CHICAGO --- When you a team loses its starting catcher to a third-inning ejection, it is incumbent upon the manager to also get ejected.
Such was the case during Saturday night’s contest between the Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners when A.J. Pierzynski apparently said the magic words to home-plate umpire Lance Barrett. The veteran catcher was complaining about the perceived floating strike zone for starter Jose Quintana. Barrett ejected the catcher then manager Robin Ventura as tempers flared.
Ventura may be looking at a suspension after bumping into crew chief Jim Joyce who had to restrain the White Sox manager from getting to Barrett during the argument. The early dismissal was the third for the Sox manager in his first year in the dugout. It was the sixth career ejection for Pierzynski.
“We are still reviewing tape and writing our report to the league office,” Joyce said. “I will be fair to Robin and Lance will do the same in his report to the league office. I told Robin if he wanted to talk to Lance over my shoulder to go ahead because I don’t want to see any contact between he and the umpire that just ejected him. I wanted to protect both guys really.”
Pierzynski was matter of fact about what got him tossed from the game.
“When you have a disagreement about what kind of pizza is better thin crust or thick crust, someone usually gets ejected,” Pierzynski said.
In baseball circles, it is commonly known that a catcher has a certain amount of professional arguing license with a home-plate umpire. The key element to venting is that the catcher doesn’t get out of the crouch and does not turn around to show up the official. It did not appear Pierzynski crossed that line in either area.
“You know these things happen,” said Pierzynski “ This is between him and I. It is over with, so hopefully after this game, we can turn the page.”
Joyce felt Barrett had a good reason to eject Pierzynski.
“I’m not so sure that (a reasonable conversation) happened tonight,” Joyce said. “We will write exactly what happened in our reports.”
Ventura downplayed the incidents in his brief conversation with the media after the Sox’s victory.
“I didn’t think I was that mad,” he said. “It is just a part of baseball and it is what you do. If you lose any player, you act the same way.”