Umpires complain of verbal abuse after Angels-Red Sox game


What with all the padding, you think MLB umpires would be able to take some ribbing. This past Wednesday, after Nick Green nearly struck out two times in one at-bat against Angels closer Brian Fuentes, manager Mike Scioscia and staff let the umpires have it. Umpires must pass through the visiting team’s dugout at Fenway to get to their locker room. It’s a stadium design unique to the ballpark and perfect for postgame confrontation.

“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.”

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.

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.

Later, Reed commented that the pitch “very well could have been a strike.” Not a smart move, Rick. Look, I’m not even an Angels fan and I know Green should have been called “out” on at least one of those pitches. Mr. Magoo himself was in hysterics. Reed made matters worse when he admitted that Napoli’s “framing” of a pitch earlier in the count justified giving Green an advantage. Wow. You never hear umpires being this honest about skewing calls. There’s not a catcher in Major League Baseball that doesn’t frame pitches. Nevertheless, if they’re caught doing so, they should receive a warning. In my opinion, Reed’s decision to thereby “get back” at Napoli is even more inexcusable.

Lastly, I think Mike Scioscia has the best “oh-no-you-didn’t-Blue” face in baseball.

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