HOUSTON -- Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon spent the final three innings of Saturday's 9-8 win over the Astros watching on TV in the visiting clubhouse at Minute Maid Park after getting ejected by home-plate umpire James Hoye.
How did he survive, watching his team build a 9-2 lead and then nearly squander it as the bullpen imploded in what turned out to be a 9-8 win?
"They had to put this thing back on the wall," McClendon said, pointing to an electrical box next to his desk. "Other than that it was fine."
McClendon remained miffed on Sunday morning that he'd been tossed for what he said was merely pointing out from the dugout that Astros manager Bo Porter had sent catcher Jason Castro out to the mound to stall for time after Porter had already made his one legal visit to struggling starter Dallas Keuchel, after the lefty had walked the bases full.
"It was just a situation where I don't think it warranted throwing me out of the ballgame," McClendon said. "But it is what it is. I think he probably took exception to me pointing the rule out to him. After a manager goes out one time, you can't circumvent the rules.
"My problem with the whole thing was the umpire was looking right into the dugout when their manager [indicated] 'Go talk to him.' That's circumventing the rules.
"I just pointed out to him that that can be construed as a trip to the mound. And it says it right in the book. I guess he took exception to me pointing that out and he threw me out. If you really think about it, I could have played that game under protest, because that's in the rule book."
Rule 8.06 in the MLB rulebook states: "If the manager or coach goes to the catcher or infielder and that player then goes to the mound or the pitcher comes to him at his position before there is an intervening play [a pitch or other play] that will be the same as the manager or coach going to the mound. Any attempt to evade or circumvent this rule by the manager or coach going to the catcher or an infielder and then that player going to the mound to confer with the pitcher shall constitute a trip to the mound."