Well this probably isn’t how the Rangers expected Yorvit Torrealba to spend his time in the Venezuelan winter league.
Torrealba took a beef over an earlier call by umpire Dario Rivero Jr. way, way too far earlier today. After striking out swinging, Torrealba turned around, started screaming at the Rivero before hitting the umpire square in the face. Video of the incident after the jump.
This is one of the worst instances of umpire abuse in baseball history, certainly a more disgusting sight than Roberto Alomar spitting on John Hirschbeck. As you can see in the video above, Torrealba hits the ump square in the face with an open palm after spending a good 20 seconds or so berating him. It’s an act of disrespect that would have been inexcusable for a little leaguer let alone a veteran of 11 Major League seasons.
MLB.com spoke with Rangers GM Jon Daniels, who would only say that “the club is looking into it.” I’m not sure what more Daniels needs to see about the incident that the video doesn’t already show. Regardless of his opinion of Rivera’s breath or umpiring skills, his actions were completely unwarranted. The last thing the Rangers needed as they try to defend their American League championship for the third year in a row is their backup catcher making a mockery of the game.
For the record, Torrealba posted solid numbers backing up Mike Napoli in Arlington last season, hitting .273 with 7 HR and 37 RBI in 117 games in the first year of a two-year, $6.25 million deal. With Taylor Teagarden ready to go though, you’d have to think this incident makes his job security even more precarious than it was before. Rangers fans and front office brass likely aren’t taking kindly to seeing a guy who was hardly an integral part of the team’s success last season doing his part to make the organization look bad.