Friday, September 18, 2009

Fallout


The umps aren't taking it lying down:
Umpires working the series between the Red Sox and Angels at Fenway Park complained Thursday that Los Angeles coaches were "unprofessional and unbecoming" after two close calls went against them at the end of Wednesday night's loss.

"Their deportment as we left the field, going through the Angels dugout, left a lot to be desired," plate umpire Rick Reed told the Boston Herald. "We filed a report after the game and I would think there will be a coach or two over there that would be regretting his actions today."

Angels manager Mike Scioscia called the accusations "absolutely wrong."

"There was nothing done in a threatening nature," he said after Los Angeles' 4-3 victory on Thursday night. "It was more along the lines of 'You've got to be kidding me.' ... It wasn't even directed at them -- it was more venting in the clubhouse."

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach the umpires for comment before and after Thursday night's game were unsuccessful. A Fenway Park security guard who knocked on the door of their changing room before the game said they were unavailable because they were on a conference call with the commissioner's office; after the game, a reporter's request for an interview was similarly declined.

The Los Angeles Times reported that Major League Baseball was looking into it. Mike Port, baseball's vice president for umpires, did not return a call seeking comment.

The Angels organization clearly thought that it had to say something. Angels Manager Mike Scioscia is not the kind of manager who would take the unsual (for him) step of going this far in his criticisms of the umps if he didn't think it would benefit his club. This particular crew may have been in for some unfair criticism, and I'm sure there will be defenders out there who will say that the bad calls that went against the Angels could have gone against the Red Sox. I give this credibility because this is an unusual step for Scioscia to take. As a former catcher, it makes his charges all the more credible. He could have said his piece and let it go, but he went a little further than that, and his organization is behind him.

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