Byrd ejected after striking out

Updated: June 5, 2005, 12:55 AM ET
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- Nationals outfielder Marlon Byrd knocked down umpire Joe Brinkman during an argument between innings of a game against the Florida Marlins on Saturday night.

Byrd was called out on strikes to end the sixth when first-base umpire Bill Miller ruled that he went around on a checked swing with the count full. Byrd, thinking he had drawn a walk, was about halfway to first when he realized Miller had called him out.

Byrd began arguing with the umpire, and first-base coach Don Buford stepped between them. But as the player went toward his spot in left field for the top of the seventh, he continued arguing, and Miller ejected him.

Byrd -- an all-state high school football player in Georgia -- then headed toward Miller, and second-base umpire Brinkman tried to get in the player's way, sticking his arm out.

They collided, sending the 61-year-old Brinkman tumbling to his back on the infield dirt. He was attended to by a Nationals trainer on the field, and was examined by team doctor Bruce Thomas after the game.

"I thought I could get in front of him. He was running pretty hard," Brinkman said. "Once I couldn't get in front of him, I put my arm out. He hit my arm and just spun me around and flipped me and I ended up on the ground. That's all that happened."

Asked if he thought it was intentional, Brinkman said: "I really don't know. He was just running, and I was just thinking I could get in front of him, so I don't know what the intent was."

Several Nationals players and manager Frank Robinson ran over toward Miller, and eventually Byrd walked off the field.

"Marlon's a pretty big guy, and [Brinkman] just kind of grabbed him and rolled off of him," Nationals second baseman Jamey Carroll said.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press