Odalis Perez unleashed a profanity-laced tirade after the Nationals’ 2-0 loss to Arizona, during which he was called for two third-inning balks—one of which set up a run—and was ejected by home plate umpire Angel Hernandez.
Manager Manny Acta said Hernandez told him Perez had stepped toward home before making two pickoff moves to first base. Hernandez ejected him after Perez argued the second balk.
“It’s just a little mind-boggling to me that this guy takes the mound every five days, nobody else calls a balk on him and this guy drops two in one night,” Acta said. “But it didn’t make a difference, because we didn’t score any runs anyways.”
Acta said Perez didn’t “use any bad words” in what he said to Perez. No, he saved those for after the game. Here is the transcript of what Perez said, edited in some obvious spots: “He’s just stupid, an idiot. Thats the third or fourth time he called balk on me. I lost the game twice. Its like hes got something personal against me, you know, and I hate that. I’m a professional. I want to be there as long as I can because I dont want to see my teammates in the bullpen to go out there and throw so many pitches or throw so many innings. I hate that, and I know Im going to get fined, but I dont care. I want to protect myself and protect my teammates, too, because hes been whole (expletive) the whole year. When people call balk on me, Ive been doing the same (expletive) move the entire year. So why does he have to call it twice in the same inning? For them for score a run against me then I lost the game, he might be happy now.”
Perez then referenced a game while he was pitching with the Dodgers on June 24, 2003, when Hernandez called him for a sixth-inning balk against San Francisco that moved Ray Durham to second. Two batters later, Marquis Grissom hit a two-run homer, and the Giants went on to win 2-1.
“It’s the fourth time. So he might be calling his teammates or his opponents blind, because I’ve been doing the same move all year. And he calls it twice in the same inning? No, that’s not true. It’s personal. And I hate that. I don’t like that.” Asked what Hernandez said Perez did, the pitcher said, “I went towards home plate and then I threw over. Ive been doing the same thing. And he called it. I dont know what it is against me, and I dont like that. I hate that. Even I lost the game, I hate that so bad. He is bad. He is awful. He’s the worst.”
While Acta didn’t begrudge Perez, who was ushered off the field by pitching coach Randy St. Claire, for being upset, he questioned whether the pitcher hurt Washington’s bullpen by being so angry.
“Of course I understand his reaction, but where did his emotions get us? They didn’t erase the balks. They didn’t put a run for us on the board. And meanwhile, we kill our bullpen,” Acta said. “Everybody has a different DNA. I guess not everybody can control their emotions, but that really didn’t help us.”