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Cleveland Indians

Goleski gets a little too close for comfort

By sstorm Published: May 7, 2008

When it comes to the Aeros and umpires, it has not been a good start to the season. First-year manager Mike Sarbaugh has been ejected three times in the first month - including recent back-to-back games, and right fielder Ryan Goleski was tossed after an ugly incident near the end of Tuesday night's game.

In all fairness to Sarbaugh and Goleski, the umpiring the first couple of weeks of play has been inconsistent at best. The definition of a strike zone has not only ranged from umpire to umpire, but rather frustratingly at times, inning to inning, as well.

Still, Goleski appears to have crossed the line Tuesday when he bumped an umpire - maybe even twice, depending whom you talk to - after being ejected for arguing balls and strikes by home plate umpire Doug Levy.

Tempers began to flare in the second inning when Goleski (batting .216 in 28 games) was rung up on a boarder line strike three in the second inning. Some jawing ensued, but Goleski eventually went into the dugout peacefully and play resumed.

However, come the bottom of ninth inning with the bases loaded, one out and the host trailing 3-0, Goleski was once again caught looking for strike three on a pitch down and away and appearantly out of a normal strike zone. He immediately turned to argue, obviously said something he shouldn't have and was quickly ejected.

But this time, Goleski did not go without incident. As he argued angrily, and appeared to chest bump Levy. Other witnesses said at one point Goleski got so close to the umpire again, that he touched him with the brim of his helmet hitting Levy on the bridge of the nose.

''I don't know what it is with the umpires,'' Sarbaugh said recently regarding his ejections, noting he was thrown out three or four times all of last season at high Class-A Kinston. "They used to give you a little bit of a warning to let you know you're getting close. But now, I'm not getting that. I guess I'm just going to have change my ways.''

Perhaps the worst part of Goleski's ejection is that Eastern League president Joe McEacharn happened to be visiting Canal Park, watching from behind home plate in the stands.

By the time Wednesday's 3-2 win over the Altoona Curve got underway, there was no word on whether a suspension would be handed down. However, Goleski was not in the lineup and did not play.

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