Piniella earns first ejection with Cubs
Veteran skipper tossed for the 60th time in his career
CHICAGO -- Cubs manager Lou Piniella was ejected Saturday in the eighth inning for arguing a call at third base, his first of the season and 60th of his career.
Angel Pagan doubled to lead off the Cubs eighth against Atlanta pitcher Rafael Soriano. Pagan tried to get to third on a passed ball charged to Braves catcher Jason Saltalamacchia, but he recovered in time to throw Pagan out at third.
Piniella disagreed, and ran out to argue. He threw his cap, and got nose to nose with third base umpire Mark Wegner, yelling. Piniella kicked some dirt on Wegner's shoes, and home plate umpire Bruce Froemming stepped between the two.
Piniella got in a couple more kicks, booting his cap twice into shallow left.
On Friday, Piniella was asked about Atlanta manager Bobby Cox, who has been tossed 130 times. Does getting ejected help a team win?
"If that were the case, I'd volunteer for that every day," Piniella said Friday. "Does a manager really have to be tossed to light a fire for somebody? I don't think so.
"If there's something out there that's really flagrant, yeah, you go out there and argue for your team," he said. "We haven't had that many calls one way or another. One series with the umpires, as far as home plate, we weren't happy with and we reacted a little bit. I don't see where a manager has to get kicked out of ballgames."
That doesn't mean Piniella has mellowed.
"I'm sure I'll get kicked out of here soon," he said.
Little did he know how soon.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.