A.J. Ellis: ‘Their job’s to call balls and strikes. It’s not to be a catching coach.’

ST. LOUIS — A.J. Ellis said that he’s never been ejected from a game, at any level of baseball, prior to Friday. That changed after Matt Carpenter walked in the bottom of the seventh inning of the Dodgers’ 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.

By Ellis’ account, he drew the ire of home plate umpire Mike Winters for the way he was “presenting the ball” during Carpenter’s at-bat.

Their conversation, as Ellis recalled it: “He said, ‘the presentation was poor.’ I said the presentation doesn’t matter. He said ‘the presentation was poor.’ He just repeated himself. That’s what did it.”

The game was televised by MLB Network, and Ellis said that Winters was wearing a microphone specifically for the broadcast. If that audio exists, please pass it along — we couldn’t hear anything from the press box.

Winters told a Cardinals official after the game that Ellis’ ejection “was about balls and strikes. The rest of it stays private.”

Ellis said that he takes pride in his relationship with umpires.

“They probably have the toughest job in our sport,” Ellis said, adding that Winters is “a great man.”

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was ejected for arguing a called third strike against Andre Ethier in the top of the seventh inning.

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.