Umpires Complain of Verbal Abuse by Angels

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Umpires Complain of Verbal Abuse by Angels BOSTON — 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 on Thursday. "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. I would think a
coach or two will be regretting his actions."

An attempt by The Associated Press to
reach the umpires for comment before Thursday night's game was
unsuccessful. A Fenway Park security guard who knocked on the door of
their changing room said they were unavailable because they were on a
conference call with the commissioner's office.

The Los Angeles Times reported that
Major League Baseball was looking into it. Mike Port, baseball's vice
president for umpires, did not immediately return a call seeking
comment. Umpire's union spokesman Lamell McMorris also could not be
reached.

"We've moved on," Angels spokesman Tim Mead said Thursday. "We've got a game to play tonight and that's our focus."

The Angels were visibly angry in the
ninth inning of Wednesday night's 9-8 loss when two calls went against
them in what turned out to be a winning rally by the Red Sox.

With two outs, the bases loaded and
the Angels leading 8-7, pinch-hitter Nick Green quickly fell behind 0-2
to closer Brian Fuentes and offered at the third pitch. But first base
umpire Jeff Kellogg ruled he did not go around, and Green stayed in the
box.

Green then fouled off three pitches
before taking three balls to walk in the tying run. The last was a
knee-high fastball that had catcher Mike Napoli jumping out of his
crouch in anticipation of a strikeout.

"What was the count at the end, 3-4
to Green?" Angels manager Mike Scioscia said sarcastically. "I thought
we had him a couple of times. I was surprised. It's a good umpiring
crew and I think we really feel strongly they missed a couple times we
had Green struck out. Unfortunately, that's the focal point of the game
and it didn't go our way."

Because of Fenway's unusual layout,
the umpires have to walk through the visiting clubhouse to get to their
own room. When they did, several Angels coaches continued jawing at
them.

"It's one of the nuances here,"
Scioscia said after Wednesday's game. "You've got to respect their
space and that's what we're doing. Our guys are upset, no doubt about
it."

But Reed questioned whether Scioscia made that much of an effort to cool things down.

"Mike made an attempt to quiet his
coaches down but he also made a comment that I thought incited the
situation," he said in a story on the Herald's Web site. "I'm
disappointed in the coaches. Coaches are usually the guys who try to
stop any kind of friction that develops in the course of a game and
afterward. But they were initiating last night and I'm not pleased in
the way they said things or in their presentation. And I think Major
League Baseball has been notified and probably something will become of
it, I don't know what."

Fuentes said after the game that
umpires were too "timid" or "scared" to make calls against the home
team in Fenway, where Boston has the best record in the majors and a
542-game sellout streak.

"Especially here and some other
places, they seem timid to make calls," Fuentes said Wednesday. "I've
heard it from other guys that come in here and say that. That's either
because it's a mistake, or they're scared."

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