DETROIT — Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has drawn 46 ejections. Usually he speaks with restraint afterward, but after getting tossed for the fifth time this season in Friday night's 10-8 loss to the Tigers at Comerica Park, he didn't hold back.
And neither did plate umpire Hunter Wendelstedt in his response.
Gardenhire said Wendelstedt punctuated his second-inning ejection by asking, "How do you like that?"
"That's the second time I've run into this, with this guy," Gardenhire said. "He's got an attitude. At home a few years back he said, 'You're just out here for showtime.' He's got a smart mouth, and tonight was ridiculous, really.
"A lot of calls (were) no good. He had a bad night. He didn't probably think so because he's god, as umpires go. ... I was really disappointed. There was no reason for me to get thrown out of that game."
Wendelstedt said Gardenhire's comments were unfair. He said he warned Gardenhire about the complaints coming from the Twins bench the first two innings and that Gardenhire finally "ejected himself" when he confronted him on the field.
"Basically for a manager that has been around for so long, you would think he would understand the way baseball operates that a warning is a warning," Wendelstedt said.
First, the Twins were upset because they were sure third baseman Brendan Harris tagged Curtis Granderson on a rundown, as the Tigers scored six runs against Anthony Swarzak (3-5) in the first inning.
In an postgame interview with FSN, Granderson admitted he felt Harris tag his foot but continued running because no one called him out.
Gardenhire said Granderson was out, but the Twins considered that a tough call. The Twins were also convinced Tigers starter Armando Galarraga (6-10) was balking with quick-pitch deliveries.
"I would challenge (Gardenhire) to sit down and watch the replays," Wendelstedt said. "Because he was wrong. ... I'm going to invite him to my umpire school. If he wants to learn what a balk is, he can come down in January to umpire school and we'll teach him."
Though Gardenhire had been ejected, the Twins felt the umpires missed three calls on the same play in the fifth inning. Alex Avila hit a two-run double down the first-base line.
The Twins thought the ball was foul, they thought fans interfered with the ball in foul territory, and they thought Carlos Guillen was out at the plate.
Wendelstedt said the umpiring crew reviewed video replays for nearly an hour after the game.
"Best-case scenario, the only questionable call of the whole night that he might have is whether the fan might have touched the foul ball down the line, which we couldn't see on the tape," Wendelstedt said. "Everything else, we were 100 percent. And then when I get my ball-and-strike disk, I'll bet I'm 97-99 percent, and we'll look at that tomorrow."
Gardenhire realized he'd probably get fined, or even suspended, by the commissioner's office for his comments.
"Calls are calls," he said. "Sometimes they go your way. I just get real disappointed when an umpire has an attitude like that and thinks he's a big shot and throws you out and feels good about it.
"That's too bad. Too bad. It doesn't have to be that way, shouldn't have to be that way, but I'll get fined, and he'll be fine. He'll be fine."