TORONTO -- One day after being ejected in an extra-innings loss to Tampa, Jose Bautista found himself in the spotlight again Monday. Surrounded by media, the Jays slugger was unrepentant in his belief that he did nothing to warrant being ejected by home plate umpire Bill Welke in the sixth inning Sunday after striking out. His ejection took on a bigger light when outfield replacement Nolan Reimold misplayed a fly ball in the top of the 10th inning, an error that turned into the winning run in the 2-1 Tampa win. Reimold also struck out to end the game. Jays manager John Gibbons did not mince words afterwards. "Bottom line we need him in the game. Say your piece, and get the hell out of there," he said of Bautista. "Were trying to get in the playoffs, we need you on the field. "He (Bautista) is a marked man in this game. Bill Welke, I thought he had a pretty good zone today. He was steady, I thought he was looking to call strikes. But we need you in the game." Gibbons repeated his view Monday, although he called the incident old news and said there were "no issues." He also made a point of citing Bautistas intensity while declining to say whether he had talked to the player about Sundays incident. "To be honest, I think hes handled himself very well this year," Gibbons said of Bautistas actions towards umpires. "My point is we need him. He doesnt do us any good sitting on the bench." Still, Gibbons bluntness in pointing the finger at a star player was unusual. It also comes in a rollercoaster season that has seen Bautista question the teams lack of moves to strengthen the roster. The 33-year-old Bautista, who is slated to make US$14 million this season, is the face of the franchise and an influential voice in the locker-room. Rightly or wrongly, every hiccup comes in for intense scrutiny. Bautista has more than a few in his corner, judging from the warm reaction he got when his name came up during the Jays introduction Monday night. A nice running catch to end the top of the first won more cheers and he got a good response for his first-inning at-bat despite grounding out. The managers comments on Sundays ejection did not go unnoticed by Bautista. "I did read his quotes and I understand his frustrations," the right-fielder said before Monday nights game with Boston. "And I had the same frustrations. I didnt want to get ejected. But it happened. "Again I dont think what I did warranted an ejection. Thats the only thing that I can say." Sitting at his locker stall, a relaxed Bautista then surveyed the media throng around him. "I find it interesting though that this is so important that this is the first time all year that Ive had 15 people in front of my locker," he said after pausing to count the reporters. "After a lot of good games and after a lot of bad games. Its very interesting to me." A reporter countered that a lot of times his locker was empty before games. "I dont believe that," Bautista said dismissively. "I dont think thats true." Bautista has had issues with umpires in the past, but has kept his emotions in check this season. Last year, he spoke out on the issue after being upset at the strike calling of umpire Jeff Nelson in the season opener against Cleveland. Asked about it the next day, Bautista said he reacts to umpires because he plays with emotion. "Sometimes I have trouble more than other players dealing with my production being affected by somebody elses mediocrity," he said. "Its just the way that I am as a person, its a tougher pill to swallow for me sometimes." The comments were unlikely to win him favour with the umpiring professionals in the 161 games that followed. On Monday, Bautista chose his words carefully as he fenced with reporters. He sounded more like a lawyer than a baseball player as he debated the meaning of argument. "I feel what I said and what I did did not warrant an ejection. But I did get ejected. And I dont have anybody else to blame for it, thats my fault. But I also wanted to say what I wanted to say. Without cursing, without raising my voice, without being animated, without showing him up. "And I dont think when you do that in a polite matter you should get ejected." Bautista said the ejection and subsequent criticism will not change his future interaction with umpires even though he acknowledged "nobody can ever win" such discussions. "That doesnt mean youve got to keep your mouth shut," he said. "Especially when youre being polite, especially when youre again not raising your voice, not using curse words. "I mean I didnt know there was a gag order in baseball. If that rule was put out, I havent got the memo yet." Bottom line, Bautista didnt seemed too fazed about anyone elses opinion. "I know my motives. I know the things that I do and why I do them," he said. "And what makes me a good player. And what makes me tick, and why I come out here every day and what my purpose is. "If some people want to believe thats part ulterior motive, obviously theyre entitled to their opinion but I obviously dont agree with them." The elephant in the room was whether Bautistas actions in not letting the strikeout go were selfish. "I dont think that I should come to my job and worry about performing and on top of that try to convince the world that Im a good person or that I have good intentions within my team," he said. "I dont think thats my job. I think my job is to come here and play hard and try my best. And I think I do that every single day. "Again, if some people believe that Im selfish or have whatever reasons or motives to do anything while Im out on the field, thats their opinion. I shouldnt have to campaign against that just to get people on my side. I should go out there and play hard every day and try to help my team win games." 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Chris Heisey connected for his first grand slam and Devin Mesoraco homered and drove in a career high-tying four runs as Cincinnati took advantage of Tampa Bays depleted pitching staff for a 12-4 victory on Sunday.OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Oklahoma City Thunder have signed free agent point guard Sebastian Telfair. The Thunder made the announcement in a news release on Tuesday. Terms were not disclosed. Telfair joins the Thunder after spending last season with Tianjin Ronggang in China, where he averaged 26.1 points, 6.0 assists and 2.0 steals. The 13th overall pick in the 2004 NBA Draft, Telfair owns careeer averages of 7.dddddddddddd4 points, 3.5 assists, 1.6 rebounds during nine seasons with Portland, Boston, Minnesota, the Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland, Phoenix and Toronto. In his most recent NBA season, he averaged 5.6 points and 2.6 assists in 60 games for Phoenix and Toronto. The Thunder needed to fill the position because Derek Fisher now coaches the New York Knicks. ' ' '