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Cookie Bows to Umpire, Angels Bow to Yankees

August 18, 1988|MIKE PENNER | Times Staff Writer

NEW YORK — That wasn't The Wave those fans behind the New York Yankees dugout were performing during the final innings of the Angels' 11-7 loss here Wednesday night. The New York baseball fan does have some style.

No, that was the dance step inspired by one of the more comical manager-umpire rhubarbs to ever play off-Broadway.

Throw your arms in the air.

Bow down and touch the ground.

Do it all again.

Do The Cookie.

To the misfortune of Angel Manager Cookie Rojas, Rojas never got the chance to get a look at the craze he created. The mocking homage he paid umpire Mike Reilly during a seventh-inning argument got Rojas ejected by not one, not two, but three umpires, synchronizing their thumbs impressively.

The argument began shortly after Angel catcher Darrell Miller misfired a pickoff throw up the third base line past Angel third baseman Jack Howell. Rafael Santana was the runner at third and Rickey Henderson was the runner on first, breaking toward second, when Miller unleashed his throw.

The ball bounded into foul territory and alongside the left-field box seats when a fan reached over and touched the ball. John Shulock, the third base umpire, immediately called fan interference. Home plate umpire Dale Ford waved home Santana, and Henderson.

Rojas did not concur.

"Usually with fan interference, the ball is dead as soon as it's touched," Rojas said, noting that Henderson was pulling into third when Shulock made his call. "How can you anticipate a guy scoring from first base on that play?"

Ford said: "I have to judge where the ball is, where the fielder is and where the runners is. Rickey Henderson is one of the quickest guys in the league. In my judgment, I think he would've scored easily."

Rojas' response?

"Very poor judgment."

While Rojas was trying to get this point across, Reilly, the second base umpire, entered the debate. Gesturing broadly, Rojas waved his right arm out to the side and grazed Reilly on the shoulder.

According to Rojas, Reilly told him: "Hey, you hit me."

And Rojas, feigning shock, told Reilly: "Oh, I'm sorry . "

Then, Rojas raised both arms above his head and bowed twice in front of Reilly, as if he were approaching the throne.

By the time Rojas completed his second bow, Shulock, Ford and Reilly were already winding up to throw Rojas out.

"He was trying to show us up," Ford said.

Said Rojas to reporters, his voice still dripping with sarcasm: "If I touched him, I have to apologize.

"I wasn't even talking to (Reilly). I was talking to Shulock. The play didn't even concern Reilly. He came over and was standing off to the side. I didn't even see him."

Within minutes, a few dozen Yankee fans had picked up Rojas' move, taunting the Angels by bowing and hooting in unison.

By the time Rojas left, a 7-7 seventh-inning tie had blown up in the Angels' faces, the runs by Santana and Henderson giving the Yankees an 11-7 lead.

Even before the debate, the Angels encountered more trouble with the umpiring crew.

With one out and runners on first and second, Santana hit a grounder back at Angel relief pitcher Stewart Cliburn (4-2). The ball skidded between Cliburn's legs and bounced toward second base.

But before shortstop Dick Schofield reached the ball, he collided with Reilly. No play, Santana was safe at first, the bases were loaded.

Then, Henderson drove in two runs with a bloop single.

Then came Miller's pickoff attempt--and two more runs.

That's how an inning, and another 13-hit offensive effort, unraveled for the Angels. The Angels trailed, 4-0, after the first inning, but came back to forge a 7-7 tie by the middle of the sixth inning.

Along the way, Jack Howell hit his 13th home run and Wally Joyner added his 10th. Joyner also drove in another run with a fifth-inning single, Thad Bosley had a sacrifice fly, Chili Davis a run-scoring double and Johnny Ray a two-run triple.

That gave the Angels a total of 22 runs in two games at Yankee Stadium.

And all they have got out of it is a split.

Angel Notes

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