MLB 'looking into' Martin-Diaz spat

05/31/2012 1:43 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro
Major League Baseball is “looking into” a bizarre altercation between Yankees catcher Russell Martin and umpire Laz Diaz, who worked home plate for the series finale between the Bombers and Angels in Anaheim Wednesday night.

According to Martin, Diaz would not allow him to throw new baseballs back to the pitcher after foul balls during Wednesday’s game – a punishment that began after the two had a somewhat-animated exchange about balls and strikes early in the Yankees’ 6-5 win.

"He (Diaz) said that it was a privilege that I had to earn, for me to throw the ball back," Martin said. "That's never happened to me before. I even told him, because there's guys on base, I like to keep my arm loose. Nope. 'I'm not letting you throw the ball back.' That's pretty strange, to me. That's a good story, huh?"

Martin, who had never had any altercations with Diaz prior to Wednesday, said the punishment lasted from that first argument all the way through the end of the game, prompting him to tell Diaz what he thought of the bizarre ban.

“Even at the end of the game, after I got hit in the neck, I'm like, 'can I throw the ball back now?' He's like still, no. I'm like, 'you're a (expletive), dude. Like, for real. Unbelievable.' "

The catcher also said that he felt Diaz was trying to goad him into an ejection.

"I feel like that's what he was trying to do, trying to get me," Martin said. "But it wasn't going to happen. It's strange, but it's all right. We won the game. That's all that matters to me."

Martin, for one, hopes the situation doesn’t linger too long, especially if Diaz is behind the plate for any Yankees games in the near future.

“He (Diaz) isn't a bad guy ... but I know he can hold a grudge,” the catcher said.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report. comments