08/16/2003 6:53 PM ET
DiFelice goes wild after ejection
Catcher throws assorted items after being tossed
KANSAS CITY -- Royals backup catcher Mike DiFelice freely
acknowledges he's an emotional player. Those emotions spilled over Saturday as DiFelice threw a tantrum following his first-inning ejection.
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
DiFelice's show of anger included hurling a glove into the stands that struck a young fan.
On a bloop double by A.J. Pierzynski, DiFelice blocked the
plate as Minnesota's Torii Hunter bowled him over. DiFelice held onto the ball, but Hunter was ruled safe. When DiFelice started to launch a protest with home plate umpire Jerry Layne, the ump gave DiFelice a quick ejection.
"You've got to be able to have some reactions in this game,"
DiFelice said. "It's a competitive sport out there. Your job is to block the plate."
DiFelice wanted an out at home that would have kept
Minnesota's first-inning lead at 3-0. He came up from the collision and showed Layne he had the ball. But the next thing DiFelice knew, he had been thrown out of the game.
"It's the first inning of the ballgame, man," DiFelice said.
"Now, we only have one catcher."
DiFelice erupted after the ejection. He threw a ball to the
ground and later hurled two water coolers and a trash can from the dugout onto the field, plus throwing the glove into the stands.
"I've got to eat it," DiFelice said. "I have to eat the fine
and my team has to eat being short a player. I was very upset. It's the first inning of the game. I'm getting my head knocked off and what do I get out of it? Going to the showers? That's crazy."
DiFelice expressed sorrow that his glove hit a young fan.
"I sent a little note up to the young man," DiFelice said.
"I got a bat for him. Hopefully, he's OK. I appreciate him giving me the glove back."
Starting catcher Brent Mayne, who was scheduled to get
Saturday off, wound up working virtually the entire game.
Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.