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Notes: Goff learned to his keep cool

Notes: Goff learned to his keep cool

PHOENIX -- The on-field tantrum thrown by Minor League manager Joe Mikulik on Sunday provided Mariners first-base coach Mike Goff with a flashback.

He had a meltdown of his own almost 12 years ago when, while managing the Class A Bellingham Mariners, he "mooned" the home-plate umpire after being ejected from a Northwest League game. It nearly cost him more than the fine and suspension he received.

Goff came close to losing his job.

"That was a long two weeks," Goff said, recalling the incident that received national television exposure. "You can cross the line a little, but you can't cross it that far. I crossed the line too far and it was just stupidity."

After protesting a call made by the home-plate umpire, Goff came out of the dugout, argued to no avail, was ejected and then pulled the top of his pants down. The incident was shown on ESPN the following night.

Goff recalls that the incident occurred on Aug. 12, 1994 -- the same day the Major League players went on strike.

"Some people told me the only reason it was shown on [national] TV was because there was nothing else to put on that night," Goff said. "But a lesson was learned. You can make your point, then get off the field, and keep your pants up."

He can smile about the incident now, and was even amused by Mikulik's hat-throwing, dirt-kicking, sliding head-first into second base, and covering home plate with dirt before washing it off with bottled water, antics.

"I figured he would be fined and suspended," Goff said.

And he was. Mikulik received a seven-game suspension and $1,000 fine.

Goff doesn't remember how many games he missed, or how much money he was fined, but he still remembers the incident, and the aftermath.

The Baby M's, as they were called, were in a battle for first place heading into the game against the Southern Oregon Athletics.

"The league was experimenting with amateur umpires that year to cut down costs and, lo and behold, two of them were working this game," he said. "Both were a little shaky."

A few calls went against Bellingham and Goff's boiling point finally was reached when the ball hit down the line was called the opposite way he saw it.

To this day Goff said he had no idea why he dropped his drawers in the first place. "I just lost it."

Later, he realized the seriousness of the mooning.

He was suspended indefinitely by the Mariners, but Northwest League president Bob Richmond recommended that Goff resume his managerial duties after missing six days of the season.

"I missed the rest of that road trip and when we got back [to Bellingham] Roger Jongewaard and Jim Beattie came up to discuss the situation and to make sure I knew I had screwed up. I thought I was gone, but, fortunately, I was reinstated."

Later that month, the Baby M's booster club staged a "Drop Your Pants Night" at the ballpark.

Goff didn't participate.

Tough duty: With the Mariners playing so many games against National League teams recently, at-bats have come few and far between for reserve first baseman Robert Petagine.

The pinch-hit double he delivered in the seventh inning Tuesday night against the Diamondbacks was his first hit since May 4, which sounds worse than it is. During the long drought, he batted just 12 times.

Switch-hitter Carl Everett, the regular designated hitter, normally would be the first left-handed hitter manager Mike Hargrove uses when a pinch-hitter is needed.

Petagine has 25 at-bats this season, the second-fewest on the team to Mike Morse. But 17 of those at-bats have some as a pinch-hitter, and Petagine has come through with four hits, including one home run.

"I wish we could give everyone more [playing time], but the fact of the matter is, a regular is a regular for a reason," Hargrove said. "They are going to get the bulk of the playing time and try to get the others as many at-bats as you can."

Mariner log: Left fielder Raul Ibanez leads the AL in intentional walks this season with 12. ... Third baseman Adrian Beltre has scored 24 runs this month, which ties him for the third-most ever by a Mariner in the month of June. Edgar Martinez scored 27 in June 1996, and Bret Boone scored 26 in the June of 2001. ... With five Interleague games remaining, six of the eight regular position players were batting at least .300. Catcher Kenji Johjima leads the way with a .465 average.

On deck: The three-game Interleague series concludes on Thursday night with right-hander Gil Meche (7-4, 3.94 ERA) opposing Diamondbacks right-hander Enrique Gonzalez (2-1, 4.65). The Mariners return home to play the Rockies in the final Interleague series of the season.

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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