Mikulik's ejection leads to fiery tirade

Tourists manager, who lost his cool in 2006, erupts again

By Danny Wild / MLB.com | July 27, 2012 7:25 PM ET

It took about six years, but Joe Mikulik has erupted again.

The Asheville manager went on a lengthy and heated tirade Friday after he was ejected in the first inning of the Tourists' 4-1 South Atlantic League victory at Charleston.

Mikulik, in his 13th season with Asheville, gained fame in 2006 for a memorable tirade against an umpire that included throwing second base and cleaning home plate with a water bottle. On Friday, things got interesting when RiverDogs leadoff man Cito Culver hit a ground-rule double and tried to steal third.

A pickoff attempt caught Culver in a rundown, but the Yankees' 2010 first-round Draft pick advanced after managing to avoid the tag of lunging third baseman Samuel Mende.

Mikulik appeared to dispute whether Culver should have been called out for running out of the baseline while evading the tag. Culver was thrown out at the plate two batters later, so no damage was done.

Mikulik had a brief but heated argument with infield umpire Mike Patterson, who tossed him after the skipper drew the baseline in the dirt with his foot. He then rifled his cap into the outfield, re-enacted Culver's baserunning tactics, pulled out third base and handed it to a fan in the front row near the third-base dugout.

Mikulik and Patterson traded words again before Milulik retrieved his cap, waved to the crowd and took a bow before entering the dugout.

The crowd appeared to boo at times, although it's unclear whether Mikulik was the target of its displeasure.

It's at least the second ejection for the manager this month. After he was tossed on July 5 against Augusta, Tourists broadcaster Scott Armstrong said, "Mik got his money's worth, throwing his cap on the ground, kicking plenty of dirt on [home plate umpire Aaron] Roberts and doffing his cap to the cheering crowd as he exited the field."

Mikulik's 2006 ejection, which became a viral sensation, saw him pull out second base and heave it into the outfield before carefully covering home plate with dirt, then washing it off with a bottle of water. He later threw several bats onto the field, spiked the bottle at the plate, squatted and mimicked an umpire calling a strike and eventually left the ballpark through a door in right field.

Danny Wild is an editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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