ARLINGTON, Texas (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Texas Rangers third baseman Asdrúbal Cabrera never left the dugout and says he wasn’t trying to hit an umpire with the equipment he threw onto the field after being ejected from Thursday’s game against the Cleveland Indians..
Cabrera is appealing a four-game suspension and undisclosed fine from Major League Baseball that was handed down Friday, a day after umpire crew chief Bill Miller was hit on the foot by a small shin guard or batting gloves.
“I wasn’t trying to hit anybody. I think the umpire is the last guy you want to hit,” Cabrera said Friday. “I was just trying to throw the gloves out there to let him know I was (unhappy), instead of walking back to home plate.”
The Rangers’ lineup for Friday night’s game against the Chicago White Sox included Cabrera.
Cabrera tossed the shin guard with the gloves wrapped inside of it after his ejection in the sixth inning of a 4-2 win over Cleveland on Thursday.
That was a couple of pitches to the next batter after Cabrera was upset about a called third strike by home plate umpire Doug Eddings.
After striking out for the third time in the game, Cabrera stayed at home plate momentarily and calmly expressed his displeasure with the call.
Cabrera saw video of the pitch after going back to the dugout, where he was when he started chirping and got ejected by Eddings. Cabrera threw the equipment while Miller was talking with Rangers manager Chris Woodward, who also felt something hit his foot.
“It was mid-argument. I was like, ‘OK, this argument’s over,'” Woodward said.
“I saw it was a ball. It’s been happening all year. If you do it to me on the first pitch or the second pitch, I don’t care because I still have pitches left, but when you take the bat out of my hand, that’s not right,” Cabrera said. “At some point you are going to get mad.”
Woodward described ejection of Cabrera as “a quick hook” and the suspension against him as “pretty steep.” The Rangers manager said he didn’t see all of what happened with Machado in Colorado, and wasn’t going to make comparisons to that incident.
“Anytime you make contact with an umpire … even if it’s like a feather, you’re making contact, you’ve almost got to assume that there will be some sort of suspension,” Woodward said. “I don’t think (Cabrera) intended to hit the umpire. I think he was trying to show his disapproval.”
(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)