Street can laugh now about ejec­tion

rock­ies closer was tossed in mi­nors

Austin American-Statesman - - SPORTS - By David Ram­sey

When ace re­liever Hus­ton Street re­turned to Coors Field af­ter his re­hab stay in Colorado Springs, a crowd of Colorado Rock­ies gath­ered to ask a press­ing ques­tion:

How, his team­mates asked, did you get ejected from a mi­nor league game when you weren’t even pitch­ing in the ninth in­ning?

The 26-year-old Aus­ti­nite can laugh it off now that he’s shaken off in­juries and is back in the big leagues, sav­ing games for a team in hot pur­suit of first place.

“We had a big sit-down, a pow­wow of about 15 guys,” Street said. “They all wanted to know.”

On June 19, Street was pitch­ing for Colorado Springs against Las Ve­gas. He was fin­ish­ing his re­hab as­sign­ment and fi­nally feel­ing free of pain in his shoul­der and groin.

He thought he was throw­ing strikes. The home-plate um­pire, Matt Schaufert, dis­agreed. Street launched what he be­lieved were pitches in the strike zone, but Schaufert called balls.

Street protested, and Schaufert, ac­cord­ing to Street, de­manded he keep his thoughts to him­self. Street de­clined. “I’ll tell you what,” Street said, “I was stick­ing up for my prin­ci­ples. I felt like that I should be able to tell some­body that I think they’re wrong and as long as I don’t cuss at them, they shouldn’t kick me out of the game.”

Schaufert didn’t agree. Af­ter a spir­ited dis­cus­sion fol­low­ing the top of the eighth in­ning, the um­pire booted Street.

A few min­utes later, Street en­coun­tered his wife, Lacey, and faced a chal­lenge most men can re­late to.

He started to ex­plain his mis­deeds to his bride.

But Lacey didn’t care about the ejec­tion.

“She un­der­stood,” Street said. “She’s a com­peti­tor, too.”

Now he’s back to what he does best: Clos­ing out vic­to­ries in the ninth in­ning.

“When you’re out there, you’re so fo­cused and you’re think­ing about a mil­lion things a minute,” he said. “One pitch, one inch can make so much dif­fer­ence. After­ward, that’s when you get the kick. That’s when you re­al­ize, ‘Man, that’s a lot of fun.’”

Hus­ton Street had words with um­pire dur­ing mi­nor league re­hab stint.

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