Joe Mikulik, the all-time winningest manager in Sally League history, turned in a unique performance Friday night with another animated argument that earned him an ejection and the national spotlight.
Mikulik, in his 13th year as the manager of the Asheville Tourists, rushed onto the field in the first inning of Friday’s road game against the Charleston RiverDogs to argue a safe call after a Charleston base runner escaped a run down. He went on a tirade that included kicking the dirt, ripping up third base, handing it to a fan in the front row and taking a bow for the crowd before he disappeared into the dugout.
Mikulik, inducted into the league’s hall of fame as part of the 2009 class, isn’t a stranger to animated tirades. He pulled a similar meltdown in 2006 and was suspended seven games and fined $1,000 by the league office.
The South Atlantic League has yet to announce a punishment for the 49-year-old manager but will likely review the incident by Monday.
HOMECOMING: Former South Aiken High School star Andrew Faulkner will pitch in front of a home crowd again when the 19-year-old prospect takes the mound for the Hickory Crawdads this evening at Lake Olmstead Stadium.
The Single-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers will wrap up a three-game road trip in Augusta today.
Faulkner, who has pitched primarily out of the bullpen this season, will get another start in the Crawdads rotation.
The Thoroughbred product allowed just one run over seven innings to get a win last week in a start against Delmarva.
Tonight’s game is scheduled to start at 5:35 p.m.
BIG BAT: Colorado Rockies prospect Kyle Parker, whose family lives in Evans, elevated his power numbers last week when he homered in three consecutive games. The former Clemson University quarterback and outfielder went deep Sunday, took Monday off and then homered again in Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games.
The 22-year-old right fielder enters this week leading the Advanced-A Modesto Nuts in on-base percentage (.427) and is currently ranked second in slugging percentage (.517).
PROGRESS: The Southern League made an unprecedented move last week by naming a female as its next league president. Lori Webb, a front office executive of the Double-A league for 18 years, was named the eventual successor to the league’s top position, effective Aug. 1, according to a statement released by the league.