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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Leyland Tuesday explained his explosion of emotion that led to his first ejection of the season in Monday night’s makeup game against Toronto.

When Andy Dirks, attempting a sacrifice bunt, was initially called safe, then out by first-base umpire Ed Rapuano, Leyland went ballistic, arguing vehemently for nearly four minutes before getting ejected. Leyland’s main argument, he explained, was that Rapuano had asked for help from home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez, then overturned his original call.

“I’ve never seen that in 48 years. I’m obviously smart enough to know that the guy was out. That was not my argument, whatsoever,” Leyland said. “I mean, you could open up a real can of worms, if you start that stuff.”

Leyland at first declined to talk to the media — so he wouldn’t say something that would get him fined — but then changed his mind, with the stipulation that he not be asked about the play.

Then in Tuesday's pregame media session, he brought it up himself, to clear the air. Here's the full transcript of what exactly he said:

I want to clarify one thing that I think everyone in here understands: In most all circumstances, I do not discuss umpires in the newspapers. I just want to clarify that, because I was getting ripped (on the radio) this morning for it.
The reason I don’t is not because — first of all, I know you guys are going to come in here when I’m madder than (heck), and I’m going to say something stupid. I just want you to all understand that the reason I don’t, and sometimes I don’t want to talk to the media after a situation like that, because if I do, we’re apt to be fined $10, 15, 20, 25 thousand. If you rip an official — a referee, an umpire, an official — in the paper, the commissioners don’t take that lightly. That is a huge fine. It’s not like getting thrown out of a game, and paying $1,000 or $2,500.
That’s why I don’t want to get caught when I’m very upset, like I was last night. I don’t want to get caught and say something that I’m going to get a phone call the next day and say ‘That’s going to cost you $50,000.’ I don’t want to pay that kind of money. So that’s why I don’t do it. It’s not that I don’t want to explain the situation. That has nothing to do with it.
I obviously expressed my displeasure with the umpire, but there’s no need to express it in the newspaper. Because that’s usually a no-no.
Asked if it was as mad as he's been at any time in recent years, Leyland responded, "Yes."
Asked if he thought, given the extent of the tirade, he was in jeopardy of being suspended, Leyland responded:
No. I’m not even expecting to get fined. I will, but I don’t expect it.
I’m going to make a statement here, and then we’re going to change the subject:
I don’t care how it all came down. My only point was, in 48 years of baseball, I have never seen a play where a ground ball is thrown to a first baseman called one way, and then changed. I’ve never seen that in 48 years. I’m obviously smart enough to know that the guy was out. That was not my argument, whatsoever. The guy was out. The umpire, by his own admission said he blew the call. My point is, he should’ve been explaining that to (Blue Jays manager) John Farrell, not me. When John Farrell came out, he should’ve said, ‘I blew the call.’ And then John Farrell, in my opinion, could handle it accordingly, and then they can argue whatever they want. I mean, it’s not my fault that he missed the call. It’s not my fault. That’s the only issue I had. He was definitely out. And ultimately, did they get the call right? No, they got the call wrong. They got the call wrong getting the call right, in my opinion.
To me, Rapuano’s one of the best umpires in baseball, he’s one of the great guys. I have no issues with him, whatsoever. But I was very upset, because I have never seen that in 48 years. I truly have not. I mean, you could open up a real can of worms, if you start that stuff.
So much for that. I’m not mad at anybody. I was very upset at the situation, obviously, because I have never seen that.
Not too often, but once in a great while, I go out there, and the umpire says, ‘Jim, I missed it,’ and I turn around and walk away. I mean, what can I say? The guy was honest, and said, ‘I missed the call.’ OK, I appreciate that.
To me, that’s what should have happened last night when John Farrell went out. ‘I missed it, John.’
I was dumbfounded when he called him safe, and I was dumbfounded when he called him out.

Whether or not a fine is coming remains to be seen.

[If you want to watch the full video of the tirade, it can be seen HERE.]


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