Larry Rothschild may be a first-year manager, but he knows how to get ejected like a seasoned veteran.
The Devil Rays manager got his first ejection Sunday night after arguing with second base umpire Marty Foster. Foster had called the Rays' Dave Martinez out in the fifth inning as he singled and tried to advance on an errant throw by centerfielder Jim Edmonds.
The ejection came within seconds of Rothschild's first words to Foster.
"Yes, I probably deserved it," said Rothschild, who watched from the clubhouse as bench coach Frank Howard guided the Rays in their 2-1 loss at Tropicana Field. "I don't blame him for throwing me out quickly. I have no problem with that."
But Rothschild had a problem with Foster saying the manager made contact with him after he was ejected.
"I don't think it was unintentional," Foster said.
"The league will review it," Rothschild said. "But I didn't touch him at all. I don't care what he says."
With Miguel Cairo on first, Martinez singled to center. Cairo moved to second. But when Edmonds' throw squirted through the infield, Cairo went to third and Martinez bolted for second.
Pitcher Omar Olivares picked up the ball in foul territory between third and home and threw to second baseman Carlos Garcia, who tagged Martinez.
The crowd erupted in boos as Foster made the out call, and television replays indicated Martinez beat the play. "Everybody saw it on the replay," Martinez said. "He tagged me high, but the umpires saw it differently."
Said Garcia: "He was out. No doubt."
Rothschild, who has left the dugout to argue about six calls, sprinted onto the field and confronted Foster at close quarters, and was promptly tossed after, he admitted later, he used a profanity. "I didn't think he should have been thrown out," Martinez said. "I've heard worse."
Crew chief Drew Coble said Foster was a replacement for regular crew member Ted Hendry, who is in Oregon tending to his seriously ill mother. Coble said Foster is a Triple-A umpire who has filled in at the major-league level.
"I just thought he was safe," Rothschild said, "and I went out there. It's just something you get into the game. Emotions take over."
Howard took over but took no credit for any managerial expertise. "We knew what his game plan was and how he wanted to attack them tonight," Howard said. "We just didn't get the execution. A base hit here and there, and it's a different ballgame."
It certainly was different for Rothschild. "I watched (the rest of the game on television)," he said. "It's hard to do, believe me."
But not so hard, said Roths-child, who has been ejected two other times in his career, that it would never happen again.
"Stick around," he said, laughing. "It's something that if you have a passion for the game and you care about your team, it's going to happen. That's just the way it is."