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Pirates McClendon puzzled over ejection

Friday, June 14, 2002

By Robert Dvorchak, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

Lloyd McClendon and Rick Reed differed widely on the circumstances surrounding McClendon's ejection from Wednesday night's game in Anaheim.

McClendon said he was "flabbergasted" that he was ejected, and Reed, who was umpiring behind home plate, said the Pirates' manager was "abusive" and showed a lack of respect.

It didn't help that the two have a history.

Reed was the umpire who ejected McClendon in a game June 26. After he was ejected, McClendon picked up first base and defiantly took it back to the dugout.

This time, McClendon was thrown out while Angels Manager Mike Scioscia was arguing about the Pirates' defensive alignment with first-base umpire Tim Tschida. McClendon, who has been thrown out of three games this season, said he was just pointing out that the argument had gone on so long that he was afraid his pitcher, Joe Beimel, would cool off on the mound.

"I didn't have a beef. I'm still trying to figure out why I got thrown out. I said, 'Rick, my pitcher's standing out there ready to go.' He rushed the dugout and threw me out of the game," said McClendon, whose team lost, 8-5, and dropped two out of three to the Angels. "I'm puzzled. I'm still scratching my head. I'm flabbergasted as to what went on.

"I wish that his report to [baseball's director of enforcement] Bob Watson could be public knowledge so everybody could see what he writes as to why he threw me out of that game. That would be justice.

"He said some unpleasantries, too. He told me he didn't [care] and I said, 'That's obvious.' The next thing I knew I was gone. I'm sure the report will say that I said something. That ain't the way it went down. The words he used on me were not pretty. He called me a couple of things that I'm sure would get me suspended if I said them."

Reed gave a different account of what happened.

"There's a way to handle it, and [McClendon] decided that he was going to be loud, demonstrative and abusive, so he got what he deserved," Reed said.

"I didn't care for the lack of respect he showed. When he asked a question, I answered it, and he continued to be pretty abusive. It got to the point where he had to go. Then, all of a sudden, he started getting off on stuff that happened last year. I wasn't aware there was anything that went on last year. I didn't even remember that. I guess there may have been something he remembered, but it shouldn't have come into play [Wednesday]."

Reed said he had approved Beimel throwing extra pitches to warm up, but that McClendon didn't want to listen.

Two innings later, Tschida ejected bench coach Bill Virdon. Virdon said he hadn't been thrown out of a game since 1984 or '85. The argument started after Tschida ruled that Sean Lowe hadn't touched first base on a forceout. Asked if that was enough to get ejected, Virdon said: "I guess it is now."

He also added: "The umpire missed the play. The replay showed he missed it. He took offense at me saying he had made a couple of mistakes."

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