Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire had a few choice words for last night’s home plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt.
Wendelstedt threw out Gardenhire in the second inning of the Twins’ 10-8 loss last night after someone in the Twins’ dugout blamed Detroit starter Armando Galarraga of balking.
“It’s a quick-pitch. Our guys in the dugout started yelling. He (Wendelstedt) took his mask off and yelled, ‘I’m going to throw you out if I hear one more thing!’ I said, ‘I haven’t said a word.’ He says, ‘I’m going to throw you out if you whatever.’ I walked out, and he threw me out. He says, ‘How do you like that?’,” Gardenhire said after the game.
“That’s the second time I’ve run into this with this guy,” he added. “A lot of problems with Hunter. He’s got an attitude. At home, a few years back, he said, ‘You’re just out here for showtime.’ He’s got a smart-ass mouth. Tonight was ridiculous, really. A lot of calls not good. He had a bad night. He doesn’t probably think so, because he’s God as umpires go. Not good. Really not good. I was really disappointed. There was no reason for me to get thrown out.”
“I get real disappointed when an umpire has an attitude like that, thinks he’s a big shot, throws you out and feels good about it in the second inning. It’s too bad. It doesn’t have to be that way. It shouldn’t have to be that way,” Gardenhire concluded. “I’ll get fined. He’ll be fine. Anything else, before I get suspended here, if I haven’t already?”
When a reporter told Wendelstedt about Gardenhire’s comments, the umpire called them “very unfair.”
“Basically, for a manager that has been around for so long, you would think he would understand the way baseball operates, that a warning is a warning,” Wendelstedt said. “I’ll give it to you this way: I’m a parent, and I have two daughters. When I tell them not to do something, I don’t tell them 20 times. They get one or two times. And he was warned numerous occasions. The dugout complained five times in an inning and a half, and he was warned. There was some not-so-kind things said to me — which is why, when he was ejected, that’s when I said, ‘How do you like that if you’re going to be that way?’”
“For someone who’s been around the game so long, he should know what it takes to get ejected. He ejected himself from the ballpark. The last thing I want to do is sit around tonight and write an ejection report and have to go through this. Because now based on his comments, there will be an investigation, and I would challenge him to sit down and watch the replays. Because he was wrong on whether the pitcher was balking or not,” he added. “We can sit down, and I’m going to invite him to my umpire school, if he wants to learn, what is a balk. He can come down in January to umpire school and we’ll teach him. But for the cheap shots, he brought up the past. In the past, you can look up in the newspaper, I had very complimentary things to say about him, and I got in a lot of trouble for being nice. He took cheap shots at me a few years ago, too. …It’s a simple ejection in my book. You warn somebody so many times, I’m not a pin cushion.”
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