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What was Young thinking?

Updated: April 28, 2006, 5:06 PM ET
The night that Roberto Alomar spat in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck, innings had passed before the reporters in the press box knew about it. I was covering the Orioles for the Baltimore Sun, and what we had seen appeared to be merely a high-adrenaline shouting match between player and ump. Alomar was unhappy with a call Hirschbeck made in the first inning, and after Alomar returned to the dugout, still grumbling, Hirschbeck stepped toward the Baltimore dugout. Alomar said something along the lines of Just worry about what's happening on the field.

And for that, Hirschbeck ejected Alomar, on the last Friday of the regular season, with the Orioles still fighting for a playoff spot. Baltimore manager Davey Johnson came out and stood in between Alomar and the ump, and it appeared, from a distance and without benefit of a replay, that Alomar simply cussed at Hirschbeck.

About the third inning or so, there was some rumbling -- I can't remember where it came from -- within the press box that Alomar may have sprayed Hirschbeck. In between half-innings, I went upstairs to the Orioles' broadcast booth and asked Mike Flanagan, who was doing color, if he had seen anything. They ran back a replay, and boom, there it was: Alomar flat-out spitting in Hirschbeck's face. The immediate thought was What in the world was he thinking?

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