Minor league manager Joe Mikulik had a major league meltdown.
To say Mikulik -- skipper for the Asheville (N.C.) Tourists -- lost his cool Sunday in a Class A South Atlantic League baseball game against the Lexington (Ky.) Legends would be a gross understatement.
It all started in the fifth inning when Asheville pitcher Brandon Durden tried to pick off Koby Clemens -- son of Roger Clemens -- at second base inside Lexington's Applebee's Park. Clemens was called safe, prompting Mikulik to charge toward first-base umpire Andy Russell to protest the call.
Protest he did.
The agitated Mikulik went nose-to-nose with Russell, who showed considerable restraint before tossing the manager. Even after his ejection, Mikulik demonstrated a headfirst slide into second before he picked up the base and flung it toward the outfield. On his walk toward the visitors' dugout, Mikulik stopped at the pitcher's mound, picked up the rosin bag and hurled it toward first base.
Doing his best Lou Piniella impersonation -- with The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Loving Feeling" blaring over the PA system -- Mikulik then stopped at home plate and kicked dirt on the plate and on the heels of retreating umpire Stephen Barga.
And moments after Mikulik disappeared into the dugout, bats came flying onto the field -- much to the concern of a startled batboy standing nearby.
Mikulik wasn't done yet. He walked back to plate umpire Barga, emptied a water bottle onto the plate and then finished the tirade by spiking the bottle into the dirt -- all the while arguing the call.
As a chorus of boos rang through the stadium, Mikulik began his slow march off the field to the tune of Ray Charles' "Hit The Road Jack." Mikulik untucked his shirt and eventually disappeared through a door in the right-field wall.
Oh, the Tourists lost 5-2.