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The Jays lost 6-4 last night, which isn't great fun to discuss. The most interestingt hingto happenlast night, in my view, was not Manny Ramirez's home run, but the ejection of David Wells. What exactly happened in the 7th inning of last night's game? It depends who you ask:
  • Associated Press:
      Wells was ejected in the seventh inning by second base umpire Chris Guccione in a bizarre scene. The left-hander turned his back to home plate and waved his glove in apparent disgust after allowing a single to Shea Hillenbrand. After being thrown out, Wells walked toward Guccione and the pair were brim-to-brim, screaming at each other before they were separated. Wells said after the game that he uttered a profanity about home-plate umpire Larry Poncino, who had his own back turned walking back to the plate.

      "I didn't yell it out," Wells said. "I just said it to myself. It's something I said. I didn't say it out or yell it out. I'm getting ready to pitch. I turned around and Guccione's throwing me out."

  • Spencer Fordin:
      Wells was thrown out in the top of the seventh and Francona joined him in the clubhouse an inning later. The pitcher appeared to exchange words with the home-plate umpire before his ouster, and Francona was given the gate after a close play at first base.

      "The only thing I could think was, 'I have to check my breath.' Because I didn't say anything," said Francona after the game. "I was a little surprised, to say the least. If that's the amount of rope you get, I might get thrown out 80 times."

  • Deep-thinking Sox rally past Jays:
      After surrendering a single to Hillenbrand, Wells was ejected by second base umpire Chris Guccione. Wells had become agitated with Poncino after throwing ball two to Hillenbrand, and his emotions got the best of him. Hillenbrand's single hadn't even finished getting to center field before Wells waved in disgust at Poncino.

      According to Wells, he never said a word to Guccione prior to the ejection, but conceded that the ump might have read a couple of naughty words come out of his mouth.

      "Never said a word to him. Not one word. I turn around and get back on the mound and he turns around and yells my name. I turn around and he tells me I'm out of the game. I didn't understand that," Wells said. "He didn't give me any reason. At that point, when he got to me, I didn't want to hear a reason. It wasn't his time and place to throw me out of a ballgame."'

  • Geoff Baker:
      Boston starter Wells was one out away from a seven-inning performance, but got ejected before he could qualify for his second win in 10 starts against the Jays since his 2001 trade out of Toronto.

      He'd exchanged words with plate umpire Larry Poncino for missing what he felt was a strike to Hillenbrand with two out in the seventh. Hillenbrand then singled, Wells cursed and Poncino started out toward him.

      Wells waved him off, turned away and walked behind the mound, uttering an expletive. Second base umpire Chris Guccione heard it and ejected Wells prompting a heated exchange between the pair, who appeared to brush up against each other before being separated.

      "I just wanted to stay out of that confrontation,'' Wells said of turning from Poncino. "I'm pissed off as it is. I didn't need any more aggravation. All of a sudden, I turn around and the guy at second base is throwing me out of the ballgame. It was shocking to me. I felt I could have gone longer in the game.''

What really did happen last night? It looked pretty straight forward to me: Poncino called a pitch a ball which he had been giving to Chacin as a strike for most of the night. Wells gets understandably upset, but doesn't display his feelings in probably the most professional manner. Next pitch, Wells gives up the single to Hillenbrand. Poncino walks out to confront Wells, Wells waves him off and curses his under his breath. Poncino doesn't hear him but Guccione does and rightfully tosses him for it.

Why on earth was Poncino going out to see Wells? Did he honestly think his visit would be well received? There's only two reasons to talk to Wells: to either confront him or to give him a mea culpa for missing the call. If it's the latter, which I highly doubt, it makes far more sense to give the message to the catcher and let him relay it to the pitcher. If it's the former, well, why is Poncino confronting Wells? What purpose does that serve?

Last night Craig Burley remarked that the umpiring in MLB has gotten noticably worse over the last couple months. I think he's right. I'm usually the first to defend umpires. They have the hardest job in the majors, are held to far higher standards than players and coaches, yet are paid the least. That's never sat right to me. But none of that excuses what happened last night.

Question of the Day: What really did happen last night?

Jays dejected, though lefty Wells ejected | 2 comments | Create New Account
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Jim - Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 11:46 AM EDT (#121333) #
I was at the game. So I have no idea if this was discussed on TV/Radio.

Why didn't Gibbons hit Hinske for Johnson with 2 on and 2 out?

Why did Gibbons let Walker pitch to Ortiz to lead off the inning?

As for Wells, I really didn't think it was that big of a deal. He had thrown 113 pitches and Hill was striding to the plate after hitting the ball hard a few times against Wells earlier in the night. I was anticipating Francona lifing him at that moment. I don't know if Tito has said anything to that effect though.
Nick - Sunday, July 03 2005 @ 02:02 PM EDT (#121352) #
Peter Gammons made a similar comment to Craig's, in regards to the deterioration of MLB umpiring. Gammons noted that the decline in umpiring seems to have coincided with Sandy Alderson leaving the MLB front office for his current position with San Diego.
Jays dejected, though lefty Wells ejected | 2 comments | Create New Account
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