TORONTO -- Blue Jays shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is normally one of the most mild-mannered ballplayers in the game, but during Game 3 of the American League Championship Series on Monday night, he was uncharacteristically livid at home-plate umpire John Hirschbeck.
Tulowitzki was ejected by Hirschbeck in the eighth inning of Toronto's 11-8 victory over the Royals. He was upset by a called third strike in the bottom of the seventh inning, and the disagreement continued in the top half of the eighth when Tulowitzki went to assume his spot at shortstop.
Hirschbeck and Tulowitzki were seen jawing at each other before the eighth inning began, and after a brief exchange, Toronto's star shortstop was tossed. After the game, Tulowitzki said he was caught off-guard by what he thought was a quick hook, and he said that he wanted to hear an explanation. Hirschbeck provided one to FOX Sports.
"He protested a little bit after the called third strike," Hirschbeck told FOX Sports. "I warned him twice then. The inning ended, and out at shortstop, he was still yelling at me. I put my hand up and warned him two more times, said, 'Enough, that's it.' He had several warnings. I tried to keep him in the game."
Tulowitzki's disagreement with Hirschbeck was one of several heated conversations Blue Jays players had with the home-plate umpire in Game 3. In the eighth inning, Hirschbeck also got into it with Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin. He was seen leaning toward and talking to Martin during a Royals at-bat in the eighth inning, which caused a brief delay.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons didn't seem to think it was that big of a deal when he was asked about it prior to Tuesday afternoon's game against the Royals.
"It's rare to see Troy get ruffled like that, and usually when he does, there's something to do it," Gibbons said. "I think it's the second or third time we've seen that out of him. You don't expect him to get tossed in a playoff game. You don't expect anybody to toss him, but it happened and luckily it didn't affect us."
As for Martin, Gibbons quickly brushed that one off, too.
"They've both been around a long time and they have a good relationship," Gibbons said. "It's so loud, too, he was probably leaning down so they could hear each other."