Headley ejected after heated argument

Headley ejected after heated argument

NEW YORK -- It was a bizarre moment at Yankee Stadium during the Yankees' 5-1 loss to the Astros on Friday night.

Yankees third baseman Chase Headley had just fouled a ball off his hand as he tried to pull back a bunt attempt, but the question of whether he'd have to leave the game seemed to be answered when he stepped back into the box.

However, Headley took issue when home-plate umpire Adrian Johnson pointed at him in response to something the switch-hitter had said. The 33-year-old was ejected after his fiery reaction to Johnson.

"I didn't say a word to him," Headley said. "He approached me, took his mask [off], put his finger in my face and I responded."

Headley said Astros catcher Brian McCann asked him if he was OK and if the ball hit him, to which the third baseman responded that it did.

"Apparently, he didn't like that," said Headley.

Unsurprisingly, Headley and Johnson still saw the exchange differently after the game.

"Headley gets back in the box and Brian McCann asked him if he was OK," Johnson said. "He says, 'Yes,' and then McCann asked him if the ball hit him and he looks directly at me and he says, 'Yeah, it ... hit me.'

"I don't think it's a misunderstanding when someone looks you right in the eyes and says something."

They both agreed Headley was responding to McCann's question about whether the ball hit him and wasn't directly arguing with Johnson. However, it seems as though Johnson thought Headley was saying he should be awarded first base because the ball hit him, and if the Yankees thought that was the case, they could review it.

Headley would have gone to first if Johnson had ruled that the ball didn't hit the bat, and therefore wasn't a foul ball, and if the umpire also thought Headley pulled back the bunt attempt or checked his swing.

Foul balls in the infield and check swings are considered subjective calls and are not reviewable plays. So it wouldn't have mattered whether Headley was trying to make his case for first base, because replay rules state such a play is non-reviewable.

McCann confirmed that he did ask Headley if the ball hit him and said that Headley responded to him, not Johnson.

"I didn't know if it hit him in the finger or it rattled his hands where his hands were numb," McCann said.

"I probably shouldn't have asked him."

Matthew Martell is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.