Braves object to ump's fist bump

Braves object to ump's fist bump

MIAMI -- Having ejected Bobby Cox twice this season, veteran umpire Bill Hohn had already drawn the ire of many Braves players. But when Hohn was seen exchanging a fist bump with Marlins catcher John Baker at the end of Wednesday night's game, it's safe to say that he infuriated Chipper Jones and his Atlanta teammates.

"I've never seen it before in my 16 years," Jones said. "You exchange banter back and forth all of the time [with umpires], but it's never a shake of the hand or a fist bump. I guess Baker felt he deserved a handshake."

After Wednesday's 6-3 win over the Braves, Baker turned toward Hohn with his fist and the veteran ump then extended his.

When provided an opportunity to explain what had transpired on Thursday evening, Hohn said that he didn't have a comment. Crew chief Gary Darling said, "There's nothing to it," and ushered Hohn into the umpire's locker room. Hohn then added, "The league has reviewed it all."

But the Braves were asked early Thursday evening to send Major League Baseball tapes of what happened during the final two innings of Wednesday's game.

Hohn became the center of attention during the eighth inning, when he rankled Brian McCann by calling a 1-0 pitch a strike. Jones opened the inning with a four-pitch walk, and McCann was retired two pitches later, when he grounded into a double play on Dan Meyer's 2-1 pitch.

After McCann returned to the dugout, Hohn heard something that led him to walk to the edge of the Braves' dugout. Cox then came onto the field and exchanged words with the 20-year veteran umpire, who responded by saying that he had to throw somebody out of the game.

When Hohn pulled out his lineup card to review a list of Braves players, Cox pointed toward the card and asked to be ejected for the 147th time in his career.

McCann was ejected before the start of the next half-inning, when he asked Hohn, "Can you at least admit that you missed the pitch?"

Cox said that he had no comment about Hohn's fist bump, and McCann said, "I said enough last night."

Jones and Braves hitting coach Terry Pendleton both said that they were shocked when they saw the exchange between Hohn and Baker.

"I don't think it was very professional, just let me say that," Pendleton said. "He may have done it before. Somebody else might have done it. I've never seen it. It was shocking, to tell you the truth."

Hohn ejected Jones, Cox and left-handed reliever Eric O'Flaherty during a heated seventh-inning exchange on June 21 in Boston.

Jones contends that he never cursed and was ejected simply for asking why it appeared that Hohn had baited O'Flaherty, who was upset about a potential third-strike call that he didn't receive while facing Boston's J.D. Drew.

"He'd never thrown me out of the game before," Jones said. "He baited O'Flaherty into throwing him out in Boston and he baited Bobby last night. That's where I think some umpires use their power and their authority, but the league office will see the game. They'll see the tapes."

After both of their losses to begin this week's three-game series against the Marlins, the Braves have complained about the strike zones of umpires Jerry Meals and Hohn.

"The last two nights' performances by the officiating is something that makes you sit back and wonder," Jones said. "As a player, it makes me not want to play when that stuff happens, because you don't have a chance."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.