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Leyland ejected for arguing call at third

Leyland ejected for arguing call at third

Leyland ejected for arguing call at third
DETROIT -- On a crazy Sunday when the Tigers and Indians lost their starting pitchers by the end of the fourth inning in a slugfest, the Tigers lost their manager in the sixth. Jim Leyland was ejected by third-base umpire Alan Porter for arguing a fielder's choice call in what was then a one-run game.

It was Leyland's fifth ejection of the season, all within the span of two months, but it might have been his quickest from dugout to clubhouse.

"I mean, I'm not in the worst shape of anybody," Leyland said after the Tigers' 8-7 win. "But I mean, that's just a reaction. That's what you do."

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The play and the reaction came after Wilson Betemit hit a leadoff single and stole second. He tried to take third on Ramon Santiago's hit in front of home plate, but catcher Lou Marson came out firing to third to try to beat Betemit to the bag.

Since there was no runner on first, it was a tag play. Porter ruled that third baseman Jack Hannahan got the tag down ahead of Betemit's slide. Betemit immediately sprung to his feet to contest the call, and third-base coach Gene Lamont quickly joined him, a rarity for the normally calm Lamont.

Out came Leyland, running up the steps and toward third base, waving his hands.

"I'm glad I went out there," Leyland said. "I thought I argued for the right cause. And if I don't do that, I shouldn't be managing. I mean, these games are important."

Porter ejected Leyland just about as quickly. Replays suggested Betemit got his foot in ahead of the tag.

"I still say safe," Leyland said. "To be honest with you, I said, 'How in the blank can you miss that call?' I said it twice, and then he threw me out, but he really threw me out because I gestured with my hands."

The umpiring crew for this series included Joe West, whose ejection of Leyland a month and a half ago prompted Leyland to speak out against the tensions between umpires, players and managers this season. However, West was not involved at all this time.

Leyland had no hard feelings afterward.

"We just saw it different," Leyland said. "He saw out. I saw safe. I'm not going to argue who's right or wrong. That's just the way I saw it."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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