Gardy on Miggy ejection: 'Why did he run him?'

Lefty Alexander added to 'pen with Boyd on paternity list

August 21st, 2019

HOUSTON -- Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire has a personal policy to not address the media after games in which he was ejected, which pushed questions about Monday's incident with home-plate umpire Alfonso Marquez to his pregame session with the media the following afternoon.

Gardenhire was ejected in the fifth inning during Monday's game, minutes after Marquez tossed . Gardenhire confirmed what Cabrera told reporters after Monday's game: Cabrera had been conversing with Astros second baseman Jose Altuve in somewhat animated fashion when Marquez tossed Cabrera.

Gardenhire, like Cabrera, surmised Marquez misheard Cabrera's comments and thought they were directed toward him. It didn’t help that tension already existed between the player and umpire; they had exchanged words at home plate earlier in the game, with Cabrera expressing displeasure about Marquez's strike zone.

From the Tigers’ perspective, the conversation with Altuve was not about balls and strikes, but rather about Astros rookie phenom Yordan Alvarez, who has been crushing the ball at an historic pace in his brief time in the Majors.

"I see [Cabrera] and Altuve are over there doing signs to each other and laughing," Gardenhire said. "I believe the umpire thought he was still chirping about the strike zone. He threw Cabby out, obviously. I said a couple of magic words to him and got thrown out, too."

Gardenhire, like Cabrera, insisted the slugger was not talking to Marquez just before he was thrown out.

"The question is, why did he run him?" Gardenhire said. "He wasn't even talking to him. He was talking to Altuve. They were talking about the young outfielder they have [Alvarez). They're saying, 'He's 22." 'No, he's 32.' They were [messing] around with each other.

“I guess Alfonso behind the plate thought Cabby was talking about the strike zone. That's my guess, because I got run pretty quick. I just wanted him to know that he threw a Hall of Famer out for having fun with another player."

Gardenhire's ejection was his eighth of the season, tying his career high set with the 2006 Twins, which he matched the next season. The heave-ho also extended Gardenhire's Tigers single-season record, according to

Gardenhire is also tied with Reds manager David Bell for the Major League lead this season. Both are three away from matching Bobby Cox's single-season record of 11, set in 2001.

It's unclear if Cabrera or Gardenhire will be fined for Monday's incident, but Gardenhire was expecting to have at the very least a conversation with Joe Torre, who monitors fines and suspensions for the Commissioner's Office. The skipper said he won't be terribly offended if there is a fine involved, because it goes into a fund for a worthwhile cause.

"The good thing is it goes to B.A.T.," Gardenhire said, referring to the Baseball Assistance Team, which provides financial relief and support for former players and baseball personnel who have fallen on hard times. "If I write a check out to them, that's OK. They do such wonderful things for guys that have been in the game and are out of the game. It's OK."

Alexander called up

As expected, the Tigers placed left-hander Matthew Boyd on the paternity list and called up left-handed reliever Tyler Alexander from Triple-A Toledo. Paternity leave is three days, so Boyd can be expected to rejoin the Tigers on Friday, which would be his scheduled day to start.

Alexander, 25, has a 5.63 ERA across 86 1/3 innings for Toledo in 2019, spanning 18 appearances (16 starts). The lefty has also made seven Major League appearances this year, five as a starter and two as a reliever, compiling a 6.59 ERA over 27 1/3 innings.

Because he's stretched out as a starter, Alexander gives the Tigers some needed depth in a 'pen that has had to cover innings not absorbed by a struggling rotation through many stretches this season. The Tigers are in the midst of a challenging road trip involving series with postseason contenders -- the Rays, Astros and Twins -- and when they return home, things don't get any easier, considering they're hosting the Indians and Twins.

Demeritte rests

Travis Demeritte was not in Tuesday's lineup due to a sore groin. He joins teammate Niko Goodrum, who has not played since Saturday, also due to a sore groin.

Demeritte logged three hits in the series opener in Houston, setting a career-high. His 434-foot homer eclipsed his previous longest homer of the year, which measured 339 feet. Demeritte has hit safely in 11 of his past 13 games.