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St. Louis Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol attempted to clear the air with MLB umpire C.B. Bucknor on Sunday ahead of his team’s spring game against the Washington Nationals, but things didn’t go as planned.
When Marmol approached Bucknor pregame to shake hands, Bucknor refused.
All three other umpires shook Marmol’s hand and seemingly apologized for Bucknor’s behavior, but Marmol, who said he approached Bucknor with a handshake out of respect, didn’t come away from the incident happy.
“I don’t think he’s very good at his job, and he has zero class as a man,” Marmol said afterward.
You may recall that the two have a history dating back to last season.
Marmol was ejected in the third inning of an August 2022 game against the Arizona Diamondbacks when Bucknor called a first-pitch strike on an — arguably obvious — inside pitch to Nolan Arenado.
Arenado spun around in shock after Bucknor’s call, and moments later, Marmol was ejected for complaining about it. Things escalated quickly, as both men drew nearer and began shouting at each until things were eventually broken up.
Marmol was a Cardinals coach for four years (2017-21) before becoming the team’s manager in 2022. He boasts a 93-69 (.574) managerial record with St. Louis, which finished first in the National League Central last season before getting shut out in an NL Wild Card Series by Philadelphia.
Bucknor made his MLB debut in 1996 and has umpired five postseason divisional games (2007-09, 2013, 2020), two All-Star games (2005, 2021) and one wild-card game (2020).
He was voted the league’s worst umpire by active major leaguers in 2003 and 2006, per Sports Illustrated. Bucknor was once again named the MLB’s worst umpire in a 2010 ESPN survey of 100 active players, catching 42% of the ballots.
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