At least Doc's return was entertaining

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:00 PM ET

TORONTO - You could tell it was going to be a long, long day from Roy Halladay’s first pitch.

Plate umpire Alfonso Marquez signalled a strike on the outside corner on Aaron Hill.

“I didn’t say a word,” said Blue Jays leadoff man Hill, “but with all the yelling going on, I stepped out.”

Yunel Escobar and a host of Jays were hooting at Marquez from the third-base dugout.

“Hey, that guy doesn’t need help with the strike zone,” was one comment.

Other yells could not be re-printed.

“I’m not in any mood for that, cut it out right now,” Marquez, yelled into the dugout, standing behind catcher Carlos Ruiz with his arm up, signalling for Halladay to wait.

On a day when Halladay was Halladay, driving ahead all full, pounding the strike zone, the Jays found themselves in a 4-3 hole in the top of the ninth, Halladay fresh as an Irish spring and Jays tempers boiling.

Reliever Jon Rauch had two out and a man on first facing Ryan Howard.

Howard walked on six pitches and a pitch later Shane Victorino singled to left, scoring Chase Utley.

Rauch approached Marquez to tell him “it was a shame umpire’s don’t have earned run averages, because that run belonged to him” and was ejected.

The 6-foot-4 Jays manager John Farrell tried to get between the 6-foot-11 Rauch and Marquez. Farrell was tossed away like The Incredible Hulk shaking dandruff from his lapel collar. Then, Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia got in between.

Back for more, Farrell tugged at Rauch, looking like a centre blocking out a small forward under the boards. Farrell pulled Rauch’s jersey top off. On the way to the dugout Rauch removed the rest of his No. 60 uniform and fired it on the ground.

Then he fired his hat into the dugout.

“I wasn’t arguing about the play at the plate, but the 2-2 and the 3-2 pitch, both cut fastballs, to Howard were right there,” Rauch told reporters after.

Farrell said Marquez, who worked the plate Monday night in Detroit, is a pitcher’s umpire.

“Everyone has their own strike zone and for the most part he was good with his,” Arencibia said. “After looking at the 2-2 pitch (on video) to Howard, it could have gone either way.

“After looking at the 3-2 pitch, it looked pretty good, but it was a pitch at the bottom of the zone. He made the right play on the call at the plate.”

After Rauch left the field, Farrell headed to the mound to bring in reliever Shawn Camp and as he was leaving, yelled at Marquez.

Farrell was then ejected as well.

An animated Farrell went to go to the batter’s box, bent over and used both hands to make a mark as to how far outside the pitch to Howard was.

Marquez spat, then Marquez and Farrell went nose-to-nose, cap bill to cap bill, discussing what size or army boots each other’s grandmother’s wore.

What did Marquez and crew chief Brian O’Nora have to say?

Unlike NFL and NBA officials, umps are allowed to speak to the press.

Umps like Ted Barrett, Derryl Cousins, Gary Darling, Bob Davidson, Gerry Davis, Dana DeMuth, John Hirschbeck, Jim Joyce, Tim McClelland, Tim Tschida and Joe West all would answered questions about the ninth inning Saturday.

It’s not every day you see a reliever and a manager being ejected within minutes.

The comment from the ump’s room?

“No comment.”

Rauch showed remorse afterwards saying “that’s not the type of role model we should be for kids.”

In the spring of 2010, Shaun Marcum said that the Jays clubhouse “would be a lot more loose, relaxed and laid back” with Halladay gone.

It looked pretty stressed Saturday and they can’t blame Marquez for all that.

Halladay was Halladay.

Just 109 pitches after his called strike to open the game, Halladay threw a pitch to Corey Patterson for a game-ending double play.

It was the 64th complete game of Halladay’s career.

The Jays have lost three straight.

And Sunday it’s Cliff Lee, on a run of 32 scoreless innings.


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