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Hot Boone, Gardner ejected -- again -- in Bronx

Skipper ejected for arguing third-strike call; outfielder tossed for noisemaking in dugout
@BryanHoch
August 17, 2019

NEW YORK -- The "Savages" were on the loose once again during Saturday afternoon's 6-5 Yankees win over the Indians at Yankee Stadium, resulting in ejections to New York manager Aaron Boone, outfielder Brett Gardner and -- though he isn't even on the active roster -- pitcher CC Sabathia. “It

NEW YORK -- The "Savages" were on the loose once again during Saturday afternoon's 6-5 Yankees win over the Indians at Yankee Stadium, resulting in ejections to New York manager Aaron Boone, outfielder Brett Gardner and -- though he isn't even on the active roster -- pitcher CC Sabathia.

“It was kind of crazy, to be honest," Gardner said. "I got ejected for hitting the top of the dugout with my bat; making too much noise, I guess. I wasn’t too happy about it. I didn’t feel like what I did warranted an ejection."

The on-field howling started when a close fifth-inning James Paxton pitch was called a ball on Carlos Santana, preceding two Cleveland runs. It reached an apex in the home half of the sixth, when Cameron Maybin was rung up on a called third strike by home-plate umpire Ben May.

Maybin lingered to argue the call and was led off the field by Boone, who continued chirping from the first-base dugout. May ejected Boone shortly thereafter, marking the fourth time that Boone has been tossed this season, including his infamous July 18 "Savages in the Box" rant.

"Look, it is our job to play under control and not cross lines, because certainly, we don’t want players getting kicked out of games; I don’t like getting kicked out of games," Boone said. "But when you’re playing for a lot and locked in like we are, sometimes in the heat of battle you get a little passionate, and it can spill over a little bit."

When the Yankees' bench joined the fray, first-base umpire Phil Cuzzi tossed both Gardner and Sabathia.

Gardner was ejected by umpire Chris Segal on Aug. 9 in Toronto, when he repeatedly banged his bat against the dugout roof. That ejection preceded the noise-making, with Segal stating that he heard Gardner shout an expletive at him after being rung up on a third strike. Replays revealed that it was Maybin, not Gardner, who had said the choice words.

Before leaving the field that day, Gardner asked crew chief Dan Iassogna if it was against the rules to hit your bat against the dugout, saying that he received no answer. Responding to Boone's ejection, Gardner took his bat to the ceiling again on Saturday, and Cuzzi apparently determined that it was indeed grounds for dismissal.

"As soon as I hit the top of the dugout, Phil was running over from first base, pointing to me in the dugout, telling me I can’t do that," Gardner said.

"He threw me out. I asked him why. Nobody has told me that I can’t do that. Nobody has told me that I can’t make noise. I didn’t direct anything at anyone. I didn’t say anything. Unfortunate explanation."

Speaking to a pool reporter, crew chief Tom Hallion said that it was "probably a pretty accurate statement" that Cuzzi saw Gardner banging on the dugout roof with his bat, adding, "We're all professional. I think that it was handled in a professional way."

From the dugout railing, Sabathia protested Gardner's ejection and was also tossed. Sabathia is scheduled to be activated from the injured list to start Sunday’s series finale against Cleveland, when Cuzzi will work behind home plate.

As for the bat-banging, Gardner suggested trying to use a helmet instead of a bat to see if it makes less noise. That brings its own dangers; in June, Gardner received six stitches in his lower lip after firing a helmet into a dugout wall, misjudging how fast it would rebound.

Regardless of what he chooses to do with his equipment, Gardner said that he would like to have some clarity on what is permissible.

"If we’re trying to make the game fun again, like a lot of guys are saying the last few years, I don’t think you want all the guys sitting in the dugout not being able to say anything or make any noise," Gardner said. "That wouldn’t be too much fun. I’m not saying what I did was right or what the right answer is, but I probably won’t do it again tomorrow.”

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.