TAMPA, Fla. -- At first, Chris Stewart couldn't understand why first base umpire Marty Foster threw him out of Thursday's game against the Blue Jays.
He thought he had beaten Jose Reyes' throw to first, and replays seemed to bear out his contention. He let Foster, who has had his run-ins with the Yankees before, know it. But he said he didn't curse at the umpire or, he thought, do anything to show him up. But all of a sudden, he was out of the game before two innings had been completed.
"I was shocked," he said. “Everybody’s asking me, who gets thrown out in a spring training game? It’s this guy right here, I guess.”
As far as Stewart could determine, all he did was respond, "Don't talk to me that way," after Foster said something he considered "inappropriate." (Stewart did not share what that was.)
And, oh yeah, he pointed his finger while he said it. "I pointed at him once, he told me not to point at him, and I didn’t do it again," Stewart said. "If I had pointed at him twice, then maybe I should have gotten run."
But David Waldstein of the New York Times seemed to remember a second point, and through the combined miracles of the Internet and smartphones, it was soon determined, through replays, that Stewart had indeed pointed twice at Foster. The catcher himself saw a replay and returned to the media scrum to sheepishly admit, "I guess I did point twice."
“I don’t want to be in [the clubhouse] after the second inning," he said. "I want to be out there on the field seeing pitches, catching my pitchers, getting a feel for them. Being in here sucks, especially after two innings. It is what it is. I apologized to Joe for somehow doing something to get out of the game. I'm just trying to make a team.”