LOS ANGELES -- The game in a scoreless tie, runners on the corners, and Dodgers third-base coach Larry Bowa gets tossed for flagrantly defying a rule he doesn't like. "One of the dumbest ejections I've ever had," said crew chief Ed Montague, a 31-year veteran whose report to the Commissioner's Office will also include how Bowa, in full tantrum mode Tuesday night, repeatedly bumped manager Joe Torre into the umpire during the ensuing meltdown. Torre had come out to protect his coach, who likely faces further disciplinary action. The 67-year-old Torre and his recent knee replacement were no match for the agitated coach, so bench coach Bob Schaefer joined the scrum, grabbing Bowa by the jersey.
Bowa finally left the field for the dugout, where he found a cooler full of Gatorade that needed to be dumped onto the dugout's rubber floor, leaving everybody's spikes sticky. Bowa declined to comment after the game. Montague didn't. He said umpires have received a memo ordering enforcement of the rule that coaches not venture outside the coach's boxes toward the field of play or home plate. The rule goes along with the edict for coaches to wear helmets to ensure their safety after the accidental death of Minor League coach Mike Coolbaugh last year. Bowa was the first coach to blast the helmet rule during Spring Training, but backed down when told he would be ejected if he disobeyed. Montague said he gave Bowa the same warning one inning earlier when he stepped near the third-base line. "Larry and I have always got along," said Montague. "We're not bad guys. We're just enforcing the rules and they are adamant about it. The coach can't get in front of the box toward the plate or near the foul line. I told Bowa in the fifth inning to stay back. He didn't like that. I told Joe the same thing between innings. "But Bowa said he'll do it the way he's always done it. I said if I have to, I'll run you. He said do what you've got to do; it is what it is. I said to just get back and he wouldn't. Then he argued. I gave him every chance in the book, but he defied us. It was uncalled for." Torre defended his coach and criticized the rules. "Major League Baseball sometimes decides to do things without really having a feel for what it's doing," said Torre. "To make coaches stay in the box with a runner on second, both coaches have to get down the line so the runners see them. "Larry is Larry and I wouldn't want anybody else in the situation. He's a passionate guy. Larry can give a club a spark whether he's on the field or not."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.