An umpire proclaiming "I can do anything I want" on a baseball field will never be good. And yet, that's what the home referee told Astros coach A.J. Hinch in Arlington Wednesday night. It was a long time for Kulpa and the Astros, who lost 4-0 and fell to 2-5 in the young season. It also started early with this drop in the second run:
Striking coach Alex Cintron has been tossed in this video. A throw later, another contestable called hits, and Hinch was gone too. During the exchange, Kulpa could tell Hinch that he could do whatever he wanted (the GIF at the top of this message from Deadspin said it very clearly). Again, it's a bit true but it's also a very bad look.
Here is Hinch after the match, confirming what Kulpa said:
Later in the match, Gerrit Cole, coach of Astros, also warmed up with Kulpa, even if he was not tied to the strike zone.
"It was a tough night for us, we are just trying to get it over," said Cole, via the Associated Press. "Maybe disagree on a call or two, but it was not the main problem for me.What it does is out of my control and I have to do a better job to manage my body language … I'm just going to leave him on the pitch, it was not with the strike zone. "
So what was it? Team leader Jerry Meals told the reporter after the game that Cole was not following the pace of play instructions.
"We were ordered to tell him one more step, he ignored it, I threw another one, very well, I ignored him again, I wanted to continue throwing" said Meals. "He has the responsibility to get out of the dugout earlier to warm up and he has been waiting for his catcher to be ready, which is not what you are doing."
As noted Hinch, the league has something to settle here. Kulpa surely hears something and the intuition is that of Hinch, Cintron and Cole.