Three Orioles Ejected After Blown Call
With Minnesota shortstop J.J. Hardy on first base and no outs in the inning, Baltimore caught Hardy in no man's land halfway to second base on a steal attempt. Hardy turned back toward first when Orioles catcher Craig Tatum threw down to second, and a relay throw to Wigginton beat him back to the bag.
Though television replays showed Wigginton applying the tag before Hardy could touch base safely, first base umpire Gary Darling called him safe. Wigginton erupted immediately in disbelief, waving his arms wildly, tossing his hat, yelling, having to be separated from Darling, who quickly tossed him from the game, and eventually tossing the game ball into the stands as he walked off the field.
"We thought Wiggy tagged the guy not once, but twice," said Samuel after the game, a 5-0 loss for Baltimore.
"In baseball, you've got the option to question a call, and he ejected me for questioning the call," said Wigginton.
The versatile infielder insisted he didn't bump Darling during his tirade. Darling admitted to a pool reporter that he missed the call after watching the replay, but he also contradicted Wigginton's claim that there was no contact and said he is planning to include it in his report of the incident. Touching an umpire is cause for an automatic suspension.
"I would never do anything that could get worse," said Wigginton. "You argue the call, he threw me out of the game, and I wanted to make sure he knew where I was coming from."
But the fireworks were only beginning.
After Hardy moved up a base on a groundball out to second by Nick Punto, catcher Drew Butera singled him home, and Kranitz was tossed from the game soon thereafter by home plate umpire Bill Hohn for making a gesture of some sort. That drew an incensed Samuel from the Orioles dugout, and he may have topped Wigginton's antics in getting ejected.
The Baltimore skipper yelled at Hohn, pointed demonstratively at both him and Darling and, in his final act of frustration, tossed his hat Frisbee-style into the center of the Camden Yards infield to the great delight of the home crowd.
"[Kranitz] did not do anything to deserve being thrown out," Samuel said, explaining what set him off.
"Kranny did not say anything. ... How can you blame Kranny when one of you guys blew the call?"
It was the second ejection of an Orioles player this season and the second ejection for Samuel, who took over as manager just last month when the club fired Dave Trembley.
Wigginton was replaced at first base by utilityman Jake Fox.