SAN DIEGO -- If it hadn't been 2 in the morning, New York time, Adrian Gonzalez might have called MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre right then and there from the clubhouse after being ejected by plate umpire Doug Eddings on Friday night.
Gonzalez was chased after he grounded into a double play, ending the top of the seventh inning of a game the Dodgers eventually would win over the Padres, 4-3. Gonzalez appeared to be returning to the dugout, but in fact planned to go no further than home plate.
He was mad at Eddings' strike call on the first pitch of the at-bat, which Gonzalez later would have freeze-framed on his cellphone to show that it was outside. He was also annoyed at a 3-1 pitch from an earlier at-bat that Eddings called a strike and Gonzalez thought was ball four.
"I told him, you need to clean it up," Gonzalez said. "He told me I've got to swing at that pitch. That's when I lost it. He'll never admit he made a mistake. Calling that pitch a strike in big situations is not acceptable. He didn't care and that's what got me mad."
Did Gonzalez regret getting tossed with a 2-0 lead that quickly disappeared.
"Absolutely not," he said. "I wanted to be ejected. I want to have a nice conversation with Mr. Joe Torre and that's what I did. You want a ball to be a ball and a strike to be a strike. I'm not asking for a strike to be called a ball. I don't think he was playing one side against the other. But he took a potential walk away from me. He calls a ball a strike and tells me I've got to swing at the pitch? I wanted him to toss me and I made sure he did."
The 2-0 Dodgers lead quickly evaporated, in part because of a dropped popup that went as a two-base error charged to Gonzalez's replacement at first base, Justin Turner. But manager Don Mattingly said the only mistake on the play was pitcher Yimi Garcia not getting out of Turner's way. Gonzalez said he would have dropped it too if he had collided with Garcia.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.