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Byrd ejected after striking out

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.