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All Of A Sudden Joe Maddon Is Earl Weaver?

Rays manager Joe Maddon was ejected from yesterday's game against the Padres, the third time he has been thrown out this year, tied for the most in Major League Baseball.

All the self-proclaimed defenders of the old school who have criticized the Rays skipper for being too unconventional and/or laid back ought to be loving it, in spite of his latest ejection being unconventional itself.

With the Rays up 4-3 in the 7th inning, starting pitcher Matt Garza was called for a balk that put Padres runner Will Venable in scoring position as the tying run.

After James Shields had been called for a balk the night before, Maddon decided he'd better have a word with his pitcher, since, you know, you're not allowed to argue balks without getting ejected.

So using a traditional mound conference as a ventriloquist's dummy, Maddon proceeded to lecture umpire Gary Cederstrom via Matt Garza, much to the amusement of Garza and other mound conference attendees who had to stifle visible displays of amusement.

Somehow, Cederstrom was able to discern that Maddon might have been directing criticism towards him and not Garza, took offense and threw Maddon out of the game.

So now that the Rays skipper is going all Earl Weaver (although, any time Weaver ever screamed at Jim Palmer, it was directed solely at Jim Palmer), I wonder if the old school-ists are going to cut him any slack?

Maybe re-direct some of their "what happened to the good ol' days" ire towards today's umpires, with their rabbit ears and short fuses.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.