New York Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton once got an object lesson in the fine art of Major League diplomacy.
"My rookie year,
[Yankee catcher] Elston Howard came out to the mound and he said, 'Don't throw any strikes.
[Umpire Ed] Runge wants to teach
[Boston Red Sox slugger] George Scott a lesson.' Scott, a rookie, had been complaining about calls.
"'Just keep the ball outside.'
"Elston runs back and holds the catcher's glove about six inches outside. I hit the glove. Strike one. George Scott shakes his head.
"I think, Hey, this is going to be easy. My next pitch was about a foot outside. Strike two. I think, Holy shit, he must have done something bad.
"Third pitch bounced a foot in front of home plate. Scott swung and missed. Strike three. Scott was pissed. He knew the umpire was getting back at him, and he kept his mouth shut for a long time. Runge taught both of us a lesson. He taught Scott a lesson about complaining, and he taught me what can happen if the umpire doesn't like you."