|Lo Duca tossed, then tosses equipment|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 23 June 2007 15:54|
The New York Mets' fiery catcher was ejected for arguing a strike call in the sixth inning Saturday night against Oakland, prompting a tirade that ended with most of his gear on the field.
Lo Duca came to bat with two runners on in a scoreless game. After taking an inside strike that made the count 0-2, he got in Marvin Hudson's face and barked at the plate umpire, gesturing vehemently with his hand.
After making his point, Lo Duca walked slightly up the third-base line, gathered himself and prepared to get back in the batter's box. That's when Hudson ejected him, sending Lo Duca into a rage.
His eyes bulging with anger, Lo Duca screamed at Hudson before Mets manager Willie Randolph tried to restrain him. Lo Duca grabbed Randolph by the sleeve, nudged him aside and went right back at Hudson.
Crew chief Ed Montague came down from first base and finally ushered Lo Duca away. As Randolph continued the argument with Hudson, Lo Duca walked to the dugout and heaved his helmet, bat and elbow guard toward first base.
Once he reached the bench, Lo Duca tossed his shin guards into foul territory. He chucked his chest protector, too, but that got hung up on the dugout railing. Finally, he retreated up the tunnel toward the clubhouse with the Shea Stadium crowd of 52,920 chanting ``Paul Lo Duca! Paul Lo Duca!''
After a delay of several minutes, backup catcher Ramon Castro entered as a pinch hitter for Lo Duca and struck out on the next pitch from Joe Blanton. Carlos Beltran then singled to left, but Travis Buck's accurate throw cut down Ricky Ledee on a close play at the plate, drawing more boos directed at Hudson.