Lance Lynn on Ejection for Throwing Belt at Ump: 'Obviously I Hurt His Feelings'August 19, 2021
Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Lance Lynn said he was already working with trainers in the dugout when umpire Nic Lentz arrived to check for foreign substances, which is why he threw his belt in Lentz's direction and was subsequently ejected from the game.
Lynn provided details about the situation after being thrown out of the contest after the top of the fourth inning in a 3-2 White Sox win over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.
"He was late getting over, so I left my glove and my hat, and then while I was going down in the dugout, trying to see the trainers because I'm dealing with something, he yells at me that he needs to see my belt," Lynn told reporters. "So I toss it up and then he throws me out."
The two-time All-Star added: "Obviously, I hurt his feelings. He threw me out because I tossed my belt, and I said, 'Well, if you were on time, we wouldn't have this problem.' I wish I could have gone deeper. I didn't get that opportunity. It was taken from me."
Lynn was off to a strong start against the A's having allowed just one run through four innings with four strikeouts. He'd accumulated 88 pitches, meaning he probably only had one or two frames left, but being ejected before the fifth inning meant he couldn't qualify for the win.
Four White Sox relievers (Garrett Crochet, Ryan Tepera, Aaron Bummer and Liam Hendriks) combined to cover the final five innings. Hendriks, the club's closer, recorded the final five outs while striking out three to maintain the one-run lead and secure his 28th save of the campaign.
Chicago improved to 71-50 with the win, and it holds a 12-game lead over Cleveland in the AL Central.
Oakland dropped to 68-53, leaving the A's 2.5 games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West. They do hold a wild-card spot, but that race is crowded.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa argued alongside Lynn after the ejection, but explained afterward a player shouldn't throw their belt in the direction of an umpire. He hopes his ace won't be subject to a suspension following the incident.
"I can't speak for the umpires and the league and how they look at that," La Russa told reporters. "I hope not."
Lynn's next turn in the rotation is scheduled for Monday night when the South Siders open a four-game road series against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Chicago is in a stretch where it plays 16 straight days through Aug. 29, so a suspension would likely lead to a spot start or bullpen game since it couldn't reshuffle the rotation around a day off.
The White Sox wrap up their four-game set against the A's on Thursday afternoon.