MLB should investigate Tulo ejection, take action against ump if necessary

Troy Tulowitzki was ejected Monday after this exchange with home plate umpire John Hirschbeck. After the game, Tulowitzki assessed his ALCS Game 3 performance, which included a three-run home run, and explained why he was ejected after the seventh inning.

In a lot of cases, there's a he-said, he-said situation following confrontations between the umpires and the uniformed personnel, and the details -- the actual facts -- can be lost in the murk.

But in this situation, Major League Baseball may well have the tools to determine what exactly was said -- by whom, when and how they said it. In the postseason, there are layers of additional technology; more sounds from the game can be gleaned through field microphones.

If it's possible to extract everything that was said, to replay all the words, then maybe more will be found. Maybe Tulowitzki and other Blue Jays said a whole lot more.

If Tulowitzki's version of what happened with Hirschbeck is accurate -- that all he did from his position between the seventh and eighth innings was reiterate the pitch in question was not a strike -- then Hirschbeck overreacted in ejecting a crucial player in the middle of a postseason game: an enormous mistake. This is not a case of a starting pitcher getting tossed on his day off, or some player not on the roster. This is an All-Star shortstop getting thrown out in the middle of one of the most important games of Major League Baseball's season.

MLB would seem to be at a crossroads in the handling of this situation, with two options:

1. MLB can accept what happened without a response. As in: Move along, nothing to see here. MLB officials can take solace in the fact that the ejection of Tulowitzki had no bearing on the outcome of the game. The downside: If MLB officials determine that Hirschbeck overreacted in ejecting Tulowitzki and they do nothing, they are effectively condoning his actions. They are setting the table for a similar response in a similar situation down the road.

2. MLB can respond and take some sort of action against Hirschbeck. The range of discipline options is far and wide, with a suspension of Hirschbeck being the most harsh and a gentle conversation of reprimand representing the other extreme.

If MLB determines that Hirschbeck overreacted, then it needs to do something. It cannot allow the most important games to be hijacked in that way, any more than it would stand for a groundskeeper saturating the field with the sprinkler system or respond tepidly to a fan running onto the playing surface.