One thing that got a little lost in the shuffle lat Friday night as the Nationals won their 12th game in their last 13 — and became one of only six teams to blow three saves in one game and still win — was that Jerry Hairston Jr. was still livid, six innings later, over his eighth-inning ejection.
Hairston, who started in left field Friday night, found himself in the center of an extremely strange scene when Paul Konerko send a screaming ground ball to Michael Morse at first base. Morse made a diving stop and appeared to then make a lunging tag of Konerko as he came toward first base. First base umpire Mike Estabrook signaled as much and the Nationals made their way off the field to end the eighth inning.
After an argument from the White Sox and manager Ozzie Guillen, though, that call was reversed, prompting interim manager John McLaren to argue vehemently and get tossed.
On his way off the field, as this all was going on, Hairston said he stopped to chat with Harold Baines and Paul Konerko when he was surprisingly thrown out.
“I’m talking to Baines and Konerko,” Hairston said. “We’re laughing and I said (to them) ‘Hey, I didn’t know you threw out the challenge flag. I didn’t know this was football and you could reverse a call like that. You kidding me? It’s off the chain. They were laughing, I’m laughing, and he goes ‘Oh, by the way, you’re out of the game’ Unbelievable.”
“He just wanted me thrown out of the game,” he added. “He singled me out. Our whole bench went nuts after the challenge flag was thrown… he singles me out out of everybody.
“I have the utmost respect for Paul Konerko. Great guy. For him to lose it, it takes a lot. I get ejected and that’s just, it’s unreal. He just ‘Hey, by the way, you’re out of the game.’”
This was Hairston’s second ejection of the season. He served a one-game suspension earlier this month for allegedly bumping umpire Ed Hickox in the first ejection.