Baker, umps not on same page on double switch

Updated: April 16, 2004, 6:55 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker became irate and was ejected in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday after umpires said the Cubs batted out of turn because the crew hadn't been informed of a switch in the batting order.

Shortstop Ramon Martinez and left-handed reliever Kent Mercker came in at the top of the seventh inning. Mercker was supposed to bat in the eighth spot, with Martinez hitting ninth.

But after Martinez led off the bottom of the seventh with a double to left, Reds bench coach Jerry Narron said he hadn't known about the switch in the batting order. Narron was filling in for Reds manager Dave Miley, who'd been ejected earlier in the game for arguing a called strike.

Umpires agreed with Narron and called Martinez out on a putout. As Martinez trotted back to the dugout, Baker sprinted out to the mound, his lineup card in his hand.

He showed the card to the umpire crew, but to no avail. When home plate umpire C.B. Bucknor told Baker the call stood, Baker got irate. He tossed the lineup card on the ground and after Bucknor ejected him, threw his hat on the ground.

He walked away from the umpires and grabbed his hat and lineup card from third base coach Wendell Kim. But Baker then went back to the umpires and tossed his hat again, gesturing rapidly. A fan threw a tennis ball on the field, and the crowd chanted "Dus-ty! Dus-ty!"

Baker finally stomped back to the dugout, kicking a bat cloth and then a heavy warmup bat. When the bat didn't travel very far, Baker kicked it again before heading down the dugout steps.

Fans threw debris on the field, and the game was delayed for several minutes while grounds crews cleaned up.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press