It was bad enough that his team lost to the New York Mets, 6-5, Saturday night at Cincinnati, but, by losing his cool, Manager Pete Rose may find it an expensive defeat.
An irate Rose pushed umpire Dave Pallone in the chest after a call at first base in the ninth inning that permitted the winning run to score and almost precipitated a riot.
When Pallone ejected Rose, the fans showered the field with paper cups and other objects. There was a 14-minute delay before the field was cleared. When Pallone tried to resume his position at first base, the fans started throwing things again, and Pallone, fearing for his safety, had to leave the field.
It was a 5-5 game and John Franco, who had not given up a run in 13 innings, was on the mound for the Reds. Howard Johnson walked and was sacrificed to second. With two out, Mookie Wilson hit a grounder to shortstop. Barry Larkin's throw to first apparently pulled Nick Esasky off the bag. Pallone hesitated long enough on the call to permit Johnson to score from second. When Pallone finally gave the safe signal, Rose hurried from the dugout.
He argued with Pallone briefly, then shoved him in the chest. The other umpires hurried to Pallone's aid, and Rose was ejected.
Rose pushed Pallone again before departing.
Pallone apparently did not make the call until Met first base coach Bill Robinson pointed toward Esasky's foot. A television replay indicated Esasky's foot was off the bag.
"He (Pallone) didn't give me a safe sign," Robinson said. "When I went toward the base, Pallone gave the sign. It was the right sign."
Rose was livid afterward. He had a small bruise on his left cheek and said that Pallone scraped his face during the argument, prompting Rose to shove the umpire in the chest.
"I don't make a habit of arguing with umpires," Rose told the Associated Press. "But if someone's going to try to take a game away from me, if somebody's going to try to poke me in the eye or hit my cheekbone, he's going to get splattered.
"I hate to see fans throw objects on the field, but I'd say the fans felt they got railroaded and I'd agree 100%. That was a poor umpiring decision."
Pallone declined comment after the game, but second base umpire John Kibler said he was frightened by the unruly behavior of the crowd of 41,032. He declined to talk about the call.
"Certainly, it was as unruly a crowd as I've ever seen," said Kibler, who is in his 24th season. "Certainly, I was afraid."
Rose's outburst was the climax of a wild night. In the seventh inning, with Wilson on third, home plate umpire Eric Gregg called a balk on Tom Browning. It started a rhubarb.
Browning's next pitch hit Tim Teufel in the back. Darryl Strawberry, who homered off Browning in the sixth, led the Mets charging out to the mound. After order was restored, Strawberry and Browning were ejected.
The Reds rallied for three runs in the eighth to tie the game and set the stage for the finish.
Houston 3, Montreal 0--Jim Deshaies and two relief pitchers pitched the Astros back on top in the West with an 8-hitter at Houston.
Deshaies, who gave up 6 hits in 7 innings, was followed by Ernie Camacho and Dave Smith. Smith got the last out with the bases loaded for his fifth save.
Bryn Smith (0-2), allowed to throw only 100 pitches because of arm trouble, gave up only three hits in six innings but lost.
The Astros lead the Dodgers by a half-game.
Chicago 2, San Francisco 1--Dodger pitcher Billy Loes once lost a ground ball in the sun in a World Series game.
Well, at San Francisco, this game was decided when Vance Law's ground ball in the 13th inning was lost by Giant third baseman Kevin Mitchell in a sweater, and the ball went for a run-scoring single.
"I don't know if I've ever seen a game like this," Manager Roger Craig of the Giants said. "(Bob) Brenly loses a ball in the scoreboard, and Mitchell loses one in an usher's sweater."
On a windy day at Candlestick Park, Manny Trillo doubled with one out in the 13th. Andre Dawson was walked intentionally, and Rafael Palmeiro lined to center. Law hit what looked like a routine grounder to third.
"I didn't see it until it was already by me," Mitchell said. "I lost it in a sweater. If I'd seen it, I'd at least stopped it."
Pittsburgh 5, San Diego 1--Junior Ortiz and Randy Milligan each hit a home run, and Bob Walk pitched six shutout innings at San Diego as the Pirates improved their record to 16-6, best in the league.
Walk (4-1) left the game after six innings because of a blister. He gave up five hits and five walks.
The 16 victories were 3 more than the Pirates ever won before in April in their history.
Milligan batted for Walk in the seventh and hit his first major league home run.
Roberto Alomar of the Padres also hit his first home run.
Philadelphia 7, Atlanta 5--Juan Samuel drove in three runs, and Mike Schmidt was 3 for 3 and on base five times at Philadelphia to help the Phillies end a 3-game losing streak.
The Braves have lost three in a row, and their 3-16 record is the worst in the league.