Desmond ejected after throwing helmet

Desmond ejected after throwing helmet

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals found themselves involved in a strange situation in the bottom of the seventh inning of their 4-2 victory over the Reds at Nationals Park on Friday night.

The Nationals had just scored their fourth run of the game, as Willie Harris hit a sacrifice fly to drive in Roger Bernadina. At the same time, Ian Desmond tried to advance to third base and was ruled safe by third-base umpire Paul Schrieber.

Reds manager Dusty Baker came out of the dugout to argue that Desmond's foot was off the bag. Before Baker could say anything, first-base umpire Joe West told Baker that the umpires were going to talk it over.

"It looked like [Desmond] came off the bag to me," Baker said. "[Reds third baseman] Scottie [Rolen] is one of the best there is, and that's what I saw. Then they conferred, evidently somebody on the other side must have had a better vantage point than the third-base umpire did."

About 30 seconds later, West ruled that Desmond was out at third.

Desmond then tossed his helmet and West immediately ejected him from the game.

Nationals third-base coach Pat Listach and manager Jim Riggleman complained to West, but the ejection stood. After looking at the replay, however, Listach said West made the right call.

"I thought he stood on the bag. Obviously, after watching the replay, Ian came off the bag and Joe got the call right," Listach said. "It was a close play. I was disappointed that Desmond was ejected from the game.

"My reason for talking to Joe was that he didn't have to throw Ian out of the game. I guess Joe felt that Ian showed him up. Desmond learned from it. Joe has been in the game a long time, and he got the call right."

West was not available for comment, but Desmond said he was shocked that he was thrown out of the game.

"I didn't say anything to him. He didn't say anything to me. He said, 'You are out of here' and that's it," Desmond said. "It happened fast. I felt I stayed on the base."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.