The New York Yankees’ dissatisfaction with Major League Baseball officiating erupted again on Saturday with three ejected in the sixth inning of a 6-5 win over the Cleveland Indians.
Yankees manager Aaron Boone, outfielder Brett Gardner and pitcher CC Sabathia – who wasn’t on the active roster – were all tossed.
New York’s Gleyber Torres had hit his second solo home run of the day to put the Yankees up 6-4 in the sixth when the drama started, thanks to a called third strike on Cameron Maybin by plate umpire Ben May.
After Maybin hung around to argue the call, Boone came to pilot him back to the dugout.
But the manager kept up the complaints and May ejected him, and when the Yankees’ bench chimed in, first base umpire Phil Cuzzi called time on Gardner and Sabathia.
It’s just the latest eruption of angst from the Yanks. Gardner was ejected by home-plate umpire Chris Segal last week in Toronto – where he banged his bat against the dugout roof in protest at officiating. He pulled the same trick on Saturday to spark Cuzzi to action.
Bench coach Josh Bard took over for Boone, who has now been ejected four times this season – most notably on July 18 when he unleashed an incoherent rant at rookie home plate umpire Brennan Miller claiming his players were “savages” in the batter’s box.
The video went viral, and even sparked a T-shirt slogan, although Boone was suspended for a game after accidentally making contact with Miller during the foul-mouthed tirade.
The histrionics took some of the spotlight off Torres, the 22-year-old Venezuelan sensation who became the youngest player to have seven multiple homer games in a season. He joined Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Alex Rodriguez to do it for the Yankees.
Torres’s exploits helped the Yankees overcome an erratic outing from pitcher James Paxton, who allowed four runs on six hits over five innings.
Didi Gregorius and DJ LeMahieu went deep for the Yankees, who notched their 16th victory in 19 games.
They are 41 games over .500, and legendary closing pitcher Mariano Rivera, honoured by the Yankees on Saturday after his recent induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame, said he saw no reason his former club couldn’t be heading for a World Series title.
“The only thing that will stop them is God and themselves,” Rivera said. “They have everything to do it. I don’t see why not.”