When the managers met at home plate Tuesday to exchange lineup cards, Doug Davis represented the Buffalo Bisons.
The minor league coordinator for the Toronto Blue Jays acted as the Herd’s manager as Marty Brown watched the game from an undisclosed location as he served the second game of his three-game suspension.
By the time the first pitch was thrown at Coca-Cola Field, Brown was well on his way to being an Internet sensation.
Video of Brown’s ejection tantrum on Sunday in Norfolk went viral during the day, landing on Deadspin and USA Today.
The ejection occurred in the second inning of the Bisons’ 7-4 win at Norfolk on Sunday. Brown was arguing that second baseman Jim Negrych was interfered with while trying to field an infield hit. Base umpire Kevin Bultron ejected Brown. Brown then made contact with home plate umpire Travis Carlson, who went out to try and calm the situation.
That just made it worse for Brown who sat down on the infield and then tossed his helmet.
Brown was suspended for three games and fined an undisclosed amount. Tuesday’s homestand opener against Lehigh Valley was the second game of the suspension. The Bisons dropped the game, 4-0, to the IronPigs in the first of a four-game homestand.
Before the game, Brown discussed the episode in Norfolk and his frustration with not getting answers about the call from Bultron.
“I needed to have answers,” Brown said. “What am I supposed to tell my players? That’s what a manager is supposed to do is stick up for his players. I basically asked the umpire to give me something to tell my infielder. I just said, ‘So you’re just telling me I should tell him that you f----d up. Is that all you got for me?’ That’s it?
“Then he just got frustrated and that’s when he tossed me and the other umpire tried to step in and that made things even worse and then they told me to get off the field. So I decided I’d get off when I wanted to get off. That’s why it turned out the way it did.”
The original broadcast was by WAVY in Norfolk. Then the website Deadspin posted the video. Then USA Today’s sports blog “For The Win” added it.
“Kudos to Triple-A Buffalo Bisons manager Marty Brown both for his innovative approach to protesting what he felt was a poor call and for his work in continuing the longstanding American tradition of non-violent resistance,” wrote USA Today’s Ted Berg.
In Tuesday’s game, the Bisons had a chance to score in the first inning when they loaded the bases with one out but they stranded all three runners.
The IronPigs built a 3-0 lead on a pair of home runs by Cody Overbeck. He had a leadoff solo shot to right-center field in the second then a two-run shot to left-center field in the fourth. They added a run in the sixth on an RBI double from Steve Susdorf.
“We had an opportunity early to get out there and score a couple of runs and take a lead and we just weren’t able to do it,” said Davis, who will serve as manager in today’s game as well. “We took some good swings. … I think for everybody it was tough seeing the ball out there tonight. Both teams seemed to struggle, especially with changing speeds. We had a couple opportunities but we weren’t able to get anything out of those. They got a couple home runs and that’s all anyone needed tonight.”
Thad Weber (0-1) took the loss for the Herd, giving up three runs on two homers to Overbeck. He gave up five hits in four innings.
Buffalo pitchers struck out 14 batters, led by Weber and Mickey Storey, who each had four.
Lehigh Valley starter Tom Cochran (1-2) picked up the win, pitching five shutout innings. He gave up six hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Tuesday’s paid attendance was 5,440 … Chad Jenkins will start for Buffalo tonight after being optioned from Toronto. In a busy day of pitching transactions, Storey was also optioned to Buffalo while lefty Tommy Hottovy was promoted from Double-A New Hampshire. Chad Beck was placed on the disabled list retroactive to June 2 and Josh Johnson ended his rehab assignment and was activated by the Blue Jays, pitching in San Francisco Tuesday. … Zach Miner (3-3, 4.73) is scheduled to start for the IronPigs in tonight’s game (7:05, Radio 1520).