TORONTO -- Randy Johnson apologized and said he was wrong, a
day after being ejected in the second inning for arguing with plate
umpire Fieldin Culbreth.
"I'm deeply regretful. I put my ballclub in a bind," Johnson
said Saturday. "I pitch with emotion, but I let it get the best of
Johnson had his shortest start in more than a decade in Friday's
11-10 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees bounced back
to take an eight-run lead, but barely held on.
After watching the game on the clubhouse TV, Johnson
congratulated his teammates and "left to think about what I would
say today," he said.
Johnson said he might address his teammates.
"I was wrong," he said. "I was wrong for letting my emotions
get away from me."
With Toronto leading 3-2 with two outs in the second inning, Frank Menechino at the plate and the count 2-2, Johnson threw a pitch on the inside part of the plate that was called a ball. The 6-foot-10 left-hander yelled at Culbreth, who popped out to the first-base side of the plate and took off his mask.
Culbreth yelled something at Johnson and pointed at the pitcher. Johnson yelled something back, and the umpire then ejected him.
Culbreth said he warned Johnson in the first inning after the Big Unit questioned a pitch to Vernon Wells and got "pretty animated," the umpire said. Culbreth had enough after the pitch to Menechino.
Johnson didn't think he got a fair warning.
"I really didn't sense that. It's not the first time I've
questioned an umpire, but it is the first time in 17 years that I
have been ejected for it," Johnson said. "It came at an
Asked if he heard Culbreth give a warning, Johnson said: "I
don't know. There's too much on my mind, I'm that focused."
New York manager Joe Torre said he would talk to Johnson on
Saturday, and he did when they ran into each other on the hotel
elevator. Torre told Johnson that he "snapped."
"I said I thought the umpire was quick on the trigger but I
thought you snapped," Torre said. "I also told him I certainly
don't want to take that emotion from him. I don't want him out
there worried about what he's going to say or do. Hopefully, I'll
get to him before it happens again. I never want to take his
passion away from him because I think he needs it to pitch."