The hell with the Super Bowl; I’ve got baseball on my mind.
Sometime in the past few months, the online baseball encyclopedia Retrosheet added information on ejections to its statistical pages.
The site lists the date of each ejection for player, coach or manager; the umpire doing the deed; and, where available, the reason.
It took the passing of Earl Weaver for me to truly appreciate this font of information. The Earl of Baltimore was ejected from games 94 times — before the game had even started, on several occasions. Truly, Weaver was to ejections what Paganini was to caprices.
That set me wandering at random through the managerial records, wondering about the craziest, silliest or most unique ejections of all time. Seemed like a fitting activity for a slow, cold winter’s day — even Super Bowl Sunday.
So, with just a week or two until pitchers and catchers (and managers) report, here’s the best of baseball’s bad behavior:
Sept. 6, 1895: Connie Mack, then a young player-manager with Pittsburgh, is ejected by umpire Hank O’Day for arguing a call at third base. It is Mack’s only recorded ejection during his 53 years as a major league manager.
May 19, 1905: New York Giants manager John McGraw is thumbed from a game against Pittsburgh by ump Jim Johnstone for “abusing Pirates owner Barney Dreyfus.”
June 8, 1917: Ejected by umpire Lord Byron for the second time in four days, McGraw punches the arbiter in the nose.
June 13, 1919: Cincinnati manager Pat Moran is ejected by umpire Ernie Quigley for intentionally discoloring a new ball.
1937-38: Brooklyn manager Burleigh Grimes is ejected at various times for complaining about loose tape on a bat and covering his face with a cloth while arguing a call.
Aug. 19, 1941: Pittsburgh manager Frankie Frisch gets the boot for bringing an umbrella onto the field to protest the weather. Umpire Jocko Conlan rings him up.
Aug. 25, 1942: Cleveland’s Lou Boudreau is neither the first nor the last manager to be ejected before a game for continuing an argument from the previous game. (Forty years later to the day, the Mets’ George Bamberger does the exact same thing, with the exact same result.)
July 17, 1951: Philadelphia A’s manager Jimmy Dykes is thumbed by ump Bill McGowan for arguing strike calls. It is the first managerial ejection in the 50-year history of the franchise — since Connie Mack, who ran the team from 1901 to 1950, was never ejected in that time.
Sept. 3, 1951: Pittsburgh third baseman Pete Castiglione is ejected by third-base umpire Bill Stewart after stalling during a visit to the mound, probably to buy time for a reliever to warm up. Pittsburgh manager Billy Meyer takes a different stall tactic: He refuses to send in a replacement for Castiglione. Stewart ejects Meyer as well.
April 18, 1957: Cleveland manager Kerby Farrell is ejected by ump Jim Honochick for criticizing ball and strike calls. It is Farrell’s second game as a major league manager.
Aug. 30, 1959: Phillies manager Eddie Sawyer is thumbed by umpire Al Barlick for complaining that the teams were not given enough time between games of a doubleheader.
May 4, 1963: White Sox manager Al Lopez is run for arguing a procedural point, insisting to ump Bill McKinley that the stadium lights were turned on while Chicago’s Bill Nicholson was in the batter’s box.
Aug. 11, 1963: Mets manager Casey Stengel is ejected for refusing to tell umpire Stan Landes the name of New York’s incoming relief pitcher.
July 18, 1965: Minnesota manager Sam Mele is run from the game after throwing a punch at first-base umpire Bill Valentine.
May 16, 1969: Cincinnati manager Dave Bristol somehow manages to get himself ejected during a rain delay.
Aug. 2, 1969: Of course there has to be at least one Weaver classic on this list. In the first inning of a game against Minnesota, umpire Bill Haller runs Weaver for smoking in the dugout.
Sept. 6, 1971: Oakland manager Dick Williams is ejected by ump Dave Phillips for “profanity for arguing play at 1B.” Given the ready use of profanity in baseball, Williams must have really gone on a blinder. (Or perhaps he resorted to the magic word that, reputedly, is an instant ticket out of the game when spoken to an umpire.)
July 7, 1972: Boston manager Eddie Kasko pretends to faint on the field while protesting a call at home plate and is ejected by umpire John Rice.
June 26, 1973: Houston manager Leo Durocher is thumbed by umpire John Kibler for protesting a tag call on a steal by Cincinnati’s Bobby Tolan. After being ejected, Durocher kicks Tolan’s helmet into Kibler’s shins. This would be the final ejection of Durocher’s storied career: Between July 1929 and June 1973, he was run from games 93 times as a manager, 21 times as a player and 10 times as a coach.
May 17, 1975: Cleveland’s Frank Robinson becomes the first black manager to be ejected from a big-league ballgame when he gets into a shoving match with first-base umpire Jerry Neudecker over a fan-interference call.
Oct. 21, 1976: In the fourth and final game of the World Series, Yankees manager Billy Martin is ejected by first-base umpire Bruce Froemming for throwing a ball out of the Yankees’ dugout toward home-plate ump Bill Deegan. The Yankees lose the game, and the Series, an inning-and-a-half later.
May 1, 1978: Braves manager Bobby Cox gets ejected by ump Nick Colosi for bench jockeying. It is the first of 159 ejections Cox will collect as a big-league manager. (He was never ejected in two seasons as a player.)
May 18, 1983: Montreal manager Bill Virdon goes out to the mound for a pitching change, starts jawing about umpire Joe West’s ball and strike calls, and gets ejected.
Oct. 6, 1985: Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda, who should have known better, gets ejected by crew chief Harry Wendelstedt for trying to undo a pinch-hitting substitution after the other team changes pitchers.
July 22, 1986: Giants manager Roger Craig and Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog get into a shoving match during a bench-clearing brawl and are both thumbed by umpire Bob Davidson. This is only the second ejection of Craig’s lengthy career as a pitcher, coach and manager — and the first ejection happened July 15, 1956, 30 years earlier almost to the week.
Aug. 4, 1986: Chicago Cubs manager Gene Michael turns the cap around on umpire Dave Pallone’s head so the brim of Pallone’s cap won’t bump him during an argument. Not surprisingly, Michael is ejected.
Sept. 28, 1987: Baltimore manager Cal Ripken Sr. is thumbed by home plate umpire Durwood Merrill for arguing a called third strike — on his son, Cal Ripken Jr.
Aug. 27, 1993: Houston manager Art Howe is ejected by ump Steve Rippley after the Astros’ pitcher almost hits a baserunner with an exceedingly errant pickoff throw.
July 22, 1995: White Sox manager Terry Bevington gets Brewers manager Phil Garner in a headlock during a bench-clearing dispute. Both are ejected by umpire Larry Young.
June 9, 1999: Mets manager Bobby Valentine gets run by home-plate ump Randy Marsh for arguing a catcher’s interference call. Valentine then returns to the dugout wearing a fake mustache and sunglasses.
July 10, 2010: Boston manager Terry Francona, who was once ejected as a player for arguing while receiving an intentional walk, “ejects” umpire Jeff Kellogg after Kellogg runs him. Needless to say, only one of the ejections counts.
Oct. 3, 2010: Florida manager Edwin Rodriguez becomes the first major-league manager to be ejected for protesting the results of a replay decision, which is illegal. The aforementioned Joe West does the honors.