BY SPNW Staff 06:17PM 03/31/2015

McClendon tossed after throws go behind batter

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 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.”


  • RadioGuy

    Good to see this, even if it’s in Spring Training. No surprise that Chen would at least buzz Weeks after giving up a dinger the last time they faced each other, but behind the head? Twice? In SPRING FREAKING TRAINING??? I guess pitchers can feel pretty frisky in the AL since they’ll never have a grab a bat and face the music themselves, but I’m glad Mac was out there protecting his guy.

    On the other hand, that was a VERY quick hook by Porter. I can only guess that Mac said the magic word (something about a mother), which is a winning lottery ticket for a free shower. Had to smile thinking about how Piniella would’ve milked that scene.

  • jafabian

    Lloyd has a year under his belt with the M’s. Now that he’s settled in and there’s some big expectations on the club I’m wondering if we might see more during the season?