Sometime last week, Hawk Harrelson complimented Robin Ventura for having enough confidence in his position to hire coaches who could be managers themselves one day. Some managers, Harrelson said, are afraid of employing somebody who could replace them. Others like Mike Scioscia are happy to have potential geniuses on his staff for as long as he can, because good help is good help.
Whether you agree with Harrelson's estimations regarding Ventura, Mark Parent and Joe McEwing, the lack of an ego came in handy this weekend.
On Friday night, Ventura turned in his best ejection of the year. Yes, that's similar to saying that Alexei Ramirez is playing his soundest defense of the season -- there's not a lot of competition in 2013. If you were to stack it up against his 2012 ejections, it'd rank no higher than third.
In fairness to Ventura though, the nature of the call diminished some of the fireworks. Ventura ran out to stand up for Dayan Viciedo, who didn't play by the ground rules when a ball got stuck under the padding, turning a double into an inside-the-park homer. He also had to get Chris Sale out of the way, so he entered the fray as more of a lobbyist than a protester.
It took a while to get going, but you could see the hands start to get away from him:
And after he was ejected, the field mic picked up Ventura telling Greg Gibson, "That's bullsh-t, and you know it."
Comparing this to his ejections from last year, it doesn't beat the 20 SECONDS OF RAGE or the "You can't take it!" taunt against Seattle. However, the circumstances are similar to the pickoff-turned-balk ejection that prompted the weakest ejection of last season (unwinnable argument based more on frustration over bad breaks). At least this one produced better highlights.
And then, just two days later, Mark Parent goes out and gets ejected while handing out the lineup card.
The genius in this ejection is that it needs nothing more than the description. The video alone doesn't suggest anything remarkable, and Ventura didn't add to any mystique with his postgame comments:
"But, yeah, it was just something from last night. It's over." [...]
Asked if it felt good for Parent to get whatever it was off his chest, Ventura said: "I don't know. I haven't talked to him yet. I would imagine."
But the setting was enough. I was on the road Sunday, and only found out about it while reading tweets in line at Heid's. This was the first one that drew my attention:
Mark Parent got ejected during the lineup exchange. I don't think I've ever heard of that.— Chris Rongey (@ChrisRongey) August 25, 2013
That's all I needed to see. The timing is so remarkable that, without specifics, it gives you a lot of room for your imagination to fill in the blanks (initially, I pictured Parent delivering batting orders written in braille, then walking away extending double freedom rockets).
Right now, Parent's ouster stands as the ejection we'll remember most from this season. That might make an insecure manager ramp up the vitriol over the last month, but Ventura seems like the kind of guy who would let Parent enjoy the spotlight. You know, maybe that isn't a good thing after all. Speaking on behalf of my interest, I'd hope Ventura doesn't let this call go down without a fight, either.