PHILADELPHIA -- Bobby Valentine's first ejection as Red Sox manager Friday night in a 6-4 loss to the Phillies had some misdirected Big League Chew. First-base umpire Gary Darling, who tossed Valentine out of the game, was chewing gum, and it fell onto a close-ranged Valentine.
"No, it's never happened before," Valentine said.
Asked if Valentine caught it, he said, "No, it hit me in the eye."
Valentine was arguing that Marlon Byrd had beaten shortstop Jimmy Rollins' throw to first base for the second out of the ninth inning because first baseman Ty Wigginton's foot was off the bag.
"I think it was on the bag for awhile, I'm not sure it was on the bag when the ball was caught," Valentine said. "It's a close play, it's a play worth arguing. ... I just was arguing the play. It was close enough to argue."
Valentine acknowledged the difficulty of the call.
"You have to slow it down, that's why it's a close play," he said. "What are you going to do? We're all human."
In a coincidence, a figure central to the play, Wigginton, made his Major League debut under Valentine with the Mets in 2002.