The Seattle Times’ Bob Finnigan on Clint Nageotte’s brief sting yesterday against the Twins :

When Clint Nageotte spoke hopefully before yesterday’s game about being with the Mariners longer than the last time, he had no idea what was ahead.

Last time, he pitched in only one game ” a 1-1/3-inning appearance in Detroit on Aug. 3.

Yesterday, the 25-year-old lasted only one pitch in an 8-3 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

That serve, which looked like a mis-thrown breaking ball to start the seventh inning, sailed over the head of Lew Ford and convinced plate umpire Larry Poncino that Nageotte had evil intent.

So Poncino tossed Nageotte.

“The umpire totally overreacted,” M’s manager Mike Hargrove said. “The ball slipped out of the kid’s hand. He got in at 11:30 the night before, it was his first game. He’s not throwing at anyone.”

Nageotte was still stunned after the game.

“I slipped on the dirt and the ball came out of my hand. I’m here to get guys out, not hit anyone. I knew who was up, and that probably was why I was thrown out of the game.”

Poncino said: “He can say what he wants. It was the first pitch, the guy had hit a couple of homers in the series, hit a three-run homer earlier in the game.

“There is no doubt in my mind he was throwing at him. Case closed. I’ve got to stop it before it starts.”