There is something about the A's playing in Cleveland that turns this ballpark into the Winchester Mystery House. The A's walked out with a 6-2 win Saturday, but a Rally Squirrel, the split-second ejection of starting pitcher Scott Kazmir and the ghost of Angel Hernandez were all in evidence in one of the weirdest games Oakland will play this season. Kazmir was ejected by umpire Jerry Layne in the second inning to the absolute shock of the A's, who went from having a starting pitcher a little unhappy with ball-strike calls to watching him kick the garbage can as he headed for the clubhouse after getting just four outs. Replay seemed to indicate that Kazmir, who'd let one run score on a wild pitch before walking Jesus Aguilar to ignite the ruckus, didn't start using any obscenities until after he'd been thrown out. "It was the heat of the moment," Kazmir said. "But what I remember saying is that ball was right there. Then the next thing I know, I've gotten thrown out of the game. Jerry Layne has been a great umpire for so many years. It was a bad game for both of us.'' It immediately became a bad game for A's manager Bob Melvin, who needed to coax 23 outs from his bullpen if Oakland was going to win this one. Melvin, unlike Kazmir, got all the time in the world to vent. It seemed that unless the manager lit Layne's shoes on fire, he wasn't going to be ejected. "My original idea was to get ejected," Melvin said. "But I didn't. I've known Jerry for a long time. That's why this surprised me so much.'' Layne, talking to a pool reporter, spelled out his version of the Kazmir transgression. "He was gesturing and arguing balls and strikes,'' Layne said. "That's automatic ejection. When I warned him, he didn't take any knowledge of that, and that's it.''
A's beat Indians
Oakland Tribune | May 18