BOSTON — Surprisingly, mild-mannered Andrew Benintendi was ejected for the first time in his career tonight.
Less surprisingly, it was a member of Angel Hernandez's crew that did the honors. First base umpire Vic Carapazza ejected Benintendi in the fifth inning of a 9-5 loss... for arguing balls and strikes?
Yes, the first base ump. You read that correctly.
Benintendi didn't like a first-pitch strike call, and after grounding out, he chirped something at home plate as he walked to the dugout, and Carapazza tossed him with his back turned.
The left fielder must have yelled something really bad, right?
"All I said was, 'You suck,'" Benintendi said. "Angel didn’t even know I was thrown out until I went back out there. Obviously he didn’t hear that and I’m 100 feet away. Vic throws me out walking back to the dugout and I was surprised.
"If you’re getting thrown out for saying you suck, there should be multiple ejections each game," Benintendi added.
Alex Cora shared his player's evaluation of the umpiring, and was promptly ejected, too. After the game Hernandez was asked by a pool reporter why Benintendi was thrown out.
"He violated the rules of the game," Hernandez replied. "I'm not at liberty to discuss anything until I submit the report tomorrow."
Is it common or standard practice for a base umpire to eject a player for arguing balls and strikes?
"I'm not at liberty to discuss that until I submit the report tomorrow," Hernandez repeated.
That clears things up.
Oh, and not to be outdone, Hernandez personally ejected Rangers manager Chris Woodward in the next half inning for being too slow on a challenge. What a show.
Chris Mason is a Red Sox beat writer for the Eagle-Tribune and CNHI Sports Boston. Email him at email@example.com, and follow him on Twitter at @ByChrisMason