Ross mum on discipline

BOSTON -- Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine said he was uncertain whether outfielder Cody Ross would face discipline from the commissioner's office in the wake of his ejection Wednesday night because "I don't know how the system works."

"I would guess I wouldn't have any concerns after I know how the system works," Valentine said. "It used to be you'd have to touch someone or say something really bad, and this seemed like a guy who was into the moment and got excited. That used to be acceptable. I don't know how the system is working today."

Ross was ejected by plate umpire Alfonso Marquez after being called out on a 3-and-2 pitch to end the eighth inning Wednesday night. At the time, the Sox were trailing by two and James Loney was on second after a two-out double, with Ross the potential tying run.

Ross at one point turned and faced Marquez with his bat held overhead, though he quickly lowered it. The argument remained heated, however, and Valentine placed himself between the player and umpire.

At no time did it appear Ross made contact with the umpire.

"He didn't come close," Valentine said. "I don't think he was going to touch him. I thought he was getting close, to talk in private."

A baseball source said Thursday he would be surprised if Ross was suspended. The raised bat, he said, was frustration, as if Ross was going to beat it into the ground, and he lowered it quickly. "That was nothing," he said. If anything, the way Ross circled back to confront Marquez might be grounds for a suspension, but he thought it doubtful.

Valentine also was ejected after returning to the dugout, as was third-base coach Jerry Royster. Valentine said he was tossed for holding his hands apart in a demonstration of how much he thought Marquez missed the pitch.

The ejection was the sixth this season for Valentine, setting a record for a Sox player, coach or manager, according to the team's PR staff. Valentine said in all six ejections, he said and did less to be thrown out than at any time in his career.

Ross left the clubhouse Wednesday night without speaking to reporters, and declined comment before the game Thursday, other than an aside expressing frustration over a report suggesting he could be suspended.