OAKLAND — A’s third baseman Matt Chapman was ejected in the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game after jawing with Angels catcher Juan Graterol as he dug in to start his at-bat.
It wasn’t the first signal of tension in the early innings of this game, as Graterol and A’s center fielder Mark Canha exchanged words before and after Graterol went out to the mound in the second to talk to Angels starter Tyler Skaggs.
After that second-inning incident, replays showed home plate umpire Mike Everett talking to someone in the Angels dugout and the words “stealing a sign” are heard. It could be the Angels were accusing the A’s of stealing signs.
Sign-stealing is at the forefront of everyone’s thoughts around the game right now after the revelation of the Boston Red Sox reportedly using electronic technology in stealing signs from the New York Yankees.
At any rate, Chapman began exchanging words with Graterol in the fourth just as he was digging in to the batter’s box to begin his at-bat. Everett quickly got between Chapman and Graterol and then the umpire began lecturing Chapman. A few moments later, Everett ejected Chapman. Renato Nunez pinch-hit for him and took over at third base.
The A’s, trying to snap an eight-game losing streak, led 3-0 entering the bottom of the sixth.