Francona upset with West's actions, ejection

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Francona upset with West's actions, ejection

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com

BOSTON By the time the game ended, with the Red Sox losing, 9-2 to the Twins, manager Terry Francona had gotten his emotions in check. Several hours earlier, on the Fenway Park field, though was a different story. In a rare outburst, Francona showed his displeasure and frustration at the balk home plate umpire Angel Hernandez called on Tim Wakefield in the second inning. But, it wasnt so much the call that upset Francona. It was his inability to get an explanation on it.

With the Twins up, 3-0, in the second, two outs, two runs already across the plate in the inning, and runners on first and third, it appeared Wakefield, who faked a throw to third and threw to first, had picked Ben Revere off first base. Instead, Hernandez immediately called a balk. Instead of the Sox getting out of the inning, the Twins scored another run.

Francona approached Hernandez for an explanation of the play. He was quickly rebuffed and ejected. The situation escalated with Francona frustrated in his inability to get an explanation. Crew chief Joe West, umpiring third base, attempted to intervene, but the situation rapidly deteriorated. Francona became irate at Wests attempts to hold him away from Hernandez. As Francona left the field, he removed the tobacco from his mouth, firing it in Hernandezs direction. Francona will likely face a suspension and possibly a fine for his efforts.

I actually never did get an explanation. I got thrown out because I came out. And since I was already thrown out I figured I could get an explanation. But Joe wouldnt let me.

Managers, coaches, and players are not allowed to argue balls, strikes or balks.

Not allowed to even ask, which is to me very silly, Francona said. You get a run added. You think youre out of an inning. I dont understand why you cant find out what you think somebody did. I understand if you go out and scream at somebody, you get thrown out. That just seems like a little bit of a silly rule.

I know the rule. But to be honest with you, the way it happened I got out there so quick because I was stunned that, and then Angel said if you come out here before I even talked I was thrown out. So I figured Id find out. Its kind of hard to sit there and not find out what happened in a play like that. Ive seen Wake do that 30 times.

Francona is no stranger to being ejected. Fridays ejection was the 31st of his managerial career. He was also ejected once as a player and once as a coach. He had already been ejected once this season, on April 19 in Oakland, also for arguing a balk call.

He was unhappy with Wests intervention.

Joe, as we all know, always wants to be in everybodys business, Francona said. That was me and Angel. Joe didnt have anything to do with it. I didnt really appreciate what he did. I think he was wrong.

There was contact between Francona and West.

He was grabbing me, Francona said. I didnt appreciate that. I thought it was wrong. I thought he was out of line.

Later, Hernandez called a balk on Alfredo Aceves.

It was about as much of a balk as youre going to see, Francona said. I wanted to run back out and tell him he got it right.

Francona is unsure what fate awaits him

I dont know, he said. Well see. It doesnt matter. I already got thrown out of the game and we lost. So thats really all I care about.

The scene, though, represented a microcosm of the Sox 2011 season frustration, an inability to find answers, and coming out on the losing end.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen

Ortiz, Red Sox express shock, sadness over Fernandez's death

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Ortiz, Red Sox express shock, sadness over Fernandez's death

Like the rest of the baseball world, the Red Sox expressed shock and sadness over the tragic death of Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident in Miami. 

David Ortiz tweeted his thoughts before the game Sunday in St. Petersburg, where the Red Sox played the Tampa Bay Rays.

There was a moment of silence for Fernandez - who attended high school in the Tampa area after defecting from Cuba at 15 - before the game at Tropicana Field, and before all major league games on Sunday. 

There was to be on-field ceremony for Ortiz before his last game at the Trop, part of his retirement farewell tour, but it was canceled at Ortiz's request. A video tribute to Ortiz was shown during the game and the Rays gave Ortiz his retirement gifts privately.

Ortiz wiped away tears during the moment of silence. He wrote Fernandez's intitals and his uniform number 16 on his cap.

Fernandez had joked about how he wanted to give up a home run to Ortiz when he faced him as an N.L. pitcher in the All-Star Game this past July. 

"I told him yesterday that I am going to throw him three fastballs down the middle. I want to watch him hit a home run," Fernandez had said. 

Ortiz ended up walking against Fernandez, prompting this response from Big Papi:

First baseman Hanley Ramirez, who played for the Marlins, as well as other Red Sox players, also tweeted their reactions after hearing the news of Fernandez's death Sunday morning. 

Sunday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: JBJ sits, Vazquez catches

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Sunday's Red Sox-Rays lineups: JBJ sits, Vazquez catches

Jackie Bradley Jr. gets the day off and Christian Vazquez get the start at catcher as the Red Sox look to extend their winning streak to 11 games today against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg. 

Andrew Benintendi replaces Bradley in center, Chris Young is in left and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez (3-7, 4.84 ERA) is on the mound as the Red Sox close in on the A.L. East title. Their magic number to clinch the division is three with seven games left. 

Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (9-6, 3.73) is on the mound for the Rays.

The lineups:  

RED SOX 
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Xander Bogaerts SS
David Ortiz DH
Mookie Betts RF
Hanley Ramirez LF
Travis Shaw 3B
Chris Young LF
Andrew Benintendi CF
Christian Vazquez C
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Eduardo Rodriguez LHP 

RAYS
Logan Forsythe 2B
Kevin Kiermaier CF
Evan Longoria 3B
Brad Miller SS
Mikey Mahtook RF
Corey Dickerson LF
Curt Casali DH
Luke Maile C
Richie Shaffer 1B
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Jake Odorizzi RHP