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(WSCR) When the White Sox defeated the Rays on Wednesday, the team completed a three-game sweep at Tropicana Field, while extending their winning streak to a season-long eight games.
But, after the game, the focus was on home plate umpire Mark Wegner’s decision to eject White Sox starter Jose Quintana after he threw behind Ben Zobrist with two outs in the fourth inning. The ejection caused White Sox TV play-by-play man Ken “The Hawk” Harrelson to pour into a multi-inning rant against Wegner.
White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said Hawk was right to say what he said.
“Let’s go back another inning when there was a base open and A.J. (Pierzynski) was hit (by Rays starter Alex Cobb) with the first pitch? Did that look like it was intentional? Obviously Mark Wegner thought that was intentional,” Cooper said. “So he had the right to throw (Cobb) out, or issue warnings. He did neither. One pitch gets away from our guy and it doesn’t hit a guy, and (Wegner) throws our guy out with no warnings to either club. He could’ve said, ‘Hey, that’s it. Both you guys are on notice, both teams are on notice. Cut it out.’ That would’ve been the brighter decision. I do think Hawk is right in saying that (Wegner) didn’t have an understanding or feel for the game.”
LISTEN: Don Cooper on The Mully and Hanley Show
Quintana was making just the second start of his career, and looked poised to pick up his second-career win.The ejection by Wegner caused the White Sox to strain their bullpen, yet the team still was able to win.
“He was pitching against a good team in their ball park, which has always been tough for us, and he’s holding them to one run through four innings basically,” Cooper said. “It would’ve been nice to see him continue, but the umpire took that opportunity away.”
Cooper also discussed the lack of attendance for the first-place White Sox.
“I’m not going to beg people to come, but man, this is a fun team to watch,” he said. “I’m sitting there enjoying it on the bench watching us play. I’m sure everybody else would like to see it. Come on out and watch it.”