CHICAGO -- Despite sitting four games under .500 after 68 games, the Pirates' short-season affiliate in State College (Pa.) has garnered plenty of national attention in recent days. That's all thanks to Spikes manager Gary Robinson, whose recent post-ejection antics have rapidly become a YouTube and Internet sensation.
The theater played out on Friday, after Robinson initially emerged from the dugout to argue a call with home-plate umpire Roberto Ortiz. Ortiz had awarded first base to a Batavia player, saying that Spikes pitcher Brooks Pounders had hit the player on the hand. Robinson argued that the pitch had struck the knob of the bat.
Robinson eventually headed back to the dugout, but said something in the process that got him ejected. That's when the fun began.
Robinson stormed back out to the field, spending time covering home plate with dirt. He then marched down to first base and pulled the bag out of the ground. On his way to the dugout with the base, Robinson took a pen out of his jersey, autographed the base and handed it to a fan in the stands.
The Centre Daily Times identified the fan as 13-year-old Dan Kozar, who is shown on the circulating videos proudly holding up his souvenir.
"Impulsively you do things," Robinson told the Times after the game. "I was walking to first base and I spotted the kid. I said, 'OK, I'm going to do it.' It was just an impulsive thing I did. It wasn't planned.
"Sometimes you do things to make a point," he added. "At the same time, there's a lot of times you regret what you do. I tried to give my ballclub a shot in the arm. There's a lot of reasons I did what I did."
Robinson's actions have brought back references to one of the most animated Minor League ejections in recent years, when Double-A Mississippi manager Phillip Wellman lost his temper in 2007.