Longtime Orioles fans watching the World Series last night might have been transported back to 1969 and another managerial ejection on baseball’s biggest stage.
The seventh-inning stretch of Game 6 saw a much-talked-about ejection of Washington Nationals manager Dave Martinez after he vehemently argued with the umpires’ call that shortstop Trea Turner interfered when he ran inside the first base line. Turner had hit a soft ground ball fielded by Astros pitcher Brad Peacock, whose throw flew past first baseman Yuli Gurriel. The Nationals were winning 3-2 at the time and had a runner on base. The controversial call could have been a Series changer, though the Nationals did go on to win 7-2 and force a decisive Game 7 tonight in Houston.
As animated as Martinez was, Earl Weaver’s ejection during the Orioles-New York Mets World Series in 1969 was uncharacteristically undramatic. There was no dirt kicking. No base throwing. And he even claimed he didn’t cuss.
Shortstop Mark Belanger was at the plate with Tom Seaver on the mound when home plate umpire Shag Crawford called a strike. Crawford then pointed a finger toward the Orioles dugout. Weaver came out and followed Crawford. They talked briefly, and Crawford ejected Weaver.
According to a Baltimore Sun account at the time, Weaver said: “I don’t really know why he threw me out. The pitch to Belanger was low and I and my bench all hollered in unison. I yelled to the umpire that we weren’t getting that pitch.
“He came over and yelled something back at me which I couldn’t hear, so I went out and all I got to say was ‘Shag’ before he told me ‘You’re out for coming up here to question balls and strikes.’ ”
Crawford said after the game, “I told him to shut his damned mouth — if he didn’t hear me then his ears are as bad as he thinks my eyes are.”
The Orioles went on to lose that World Series in five games. But all was not lost: They became the world champions the following year.