Skipper in Minors has major meltdown

Skipper in Minors has major meltdown

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Minor League manager Joe Mikulik had a Major League tantrum on Sunday night in his Asheville Tourists' 5-2 loss to Lexington Legends.

The manager of the Rockies' Single-A affiliate turned Applebee's Park into a one-man show following a close call at second base in the fifth inning.

Lexington's Koby Clemens -- whose father Roger started one game for the Astros' Minor League affiliate earlier this month after re-signing with the big league club -- was leading off second base after hitting an RBI double when Asheville pitcher Brandon Durden tried to pick him off.

Umpire Andy Russell called Clemens safe, sending Mikulik roaring out of the dugout and setting off a prolonged tirade that included the pitcher's mound, home plate, a resin bag and two water coolers among its victims.

"I thought the strike was over," Mikulik told the Lexington Herald-Leader. "When will the real umpires show up? That's what I want to know. Because that was an abortion. That was bad. The whole series was awful."

Mikulik's antics started innocently enough with an animated argument with Russell, who then threw Mikulik out of the game.

Things quickly escalated after his ejection. Mikulik dived into and then ripped up second base, threw a resin bag into the bullpen, covered home plate with dirt and then cleaned it with a water bottle, which after he spiked onto the plate.

He didn't stop once he got to the clubhouse, according to team officials. Mikulik pushed a couple of water coolers, a chair and a batting practice screen in front of umpires' locker room.

"I just wish the umpire's association would train their young men to have a personality," he said. "I could get two mannequins at Sears and umpire better than what I saw this whole series."

Despite redecorating half the infield, Mikulik said he's not worried about running into trouble with South Atlantic League president John Henry Moss.

"I already talked to John Henry, I've got that covered," he said. "This ain't my first rodeo. ... I didn't touch anybody. I never bumped anybody. ... I actually cleaned home plate for them, so they should give me a tip for that."