MOOSIC, Pa. – Marty Brown’s cell phone won’t stop ringing. He was No. 4 on SportsCenter’s Not Top 10 on Thursday. He showed up on the Huffington Post. He even learned what Deadspin was.
A week ago today, the Buffalo Bisons manager staged an infield sit-in during a game in Norfolk and video of the event has gone viral. Brown had been ejected because no interference had been called on a Tides runner who crossed paths with second baseman Jim Negrych at the same time as a ground ball arrived.
So minus beach towel, Brown plopped on the grass by the mound and refused to move. He’s going to live on YouTube forever.
“I’m very surprised. I don’t go out there with the intent of bringing attention to myself. That’s not what it’s about,” Brown reflected before the Bisons’ game Saturday in PNC Field aginst the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders. “As an umpire if you don’t have an answer, it’s like a player coming in and not having an answer. If I say why, you need to have an answer. To not have one is unacceptable to me.
“I felt bad because there’s been more attention put on what I was doing rather than the players. I don’t think anybody pays money to watch umpires umpire or to watch a manager manage. They come and pay money to watch the players play and that’s what got lost in the whole thing.”
Brown said he has no need to apologize for the incident.
“My friends, all my rednecks in Missouri saying, ‘Hey man that was great, can you do that again?’ he said. “Jim Negrych comes in to thank me for standing up for him and that’s what it’s about. The team knows I’ll stand up for them no matter the suspension or fine.”
Brown, of course, got a three-game suspension and undiscolosed fine from International League president Randy Mobley. He returned to the team Friday night.
“I am on a shorter leash, no doubt,” Brown said. “That’s a given. You have to use common sense. I don’t want to be suspended. I don’t want to be away from my club but I don’t want to be pushed around either. It is what it is. I have to stand up for my team. That’s what I’m hired to do: Put our players in positions to succeed and have the attitude we’re going to win every day. If I don’t stand up for them, who’s going to?”
The Bisons got off to a fortuitous start Saturday when Scranton leadoff hitter Walter Ibarra was retired on a strikeout to end the first but it was hardly routine. Ibarra swung through a pitch and the ball eluded catcher Mike Nickeas and bounded to the backstop – before richocheting back to Nickeas, who threw to first for the out.
As part of an Autism Awareness Night promotion, Scranton wore alternate jerseys with jigsaw puzzle pieces on the sleeves. They were auctioned off after the game.
The series continues today at 1 (Radio 1520 AM) as Buffalo’s Thad Weber (0-1) makes his second start, facing Scranton’s Chris Bootcheck (5-1).
Toronto Blue Jays manager John Gibbons confirmed Saturday that the Jays will sign veteran Chien-Ming Wang, who has been pitching for Scranton, and he will start Tuesday. That means Chad Jenkins will stay in Buffalo and start here Monday, rather than return to the big leagues under the original plan.
Jenkins is 1-0, 3.60 in three starts with Toronto. He gave up five runs in five innings in his only start for the Herd, a loss Wednesday to Lehigh Valley.
“One thing we think he needs to do is get his breaking ball going,” Gibbons said. “This allows him to go down there and get some steady work. Overall, if you look at it, he did a pretty good job for us. He kept us in games. His day will come.”
Ivan Nova, who went 28-12 for the New York Yankees the last two seasons but had a 5.16 ERA this season in six outings, will start against the Bisons for Scranton in Tuesday’s series finale.