B.J. Upton ejected in seventh inning by ump Holbrook
PITTSBURGH -- B.J. Upton was not with the Braves when Sam Holbrook made his infamous infield fly ruling during last year's one-game Wild Card playoff against the Cardinals. But the veteran center fielder now has his own Atlanta-related history with Holbrook.
Upton became the first Braves player to be ejected this year when Holbrook tossed him in the seventh inning of Friday night's 6-0 loss to the Pirates.
After looking at Wandy Rodriguez's third strike, Upton stepped across the plate and stopped to express his displeasure. The argument became heated when Holbrook used his right hand to make a shooing motion back toward the dugout.
"We had our disagreements about the pitch," Upton said. "Obviously I didn't agree with it. He thought it was a strike. I can live with that. But the shooing away part -- no, I'm a grown man. You just don't do that."
This prompted Upton to drop his bat and helmet before coming back toward Holbrook. The two were nose-to-nose before Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez intervened by getting between them.
"I can sympathize with B.J. on that," Gonzalez said. "I think if the matter would have been handled different, B.J. might have stayed in the game. I didn't think the pitch was that bad of a pitch. But when B.J. comes back and asks something, the way he got waved off probably ticked him off. They didn't give me a chance to get out there and try to keep him in the game."
Upton agreed with his manager's assessment.
"[Holbrook] pretty much said just go back to the dugout," Upton said. "I was going and [he] kind of gave me the shoo-away like I was a fly or something. It was like get away from me or something. I was good with it. I was going back to the dugout."
Holbrook will always be remembered by Atlanta fans for his infield fly ruling, which came on an Andrelton Simmons' fly ball that landed in left field, an estimated 225 feet from the plate. Fans littered the field with bottles and other debris while play was stopped for 19 minutes.
"I'm aware of what happened last year," Upton said. "But I don't really have a problem with him. All that is in the past. It's 2013. We disagreed with something to do with the game. But as far as the shooing away part, I don't think anybody would really take that well."