Don Mattingly’s fury could earn him a spot in the record books. The manager of the Marlins was ejected on Friday night for the fourth time this season, putting him on pace to shatter the single-season record for heave-hos by a major-league manager, an unofficial mark that has stood for 112 years.
John McGraw was tossed 13 times in 1905, according to Baseball Almanac, while Retrosheet.org has the fiery Hall of Fame manager for the New York Giants at 11 ejections that season.
“No chance will I break that record,” Mattingly said on Saturday.
It was hard to tell if he was serious.
The single-season Marlins record belongs to Mike Redmond: five in 2014.
While there is a lot of season left to go, Mattingly’s frustrations could continue unabated if the Marlins don’t end their losing ways. On Friday, they lost 7-2 to the Dodgers — their 19th setback in 23 games — in a game punctuated by a ninth-inning brouhaha that led to Mattingly’s latest dismissal.
After A.J. Ramos caught the front of Brett Eibner’s jersey in the eighth, Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling returned the favor in the ninth when he buzzed a pitch that sailed behind Giancarlo Stanton.
Tempers flared. Benches cleared. Mattingly, Stripling and Dodgers bench coach Bob Geren were thrown out.
It was Geren who drew Mattingly’s wrath. Mattingly claimed Geren yelled at Ramos from the Dodgers dugout after Eibner was hit.
“When he wants to yell and scream at our guys, then he’s going to have to go through me,” Mattingly said. “He was yelling and screaming at our guy.”
Mattingly was so visibly incensed with Geren during the on-field standoff between the teams that his cap nearly came off. No punches were thrown, but Ramos sounded afterward like he was open to the idea in bring-it-on bravado.
“If they’ve got a problem with it, they can see me before the game, after the game, whenever they want to see me,” Ramos said. “It doesn’t have to be at the game. If they still have a problem with it, it’s their fault.”
WORLEY TO MAKE START ON SUNDAY
The Marlins called up Vance Worley from Triple A New Orleans to make Sunday’s start. Mattingly had openly entertained the idea of handing that start to either Odrisamer Despaigne or reliever David Phelps.
But after Despaigne labored through a lengthy four-walk ninth inning on Thursday, the decision was made to bring up Worley, a veteran righty who has made 85 career big-league starts with the Phillies, Orioles, Twins and Pirates.
“With Phelps, we’ve said all year long we’re not going to put him in the rotation unless we’re going to leave him there, and we’re just not at that point yet,” Mattingly said.
Mattingly said the Marlins also have a fallback starter in Jeff Locke, who is nearing a return from the disabled list. Locke pitched his third minor-league rehab start on Friday for Double A Jacksonville.
“He’s getting closer,” Mattingly said. “We’re kind of building Jeff to the point of being a starter.”
Worley had gone 2-5 with a 4.43 ERA in eight starts for New Orleans.
“It’s just a matter of executing pitches and getting back out in front of a larger crowd,” Worley said of Sunday’s assignment. “I’m not a guy who’s going to go out and strike everybody out. I pitch to contact and try to go as deep into games as I can.”
To make room for Worley, the Marlins optioned Despaigne to Triple A.
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Worley (2017 debut) at Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Brandon McCarthy (3-1, 4.15 ERA), 4:10 p.m., Dodger Stadium.
▪ Monday: Off day.