08/11/11 1:10 AM ET
La Russa ejected for arguing call at first base
By Matthew Leach / MLB.com
With no outs and a runner on first in the top of the ninth inning, pinch-hitter Josh Wilson put down a sacrifice attempt. Pitcher Marc Rzepczynski's throw drew Albert Pujols off the bag on the play. It appeared that Pujols got his foot back on first base in time to retire Wilson, but first-base umpire Greg Gibson called Wilson safe. La Russa came out to argue and was ejected by Gibson. Milwaukee went on to score two more runs in the ninth, adding to what was already a two-run lead.
La Russa remained adamant that the call was incorrect, but more striking was his last remark about the incident, worrying about blowback that might come on Thursday.
"He missed the call," La Russa said. "He missed it. Which, I said very clearly, had very little to do with us losing the game. Might have added an extra run, might have added two extra runs. But they would have had a two-run lead going into the ninth, and their closer isn't giving up anything. So it wasn't the reason we got beat.
"But he missed the call. And then a short fuse, very undeserved ejection. So we'll see how he handles tomorrow, see if he has a carryover, if he gets upset, wants to take it out on us."
Pujols took a more diplomatic approach. He acknowledged that Wilson appeared to be out, but didn't make much of an issue out of it.
"He thought that I missed the bag," Pujols said. "I've got so much respect for that crew. Greg is a great umpire, and obviously he said he didn't see me touching the bag. I went back and I told him that I thought I had the corner. I was off the bag [at first], but I thought I had the corner. I have so much respect for those guys, because the way he handled it, he didn't give me any attitude back. He just said, 'Hey, you know, I didn't see it.' That was it. He was honest. I came back inside and the guys told me that I did have the corner. There's nothing you can do after that."
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Obviously, You're Not a Golfer and follow him on Twitter at @MatthewHLeach. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.