Let Brad Ausmus and these 9 other managers teach you how to get kicked out of a ballgame
So you've become a coach or manager. You've proven that your interpersonal skills are strong enough to run a clubhouse and your baseball knowledge includes a full understanding of the infield fly rule. Whether you're coaching Little League, professional baseball or just your weekend softball team, there are plenty of guides out there to help you get the most out of your players, optimize your lineup and emerge as a true leader. But nobody has ever taught you how to properly get ejected -- until now ...
With the help of Brad Ausmus, Lloyd McClendon and 8 other managers who have proven that they know how to get kicked out in a flurry, you'll soon be getting tossed from your next game, scrimmage or county fair with style and pizzaz. Because if there's one thing that unites us as a species, it's our desire to make a scene.
The Cover Up Home Plate with a Sweatshirt
Let's get right to the most recent ejection -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus during his team's 10-8 win over the Twins on Monday. Ausmus was unhappy with a strike call during a Nick Castellanos' at-bat in the fourth inning and, because he didn't think the umpire could see the plate, he decided to just cover it up for him:
C'mon, Brad -- that's a nice hoodie! That's probably going to need to be dry cleaned.
Castellanos, perhaps motivated by his manager's outburst, hit a go-ahead home run in the seventh.
For those just starting out, simply mirror the umpire's actions. If he throws you out? Well, you toss him right back. Ryne Sandberg, in his first Major League season as a manager, tried this one out to great effect:
While this may seem simple, there is plenty of art to it as well. Like an expert synchronized swimmer, Sandberg matches the umpire in timing, angle and thrust of forearm. For practice, team up with a friend or significant other and mirror their movements until you're comfortable and confident in following the umpire's lead.
And don't think this one is only for rookie managers. Terry Francona was a big fan of the tactic.
And if you're not quite ready to move into the intermediate category, Francona has another move that might be good for you.
The Gum Throw
For this move, you're going to need plenty of rage, a large range of motion (so be sure to limber up first!) and your favorite piece of chewing gum.
After being thrown out of the game, make it clear that you are so angry that your mouth can barely contain your teeth. So take the gum out of your mouth and throw it to the ground.
Just be careful: if the gum gets stuck to your hands, you're going to look silly -- not angry.
If you've completed these first two and feel ready to stretch yourself, let's move to the intermediate stage.
The Blue Streak
You may be saying to yourself, "Swearing? Pssh. That's easy." But just as there is a difference between an email from your boss and a Jonathan Franzen novel, a dedication to wordsmithing can make your swear-storm a work of art.
There is no better teacher for this than Earl Weaver who was twice ejected during the lineup card exchange. Simply put, the man was a walking bleep button.
Here's just a sample from a prank radio appearance that was never meant for live air. Just look at all the expletives he manages to weave through this rich tapestry:
Though perhaps no skipper before or since has reached Weaver's level of cuss-itude, there is at least one carrying on his legacy: former Met and current manager of the Las Vegas 51s, Wally Backman. Backman has such a penchant for profanity that the documentary made during his time managing the South Georgia Peanuts had to release an uncensored version. Now that's some dedication to cussing.
The Musical Break
This one takes some perfect timing, so don't beat yourself up if you're not successful in your first try. The idea is to argue until a song is played at the stadium -- "God Bless America," "Take Me Out to the Ballgame," "Cotton-Eyed Joe," etc. You work yourself up into a feverish, nearly rabid state, but then take a pause during the song. When it's complete, continue arguing with the same fervor you had just a moment ago.
Former manager Jim Leyland, long known for his demonstrative arguments and command of profanity, pulled off this move with expert skill.
If you've finished these and are ready to continue to the advanced category, then please continue. I must warn you, these moves are difficult and you may want to consult with a physician and/or a psychologist before going any further.
The Base Steal
Stealing bases as a player is difficult. You have to outthink the pitcher and outrun the catcher. As a manager, though, it's incredibly easy. It's also the move that first made former Pirates/Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon world renowned. Just please be careful not to throw out your back when lifting up the base.
This also has a lot of room for self-expression. You can be like Butch Hobson who handed it off to a well-deserving fan:
I can only imagine the fan's reaction was "... thanks? I don't know what you want me to do with this?"
Or, as Hobson showed when he did the move again, you can sign it like you're a real Hollywood star. Man, Butch Hobson loves stealing bases.
If you do plan on gifting the bag, just be sure to have a backup move in case no one feels like accepting it. You don't want to finish your argument with an awkward denouement.
Slip and Slide
Remember those halcyon summer days when you would slip and slide all day, eventually slicing up your leg when you landed on that hidden rock? Well, guess what? You can bring those memories to the field.
Back in 2006, Mikulik went into a tirade, eventually dumping water on home plate.
And in 2014, Mikulik finished it off, showing the umpires just how a person should slide if they want maximum summer enjoyment.
Master of Disguise
I get it -- even though you're a baseball manager, you still wish that you could be a James Bond-esque superspy. Fortunately, you can incorporate some of those spy skills as a manager.
If you're ever ejected, just be sure to have some makeup, a fake wig and mustache, sunglasses, $10,000 in cash, a fake passport, and a falsified fro-yo loyalty card on hand. Once you're kicked out, simply leave the field. One moment you're John Smith, baseball manager, the next you're Enrique Carbanon, investment banker to the stars.
Had Bobby Valentine truly committed to the new identity, he probably would have gotten away with it.
GO ABSOLUTELY INSANE
Now we've reached the Master Level. If you've accomplished all the previous tactics, then it's time for you to go absolutely &*$#@&$ insane. It's a dangerous ploy and, so far, only one manager has successfully pulled it off in recorded history.
That would be Phillip Wellman -- who made history on June 1, 2007. Wellman's ejection was like the second half of Abbey Road: a non-stop medley of hits.
From some kind of dance move:
To covering up home plate like he was a dog burying a bone:
To the quintessential base theft:
To stealing another base and walking home:
But his best move, one that may never be recreated, was his grenade crawl. I'm still not sure what point Wellman was trying to make, but he made it emphatically.
In the future, when tombstones have embeddable video clips, this clip will play on repeat.
And with that, I leave you, future manager ejectee. If you follow this guide, you will have the tools necessary to get yourself kicked out of any sporting event/dance recital with class, skill and grace. Be careful and use it well.
Ad astra per aspera. Or something.
An original version of this post appeared on September 5, 2014.