By JOHN ROMANO
© St. Petersburg Times, published June 8, 1998
T. PETERSBURG -- A called third strike made Wade Boggs angry Saturday night. The ejection that followed made him livid.
It was the first ejection of his 17-year major-league career.
"That's why I got so upset," said Boggs, who went face-to-face with umpire Eric Cooper for about 90 seconds after the ejection.
"I know the fine line a player crosses to get ejected and I didn't come close to approaching it. I've never even had an umpire tell me, "One more word and you're gone.' I know umpires have tough jobs and I've always respected that."
Boggs was angry enough to spend five minutes talking to executive director of umpires Marty Springstead before Sunday's game. Springstead was at Tropicana Field to review stadium ground rules with GM Chuck LaMar.
Boggs said he had a running discussion with Cooper about close pitches throughout the game. After being called out in the ninth inning, Boggs said he pointedly told Cooper that the pitch was outside.
"He took off his mask and said he was tired of my b------- all
night and I was gone," Boggs said. "But, you know, I didn't get
over 1,300 walks without knowing the strike zone."