I have a new favorite player and his name is Ty Wigginton.
I’m also pretty fond of a certain interim manager.
Wigginton just unleashed every ounce of anger and frustration that his body could muster at first base umpire Gary Darling, earning an ejection and my undying admiration.
Darling blew a call, ruling that J.J. Hardy got back safely after breaking for second and dashing back to first.
Cesar Izturis took the throw from catcher Craig Tatum and fired to first, where Wigginton appeared to tag Hardy on both hands before the Twins’ shortstop touched the bag. Wigginton went ballistic, going chest-to-chest with Darling as interim manager Juan Samuel tried to separate them.
Samuel kept pushing Wigginton away from Darling, who had already tossed the Orioles’ first baseman with a casual wave of his left arm. Wigginton was red-faced and reluctant to surrender any ground.
Wigginton slammed down his cap and kept gesturing wildly with both arms. He untucked his jersey as he headed down the dugout steps, but remained fully clothed, as far as I could tell.
He was the first Orioles player to be ejected since Gregg Zaun on Aug. 2. He wasn’t the last Oriole to leave this game.
Hardy scored on Drew Butera’s single, and plate umpire Bill Hohn ejected pitching coach Rick Kranitz, who was barking from the dugout. Samuel raced onto the field and also got tossed by Hohn, his second ejection this season.
Samuel made Wigginton look calm. He kept pumping his arm as if throwing out Darling and Hohn, or simulating a right cross.
I’m fully aware that Samuel has a temper, and he put it on full display. Don’t be fooled by his big grin in the interview room.
Samuel spiked his cap and almost stomped on it, then picked it up on his way back and whipped it toward the first base line like a frisbee. The crowd went wild.
Michael Gonzalez entered the game, and I’m not sure that anyone noticed. He gave up a single and walked Joe Mauer intentionally, but didn’t allow a run.
Man, that was fun. I actually feel better now.
Tonight’s attendance: 20,108.