Collins ejected for arguing Tejada pickoff call
Mets manager wasn't happy with umpire changing decision without help
NEW YORK -- The baserunning blunder doesn't hurt as badly for the Mets after their emotional 2-1 win over the Yankees on Tuesday, but it certainly stung at the time.
With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning and the Mets down, 1-0, Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda picked off Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada at second base. Second-base umpire Adrian Johnson first signaled that Tejada was safe, but then quickly changed his call to out.
Manager Terry Collins immediately came out of the dugout to contest the call and was extremely animated during the argument. Johnson ejected Collins from the game.
Collins said his problem with the call was that Johnson changed his mind so quickly without asking for help from another umpire.
"That was my complaint," Collins said. "What I saw and what I had to say was, 'I don't know if I've seen a call changed without help.'"
After continuing to argue with Johnson, Collins walked off the field and kicked the first-base bag on his way back to the dugout. It was the second time Collins has been ejected this season, with the first coming just over a week ago during the Mets' game against the Reds on May 20.
Even though the Mets ended up rallying in the bottom of the ninth inning against Mariano Rivera, Tejada getting picked off allowed an opportunity to get away for an offense that's struggling to score. Tejada was only the second Mets baserunner to reach second base since the first inning.
"It's tough, I have to make sure I stay safe there," Tejada said. "That's past, that's history, I have to learn about that and keep going."
Collins said he didn't go out to argue looking to get tossed out of the game. But in a big game in a big series, watching an umpire change a call so quickly infuriated him.
"To change a call in a game like this is huge. It's a huge play," Collins said. "This is a big game for us. This is a big series for us to try and get going in the right direction. I got a little frustrated with the whole thing."
Especially with Tejada.
Collins was adamant that he can't get picked off in that situation. If Johnson hadn't changed the call like he did, Collins' frustration wouldn't have been aimed at the umpire.
"Had they called him out right away," Collins said, "I would've been just as unhappy, just with someone different."
Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.