While the Asheville Tourists were on their way to a (rain-delayed) 8-3 win over the Savannah Sand Gnats in Game 1 of their playoff series, former manager Joe Mikulik was at it again. Mikulik was tossed out of Wednesday’s Carolina League playoff game between the Myrtle Beach Pelicans and Salem Red Sox Wednesday night after throwing another on-field tantrum while arguing with umpires.
The call in question occurred in the 10th inning with the score tied 1-1. Salem’s Jake Romanski hit a drive down the left field line that was ruled a home run by third-base umpire, giving the Red Sox a 3-1 lead. Pelicans left fielder Ryan Cordell immediately argued that the ball went foul, veering left of the foul pole, and should not have been a home run. Mikulik soon ran out of the dugout to argue that the wrong call had been made.
After Mikulik was ejected, he provided some of the performance we’re accustomed to seeing from him, pulling up the third-base bag and placing it at least 10 feet into foul territory, next to the dirt warning track. The skipper’s demonstration seemed to mock Grassa and his view of where the foul line existed. Oh, sure — that’s a home run if the line was way over here! It was another memorable blow-up, though perhaps not up to recent vintage. If only there had been some more cameras and better angles for the game broadcast.
Despite Mikulik’s protestations — along with the objections of hitting coach Josue Perez and third baseman Nick Vickerson, both of whom were also ejected — the call was not overturned, Romanski’s home run was upheld, and Salem maintained its 3-1 lead. The Red Sox went on to win the game by that same score, taking a 1-0 series lead in the Carolina League’s Southern Division championship. Game 2 of the best-of-three series will be played in Myrtle Beach on Thursday.
Interestingly, Mikulik’s last on-field tantrum — which received national attention — also occurred against the Salem Red Sox. Something about that team gets him riled up, apparently. Or, more likely, it’s that the stakes during the games between these two teams have been very high this season.