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PETERSBURG -- Joe Girardi waved his hands behind his desk in the visitors' clubhouse at Tropicana Field, saying that he didn't think it would do any good to comment on his fourth-inning ejection.
But Girardi didn't need to connect all of the dots to explain why he watched the last five innings of the Yankees' 5-2 loss to the Rays from the clubhouse.
Brian Gorman, the umpiring crew chief, said Girardi was thumbed by home-plate umpire Tony Randazzo for arguing balls and strikes.
"There was yelling out of the dugout," Gorman said. "When Tony looked in, he told him to knock it off and Joe continued to yell. He was ejected for arguing pitches. He was arguing the last pitch of the at-bat."
The play in question happened in the fourth inning, as Chris Dickerson was rung up looking at a called third strike.
Television replays showed Girardi yelling at Randazzo from the dugout, and the umpire turned to eject Girardi, at which point the manager charged onto the field. Hitting coach Kevin Long said that Girardi was actually trying to defuse the situation.
"I think he just said to Tony, 'Please don't look in our dugout; that's when things are going to happen,'" Long said. "I know he wasn't yelling at him or screaming at him. He just wanted him not to bring more attention to it."
It appeared that Dickerson tried to call time before the pitch was thrown by the Rays' Alex Cobb, but Girardi said that wasn't the problem.
Dickerson said that he did try to call time, but the Yankees were more upset with the strike call, which seemed high because catcher Jose Molina jumped out of his crouch to throw to second base on Jayson Nix's steal attempt.
"The worst part was he was coming out of his crouch and basically blocked his view, which made it even worse," Dickerson said. "In the replay, he's coming up and you can see [Randazzo's] eyes barely can see anything in the strike zone. I think that's what Kevin was most angry about."
Pressed by reporters for more details on the situation, Girardi refused.
"You saw what happened," Girardi said. "I don't think it does any good to comment on it."
The ejection was Girardi's fourth of the season. Bench coach Tony Pena assumed the managing duties for the rest of the game.