Beltre's banter results in pair of ejections
Third baseman, Francona tossed by home-plate umpire
BOSTON -- Trash talking between friends occurs often in sports, and in Adrian Beltre and Felix Hernandez's case, this time was no different.
Just one small problem: Home-plate umpire Dan Bellino didn't know it.
As Beltre made his way to third base before the start of the third inning of Boston's 4-2 second-leg loss of a doubleheader with the Mariners on Wednesday, he continued to jaw back and forth with Hernandez, who was in the dugout, before Bellino ejected Beltre.
"I was just talking to Felix. He was yapping because he struck me out. We had a little bet that he was going to strike me out three times today and I told him I was going to take him deep," Beltre said. "So, he struck me out, saying, 'That's one.' I said, 'OK, that's one. I'll give you one. Next time I'm going to take you deep over the Green Monster.'"
Beltre and Hernandez became good friends when the Red Sox third baseman played with the Mariners from 2005-09.
Beltre said that as he was talking, he heard his name called by Bellino, far away from where his conversation with Hernandez was taking place.
"I turned around and he's yapping, saying something. I go, 'I'm talking to him,' and the next thing I heard is, 'You're out of here,'" said Beltre.
Yamaico Navarro then replaced Beltre at third.
After the game, Beltre was still perplexed as to how the events unfolded.
"You tell me what happened. I don't know," Beltre said. "So I wanted to find an explanation of why he threw me out of the game, what I did wrong. I didn't do anything."
Just like Beltre, manager Terry Francona also wanted an explanation, and when he tried, he was also ejected and forced to join Beltre in the clubhouse.
Francona said he could never get to Bellino to talk, because second-base umpire Angel Hernandez was in front of him the whole time.
"He's protecting the young umpire. I guess they have their sort of code or whatever, like we do," Francona said. "I guess I figure if a guy's old enough to throw you out, he's old enough to get yelled at. I just wanted an explanation. I couldn't get around Angel to get an explanation.
"I was having a hard time getting that accomplished, so I started cursing. That was real helpful."
For Francona, it was his third ejection of the season -- the last coming July 10 at Toronto -- and the 29th as a manager. For Beltre, it was his second career ejection. The first came Aug. 24, 2002, when he was with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Bellino, who is a first-year Major League umpire, was not on the field for the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader -- a 5-3 Boston win.
"He got in the midst of something he didn't know, and that shouldn't have happened," Francona said. "It's a shame. Beltre was just having fun with Felix."
Quinn Roberts is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.