As is usually the case with these sorts of matters, there are two stories being told about Alex Rodriguez’s ejection in the fifth inning.
First, a timeline:
Bottom of the fourth inning: A-Rod strikes out looking on a 2-2 pitch to end the inning, leaving the bases loaded. Replays showed the pitch was off the outside corner of a plate but not egregiously so. Umpire Marty Foster calls it a strike.
Top of the fifth inning: Alex plays third base, Baltimore goes in order. He then goes into the video room next to the Yankees dugout to review the pitch. Returns to the dugout and starts yelling at Foster.
Bottom of the fifth inning: As Hideki Matsui steps to the plate, Foster ejects Rodriguez. Joe Girardi flips and is ejected too.
Now the comments:
A-Rod: “I knew it was a ball and then when I went inside and confirmed it, I got more upset. It’s just one of those things. It was a big game for us. We wanted to get back in a winning form. It’s a 2-2 pitch, bases loaded and it’s a not a good pitch. He took the bat out of my hands.
“He kept chatting with (Baltimore catcher Chad) Moeller all through my at-bat. He kept talking to him prior to the inning starting and I said, ‘Yeah, keep talking to him.’ No warning, he just threw me out.
“No warning. I thought in that situation when we need a win today, for him to take it into his own hands with no warning, I thought it was very unprofessional. I just said. ‘Keep talking to Moeller” in frustration. I was upset, I was upset at the situation. I didn’t think I put myself in a situation to get thrown out.”
Marty Foster: “He was ejected for arguing pitches from the dugout. I let him argue at the time. Nothing to get ejected for there, I calmed that down. During the next inning, he argued from third base then right before the (bottom of the fifth) inning started he was screaming from the dugout. He was ejected for arguing balls and strikes. I let him go, I let him go, but there has to be an end of it. I can’t let him argue with me all day.”
Joe Girardi: “To me these games are extremely important to us. I just thought he could have warned him. He could have said, ‘That’s enough. If you say another word, you’re gone.’ I don’t think what Al said warranted getting throwing out of the game. He just told him where the pitch was, a couple of balls outside. I just think in the game of baseball there’s a lot of emotions. When I came up, players always got warned. You know? They always said, ‘That’s enough, say one word, you’re gone.’ Today he tossed him what I thought was prematurely.”
So Girardi confirmed Foster’s side of the story. Obviously Alex did argue balls and strikes from the dugout. But it does seem that Foster acted rashly.
Foster looks bad here because he made that bad call against Derek Jeter in July. But Girardi said he didn’t think that was a factor.
Bottom line: Alex needs to stay in that game. You can’t give the umpire the opportunity to throw you out. But Foster did get carried away.
It all worked out and the Yankees won. No big deal. But it wouldn’t surprise me to see Girardi suspended for a game. He had a five-star nutty there, throwing his hat and getting physically restrained from going after Foster. MLB won’t like that too much. General Joe has been ejected four times this season.