Orioles criticize umpiring in ejection-filled series
A contentious four-game series with the Boston Red Sox ended Sunday with four more ejections, Michael Gonzalez’s not denying that he threw a purpose pitch behind David Ortiz, and Buck Showalter and Jeremy Guthrie criticizing the umpiring crew.
“I’ve said it before: Sometimes those who are in control of the game — I know the umpires have to control it — show a lack of feel by not understanding what is going on,” said Guthrie, who hit Kevin Youkilis with a changeup to load the bases with two outs in the fourth inning, resulting in plate umpire Marty Foster’s warning both benches.
“I think that’s … not having been in the situation, not having played the game at a high level, probably. You got first and third and you throw a changeup to the guy trying to get a ground ball, and I miss up and in. If they really had issues with people being hit, they could have warned the benches the second time one of our players were hit versus the third hit batsman of the game on a changeup on a situation where I clearly wasn’t intending to hit a gentleman. It’s difficult, but I’m sure nothing will happen and we’ll just keep going forward from there.”
Two days after Ortiz and Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg were the main combatants in a benches-clearing incident and one day after Red Sox starter John Lackey hit two Orioles, Boston right-hander Kyle Weiland and manager Terry Francona were ejected after the rookie hit Vladimir Guerrero in the right hand in the fifth inning. Weiland also hit Mark Reynolds in the right hand in the third.
“They lead all of baseball in hit by pitches. I lost two players today. I don’t think it was intentional from the young kid; location was a challenge for him,” Showalter said. “I don’t think there was any intent there on his part. I just know that we got hit four, five times here and it wasn’t particularly pleasant. You are looking at Mark Reynolds and Guerrero having broken hands at the time. It looks like we might have dodged the bullet with the initial X-rays, but you don’t know what could show up down the line. It doesn’t make you happy.”
Showalter did say he felt Lackey intentionally threw at Derrek Lee in the seventh inning Saturday night.
“I know the umpires are trying,” Showalter said. “I just wish they would have issued the warnings before the game started because Lackey should have been thrown out of the game for hitting Lee. That was [as] intentional as it gets. [It’ll] be interesting to see if they hand down any punishment for Lackey.”
Gonzalez could face disciplinary action as he didn’t exactly deny that he was trying to send a message to the Red Sox by throwing behind Ortiz in the sixth inning. He and Showalter were ejected afterward.
“Very frustrated. I’ve seen our guys get hit accidentally. It’s just how it is. It’s how the game goes. That’s about it with that,” Gonzalez said.