Tettleton Is Sent to the Showers by His Manager, Not the Umpire
Mickey Tettleton is normally among the quietest of the Baltimore Orioles, a player who does his job without theatrics or complaints.
But Tettleton’s temper overcame his usual behavior Thursday and Manager Frank Robinson removed his catcher during a 7-4 loss to the Cleveland Indians in full view of 33,449 fans at Memorial Stadium.
Taking a player out of the game while he is on the field--except in the case of a pitching change or injury--is extremely rare.
“It certainly wasn’t intended to embarrass him, but I’m sure there was a little embarrassment there,” Robinson said. “I’m sure it probably looks that way to him.”
The incident started in the bottom of the eighth inning, when umpire Larry Barnett called Tettleton out on strikes, a ruling Tettleton objected to strenuously.
He persisted in arguing the call from the dugout, then got into a heated debate with Barnett when he went out to catch the top of the ninth.
It was at this point that Robinson intervened, rushing from the dugout to get between Tettleton and Barnett and drawing some harsh words from the catcher.
Robinson then signaled for Tettleton to leave the field and summoned Bob Melvin from the dugout to replace him.
“There comes a time when a manager has to do what he thinks is best,” Robinson said. “I did what I felt I had to do, but I didn’t enjoy it.
“I just didn’t think he was going to stay in the game. Either I was going to take him out, or he’s going to be thrown out. So, I just saved him a fine, that’s all. Right or wrong, I’ll have to live with it.”
The Indians got home runs from Carlos Baerga and Cory Snyder to hand the Orioles their 12th defeat in 15 games. Cleveland has won four of five.
Tettleton dressed quickly and left the park without commenting.