SEATTLE — It hasn’t been easy to be a Mariners fan, lately. For that matter, it probably hasn’t been easy to be the Mariners manager, either.
Before last night’s loss to the New York Yankees, the Mariners were an underwhelming 24-27, as high expectations have slowly given way to underwhelming offensive performances and blown saves.
And frustration boiled over with Mariners Manager Lloyd McClendon last night. Following two questionable check-swing calls by the umpire crew, McClendon flew out of the duggot in the top of the third inning to contest the first-ever career ejection of catcher Mike Zunino.
McClendon was promptly ejected for arguing, but he didn’t go quietly into the good night. Spit, gestures and even his hat flew as McClendon ran to three infield umpires, arguing the check swing calls, Zunino’s ejection and who knows what else.
After the game, McClendon talked about his tirade.
“These guys play the game with passion,” McClendon said. “A lot of times, they’re accused of going through the motions. And when they show emotions, they’re ejected. [Zunino] was ejected in a situation where I was trying to get out of the dugout to save him. He could not have said anything derogatory. All he did was disagree with a call.”
It was McClendon’s 31st career ejection. The Mariners went on to lose the game in extra innings, 5-3.