Eaton: Martinez and I 'had a pop together' after getting tossed

Chris Lingebach
July 30, 2019 - 4:01 pm

Nationals right fielder Adam Eaton and manager Dave Martinez, both ejected in the first inning Sunday against the Dodgers, suddenly found themselves with an abrupt day off.

"I got the day off that I really, really wanted," Eaton told Chad Dukes Tuesday on 106.7 The Fan. "Davey got the day off that he really, really wanted. And I think it worked out for everybody. And then we won that two days ago, then won yesterday, so hopefully it kind of sparked us a little bit, so that worked out."

Eaton was ejected after his first at-bat of Sunday's game – an 11-4 win over the Dodgers – for arguing balls and strikes with home plate umpire Jeremie Rehak.

Eaton made a premature attempt to take his base when a 3-1 fastball pitched sailed high in the zone but was called strike two by Rehak. Eaton struck out swinging on the next pitch. After which, Eaton turned back toward Rehak and unloaded. Rehak tossed Eaton with the quick hook, and then manager Dave Martinez came out to give Rehak some medicine.

He, too, was tossed, leaving the Nats without their skipper and starting right fielder before the first inning was even over.

What does one do with all that newfound time and freedom?

"It's fun. You go back in the clubhouse. Him and I had a pop together," Eaton said. "And, like I said, it's always good for the manager to back you, your teammates to back you, and then to get them to respond is icing on the cake."

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"What did you say to the guy as you were walking back after the strikeout?" Dukes asked. "And then, is it just the switch is flipped and, like, I'm gonna get my money's worth if this guy's gonna throw me out of here?"

"Well, one, I don't think I got my money's worth. That's number one," Eaton said. "I felt like I was rather tame, just yelling at him for a good five, 10 seconds. You know, when the pitch that I didn't necessarily agree with happened, I actually made a joke when I came back, kind of a short joke, because I thought the ball was up.

"I said, 'You know, it's easy to be up on me, because I am very, very short.' And (Dodgers catcher) Will Smith actually laughed about it, but the umpire of course didn't. Which, I feel like I kind of gave him a chance to, not to apologize or anything – I don't expect that – but kind of to laugh it off and, 'Okay, now we'll just bury the hatchet. I'll compete here.' But he kind of came at me a little bit, so I was like, 'Oh, that's how things are gonna go?'

"And then, like I said, next pitch – I don't think many people agree with me, but I said 'that one's on you,' because I felt like I had the base and I was already halfway to first base," Eaton continued. "Then he actually thought I called him something that I didn't. If you read my lips, I never called him what he thought I called him."

Rehak thought Eaton called him an "MF-er," Eaton reports.

"And then what's funny," Eaton said, "is that Davey kind of used that as a pun when he came out. And I just told him, 'I never called you that.' There of course were other words involved at that point, because I've already been tossed. I'm just like, 'I never called you that. I don't know what the heck you're thinking, but I never called you that.' I was like that's B.S., man.

"He hears what he hears and he has to react, and that's his job. That's part of the game. I think that's something I always enjoyed as a kid, was the interaction, the feistiness, especially at this stage of the game. You know, we've failed so much, and they're behind the plate. They have to do a difficult job, and that's hot for everybody, and like I said, it's still kind of the hot month of August."

"It's all part of the game. It's, like I said, a fun part of the game," he said. "I think the crowd kind of enjoyed it a little bit. Davey came out there and kicked some dirt. What was beautiful is Robles came in nice, loose, cool, calm and collected and had a heck of a day. Three hits for him, was awesome. And then the team played really well."

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