TORONTO -- Jose Bautista remains adamant that he did nothing to deserve being ejected during the sixth inning of Sunday afternoon's 2-1 loss to the Rays by home-plate umpire Bill Welke.
Bautista was tossed for taking issue with a strike-three call during the sixth inning. The ejection proved costly, as Toronto lost Bautista's presence in the lineup and Nolan Reimold, who replaced the slugger, made an error that led to Tampa Bay's winning run.
If anybody assumed Bautista would have some regret about how the situation went down, though, think again. Bautista remained unrepentant in front of reporters Monday afternoon and insisted that while there was some visible frustration with the call, nothing was said that would justify getting removed from the game.
"I didn't know there was a gag order in baseball. If that rule was put out, I haven't gotten the memo yet," Bautista told a large group of reporters.
"[Welke] did warn me, but by the time I turned around to hear what he had to say, I was ejected. That's what I believe happened, I said something, he said something, I started to turn around, he said something else. ... I didn't know if he was done talking or not. I turned around to look at him to see what he was saying, and just by turning around I was gone."
Manager John Gibbons wasn't very forgiving to his star player after Sunday's loss. He insisted Bautista should "say your piece, get the [heck] out of there" instead of lingering around to have a prolonged conversation with the umpire.
Gibbons also added that Bautista is a "marked man in this game," which refers to previous well-documented arguments Toronto's franchise player had with umpires over the past several years. With a team that is still competing for a spot in the postseason, Gibbons believes the Blue Jays "need [Bautista] on the field."
That's about as publicly outspoken as Gibbons gets about one of his players. Bautista saw the comments later Sunday night, but he didn't take issue with them and there doesn't appear to be a major beef between the two men. It's just a disagreement on how the events from Sunday unfolded.
"I read his quotes and I understand his frustrations. I had the same frustrations," Bautista said. "I didn't want to get ejected, but it happened. Again, I don't think what I did warranted an ejection. That's the only thing that I can say."