CLEVELAND -- It was going to take a lot for mild-mannered Brad Ausmus to earn his first ejection as a Major League manager. Defending two-time American League Most Valuable Player Miguel Cabrera did the trick.
After a series of back-and-forth exchanges from the dugout with home-plate umpire Tim Timmons in the sixth inning of Wednesday's series finale against the Indians, Ausmus had enough once Cabrera was ejected for arguing a first-pitch check swing. Ausmus charged out of the dugout and went face to face with Timmons before heading to the clubhouse along with Cabrera.
"That stuff happens," Ausmus said. "We were still able to take the lead a couple times without Miggy. Miggy's not going to be there every single time. He's not always going to be in a position to give us a lead or drive in a run. And today, we were able to get the lead a couple times."
Both situations seemingly got their start with the previous batter. Timmons ruled that Ian Kinsler did not check his swing on an 0-2 slider from Cleveland reliever Carlos Carrasco. It was a close enough swing that Kinsler and Ausmus both thought first-base umpire Tim Welke could take a look. Timmons' call took that out of discussion.
"I think I showed how surprised I was with my body language," Kinsler said. "Umpires are part of the game. Sometimes the calls go for you, sometimes they go against you. I thought he gave me a pretty favorable call on the [second-inning] walk. Sometimes they get them in your favor, sometimes they don't."
Ausmus could be seen yelling from the dugout at Timmons, who was pointing back at him.
"Clearly in my mind, he didn't swing. He didn't even come close to swinging," Ausmus said. "That's why the first-base umpire is there, to help the home-plate umpire, talk with the home-plate umpire to see whether there was a full swing or not, to assist in making the call. And I think if he had checked with the first-base umpire, I think there would absolutely not have been a strike called."
Cabrera watched the exchange from the on-deck circle, and promptly tried to check his swing on the first pitch, drawing a strike call from Timmons. Cabrera, who has been known to gesture for an appeal to first base on his own checked swings, said something back at Timmons that drew a quick ejection. Ausmus soon followed.
"You don't know you're going to be ejected until you're ejected," Ausmus said. "That's neither here nor there. I ended up getting ejected. So be it."
It was Cabrera's sixth career ejection, according to STATS. He was tossed from two games last season under similar circumstances.
Don Kelly pinch-hit for Cabrera and, coincidentally, drew a two-out walk. Gene Lamont, a former Major League manager with the White Sox and Pirates who stayed on from Jim Leyland's staff to provide Ausmus with a veteran voice as bench coach, took over as manager.