Justin Verlander had an interesting take on the umpiring dispute during his start at Safeco Field on Tuesday. In the third inning, Tigers...
Justin Verlander had an interesting take on the umpiring dispute during his start at Safeco Field on Tuesday.
In the third inning, Tigers manager Jim Leyland was thrown out by plate umpire Brian Knight after arguing on a check swing by a Mariners hitter that wasn’t called. And when Verlander didn’t get the strike three he thought he deserved on the next pitch, he, too, displayed displeasure. So much so, in fact, that Prince Fielder hurried in from his infield position to be prepared to restrain Verlander.
Afterward, Verlander told the Detroit Free Press that he actually thrives on the give-and-take with umpires.
“It’s part of the game, and I love that part of the game,” he said.
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Verlander elaborated the next day.
“The umpire-manager-player interaction — the right and wrong, the opinions one way or the other — this goes into the whole instant-replay thing,” Verlander told the Free Press. “I’m against it big-time.”
He said he’d much rather have the parties jaw it out.
“It’s an entertainment factor not only for us, but for the fans,” Verlander said. “It’s the way the game has been for 150 years. Why change it?
“Stuff like last night — the crowd is into it, we’re all fired up — it’s never going to happen again if you put instant replay in. It’s fun. I enjoy chirping at the umpire: ‘Where have you got that pitch? I don’t think that’s a ball.’ I usually wait to say something like that. But I couldn’t wait last night because they were in the middle of a rally and the game is getting tight. I can’t wait for that pitch to be called a strike. I’ve got to say something now.”
When he left the field after completing his six-inning outing Tuesday — a game the Tigers won 6-4 over the Mariners — Verlander stopped to have a word with Knight.
“I apologized to him and told him I didn’t mean to show him up; he understood,” Verlander said. “When you’re in a competitive state like that, (stuff) happens.”
Home-run déjà vu?
Matt Joyce’s Rays teammates gave him the business after his game-winning homer against the Yankees. Joyce twisted his ankle on the swing and had to limp around the bases.
“I wanted him to do the Kirk Gibson,” infielder Elliot Johnson said. “I was looking for some fist-pumping from his right arm as he hobbled around the bases.”
David Price tweeted: “I hope everyone saw @sweetswingin20 tonight!!! The homer was fantastic but that dismount was pathetic!!! hahaha my head hurts from laughing”
Them’s fightin’ words
Tough break for the Nationals and Jayson Werth, who had surgery Monday on the broken left wrist that will put him out roughly 12 weeks. Adding insult to injury were the taunts he received from a large group of Phillies fans at Nationals Park as he walked off the field in pain. In an email to The Washington Post, Werth vowed to get even.
“After walking off the field feeling nauseous knowing my wrist was broke and hearing Philly fans yelling, ‘You deserve it’ and ‘That’s what you get,’ I am motivated to get back quickly and see to it personally those people never walk down Broad Street in celebration again,” Werth wrote.
Notes and quotes
• Rocky Colavito, everyone’s favorite former Indian, came into play twice last week, both in games involving the Orioles.
The first was Sunday, when Baltimore’s Chris Davis became the first AL position player to earn a win since Colavito in 1968. He was with the Yankees then, but he’ll always be an ex-Indian to me.
Then, when Josh Hamilton hit four homers against the Orioles on Tuesday, he became the second player to do so against Baltimore. The other was Cleveland’s Colavito in June 1959.
• Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia was livid after manager John Farrell lifted him Tuesday against the A’s for pinch-hitter Omar Vizquel in the ninth inning of a 2-2 game, with runners on first and third. The 45-year-old Vizquel popped up a bunt, but Kelly Johnson singled in the run. However, Oakland scored five in the bottom of the inning to take a 7-3 win.
Later, Arencibia and Farrell met and came to a meeting of the minds.
“It’s important to be able to talk it out, but I lost a lot of sleep over it,” Arencibia said. “It didn’t sit too well with me. It was more difficult because we lost the game. If we win the game, it’s a little different outlook. When we lose, it adds to my frustration.”