There isn’t a game that goes by where a player won’t argue with a home plate umpire over balls and strikes. The severity of the argument, or discussion, greatly varies however. It can range from a subtle comment made as a batter steps out of the box to Minnesota Twins outfielder Torii Hunter ripping his uniform off.
Adrian Gonzalez fell somewhere in the middle Friday as he was ejected in the middle of the seventh inning of a game that saw multiple turns and twists late. Gonzalez came up the bat in the top of the seventh with the bases loaded, one out, and the Dodgers on the verge of adding to their 2-0 lead.
Frank Garces’ first pitch to the All-Star first baseman was called for strike and his next resulted in an inning-ending double play. After being thrown out at first base Gonzalez turned and began shouting in home plate umpire Doug Eddings’ direction. Eddings tossed Gonzalez, which the former Padre was intent on getting to happen.
Gonzalez said he and Eddings exchanged words after the first pitch was called for strike, which appeared to be outside. When told by Eddings he was simply complaining about his fifth-inning at-bat and was now forced to swing at outside pitches, Gonzalez made up his mind to get ejected.
“At that point, that’s when I lost it,” he said from the Dodgers clubhouse after their wild win. “There was no way I was going to stay in the game if I made an out there.” Under the impression that Eddings didn’t seem to care for his mistakes, Gonzalez’s anger and frustration was further fueled; with it first stemming from his at-bat in the fifth.
Previous run-ins the Dodgers have had this season with home plate umpires include A.J. Ellis being told he needs to frame pitches better, and Justin Turner getting tossed after striking out looking to end a game; two strikes called in the at-bat appeared to be outside. Both instances occurred in St. Louis.
When asked if he regretted getting ejected in a tight game Gonzalez responded, “Absolutely not. Absolutely not.”