Minors skipper suspended for tirade

Minors skipper suspended for tirade

Asheville Tourists manager Joe Mikulik reportedly was suspended seven games and fined $1,000 by the South Atlantic League for his tirade in the fifth inning of Sunday's game in Lexington.

"I expected to be fined and suspended," Mikulik told the Asheville Citizen-Times. "I accept it and I will take it like a man. I respect Mr. [league president John Henry] Moss and I understand he had to take action."

Mikulik vehemently disagreed with a safe call on a pickoff attempt by Tourists pitcher Brandon Durden of Roger Clemens' son Koby. In disputing the call, the seventh-season Tourists skipper used an entire manager's repertoire of argumentative techniques. Mikulik stormed the field to protest the call. He went nose-to-nose with first-base umpire Andy Russell, before reenacting Koby Clemens' slide into second base. He then uprooted second base from the dirt, showed it to Russell and heaved it into center field. He kicked dirt onto home plate, cleaned it with bottled water and then spiked the water bottle, sending the remaining water flying. He also threw the pitchers' resin bag toward first base and unloaded several bats onto the field from the dugout.

"This is not about Joe or the umpires; it is about player development," Colorado Rockies director of player development Marc Gustafson told the Citizen-Times. "This has happened and now it is time to move on. We're going to back Joe because he is a great guy who is an asset to his community and the organization; this is an isolated incident."

Once in the clubhouse after the tirade, Mikulik reportedly pushed water coolers, a chair and a batting practice screen in front of the umpires' locker room, according to the Citizen-Times. On Monday, Mikulik wouldn't talk to the paper about his actions, but said it had been accurately represented.

"I never lost control, though it looked like I did," Mikulik said. "I thought I was in total control the whole time. I was frustrated, and I went too far with it. "I apologize to the fans and to the umpires, and I apologize for some of the things I said after the game."

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