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Willson Contreras was ejected for nothing

Chicago, we need to talk about this.

Willson Contreras walks away as he’s ejected for nothing
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

I can hear my father and grandfather’s voices echoing in my head as I write this.

Keep your head down.
Work harder than them.
Don’t lose your temper.

Three innings after Willson Contreras was ejected for asking a question, tilting his head to the side, walking away and slamming his bat in the ground I was still silently fuming on my couch unable to enjoy the Cubs four run lead in the eighth. This isn’t new, I’ve seen this kind of ejection before, I’ve even written about it on this site before.

But it is still infuriating.

Let me be really clear. Willson Contreras got ejected for nothing. We can argue about whether he hit his bat on the ground too hard, but it doesn’t really matter. That isn’t grounds for ejection when someone is walking to the dugout. It seems pretty clear that Tim Timmons just isn’t okay with taking questions from Willson Contreras. I’ll let you come to your own conclusions as to why. You can watch the ejection in its entirety for yourself [VIDEO].

Keep your head down.
Work harder than them.
Don’t lose your temper.

There were explanations on Twitter that he slammed his bat down, which isn’t grounds for being ejected. Others said he “must have said something” (ask yourself what could POSSIBLY have been said to eject him as he’s walking away). My favorite explanation was that the Cubs dugout was chirping, so Willson was ejected.

All of those explanations are nonsense.

Keep your head down.
Work harder than them.
Don’t lose your temper.

I was in eighth grade health class and to this day I cannot remember why the teacher wasn’t in the room. I had my head glued to the worksheet on my desk trying to ignore the white “cool” kids in the room talking trash.

“Stupid Mexicans” is the phrase that stands out the most.

Orlando had heard enough, turned around and said “Oh yeah, Donny? Who’s the smartest person in this room?”

Donny didn’t hesitate to say “Sara.”

Orlando laughed loudly as he said “Well she’s Mexican, so shut up”

I turned red as the entire room looked at me. Donny in particular looked even more confused than normal. “Is that true?”

My head was down.
I was working hard.
I lost my temper.

I looked up with fire in my eyes and said “Donny, my last name is Sanchez and my dad coaches in your Babe Ruth League. It’s obviously true.”

I don’t remember exactly what happened next but I remember looking back at my worksheet, my vision blurry with tears of fury.

I hate telling this story. I am so much more than this story. I always wanted that moment, and countless others like it that are seared in my memory to be made irrelevant by my work. My knowledge. My expertise. My words.

It has taken me decades to realize that there is no amount of keeping my head down and working hard that will outrun that moment.

I have no idea what motivated Tim Timmons to eject Willson Contreras for asking a question as he turned his head slightly, and slammed the top of his bat to the ground as he walked away in frustration. But I know the furious tears welling up in my eyes three innings later as I wrote this. They are the same tears I cried in eighth grade and God knows how many time since.

I love my father and grandfather both dearly but I am tired of heeding this particular advice:

Keep your head down.
Work harder than them.
Don’t lose your temper.

If all it takes to get ejected is a question and a tilt of the head, it’s time to lose your temper.