Baseball

Umpires fire back at 'unprofessional' Angels

Umpires working the series between the Red Sox and Angels at Fenway Park in Boston 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.

“The World Umpires Association conducts itself in a professional manner and we expect everyone in and around major league baseball to do the same,” union spokesman Lamell McMorris said. “We recognize that in the heat of competition folks get heated up and make mistakes. However, in this instance, we certainly look to Major League Baseball to address this matter in a manner that makes everything right.”

Angels spokesman Tim Mead said Thursday that the team has moved on.

“We’ve got a game to play tonight and that’s our focus,” he said.

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.

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,” Angels manager Mike 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.”

Royals sign first-rounder

The Kansas City Royals have reached a three-year agreement with first-round draft pick Aaron Crow.

Crow, a hard-throwing right-hander, is guaranteed $3 million even if he doesn’t reach majors under the deal that begins next season. He could earn about $4.5 million if he makes it to the big leagues.

Crow, selected 12th, was not subject to the draft signing deadline because he exhausted his college eligibility at Missouri.

Short hops

Oakland right-hander Brett Tomko has been sidelined for the rest of the season with nerve damage in his right arm. Tomko told team doctors he felt something in his arm during his five-hit shutout against the Rangers in Texas on Monday. He threw 114 pitches and could not move his arm the next morning. … Right-hander Tanner Scheppers, the Texas Rangers’ supplemental first-round pick in the amateur draft, agreed to a minor league contract with a $1.25 million signing bonus. … The Cubs’ Rich Harden will be replaced in the rotation for at least one start, said manager Lou Piniella. Harden has struggled with high pitch counts and failed to make it past the fifth inning in his last four starts. … Philadelphia reliever Chan Ho Park will miss two to three weeks with a strained right hamstring.

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