Orioles manager Buck Showalter hadn’t been ejected from a game this season until Friday night.
That’s when Showalter teed off on home plate umpire Angel Hernandez on a curious call in the second inning of the Orioles 7-6 loss to the Blue Jays.
Orioles first baseman Chris Davis swung at a 1-2 pitch from Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. The pitch was a fluttering knuckler that fell off the table. The Dickey deliver was so good that not only did Davis miss it, but so did catcher Josh Thole. Replays showed it even hit Hernandez on the right shin before bouncing away.
After his swing, Davis turned and saw the ball to his right, so he started running to first. But Hernandez suddenly ruled the ball a foul tip, lifting his arms in the air, thus calling it dead.
“I swung and I heard it hit a number of things,” Davis said. “I saw the ball off to my right and just started running right there. Any time you have a dropped third strike or whatever you’re going to try to get to first however.”
Davis stopped. The Blue Jays simmered. Dickey argued, gesturing to Davis down the first base line, saying that even he knew he didn’t make contact. Toronto manager John Gibbons made the same argument.
After conferring with the umpiring crew, Hernandez overuled himself, calling Davis out on strikes.
That quickly brought Showalter out of the dugout. The longer Showalter argued with Hernandez, the more he boiled, his face began turning red and he emphatically threw his hands in the air.
Showalter’s argument seemed simple enough.
“He called a dead ball,” Showalter said. “You can’t have an out on a dead ball. It’s pretty obvious. He called it foul and its rolling out by the on-deck circle. He killed the play. I asked him why Chris stopped. I don’t think the umpires considered the fact that two wrongs don’t make a right.
“It’s not fair to Chris because he stopped because he called dead ball,” he added. “I don’t think they thought about it. I asked them to reconvene again and be fair. The final result is it’s just not fair to the Orioles. It didn’t any effect the game though. I don’t know. He might have hit the next pitch out of the park. I don’t know.”