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  1. Sports

James Loney says ejection unwarranted, ump needs to "just relax"

Rays 1B James Loney was as demonstratively mad as he'd ever been on a major-league field after being ejected for his reaction to a strike three call in the sixth inning of Saturday's game.

An hour or so later, Loney was still upset about the decisions by home plate umpire Paul Nauert.

First, Loney said the pitch, which he thought at the time was borderline, was definitely a ball.

More importantly, he said Nauert had no business ejecting him for flipping his bat and helmet to the ground in disgust.

"I didn't even slam it that hard, and I didn't say anything to him,'' Loney said. "I've done that plenty of times.''

Rays manager Kevin Cash said Nauert told him he was okay wih the bat, but the helmet flip is what led to the ejection, the third of Loney's career and first in three seasons as a Ray.

Cash said it was obvious both parties were frustrated and understood there were two sides to the story, but acknowledged, "It was a little unique he didn't say anything directly to him.''

Which was one of Loney's prime points.

"If I'm not saying anything to you, just relax. Nobody is coming to watch you,'' Loney said. "Nobody cares that you're back there calling balls and strikes. You could tell his personality is not the best and he's just kind of there.''

Loney confronted Nauert angrily face to face after the ejection before Cash stepped in and coaches Rocco Baldelli and Charlie Montoyo restrained him, and he appeared to bump Nauert, which could lead to a fine or a suspension.

"Bump? I don't know about bump,'' Loney said. "We touched.''

And, Loney retiterated, he didn't deserve to get tossed.

"If I'm not saying anything to you, don't throw me out,'' he said. "Flipping my bat and throwing my helmet down? Just relax.''

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