Ozzie, Buehrle ejected for arguing balks

Ozzie, Buehrle ejected for arguing balks

CLEVELAND -- Ozzie Guillen knew what was coming once first-base umpire Joe West tried to shoo him off the field, and now, he knows what to expect in a day or two from the league.

West called two balks on White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle, and Guillen went out to talk to West after the first one in the second inning. Guillen said he went out to protect his pitcher, not to protest the call.

Guillen said when he asked West why he was "embarrassing Buehrle," West dismissed him with a wave, telling him to leave the field. When he didn't, West ejected him.

"When you are a professional, you have to respect the manager the way we respect the umpires," Guillen said. "The umpire is supposed to respect back, but obviously they have more power than we have. And we get aware every time it happens."

West said after the game that he didn't have a problem with Guillen trying to protect Buehrle.

"I think I deserve some respect, and players deserve some respect, too," Guillen said. "When you tell the manager to get off the field, I don't think that's a good way to handle the situation. ... I'll be waiting for my fine, get it the next day."

How was West embarrassing Buehrle?

"Telling him stuff like, 'I will kick you out of the game,'" Guillen said. "That's not necessary. But nobody's going to change Joe, for the rest of his life ... that's the way he was when he was a kid."

An inning later, West and Buehrle were at loggerheads again. Buehrle threw his arms down in a shoulder shrug after the second balk, and the glove came off his hand and West ejected him. West said after the game that the glove toss was the reason for Buehrle's ouster, but Buehrle said the move was not intentional.

"I shrugged my shoulders and wasn't trying to show him up by throwing my glove," Buehrle said. "But once I got tossed, I was going to go say a few words and try to get my money's worth, just kind of find out what did I do wrong to balk. I did the same move the toss right before that, and he didn't call a balk."

Clearly angry, Buehrle had to be led off the field, and several White Sox players stepped in between Buehrle and West.

Buehrle attributed the ejection at least in part to West's ego. The umpire, also known as "Cowboy" Joe West, records country western music and regularly plays concerts.

"I think he's too worried about promoting his CD and likes seeing his name in the papers a little too much, instead of worrying about the rules," Buehrle said.

Guillen shares Buehrle's feelings.

"Joe's been like that for a lot of years, and he's always going to be like that," Guillen said. "I'm not going to change it. Nobody's going to change it. But sometimes, he thinks people pay to watch him umpire."

Guillen said the moves that cost Buehrle aren't different from what the 10-year veteran normally does.

"Buehrle's been doing the same stuff over the time he's been in baseball," Guillen said.

The last White Sox pitcher with two balks in a game was Indians bullpen coach Scott Radinsky, who had two on June 8, 1993.

The ejection was Guillen's third of the season and 22nd of his managerial career. Buehrle's removal was just his second.

Stephen Ellsesser is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.