short talk. The rules make it clear that if you get hit by a pitch that you make no effort to avoid, the umpire has the right to refuse you the base. Instead Welke calls time just to insult Clark. Who's really being Bush League here?
In last night's case, Marquez simply did not know the entire rule. The MLB rulebook states that if a batter hits a ball, fair or foul, with one foot completely outside of the batters box, he should be called out. Clark swung at the ball, got a piece of it, and it went into the catcher's glove. Marquez called him out because he made some contact with the ball. Again, this is an incorrect inerpretation of the rule. As soon as that ball rested securely in the catcher's mitt, any contact is negated and it's not considered a hit. If that happens with two strikes, it's the third strike, not a foul tip. A technicality, yes, but if you're a major league umpire you should know the technicalities of the rules.
So get off Brady Clark's ass umps.