NEW YORK -- Joe Girardi is not Earl Weaver when it comes to personality, but when he gets worked up he can put on a pretty good show.
In the ninth inning of Thursday night's 3-2 New York Yankees loss to the Cleveland Indians, Girardi had enough of plate umpire Dan Iassogna's strike zone. Brian McCann, representing the tying run, had just struck out on a pitch right down the middle, but the second strike of the at-bat was definitely high.
In the eighth, with a man on, Jacoby Ellsbury struck out on a backdoor slider that Girardi felt was nearly a half-a-foot off the plate.
After McCann looked at the third strike in the ninth, he calmly discussed the call with Iassogna. Girardi watched and looked as if he wasn't going to leave the dugout. But after the McCann-Iassogna conversation went a little longer, here came Joe, the volcano.
On the Girardi eruption scale, it was probably a 6.5 out of 10, but it made for some theatrics during a mostly nondescript game.
Before he reached or said anything to Iassongna, the umpire had had enough. He tossed Girardi.
"He threw me out before I even said something, so what if I was going to say, 'What was the conversation [with McCann?],' I don't think that is right either," Girardi said. "If I say something first, that's different."
After Girardi had his third ejection of the season, he was going to get his "two cents."
Girardi said something, then he raised his hand to just below his brim, signaling that the pitch to McCann was high. That took care of his ninth-inning complaints. Then he moved to the Ellsbury at-bat in the eighth.
Positioned in front of home, Girardi drew a line with his cleat, clearing marking the territory he thought Ellsbury was called out on strikes.
"I thought the strikeout of Jacoby Ellsbury was four inches outside," Girardi said.
To emphasize his point, Girardi clapped his hands as he moved closer to Iassogna, who appeared unmoved by all the gesticulating. Girardi stood next to Iassogna and began pointing again outside of the plate. Then Girardi returned to the high pitch. Iassogna, who had already tossed Girardi, wanted to move on.
"I was just dealing with the situation at hand, discussing it with him and getting him to leave the field and resuming the game," Iassogna said to a pool reporter.
Girardi kept going, returning to his beef over the high McCann pitch. After a little less than a minute, Girardi finally left and the fans gave him a big ovation.
"I want the strike zone to be the strike zone," Girardi said. "I know they are not going to be perfect. It is a real important time."
McCann for his part said they just had a disagreement. He called Iassogna a "great umpire." Girardi, at least on Thursday night, did not agree.