"Five and fly -- just like a pitcher," joked Ramirez, who was run for the fifth time in his career.
Ramirez had already singled twice and driven in three runs in the Dodgers' 8-0 victory over the Mets at Citi Field. But he also was called out on strikes in the first inning when he thought he had walked. He turned around and held his hands a foot apart as he told Hirschbeck he thought the pitch was outside. Replays showed it caught the corner.
"The first time, I came in and looked at the replay and it was a strike, so the next at-bat I told him, 'My bad, it was a strike.' And he told me, 'Thanks for that,'" said Ramirez.
When Hirschbeck called him out to end the fifth with the bases loaded, Ramirez flipped his bat and helmet toward the Dodgers' third-base dugout. Then as he walked toward the outfield, he unfastened the straps of his arm protector and without looking flipped it behind him in the direction of Hirschbeck. It landed near home plate and Hirschbeck ejected him. Replays showed the pitch was outside.
"The other at-bat, he made a mistake," Ramirez said. "I think it's a ball. I just threw my pad and walked to the field. I was coming out in the fifth anyway, so no big deal."
Juan Pierre took over in left field in the bottom of the fifth inning, as he did for Ramirez in the sixth inning Friday night and Saturday in Ramirez's first two games after returning from a 50-game suspension for violating the Major League Baseball drug policy. Ramirez did not start Sunday's game and only pinch-hit.
Was Ramirez, who seemed to be heading to his left-field position when ejected, really coming out after five innings?
"He told me that, too," said manager Joe Torre. "I wasn't aware of that. It was about the time to ask him, but I didn't need to tonight."
Torre said umpires previously only fined players for throwing equipment.
"John didn't see it, but he heard the fan reaction and saw it laying there," Torre said. "He said he can't have that. I think Manny was frustrated by the fact the bases were loaded."
Ramirez also disagreed with a strike call in a game in San Diego last week, but Torre didn't necessarily see that as a bad sign.
"I don't think there's a growing sense of frustration," he said. "He's getting back into the competitive mode. I still think he's uneasy. I think the fact he's been away calls attention to it.
"Booing from the fans, he's used to. Even without the suspension, it's the kind of reaction he gets, especially since the Red Sox back and forth. No question, the fans have more ammunition. But he's able to block stuff out."
Ramirez downplayed the reaction he received, which included signs of syringes and other digs at his suspension for violating MLB's drug policy.
"The fans have been great to me, especially in L.A.," he said. "They've been the same. I just go play my game and move on. That's what I got to do."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less