Randy Johnson apologized and said he was wrong, a day after being ejected in the second inning for arguing with plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth.
"I'm deeply regretful. I put my ballclub in a bind," Johnson said yesterday. "I pitch with emotion, but I let it get the best of me."
Johnson had his shortest start in more than a decade in Friday's 11-10 victory over the Blue Jays in Toronto. The Yankees bounced back to take an eight-run lead, but barely held on.
After watching the game on the clubhouse TV, Johnson congratulated his teammates and "left to think about what I would say today," he said.
Johnson said he might address his teammates.
"I was wrong," he said. "I was wrong for letting my emotions get away from me."
With Toronto leading 3-2 with two outs in the second inning, Frank Menechino at the plate and the count 2-2, Johnson threw a pitch on the inside part of the plate that was called a ball.
The 6-foot-10 left-hander yelled at Culbreth, who popped out to the first base side of the plate and took off his mask.
Culbreth yelled something at Johnson and pointed at the pitcher. Johnson yelled something back, and the umpire then ejected him.
Culbreth said he warned Johnson in the first inning after the Big Unit questioned a pitch to Vernon Wells and got "pretty animated," the umpire said. Culbreth had enough after the pitch to Menechino.
Johnson didn't think he got a fair warning.
"I really didn't sense that. It's not the first time I've questioned an umpire, but it is the first time in 17 years that I have been ejected for it," Johnson said. "It came at an unfortunate time."
* COFFEE AND BASEBALL: Minnesota's game against the White Sox started at 11:10 a.m. local time because the Metrodome field had to be converted for the University of Minnesota's football game last night against Florida Atlantic.
* ADMONISHED: Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi met with RF Alex Rios to tell him he won't tolerate lackadaisical play. Manager John Gibbons pulled Rios from Friday night's game for not running hard on a routine fly out in the first.
"I know I should've run that ball out," Rios said. "It's not going to happen anymore."
-- From News Services