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Ump's comments anger Yanks, Sox

Costly base: Baltimore’s Brian Roberts steals second ahead of the throw to Toronto second baseman John McDonald. Roberts strained an abdominal muscle and is out indefinitely.

Associated Press

Costly base: Baltimore’s Brian Roberts steals second ahead of the throw to Toronto second baseman John McDonald. Roberts strained an abdominal muscle and is out indefinitely.

ST. PETERSBURG — Like the Rays, the Yankees and Red Sox are known for taking a lot of pitches. And their games tend to take a lot of time.

But though umpire Joe West blasted Boston and New York in Friday's Bergen County (N.J.) Record, saying their typically slow games are "pathetic and embarrassing" and "a disgrace to baseball," the Yankees aren't apologizing.

"We're not going to ask our hitters to change their approach to speed the game up," manager Joe Girardi said Friday. "The things we're able to do, we're trying to speed up the game. But … we're trying to win games, not to see how quickly we can play them."

Boston 2B Dustin Pedroia called West's comments ridiculous and said it was wrong for an umpire to criticize teams when he's supposed to be an impartial observer.

"If he doesn't want to do Red Sox and Yankee games, he should tell the umpires union. Then when we're in the World Series, he'll be out of that assignment, too," Pedroia told ESPN.com before the Red Sox's game in Kansas City.

"What he doesn't understand is that when we don't do well in these games against the Yankees, we get killed. So if I'm going to take a deep breath and focus before I get in the box, I'm going to do it."

The first two games of this week's season-opening Red Sox-Yankees series lasted 3 hours, 46 minutes and 3:48, respectively (West was behind the plate for Game 1). Game 3 went 10 innings and lasted 3:21.

Yankees captain Derek Jeter called West's comments baffling.

"I don't see what's pathetic or embarrassing about it," the shortstop said. "As opposed to what? If it was 20 minutes shorter, it's not pathetic or embarrassing? At what point is it not embarrassing? To me, that's the question.

"You're not going to stop a pitching coach from going out to his pitcher if he's in a jam. You're not going to stop pitching changes. You're going to cut the game by two minutes? I didn't know it was as big a deal."

MARINERS' LEE MAY MISS MONTH: LHP Cliff Lee is expected to miss the first month of the season because of his strained abdominal muscle. Lee, acquired from the Phillies in the offseason, threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Friday, his latest step toward joining the rotation. Asked how he fared, Lee said "normal, felt good."

Mets: Manager Jerry Manuel said SS Jose Reyes will come off the DL and bat leadoff today. Reyes missed most of spring training because of a hyperactive thyroid.

Padres: RHP Chris Young will miss his next start because of tightness in his right shoulder. Young had arthroscopic surgery in August.

Rangers: X-rays, an MRI exam and a nerve study on Jarrod Saltalamacchia's sore upper back came back normal. The catcher, on the DL, received an injection to reduce inflammation.

Reds: RHP Bronson Arroyo said his left calf felt much better a day after it was hit by a batted ball. The Hernando High graduate said he had trouble walking after the game but anti-inflammatory drugs had removed much of the swelling.

Red Sox: DH David Ortiz was ejected against the Royals for arguing a third strike. He is mired in a 1-for-12 slump.

Information from Times wires was used in this report.

Ump's comments anger Yanks, Sox 04/09/10 [Last modified: Saturday, April 10, 2010 1:21am]

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