Animated Leyland ejected over call at first base
Tigers skipper tossed in seventh after umpires confer over play
DETROIT -- The city's annual fireworks display was scheduled for Monday night, but Tigers manager Jim Leyland provided sparks of his own, so to speak.
Leyland was ejected in the seventh inning of Monday's 4-2 win over the Blue Jays after a reversed call at first base set off a lengthy argument with first-base umpire Ed Rapuano and home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez.
The call in question came on Andy Dirks' bunt that forced a diving toss from Blue Jays second baseman Aaron Hill to Adam Lind at first. After several seconds, Rapuano ruled Dirks safe, motioning that Hill's throw drew first baseman Adam Lind off the bag, prompting Toronto manager John Farrell to storm out of the dugout.
Rapuano quickly turned to Marquez and asked for his opinion. Once he got it, he promptly reversed his call. As replays showed, Dirks was out, but the conference and reversal set Leyland off. He marched out of the dugout and headed toward Rapuano.
Leyland argued vehemently with Rapuano, who let him vent for a while until he started pantomiming Rapuano's reversal. That was more than enough to earn Leyland his first ejection of the season, but he continued the argument for at least two more minutes as the crowd of 25,181 roared and players watched.
"That was pretty impressive," said Don Kelly, who was on deck.
Leyland declined to comment on the play or the argument after the game. But it was clear to those on the field that Leyland wasn't arguing whether Dirks was safe or out. The fact that Rapuano turned to Marquez for the call, even though Rapuano had a clear view of the play, was the issue.
"It was more the appeal at first base," said Tigers starter Max Scherzer, who was in the dugout. "He just hadn't seen that call before, where he appealed to home plate. I think that's what he was upset about."
Eventually, Leyland marched back into the dugout, still yelling and waving his arms. He stopped along the way to give a piece of his mind to Marquez. Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon took over managerial duties.
"We all had a nice little chuckle in the dugout," Scherzer said. "Good old Skip, giving his best to the umpires. But obviously, he had to do what he had to do."