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Torre: Cut ball-strike beefs

SAN DIEGO — Major League Baseball is telling managers to cool it on arguing balls and strikes, and warning them not to rely on replay help to bolster their beefs.

MLB executive Joe Torre sent a memo Friday to managers, general managers and assistant general managers that said: "This highly inappropriate conduct is detrimental to the game and must stop immediately."

The Associated Press obtained the memo Saturday.

"Although disagreements over ball and strike calls are natural, the prevalence of manager ejections simply cannot continue," wrote Torre, 75, a Hall of Fame manager and former NL MVP. "This conduct not only delays the game, but it also has the propensity to undermine the integrity of the umpires on the field."

Torre — ejected 65 times in 29 seasons as an MLB manager — said skippers increasingly rely on technology from the clubhouse or video room to argue. Every pitch and play is monitored by teams for potential replay reviews.

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus was ejected for arguing balls and strikes and covered home plate with a sweatshirt this season, and the Red Sox's John Farrell was tossed during an animated dispute alongside Boston slugger David Ortiz. This month, Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected while arguing from the dugout. And Friday, the A's Bob Melvin and the Giants' Bruce Bochy were tossed along with players on their respective teams.

Blue Jays: 1B Justin Smoak agreed to a two-year contract extension worth $8.25 million. Smoak, 29, will get $4.125 million per season in the first two years of the deal, with a $6 million option in 2019.

Braves: RHP Arodys Vizcaino (strained right oblique) went on the 15-day disabled list, and LHP Eric O'Flaherty was activated to take his place in the bullpen.

Mariners: DH Nelson Cruz was scratched with a sore foot after fouling a ball off it Friday.

Royals: Closer and former Ray Wade Davis (strained right forearm) returned from the DL. Rookie reliever Brooks Pounders was sent to Triple-A Omaha.

Orioles: OF Hyun Soo Kim said his right hamstring has improved enough that he could return to the starting lineup, the Baltimore Sun reported, though he did not play Saturday against the Rays. Kim strained his hamstring running to first base in his first at-bat last Sunday.

Pirates: RHP Gerrit Cole started against the Nationals after being activated from the 15-day DL. He had been out since June 11 with a right triceps strain.

Torre: Cut ball-strike beefs 07/16/16 [Last modified: Saturday, July 16, 2016 11:22pm]
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