Monday, July 14, 2008

Baseball's Greatest Manager Ejections and Meltdowns

Umps are the regular targets of fans, players, and managers alike. The fan voices his displeasure from the stands or his couch. The players, on occasion, will get in the ump's face. However, the great umpire confrontations are between managers and the men in blue. So, we ask, which manager ejections and subsequent tantrums are the best?

8. Lloyd McClendon
The Pirates were 20 games below .500, and manager Lloyd McClendon was able to keep his cool. McClendon was finally able to let it all go on a questionable call. When an ump called Jason Kendall out on a close call at first, McClendon argued and got himself wrung up. He then pulled the base from the dirt and carried it back to the dugout, starting a new trend for managers everywhere.
7. Kash Beauchamp
Kash Beauchamp is another minor league manager unable to keep his cool. This time around, Kash appears to ask to ump to smell his shoe and his armpit. I'm going to guess he is telling the ump that he stinks, or something like that. Either way, he looks like an idiot that we can laugh at.

6. Bergin Tatham
Kicking dirt is acceptable. Screaming is acceptable. Stealing bases is acceptable. Really, as a manager, you can do anything short of striking an ump. Apparently, Enka High School baseball coach Bergin Tatham didn't get the memo.

5. Earl Weaver
If there was a Hall of Fame for managerial ejections, Earl Weaver would be a first ballot inductee. This particle tirades just makes me chuckle. Earl comes storming out, looking to take a piece out of the ump. The two go into a great exchange, the ump having to look down the entire time. (I think we have a new member of the Nate Robinson Complex Club.) That's great, but my favorite part is how upset he gets over a little finger-poking.

4. Butch Hobson
This next manager flip-out could have been avoided if the umps stuck with their original call, even if it was wrong. The men in blue were unsure whether the first baseman was on the bag. The first base ump called the runner out, but the home plate umpire overturned the call. Nashua Pride manager Butch Hobson had a conversation with the umps, getting thrown out in the process. Hobson decided to get his money worth. He ripped out the base, took it into the stands, and gave it to a young fan.

3. Lou Piniella
When it comes to managerial tirades, Lou Piniella is a five-tool manager. Screaming ability: check. Arm strength (a must for throwing hats or bases): check. Use of props: check. Creativity: check. Timing: check.

Piniella makes the list for his performance on August 21, 1990. After Barry Larking was called out on a close play at first, he argued the call. He threw his hat down and was ejected on the spot. Unwilling to be silenced, Piniella pulled up first base and threw it. Then he picked it up and hurled it again (must not have gone far enough the first time), sending it flying and rolling all the way into short right. This is the classic Piniella moment. Unfortunately, the video is nowhere to be found. So, how about a Sweet Lou self-parody in this Aquafina commercial?

2. Joe Mikulik
Joe Mikulik, manager of the Asheville Tourists, flipped out on the umps for calling a base stealer safe. He belly flops into second, rips it out, and gives the ump a closer look before throwing the base back. Mikulik continues with his tantrum, throwing bats, cleaning home plate (after covering it with dirt), and, overall, acting a fool.

1. Phillip Wellman
Mississippi Braves manager Phillip Wellman was thrown from a game and into baseball folklore with this tirade. After kicking dirt on home plate, he drew the umpire's strike zone in the dirt. Then he took third base and chucked it into the outfield. If that wasn't enough, he belly crawled to the mound, and tossed a grenade (or the rosin bag) at the umpire. Finally, he grabbed two bases and walked out of the field.

Did I miss a major managerial meltdown? Leave a comment!


Anonymous,  September 8, 2009 at 5:45 PM  

Bobby Cox did set a record for most managerial ejections...

About the Undrafted Free Agent

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