CHICAGO -- Chicago White Sox third baseman Joe Crede made the play of the game. Jerry Hairston admitted that himself. "Crede made a great play," Hairston said. "They made some great plays defensively tonight."
Hairston just thought he was safe on that particular play in the third inning and expressed those thoughts to first base umpire James Hoye. Then he returned to the dugout and threw his helmet, which earned him an ejection and set him off. Hairston ended up having to be restrained by manager Ron Washington as he argued over a play that was probably the closest the Rangers came to a hit against White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle on Wednesday night at U.S. Cellular Field. "I thought I was safe," Hairston said. "I didn't cuss at him. I spoke my opinion and walked away. I was a little upset." Television replays showed Hairston was probably out after Crede made a terrific diving stop to his left on a sharp ground ball and then made a strong throw from foul territory. "I thought it was going to be a foul ball, but I dove for it anyway," Crede said. "I went and looked at the replay and he was out on the replay. It was a good play and the momentum switched on our side at that point." Hairston tried to beat the throw with a head-first slide instead of trying to run through the bag. "[It was] as close as you can get, but he was out," White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko said. "I looked at that play 10 times after the game. He was out by a hair, and I'm not saying that because I'm on this side." Hairston had a few words for Hoye and then walked away. He wasn't ejected until he went into the dugout. He didn't even see Hoye actually throw him out of the game. Teammate Brad Wilkerson informed him.
That enraged Hairston. He bolted from the dugout and started screaming at Hoye while he was being restrained by others."I wanted to know why in the world he waited until I got in the dugout to throw me out," Hairston said. "I said what I had to say and walked away. That's tough as a player. If I had thrown the helmet at him, that's one thing but I threw it toward the bat boy like I often do. It took me off guard. I have never cussed an umpire." But he had to be forcibly restrained while arguing with Hoye and might be in danger of a suspension. "To me, it should be just a fine," Washington said. "He never really had a confrontation with the umpire. It shouldn't be a suspension."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.