Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez defiant after seventh-inning ejection

Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez says errant strike calls and a combative home-plate umpire led to his ejection

In the wake of the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory over the San Diego Padres on Friday night, Adrian Gonzalez was smiling and ready to talk about his seventh-inning ejection.

Asked if he had any regrets about his dismissal, Gonzalez replied, “Absolutely not.”

In fact, Gonzalez said he was looking forward to receiving a phone call from Joe Torre, the league’s chief baseball officer.

“That’s why I did it,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez remained defiant as he looked back at the events leading up to his ejection, saying his at-bats in the fifth and seventh innings were compromised by errant strike calls by home plate umpire Doug Eddings.

Gonzalez had problems with a 3-1 pitch in the fifth inning, an outside fastball that was called for a strike. The pitch-tracking system showed the fastball by Odrisamer Despaigne was out of the strike zone.

“It should have been ball four,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez flied out on the next pitch.

On his way back to the dugout, Gonzalez said he told Eddings, “That was a ball. That should have been ball four.”

Instead of the Dodgers having runners on first and second base with one out and Howie Kendrick at the plate, they had a runner on first with two outs. At the time, the Dodgers were leading, 2-0.

“It could have been a rally or something,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez said his suspicions about the call were confirmed when he returned to the clubhouse and saw videos of the at-bat.

“Every angle that we got in here showed it was a ball,” he said.

Gonzalez returned to the plate in the seventh inning, this time with one out and the bases loaded.

The first pitch, a breaking ball away by left-hander Frank Garces, was called a strike.

Again, the tracking system showed the pitch was out of the zone.

“I said a couple things about how it shouldn’t have been a strike,” Gonzalez said. “He started telling me that I was complaining about the pitch before. I said, ‘Yeah, I complained because it was a ball.’”

At that point, Gonzalez said he was told by Eddings, “You know what? Now, you have to swing at that pitch.”

Gonzalez said he became enraged.

“At that point, that’s when I lost it,” he said. “There’s no way I was staying in the game if I made an out.

“The fact that he just didn’t care is really what got me mad.”

The next pitch was also outside, but Gonzalez swung at it for another strike.

“Normally, I wouldn’t have swung at that pitch,” he said. “I already know that if I take it and he calls it a strike, I might get thrown out before the at-bat even ends.”

Gonzalez grounded into an inning-ending double play, after which he exchanged words with Eddings. As he expected, he got the thumb.

“One-oh is a huge different from oh-one," Gonzalez said. "And on top of it, he’s now telling me I have to swing at those pitches. For me, it’s unacceptable. I’m not going to just sit there and keep my mouth quiet over it.”

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