Major League Baseball announced a two-game suspension for Tampa Bay outfielder B.J. Upton on Saturday, further disciplining the player for an ejection that occurred earlier in the week. Upton, who has elected to appeal, was ejected in the ninth inning of Wednesday night's 3-2 loss to Toronto for arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire.
Joe Garagiola Jr., Major League Baseball's Senior Vice President of Standards and On-Field Operations, announced the suspension. Upton will also be fined an undisclosed amount for "inappropriate conduct."
Upton struck out four times in Wednesday's game, and after the final one, he engaged in an animated dispute with umpire Chad Fairbanks, who had earlier ejected Toronto manager John Farrell for a similar offense. That may have lent a precedent to the Upton ejection, but Farrell said that he never even saw his ejection coming.
"I asked where the location of the two-strike breaking ball to [John] Jaso was before he singled to right," Farrell said. "Wasn't argumentative by any means. He said, 'Are you arguing balls and strikes?' I said no.
"I thought there was a differing opinion based on the reaction of the guys on the mound, those that threw it and those that caught it, and at that point, he said, 'You're gone.' There wasn't anything malicious or argumentative. Actually caught me by surprise."
Upton was a little more vociferous, and in the aftermath, he admitted that he reacted out of character.
"I just kind of lost it a little bit," said Upton. "I guess you could say ... I just didn't feel like that pitch in that particular moment was a strike. ... I'm a pretty laid back guy, I think. Obviously, you could tell I didn't like the call. ... It is what it is. It's done with now."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.