Sunday, August 8, 2004

Seattle manager Melvin ejected before game

MLB Notebook

The Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Seattle Mariners manager Bob Melvin was ejected while exchanging lineup cards before Saturday night's game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

The ejection came one day after the Mariners lost to Tampa Bay when the winning run scored on a controversial obstruction call in the 10th inning.

Melvin brought the lineup card to home plate Saturday and then argued with crew chief Joe West and was thrown out.

Carl Crawford scored the winning run Friday night when Mariners shortstop Jose Lopez was called for obstruction in the 10th inning.

Crawford was on third with the bases loaded and one out when Tino Martinez hit a fly ball to left field. On the play, Lopez moved toward third and took a position between Crawford and left fielder Raul Ibanez.

Third-base umpire Paul Emmel ruled that Lopez obstructed Crawford's view of the catch and awarded Crawford home.

Melvin, during his daily pregame meeting with the media about two hours before his ejection, said all his team could do was go out and play.

"But it doesn't mean you don't feel bad about it," Melvin said. "It doesn't mean that something doesn't linger with you. I don't know how you can end a game like that."

WHITE SOX: Frank Thomas plans to return to the Chicago White Sox next season, even if he needs surgery to fix the stress fracture in his left ankle.

"I'll be back next year. Where am I going to go?" Thomas said.

On Friday, the White Sox ruled Thomas out for the remainder of this season. The two-time MVP has been on the disabled list since July 10, and the team initially was hoping he would be back the last few weeks.

But after examining Thomas on Friday, White Sox podiatrist Dr. Lowell Weil recommended he spend another six to eight weeks in a cast. If that doesn't heal his injury, Thomas faces surgery.

Thomas was hitting .271 with 18 homers and 49 RBI when he got hurt, and the two-time AL MVP was leading the league with 64 walks and a .434 on-base percentage.

The 36-year-old has options for $8 million in 2005 and $10 million in 2006, a year that has a $3.5 million club buyout attached to it.

SHORT HOPS: Royals outfielder Matt Stairs was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique muscle. He had an MRI exam Saturday, which revealed no tear or bleeding. ... Rockies recalled outfielder Jorge Piedra to fill the roster spot vacated after trading Larry Walker to St. Louis. Piedra was hitting .334 with 15 home runs and 55 RBI at Triple-A Colorado Springs. ...

The Cardinals placed right-hander Kiko Calero on the 15-day disabled list with a shoulder injury. ... The Rangers recalled right-hander Rosman Garcia from Triple-A Oklahoma and optioned left-hander Ryan Snare to Oklahoma.

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