Disputed foul call leads to Aviles' ejection
NEW YORK -- Indians shortstop Mike Aviles took exception to a ruling during his final plate appearance on Tuesday night and was ejected from a game that had already ended.
Shortly after sending a pitch from closer Mariano Rivera to right field for a flyout to seal Cleveland's 4-3 loss to the Yankees, Aviles continued an argument with home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo. With Indians manager Terry Francona and third-base coach Brad Mills standing in the middle, Randazzo ejected Aviles.
"Mike, you get emotional sometimes," Francona said. "I just thought that, at that point, Tony should've kept walking or apologized to Mike. Everybody makes mistakes. That's a tough call. That's a tough position to be put in when you're facing Rivera."
The mistake, in the opinion of Francona and Aviles, came on Rivera's first pitch to Aviles.
Aviles checked his swing and believed he had drawn a first-pitch ball. That is when Randazzo ruled that the Indians shortstop had fouled the pitch off for strike one. Aviles -- undoubtedly still heated over the called third strike he disputed with Randazzo in the fifth inning -- argued to no avail before continuing his plate appearance.
Francona came out at one point during the at-bat to try to keep things in order.
"Aviles and Tony were going back and forth," Francona said. "I just didn't want anything to [happen]. Millsy was out there, but I can't stand there and let them yell at each other."