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Phillies' Victorino argues from outfield on pitch call, gets ejected

Big League Stew

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Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino(notes) learned a lesson Sunday afternoon in dealing with umpire Ed Rapuano.

Don't mess with Ed — even when standing hundreds of feet away.

Rapuano ejected Victorino after noticing him complain — from his position in center — about the call on a pitch to Marlins' batter Wes Helms(notes) in the seventh inning of Florida's 12-3 victory at Philadelphia.

That's right. For arguing balls and strikes, an umpire ejected someone who wasn't the batter, pitcher or catcher, nor was he someone in the dugout. Victorino was about 350 feet away on defense, which had to make it nearly the longest distance between an umpire and the objection of his ejection in major league history.

Victorino didn't even try to paint the scene as a misunderstanding; he charged in from his position and confronted Rapuano face-to-face, having to be restrained by teammates Paul Bako(notes) and Ryan Howard(notes), along with manager Charlie Manuel. Victorino even pushed Bako and Manuel aside but didn't touch the umpire — which would have meant a suspension from the league. Good job, Bako.

With his team trailing 3-1 in the seventh, Phillies right-hander Rodrigo Lopez(notes) put Helms in an 0-2 count before just missing the plate with an inside pitch. Victorino tossed up his hands in apparent disgust, which caught the attention of Rapuano, whose radar was finely tuned for any complaining.

Here's a replay of the incident, which doesn't reveal much of what Rapuano saw that got Victorino in trouble. Below, check out a screen cap of Victorino's protest, plus his postgame reaction.

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Well, if you squint behind the right butt cheek of infielder Pedro Feliz(notes), you can make out a raised arm of Victorino, as if to say, "Hey, where was that pitch?"

Victorino and the Phillies first became upset with Rapuano in the bottom of the sixth on a called-third strike against Ryan Howard.

Call it both ways, blue!

Umpires have great liberty to eject when it comes to arguments on the strike zone and Rapuano used every bit of it.

The ejection was a moment of truth for the Fightins'; Jayson Werth(notes) replaced Victorino in center and later made an error that was key in Florida's six-run seventh that put the game out of reach.

Victorino cooled off after the game, despite the the ejection and the series sweep by the second-place Marlins, who climbed within four games of the Phillies in the NL East.

"I love Ed. He's a great guy, one of the best umpires in the game," Victorino said. "It's unfortunate what happened. I let my emotions get the best of me. I hope Ed doesn't hold it against me."

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