Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch was ejected from Friday's spring training game just one pitch into the bottom of the first inning, courtesy of home plate umpire Angel Hernandez.
After a brief bout of confusion, Hinch realized from the dugout that he was the one who had been tossed from the game. He then stormed the field to argue with the veteran umpire, interrupting an at-bat between George Springer and St. Louis Cardinals starter Daniel Ponce de Leon.
"It's a little bit of a carryover from a conversation last week where I know Angel gets really frustrated when guys question him on balls and strikes," Hinch told reporters postgame, per Alyson Footer of MLB.com. "He told me he gets four (ball or strike calls) wrong a game, so I've kept that in mind. And then, today, I thought he was a little unfair (with) Forrest (Whitley)."
Whitley, the No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball, started the game for the Astros and allowed Harrison Bader to reach on a fielding error, before retiring the subsequent three batters on a sacrifice, groundout, and strikeout.
"In between innings, I brought (Hernandez) over and had a calm conversation with him and said, 'We have technology to help you get better that these pitches are strikes,'" the skipper continued. "He had an arrogant attitude about it and didn't want to hear it. ... He started the inning, calls a bad pitch on George to start - probably to spite me - and off we go.
"The fact he wanted to throw me out in a spring training game is pretty ridiculous. He's known for overreaction a little bit and when you argue balls and strikes you get thrown out, I get it. As it escalated, he said some condescending things that are inappropriate and unprofessional, I'll leave it at that ... We'll let the league know."