Pelicans manager's on-field meltdown making national news

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Pelicans are in the national spotlight again, and if the viral video from Saturday's Myrtle Beach Pelicans away game is any indication, you don't want to get on Manager Joe Mikulik's bad side.

While arguing a call at home plate with umpire Adam Beck during the fifth inning of the game against the Salem Red Sox, Mikulik was ejected - he angrily points at the umpire's face, throws his helmet, and kicks dirt at the umpire's feet. Mikulik even reenacts the play by Luis Mendez, sliding feet first into home plate twice.

It's what happens next that made national news: Mikulik proceeds to remove his shoes and baseball jersey, and lays them over home plate, before making a defiant "Safe" signal and storming off the field.

"That's enough, Joe," the announcer says as the animated Pelicans manager walks off, barefoot.

Since Saturday, several national sports outlets have reported on the meltdown, from Yahoo News to ESPN.  One YouTube video of the tirade even has more than 150,000 views.

GM Andy Milovich says the team always likes to be on the cutting edge of promotions and even though this was unexpected, its a way to create buzz in the community.

"It definitely creates a buzz in your community," said Milovich.  "I don't know if you can tie directly back to the attendance, but anytime you can create buzz and talk about you and talk about all the wonderful things you do, it certainly helps make our jobs easier and helps bring people to the ballpark."

Mikulik has had similar incidents in the past.  One of his most famous ones was years ago when he was the manager of the Asheville Tourists.

The Pelicans say the players appreciate their coach sticking up for them and the marketing department loves the added buzz.

"When he adds a little bit extra to the show we appreciate it, we just hope he does it at home," laughed Milovich.

Mikulik will serve a three game suspension for the meltdown.  He will be back in action with the team on Friday when the team travels to Lynchburg to play the Hillcats.

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