ChiSox's Guillen pulls team off field after Twins fans throw objects on field
MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen pulled his team off the field at the Metrodome in the seventh inning of Thursday night's 10-6 loss to the Twins after fans threw hats and baseballs onto the field following the ejection of Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire.
Gardenhire was tossed after an extended argument with third base umpire Marty Foster. As he left the field, the fiery manager punted his cap over his head and stormed into the dugout.
The fans responded by first throwing hats, then baseballs onto the field and chanting, "Gardy! Gardy!"
Guillen quickly responded by coming out of the dugout and pulling his team off the field. The Metrodome public address announcer warned fans that continued behavior would lead to the Twins forfeiting the game, and calm was restored after about five minutes.
The White Sox took the field again with a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the seventh.
After the game, Gardenhire was apologetic.
"It's an emotional game and I'm an emotional person and I lost my head a little bit," Gardenhire said. "Marty is a great umpire. He does a super job. He explained to me what he was calling. I just got thrown out for arguing balls and strikes, which is the rule. You can't do it."
Gardenhire argued after Denard Span squared to bunt and was hit by a pitch by starter John Danks. But Foster ruled that Span's bat went far enough to be called a swing at the pitch, so Span had to stay in the batter's box.
That prompted Gardenhire to pounce out of the dugout, and Foster gave him a quick hook, his fifth ejection this year and 41st of his career. Incensed by the ejection, Gardenhire continued to argue for several minutes, ramping up an announced crowd of 31,493.
But it crossed the line from intense fun to danger when dozens of hats and a couple of baseballs that had been fouled into the stands started pouring onto the turf.
As the public address announcer pleaded with fans to stop, third base coach Scott Ullger demonstratively waved his hands at the fans hoping to calm them down.
"I lost my head and I felt really bad for kicking my hat and raising all that ruckus out there," Gardenhire said. "I don't like that. Probably a little bit too much emotions and I got a little nuts out there. I feel bad that it stopped the ballgame like that."
Guillen said the umpires did a good job taking control of the situation.
"I wasn't worried about hats, but I saw a couple balls flying on to the field and thought it was a dangerous situation," he said.
White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, a former Twin, has seen Gardenhire ejected before, but this one had a new twist.
"I knew Gardy was going to throw his hat eventually," Pierzynski said. "It's his go-to move. He usually doesn't kick it though, that was pretty entertaining."
It was somewhat reminiscent of a scary scene at the Metrodome in 2001, when former Twin Chuck Knoblauch returned as a member of the New York Yankees and fans threw golf balls, plastic beer bottles and hot dogs at him in left field.
The Yankees left the field for 12 minutes in the sixth inning that night and more than 40 fans were ejected in a scene much more hostile than this one.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press