Two-thirds of the Baltimore Orioles' Ripken connection was ejected from last night's 2-1 loss to Detroit after Bill Ripken was called out on strikes by plate umpire Rich Garcia.
The brouhaha occurred in the bottom of the sixth inning, enlivening an already-tense battle in which neither team had scored.
Garcia banished Bill Ripken and his father, Cal Ripken Sr., who was held back from the umpire by first manager Frank Robinson, then coaches Johnny Oates, Tom McCraw and Al Jackson.
The incident began when Bill Ripken was headed back toward the dugout and lasted through nearly 10 minutes before the game resumed with Cal Ripken Jr. lacing Steve Searcy's first pitch to center field for a single.
"They were arguing balls and strikes," said Garcia. "Billy yelled all the way from home plate to the dugout. I looked in there and he continued to yell, so I ejected him."
Robinson said Garcia told him that he allowed Bill to have his protest, then threw him out of the game after hearing something from the dugout.
"He said Billy was yelling from the dugout, which he didn't," said Robinson. "All he said was, 'So what.' I don't think he heard what Billy said from the dugout."
Cal Jr., the next batter then launched into a discussion with Garcia, but the umpire said he did nothing to justify getting the heave-ho.
"Junior was all right," said Garcia. "He was defending his brother. I can't blame him for that."
But when Ripken Sr. began moving toward the plate, it wasn't long before Garcia had had enough.
"He was almost to home plate yelling and screaming," said Garcia. "So I ejected him."
Robinson said that all Cal Sr. said was to tell Cal Jr. "not to talk to" Garcia. "He flew right by me like I wasn't there. I guess the strike zone was tight."
It marked the first time that two Ripkens have been thrown out of the same game since the father was first joined with Junior in the majors in 1982.
Robinson said the Orioles do not have any particular problem with Garcia, labeling the incident "just one of those nights. I don't know why."
In his long career with the Orioles, both as a coach and manager, Cal Sr. has been banished from games 28 times. It was the second for Bill, who joined the team in 1987.