Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba has always played the game of baseball with a lot of fire and a lot passion. Unfortunately, the 11 year big league veteran took that fire and passion too far while playing for Leones del Caracas of the Venezuelan League on Friday.
After Torrealba took an ugly cut at a breaking ball and missed for strike three, he immediately began a heated discussion with home plate umpire Dario Rivero, Jr over a disputed strike call earlier in the at-bat. The two men jawed face-to-face for a good fifteen seconds before Torrealba struck the umpire in the face mask with the palm of his hand and pushed him away.
The ump had a mask on, so it's hard to believe he was too affected by the hit, but by no means was this a benign incident.
Torrealba's inability to control his rage is embarrassing, and swift action must be taken by the Venezuelan Winter League.
A lifetime ban is in order. There is no excuse for a player coming into contact with an official in a malicious manner, and this went far beyond going chest to chest with the ump.
This was a deliberate assault and the league needs to let it be known that they won't stand for this intolerable act.