Ozzie Guillen will probably be a little shorter on cash before the end of the month. Mark Buehrle might, too.
But it’s hard to argue against them.
Guillen and Buehrle were both ejected by Joe West following a pair of balk calls that were questionable on multiple levels on Wednesday afternoon. There still hasn’t been a clear explanation of how Buehrle balked, and it sure looked like West was waiting for Buehrle to throw over to first so he could nail him for a balk again. The glove toss — which Buehrle shouldn’t have done — was all he needed to seal the deal.
Guillen didn’t hide his feelings:
“Because he’s a f—ing a–hole, that’s what he is.”
He seems to know West well. Guillen criticized West last year for an ejection during a game against the Dodgers on June 24, 2009. Guillen had argued balls and strikes, and stated his case after the game:
”I asked what the pitch was, and he kicked me out. He big-leagued me. That was the weakest call I’ve ever had in my career. I don’t think it was worth it.”
But it wasn’t always this way. Remember the game against the Cubs in 2007, when a 9-3-6-3-2-5 double play was taken off the board with an interference call, confusing everybody in the stadium and igniting Hawk Harrelson’s rage — even though he and everybody else had no clue what happened?
“Ozzie said, ‘You’re just going to have to run me,’ ” crew chief Joe West said. “He said, ‘I come out here and got two outs and when you put (the runners) back on I got no outs. I can’t take that.’
“He didn’t use any profanity. He was very gentlemanly.” (Daily Herald, June 25, 2007)
Alas, given West’s recent history, not only against the Sox but also with other teams in baseball, I don’t think this one is going to die down soon. And that makes two umpires that Guillen wants MLB executives to examiner this season.
Dan Iassogna: Guillen was ejected by Iassogna earlier this month in order to prevent A.J. Pierzynski from getting thrown out.
Pierzynski hesitated throwing the ball back to the mound after an uncalled strike three. Words must have been exchanged, because Iassogna came around Pierzynski in order to get in his face. Guillen came rushing out and took the fall.
”I hope Major League Baseball takes a look at that one, because if I get fined for that one, I might get suspended. Because any umpire, I don’t care who you are, you shouldn’t show people up. [Iassogna] was on top of [Pierzynski]. If they really check the replays, the way they say, they will see that.” (Chicago Sun-Times, May 3, 2010)
I put photos of the incident on my Facebook page. (And now that I think of it, I think I’ve witnessed five Guillen ejections in person.)
The Pierzynski flap was reminsicent of another incident from several years ago in which Iassogna seemed to escalate the conflict. In the second inning of a game against the Tigers on Aug. 22, 2006, Guillen was thrown out for arguing balls and strikes. He came out onto the field, said his piece, and as he was walking away, Iassogna said something that caused Guillen to come charging back.
Guillen was profanely resigned following the game:
”But in the meanwhile, you can’t do [bleep] because they have all the power. The more you talk, the more suspensions, more money they take away from you, and you have to shut the [bleep] up and can’t do [bleep].” (Chicago Sun-Times, Aug. 23, 2006)
* * *
There is a chance that the feud with Cowboy Joe will blown over. A couple of past feuds have died down:
Phil Cuzzi: Cuzzi ejected Ozzie Guillen for arguing balls and strikes on Opening Day of 2008, and Guillen claimed that Cuzzi was making it personal. The key quote:
”I don’t like that guy behind the plate,” Guillen said. ”And I’m going to let him know. He don’t like me, I don’t like him. One reason is, if you don’t like me as a man and what I do, I respect that. But if you don’t like me, and all of a sudden you’re going to take it out on my players, you’re wrong. That’s unprofessional.” (Daily Herald, April 10, 2008)
The two had a history, as Cuzzi had also ejected Guillen on July 31, 2007 over an iffy checked swing.
Cuzzi was also behind the plate for the Sean Tracey Incident in 2006, setting the stage by issuing a warning to both teams after Vicente Padilla plunked A.J. Pierzynski twice, while Javier Vazquez had not hit anybody.
But the most recent incident involving Cuzzi actually benefited the Sox.
On June 30, 2009, Gavin Floyd had the bases loaded with two outs in a 2-0 game. He got Ryan Garko to hit a dribbler down the first-base line with the bases loaded, and Floyd rushed over to pick it up. Home plate umpire Scott Barry said it went foul after Floyd picked it up and threw to first, but first base umpire Cuzzi called it fair.
After a conference, Barry went with Cuzzi’s perspective (which replays confirmed was correct), and it helped preserve a lead the Sox would hold the rest of the game.
Hunter Wendelstedt: Wendelstedt is most famous for the controversial call he made against Joe Crede on April 27, 2005, by ruling that Crede made no effort to get out of the way on a slow curve in the ninth inning of a tie game. Crede popped out, and then thrown out after getting all up in Wendelstedt’s grill.
Guillen did not get ejected for this one, however. Really, it’s more famous for the fact that Crede was playing short for the injury-depleted Sox when he was thrown out, which forced Jermaine Dye to play shortstop for the only inning in his career. This box score is awesome. I really, really, really wanted to see him try to turn two.
But Wendelstedt was on hand for the first truly explosive moment of Guillen’s career. Guillen was ejected after arguing (correctly) that Wendelstedt blew a call, calling Carlos Lee out on a stolen-base attempt. Wendelstedt gave him the thumb while Guillen was returning the dugout, and Guillen didn’t even know he was ejected until somebody told him.
He charged back out there, at one point telling Wendelstedt that, “You’re not even a pimple on your daddy’s ass.” Guillen was suspended one game for bumping Wendelstedt with the bill of his cap. He was suspended again when he called Wendelstedt a “liar” for saying Guillen spit on him during the argument.
Kenny Williams then got in hot water with MLB executive vice president Sandy Alderson for criticizing the way league offices deal with umpire complaints. Glad to see a lot has changed.
Burning question: If Bobby Jenks blew the four-run lead, would Tony Pena and the rest of the bullpen (save Randy Williams) have the right to clean their spikes on him?
Pena, as I mentioned a couple of days ago, has been flying under the radar this season. I doubt that’s the case after his four-inning relief masterpiece, which is the kind of display that erases terrible first impressions.
Needless to say, it would’ve been a real kick to the crotch had Jenks wasted Pena’s team-lifting effort, especially as they travel to Florida for four games against the first-place Tampa Bay Rays.
Once again, Jenks finds himself on a different page than management. Jenks’ version of the events…
“It was one of those days where you make some good pitches and they get hits,” Jenks said. “The only pitch I’m mad about is the Shelly Duncan pitch. I feel that was the only one I missed my location. It’s just one of those days in baseball.”
…didn’t exactly jive with Guillen’s:
“Pretty sad,” said Guillen, who had to watch from a clubhouse television following his ejection in the second inning. “Wow, Bobby is throwing the ball good. I don’t know why (he struggled). … He was throwing 95, 96, I don’t know why he doesn’t throw strikes. Maybe a lack of concentration, but I think this game is big for us.”
Minor league roundup:
- Salem 3, Winston-Salem 1
- Nevin Griffith struck out six with no walks over six innings, allowing one run on three hits.
- Off night for Dan Remenowsky, who allowed two runs on two hits over an inning of work. He did strike out two.
- Brandon Short went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts.
- Jon Gilmore walked once, Eduardo Escobar walked twice. Both were 0-for-2.
- Justin Greene went 0-for-3 with two K’s.
- Savannah 5, Kannapolis 4 (14 innings)
- Trayce Thompson tripled, drove in a run and struck out twice over five at-bats. He did commit his fourth error in the field.
- Miguel Gonzalez went 0-for-6 with three strikeouts.
- Nick Ciolli doubled, tripled and struck out twice.
- Birmingham at Huntsville PPD
- Charlotte OFF