Lloyd McClendon apparently is working on his regular-season mad-on. The Mariners manager was thrown out of Tuesday’s Cactus League game in Goodyear, AZ., after a pair of pitches from Indians starter Bruce Chen went behind batter Rickie Weeks.
In the top of the fourth inning of what became an 8-6 loss by the Mariners, Chen threw two pitches behind the feet of Weeks, apparently retaliatory throws. Weeks hit a leadoff homer off Chen in the first inning. In the second, Felix Hernandez hit Michael Brantley in the leg with a pitch.
Chen’s pitches prompted a warning to both benches by home-plate umpire Alan Porter.
McClendon yelled from the dugout after Chen’s pitches. Porter wasted little time in the ejection. McClendon angrily stormed the field and argued with Porter, shouting and motioning in the pitcher’s direction.
Following the argument, McClendon retreated to the visitors’ dugout, but there was no back way out of the dugouts at the stadium. McClendon had to make a 400-foot walk from the bench to a door in the right-field wall, giving fans the chance to cheer and heckle.
Of Hernandez’s pitches, McClendon told MLB.com and other reporters, “Obviously, he’s not trying to hit Brantley. He was fighting with his command all day. Listen, I get it. If you think you’ve got to protect your guy, OK, fine. Once. (Chen) has perfect control. He throws behind him twice.
“My only thing is, he should have been issued a warning on the first one. And if you issue a warning on the second one, on the very next pitch . . . obviously, (the umpire) thought he was throwing at him. And if he’s throwing at him, he should be ejected from the game, not warned. It makes no sense.”
Indians manager Terry Francona said, “I don’t think (Chen is) going to throw changeups if he’s going to do that (on purpose).It got behind him, though. I could see why they were yelling. It was hot out.”