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Jays should sign him - let the catchers in AAA get some practice before getting shots with Dickey.
June 5, 2005
WASHINGTON -- Pitcher Tomo Ohka was fined by the Washington Nationals on Sunday for showing disrespect to manager Frank Robinson while being removed from the game the night before.
Ohka turned his back to Robinson as the manager walked to the mound in the fourth inning of Saturday night's 7-3 victory over the Florida Marlins. Robinson then had to grab the ball out of Ohka's hand to make the pitching change.
"He was disrespectful to me," Robinson said before Sunday's game against the Marlins. "He had his back to me. I put my hand out for the ball and he didn't give it to me."
In a statement, team president Tony Tavares and general manager Jim Bowden said the fine was for "contempt" directed toward the manager. The amount of the fine was not disclosed.
"One thing you can't have on a major league club is have a player show up a manager," Bowden said.
Just before the fine was announced, the Nationals closed the clubhouse for a brief team meeting. Although he did not discuss the meeting, Robinson made it clear that Ohka's actions upset him more than Saturday night's other altercation: an outburst by outfielder Marlon Byrd that left umpire Joe Brinkman knocked to the ground.
Robinson said Ohka's actions set a "bad precedent," especially at the time when the Nationals are playing so well.
"The other players see it. Fans see it. Opposing teams see it. It just sets a bad example," Robinson said. "This is what I'm saying when we talk about chemistry. The chemistry is very high right now on the ballclub. One person can damage that chemistry to where it hurts the team."
Ohka, who was not available for comment Sunday, recently regained his spot in the starting rotation after early season struggles. Robinson said Ohka will remain in the rotation, and the manager even used Ohka as a pinch-runner Sunday in the seventh inning.
"He has this thing that goes back years, that I don't have confidence in him, that I don't give him a chance like I do other pitchers to work out of jams," Robinson said.
But Robinson pointed out that he let Ohka work through three jams -- allowing runs in each of the first three innings -- before taking the pitcher out after a single and a walk in the fourth. With the Nationals struggling to score runs recently, Robinson said he can only be so patient.
"We are not a great offensive ballclub, so that's the way I gauge my pitcher," Robinson said.
Am I correct in assuming (after looking at splits) that he batted lefty the following game, then never again?
I remember Ohka was having a decent year for the Sox, and they sent him down and replaced him in the rotation with...who was it? Some old washed up guy?
They traded him for Urbina.
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