TROY — Ozney Guillen was ejected one time during his playing career, but got his first as a manager on Sunday night in a game that the ValleyCats dropped to the Vermont Lake Monsters, 7-6 in 11 innings.
On a 3-2 count to Vermont’s Jose Rivas in the top of the eighth, ValleyCats reliever Julio Robaina put his hand to his mouth and an automatic ball four was called to lead off the inning in what was at the time a 5-4 game, with the Lake Monsters ahead.
Guillen came out to argue for a minute, the situation de-escalated and he began to walk back to the dugout. He said one more thing on his way back to the dugout, prompting home plate umpire Rainiero Valero to throw him out of the game, the first time in his career as a manager, ended in him getting rather animated towards the end of the argument.
Guillen said that he did not receive an explanation on why he was ejected. “If he would have given me an explanation I would have walked back to the dugout, would have taken my stuff, no problem. It’s part of the game, you get thrown out but when you look at me and don’t want to give me an explanation for throwing me out of the game with my back turned, when I’m looking at my hitting coach and the fans telling me I got thrown out, because I kept walking. I’ve been in this game a long time and I feel like I deserve a little bit of respect, and he should respect himself too. We should all respect each other,” he said. Guillen said that he has had past run-ins with that umpire in Venezuela during winter ball, and that he only argues rules and not particular plays.
After Guillen was ejected, Zach Biermann came up with the big hit for the ‘Cats, a two-run blast to right field to give them a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth. Vermont tied the game in the ninth on a sacrifice fly from Jordan Diaz. That came after a strange sequence where both Robaina and Garrett Gayle came to the mound at the beginning of the frame. Gayle was sent back to the dugout and Robaina faced the first batter, giving up a hit, before Gayle came in. The run was credited to Robaina.
The game stayed tied until the eleventh inning. In the top half, Nick Ward had a sacrifice fly to score Nick Osborne, the eventual winning run. The ValleyCats did not threaten to score in the eleventh, despite having the placed runner at second to start each of the extra innings.
The ejection of Guillen was not the only heave-ho of the night. In the fourth inning, Biermann was hit by a pitch and it was not initially called as such. Valero had Biermann remove his batting glove to show him the stitch marks on his hand, and gave him first base. Vermont manager Aaron Nieckula was then ejected from the game for arguing that sequence.
“(Valero) asked me to take my glove off, I was like ‘okay, if you want to look at my hand,'” Biermann said.
Guillen said of the same play and the umpire, “That other manager is a very respected manager in this game and I don’t think he did anything wrong going up to him to argue.”
Despite the wildness of the evening, the ValleyCats end the series taking two of three but fall to 4-5 on the season. They will play three games against the Lowell Spinners on the road starting on Tuesday before a three-game set against the Aberdeen IronBirds at home, beginning on Friday.