Mets manager Luis Rojas suspended two games for ejection after Taijuan Walker gaffe vs. Pirates

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CINCINNATI — Mets manager Luis Rojas said his intention is never to get suspended.

"My intention," he added, "is always to fight for the guys out there."

He did that, and there were consequences. Rojas on Monday received a two-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for "excessive arguing" of a call that led to an embarrassing play in the bottom of the first inning of Sunday’s win against the Pirates, MLB said in a release.

Rojas said the letter alerting him of his suspension did not provide any further reasoning than "excessive arguing" and did not give him the opportunity to appeal his suspension, which begins with Monday night's series opener in Cincinnati.

New York Mets manager Luis Rojas (left) is restrained by third base coach Gary Disarcina (10) and first base coach Tony Tarasco (51) after Rojas was ejected from the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
New York Mets manager Luis Rojas (left) is restrained by third base coach Gary Disarcina (10) and first base coach Tony Tarasco (51) after Rojas was ejected from the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Bench coach Dave Jauss will manage the Mets, while major league field coordinator Brian Schneider will be a bench coach of sorts.

"Obviously, I’m a little upset that I’m going to be missing the next two games," Rojas said. "I always want to be there. I missed the team for 8 2/3 (innings) yesterday, ended up not getting to watch from the dugout. Same feeling here."

Rojas will watch the games — just not from the dugout or the clubhouse. Rojas said he cannot be in the clubhouse once the team's pregame workout is over.

He didn't know if he could watch the game from somewhere else in the stadium, such as a suite. In other words: He can help prepare the club and even throw batting practice, which he did on Monday, but he can't manage games.

The play Rojas argued: Pittsburgh's Kevin Newman hit a dribbler down the third-base line and starting pitcher Taijuan Walker ran off the mound and batted it out of play because he thought it was foul and wanted it to stay that way.

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Home plate umpire Jeremy Riggs ruled it fair, though, and as Walker argued with Riggs, no one grabbed the ball and three Pirates scored. The play was not reviewable.

Rojas stormed out of the dugout to argue with Riggs. He appeared to bump into Riggs — something he said he didn't remember doing. And he added that he never intended to bump Riggs, but knew the two were so close that they could've made contact.

Another umpire came over to restrain Rojas, but Rojas moved him aside. Bench coach Dave Jauss tried to do the same, but Rojas judged him aside, too.

Rojas, while upset about the suspension, said he's not fighting it. "The league's got to do what they got to do, right?" he said. But he still maintains Riggs made the wrong call.

"The ball starts foul and it’s tailing back toward fair territory. As the ball is rolling, I don’t think it touches the mark at all. I just think it’s close to the edge, but there’s still a small separation between the ball and the line, and that’s when Walker touches it," Rojas said. "As soon as he touches it, the ball’s still foul. But if the ball’s going from fair to foul and it’s leaving the line and then Walker touches it, I can see when a play is probably going to be called fair — because then it’s too close going fair to foul. But going foul ball to fair, that’s what, for me, a play like this should be reviewable moving forward."

Sunday marked the third ejection of Rojas' big-league managing career. He said he's never been suspended — not in the minors, not in the Dominican Winter League, not in the majors — until now.

He understands why the league suspended him, but he's bummed he can't be around his players during games.

"It is what it is at this point," Rojas said. "We got a game to play. This shouldn’t be the main focus of our day. The main focus of our day should be our game that we’re playing against the Reds. Let’s go, let’s get started with the suspension and let’s get it over with. I can’t wait to be back in the dugout and watch these guys play a game from my seat."

Justin Toscano is the Mets beat writer for NorthJersey.com. Email: toscanoj@northjersey.com. Twitter: @justinctoscano

This article originally appeared on NorthJersey.com: Mets' Luis Rojas suspended for arguing Taijuan Walker play