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Notes: Papi perplexed by ejection

Notes: Papi perplexed by ejection

BOSTON -- As far as David Ortiz knows, throwing his bat or helmet down in frustration is not cause for ejection. So a day after it happened, Ortiz is still mightily perplexed as to why home-plate umpire Larry Randazzo tossed him in the first inning on Friday night.

Ortiz was called out looking on a fastball. Manager Terry Francona thinks the slugger might have been more upset about a called strike two, which came on a breaking pitch that looked to be outside. The pitch Ortiz was called out on was a borderline pitch on the high and inside edge of the strike zone.

After a heated argument with Randazzo, Ortiz walked back toward the Boston dugout and angrily tossed his bat and helmet down, but not in the direction of the umpire. In fact, Ortiz's back was to the umpire when he let the bat and helmet go.

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It was then that he was thrown out.

"He threw me out because he wanted to," said Ortiz. "If he wants to throw me out, he should throw me out when I'm right in his face. Not when I'm in the dugout. What did I do for him to throw me out? Throw my helmet and my bat down? I didn't throw it to him."

Typically, the tossing of equipment -- as long as it's not thrown in the direction of an umpire -- is grounds for a fine, not an ejection.

Ortiz's anger was eased a little by the Red Sox pulling out a 10-2 victory. But Ortiz got mad all over again on Saturday, particularly when home-plate umpire Charlie Reliford called him out on a pitch he didn't think was in the strike zone. This time, Ortiz was not ejected. But his frustration was clear when he unleashed several profanities in his postgame session with reporters.

"The strike zone was ridiculous," Ortiz said.

Asked if it lacked consistency, Ortiz seemed to be leaning toward that notion.

"You guys watch the game on TV? Make up your mind. You tell me," Ortiz said.

Reliford, having departed Fenway Park by the time Ortiz talked, was not available for comment.

If anything, the zone probably helped both pitchers on a day Daisuke Matsuzaka outdueled Matt Cain, 1-0.

"There were definitely some pitches that were liberal," said Giants center fielder Dave Roberts.

Lugo gets breather: Francona inserted Alex Cora into the lineup at shortstop and gave Julio Lugo a rest. The manager said the move was not necessarily related to the mighty slump Lugo has been in.

"I think it's along the same lines, like, when [Dustin] Pedroia sat the other night," Francona said. "Cora's a good player. I'd like to be somewhat consistent in picking days where I think they're good for everybody and I never want Alex to go very long without playing because he's an important part of our team."

Lugo, who was recently moved from leadoff to No. 9 in the lineup, has five hits in his last 40 at-bats.

Stability at top: Though Francona indicated that J.D. Drew might not stay in the lineup against certain right-handed pitchers, he wasn't about to tinker with the top of the order on the heels of Friday night. In that contest, Drew and No. 2 hitter Pedroia combined to go 8-for-9 and produce all but one of Boston's hits in the 10-2 win.

"[Bench coach Brad Mills] actually came in after the game," Francona said. "We knew who was playing. He said, 'what order?'. I said, 'what are you nuts?'"

Defensive stopper: Perhaps the name of Kevin Youkilis should start being mentioned in Gold Glove talks. Red Sox vice president/media relations John Blake unearthed the fact that Youkilis has played 114 consecutive errorless games at first base entering Saturday action. Over that span, Youkilis has made three errors at third base. His last error at first came on July 4, 2006. Youkilis is five games shy of the club record set by Stuffy McInnis, who went without an error from May 31-October 2, 1921.

On deck: Knuckleballer Tim Wakefield (6-7, 3.92 ERA), who entered the Major Leagues as a teammate of Barry Bonds in Pittsburgh, will face off against the slugger in the finale of this three-game series with the Giants. First pitch is scheduled at 2:05 p.m. ET.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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