Sox-Twins skippers, catchers tossed
Gardenhire, Redmond, Francona, Varitek ejected in seventh
MINNEAPOLIS -- Both managers and starting catchers were ejected in an eventful seventh inning of the series finale between the Red Sox and the Twins at the Metrodome on Thursday.
In the top of the seventh inning of Boston's 3-1 victory, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and catcher Mike Redmond were tossed by home-plate umpire Todd Tichenor after arguing a close play at the plate.
Gardenhire is no stranger to getting ejected. The skipper has been tossed 43 times in his career. But Redmond, on the other hand, had never been ejected in his 11-year career.With Jeff Bailey on third and one out, Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia hit a sacrifice fly to Twins right fielder Jason Kubel, who fired the relay throw home to Redmond. Redmond thought he made the tag on Bailey. Tichenor didn't. The veteran catcher got up quickly to argue with Tichenor, a 32-year-old fill-in from Triple-A who wasted no time ejecting Redmond from the game. As Gardenhire came out to argue after Redmond was tossed, he was also shown the door. "I thought I got him at home, that's it," said Redmond, who claimed he didn't make contact with Tichenor. "I just said I got his arm. I didn't swear at him or anything. That was a quick gate. In 11 years in the big leagues, I've done a lot worse out there and stayed in the game." Gardenhire said he didn't leave the dugout to argue the call at the plate, but rather to question Tichenor as to why Redmond was tossed. "I was going out to defend [Redmond]. I couldn't get out there quick enough," Gardenhire said. "That's too quick to throw a guy out. ... He jumped up. He was yelling, 'I got him,' and he threw him out real quick." "I think it was an emotional time," crew chief Jerry Layne said. "I think the emotion of the game came into play. I think that's what happened on the second [ejection]. Ron's a great manager, and he's going to protect his players and do whatever he has to do to do his job." It turned out that Tichenor was just warming up by tossing Redmond and Gardenhire. In the bottom half of the inning, Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek turned to Tichenor after the umpire ruled a pitch by Josh Beckett a ball. Varitek and Beckett -- who yelled toward home plate after the pitch -- thought it was strike three. Again, Tichenor disagreed and ejected Varitek shortly after the call. It was the fourth time in his career that Varitek had been tossed from a game. "Varitek was trying to keep his pitcher in the game," Layne said. "Varitek took one for the team, basically." "I know Beckett yelled in, but Varitek is protecting Beckett, I'm protecting Varitek and he got Varitek," Red Sox manager Terry Francona said. "That's what I didn't want to happen. I'm not fast enough to get out there in time. I'd rather him throw me out than Varitek." Francona was ejected shortly after Varitek. Boston's skipper came out of the dugout to plead his case with Tichenor, but was tossed for the 24th time as a manager. "Sometimes, those things happen -- everybody handles thing differently," Francona said. "It looked like he had his hands full today." Varitek declined to comment on the play after the game. Tichenor was also not available for comment. "Major League Baseball will review the report that Todd puts together," Layne said, according to Yahoo Sports. "I don't know what was said. I just know it was very emotional at the moment. ... The umpire did his job."
Even though Tichenor was filling in for injured veteran Ed Montague, Tichenor is a veteran Triple-A umpire with a lot of Major League experience, MLB vice president of umpiring Mike Port told The Boston Globe.
Port told the Globe that he watched some of the game but did not want to comment on Tichenor's performance until he was able to watch the events, read Tichenor's report and review the ejections.
Tyler Mason is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.