Frohwirth throws--and ball, cap, glove Pitcher ejeted in fourth after giving up grand slam.

August 20, 1992|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Staff Writer

The moment was certainly not a highlight in Todd Frohwirth's major-league career, but it is bound to make some baseball highlight shows in the next few days.

Maybe for the rest of the season.

When have you seen a player throw a ball against the screen in disgust after getting ejected, then toss both his cap and his glove back onto the playing field before leaving?

Frohwirth -- or is it Throwirth? -- did all that after being tossed by home plate umpire Larry Barnett in the fourth inning of last night's wild 10-8 defeat to the Seattle Mariners at Camden Yards.

Usually one of the most mild-mannered Orioles, Frohwirth's tirade began shortly after he had given up a grand-slam home run to Edgar Martinez on a 2-2 pitch with one out in the fourth and the Mariners leading 3-2.

Frohwirth, who had just entered the game in relief of Orioles starter Arthur Rhodes, thought he had struck out the American ** League's leading hitter on the previous pitch. Barnett called that pitch, as well as an earlier slider on 0-1, outside.

"I didn't know what to throw after he missed two in a row," said Frohwirth. "I came in and watched the game on television and he missed 10 more."

tTC When told that his outburst came as a surprise, Frohwirth said, "I think that kind of proves he did a poor job. When a guy misses a pitch, I'm the kind of player who turns around, goes back to the rubber and does his job."

Frohwirth, who had given up only three home runs this year and had been almost unhittable of late, with one run and 12 strikeouts in his last 12.1 innings, didn't go back to work. He immediately charged off the mound, shouting a few choice and unprintable words in Barnett's direction.

Orioles manager Johnny Oates went out to intervene, and catcher Chris Hoiles tried to calm down the pitcher, but Frohwirth seemed intent on getting in a few more words. He did, and Barnett tossed him.

"He told me to go f myself," Barnett said in the umpires' room after the game. "What I am supposed to do? I tried to keep him in the game. I know the importance of this game to the Orioles."

Asked about his player's behavior, Oates said, "A man's got to do what a man's got to do."

What Frohwirth did after the ejection was give his best Earl Weaver imitation. The ball against the screen was thrown harder than most of his pitches. The hat landed near the pitcher's mound, the glovenear third base.

"Did I set any records," joked Frohwirth. "The hat was a little light, like throwing a Whiffle ball. I was concerned about hurting my arm, but the glove was the right weight."

Kidding aside, the post-ejection histrionics will likely bring both a fine and suspension by American League president Bobby Brown for the 29-year-old right hander. Since Frohwirth can appeal a suspension, his fate won't likely be determined until after the rosters expand Sept. 1.

The ejection itself might have hurt the Orioles chances last night, as well as when they came back for the finale of the three-game series with the Mariners this afternoon at 12:15. Oates was forced to use Alan Mills for 3 2/3 innings and Mike Flanagan for an inning last night.

"I realized (later) I should have been the guy giving the team three or four innings," said Frohwirth, who was ejected once before in his professional career, under similar circumstances last year in Rochester. "At the time I couldn't control that."

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