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Joe Torre in memo: Managers arguing balls, strikes 'detrimental to game'

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 memo was obtained Saturday by The Associated Press.

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

Torre, a Hall of Fame manager and former NL MVP, said skippers are increasingly relying on technology from the clubhouse or video room to argue from the dugout. Every pitch and play is monitored by teams in case they want to challenge for a replay review.

He called that "an express violation of the Replay Regulations, which state that on-field personnel in the dugout may not discuss any issue with individuals in their video review room using the dugout phone other than whether to challenge a play subject to video replay review."

Detroit manager Brad Ausmus was ejected for arguing balls and strikes and covered home plate with a sweat shirt earlier this season, and Boston manager John Farrell was tossed during an animated dispute alongside Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

Earlier this month, Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected while arguing from the dugout.

And as recently as Friday night, Oakland manager Bob Melvin and San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy got tossed for arguing balls and strikes along with players on their respective teams.

Torre concluded by advising that any manager or coach ejected for arguing balls and strikes "hereafter will be disciplined, including at least a fine."

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