It’s June 23, 2007, and Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca gets ejected for arguing a strike call. Lo Duca’s nickname is “Captain Red Ass”, and he shows why to home plate umpire, Marvin Hudson.
It’s the bottom of the 6th inning at Shea Stadium in a tense, scoreless tie between the Mets and Oakland A’s. Lo Duca is batting with two runners on base. He takes a low, inside pitch that Hudson calls a strike, making the count 0-2.
Paul immediately walks back to the umpire, yelling loudly and gesturing with his hands. Lo Duca then walks away, up the third-base line. He appears to calm himself down and starts to get into the batter’s box. But he says one more thing and that’s when the umpire ejects him.
Crew chief Ed Montague comes over from first base and escorts Lo Duca to the Mets dugout. But Paul’s not done. He starts throwing his catcher’s equipment onto the field – shin guards, chest protector, helmet, even a couple of bats. The fans start to chant his name “Paul Lo Duca! Paul Lo Duca!”
The Mets win the game 1-0 in the bottom of the 9th on a walk-off double by David Wright that scored Ramon Castro. Castro had replaced the ejected Lo Duca. After the game, Lo Duca said he was mad because the umpire had called the same pitch a ball for his pitcher, Orlando Hernandez.
“I’ve got a good Italian temper in me. I get along with Marvin. It’s one of those things. Obviously, it’s my fault for snapping. I was a little bit upset. I swear to my mother I didn’t cuss at him one time. That’s what upset me. I had already turned my back. I told him, ‘Let’s go,’ and I got thrown out of the game. I’ve said a lot worse in my life and never got thrown out. Obviously I started it, but I felt like he came after me a little bit, too. Obviously, I overreacted. I called my ex-wife. Hopefully, my daughter wasn’t watching. I didn’t realize my eyes looked like that”.Lo Duca told ESPN
Related: 2006 NLDS double play at home plate.
Lo Duca did end up getting suspended two games and fined $2,000. It was the first suspension of his career. Later in the week, the Mets held Paul Lo Duca bobblehead day. It was sponsored by spicy Gold’s Horseradish.