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Taking a closer look at Orioles catcher Matt Wieters' first career ejection

Matt WietersBaltimore OriolesBaseballJose BautistaChris DavisJim Johnson

It’s not often that Orioles catcher Matt Wieters loses his cool.

But after the Orioles fell behind 8-1 in the fifth inning of their 8-6 loss to the Blue Jays Tuesday night at the Rogers Centre, he felt he had to speak his mind to home plate umpire Doug Eddings.

He expressed his displeasure with the way Eddings was calling balls and strikes, obviously an easy way to get rung up. And that’s what happened to Wieters, who was quickly ejected for the first time in his career.  Manager Buck Showalter had to rush out to put himself between Eddings and Wieters.

“It was something I felt that inning we threw some good pitches and they didn’t get called strikes and some pitches that had been getting called strikes earlier in the game,” Wieters said. “He gave me plenty of rope. That’s clear. You can’t argue balls and strikes. It’s something where I knew I might be gone there but I had to say my piece.”

The Orioles were already trailing 5-1 heading into the fifth, and Wieters thought starter Jake Arrieta was getting pinched during the first at bat of the inning against Jose Bautista. Arrieta, who was struggling with his fastball command throughout the night, issued back-to-back walks to Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion and he would be out of the game two batters later in favor of rookie Miguel Gonzalez, who made his major league debut Tuesday.

“There were some calls earlier that went their way that were close calls,” Wieters said. “But at the same time I thought we had a pretty big zone all night and then we made some pitches on Bautista that really got that inning started that maybe we would have had one out and nobody on and have a whole different inning.”

Without criticizing Eddings directly, Showalter supported Wieters, who isn’t one to complain often.

“Let’s put it this way,” Showalter said. “I would definitely consider the source if it’s Matt Wieters, because he has no agenda, just a pure heart about what’s right and what’s wrong."

It wasn’t the only problem the Orioles had with Eddings, who clearly missed a call in the third inning, calling a check-swing third strike on Robert Andino that wasn’t close.

“There were enough things that went along in that game to not make that matter,” Showalter said. “But you know we had a not particularly good night pitching and the umpires have a tough night in judgment every now and then.”

It was the first time an Orioles catcher was ejected since Gregg Zaun was thrown out of a game for arguing a called third strike by Hunter Wendelstedt on Aug. 2, 2009.

Here’s a complete list of ejections of current Orioles, compiled by baseball historian David Vincent:

Buck Showalter
Nbr Date       Tm/Job Umpire
1 05/17/1992 NYA M Al Clark            Arguing with LaRussa at plate                              
2 06/19/1992 NYA M Jim Joyce           Arguing fan-interference call                              
3 08/17/1992 NYA M Rick Reed           Balls and strikes                                          
4 06/16/1993 NYA M Don Denkinger       Argued ball touched before rolling foul                    
5 09/19/1993 NYA M Durwood Merrill     Arguing that batter ran into a bunt                        
6 05/29/1994 NYA M Rocky Roe           Balls and strikes                                          
7 05/31/1995 NYA M Tim Tschida         Arguing after Randy Johnson HBP                            
8 06/17/1995 NYA M Dan Morrison        Called third strike                                        
9 06/26/1998 ARI M Jim Quick           Call at 2B                                                 
10 07/20/1999 ARI M John Shulock        Protesting late HBP call                                   
11 05/04/2000 ARI M Jim Joyce           Checked swing                                              
12 05/06/2005 TEX M Gary Darling        Call at 1B                                                 
13 09/27/2005 TEX M Tim Timmons         Call at 1B                                                 
14 05/10/2006 TEX M Mark Wegner         Balls and strikes                                          
15 06/27/2006 TEX M Larry Young         Called third strike                                        
16 08/15/2006 TEX M Hunter Wendelstedt  Intentional HBP                                            
17 08/16/2006 TEX M Sam Holbrook        Intentional HBP                                            
18 08/20/2010 BAL M Jeff Nelson         Balls and strikes                                          
19 09/26/2010 BAL M Bill Welke          Intentional HBP                                            
20 07/10/2011 BAL M Marty Foster        Intentional HBP                                            
21 08/09/2011 BAL M Phil Cuzzi          Call at 3B                                                 
22 09/20/2011 BAL M Chris Guccione      Checked swing                                              
23 04/22/2012 BAL M Angel Campos        Balls and strikes                                                             
 
Chris Davis        
1  04/28/2009 TEX Eric Cooper          Called third strike                                        
 
Kevin Gregg        
1  08/16/2006 ANA Sam Holbrook         Intentional HBP                                            
2  06/01/2010 TOR Angel Hernandez      Balls and strikes                                          
3  07/08/2011 BAL Mike Estabrook       Arguing with David Ortiz                                    
 
Jim Johnson        
1  07/08/2011 BAL Mike Estabrook       Aggressive behavior during brawl                           
 
Nick Markakis      
1  08/20/2010 BAL Jeff Nelson          Balls and strikes                                          
                
Mark Reynolds      
1  09/12/2010 ARI Gerry Davis          Called third strike                                        
 
Brian Roberts      
1  08/02/2006 BAL Mark Wegner          Called third strike                                        

Matt Wieters
1  05/29/12   BAL Doug Eddings         Balls and strikes

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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