NEW YORK — Major League Baseball sent a "heads-up" notice to the umpires working the series between the Red Sox and Yankees, reminding the crew that the teams had a dustup the last time they played.
The Red Sox visited Yankee Stadium late Thursday night in their first game since Boston's Ryan Dempster hit Alex Rodriguez with a pitch Aug. 18. That caused the teams to tussle at Fenway Park, and Dempster was suspended for five games.
Umpire crew chief Joe West said it has been standard protocol for a decade or so for MLB to give advance notice to crews when clubs are meeting for the first time since having trouble.
"It's good that they let the crews know, not just for this series but for anytime there have been problems," he said. "All of the umpires are aware there was a throwing incident involving the Red Sox and Yankees."
Asked whether he would issue a warning to both teams before the first pitch, West said: "Everyone is aware of what happened."
Boston manager John Farrell said he didn't think there would be any retaliation for Dempster's pitch during the four-game series. He said he hadn't heard anything from the league regarding the previous ruckus.
The Red Sox have the best record in the AL and the Yankees, surging since Dempster drilled A-Rod, are chasing a wild-card spot.
"Sometimes incidents like that can change things," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm not saying it did."
Group slices tie to Braun: A restaurant group is ending its ties with suspended Brewers slugger Ryan Braun. SURG Restaurant Group said it will change the name of the 8-Twelve MVP Bar & Grill in the Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield. "Eight" is Braun's jersey number, while "twelve" refers to the number worn by Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers. MLB suspended Braun for the rest of the season in July for doping.
Rickey award: Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw, 25, became the youngest winner of the Branch Rickey Award, which honors individuals in baseball who contribute to their communities and are strong role models for young people.
Cardinals: 1B Allen Craig has a sprained left foot from rounding first base but no fracture, a relief for a team that feared it had lost its cleanup hitter for the rest of the season. There was no estimate of how long he might be sidelined.
Dodgers: Longtime broadcaster Vin Scully, 85, will serve as grand marshal of the 125th Rose Parade on New Year's Day in Pasadena, Calif.
Royals: When Mariners pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez homered off Greg Holland with two outs in the ninth to tie Thursday's game, it was Holland's first blown save since May 6 and ended his streak of 31 consecutive saves.