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 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.

"I'm still going to react to what I see in front of me," Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said Saturday night.

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.'"

"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."

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. He said Sunday that he bases his decision to argue on what he is seeing.

"I know I've been guilty of yelling at an umpire, but I never argue based on replay," Maddon said. "I never send somebody inside and say, 'Come back so I can yell at somebody.'"

As recently as Friday night, Oakland manager Bob Melvin and San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy were 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."

"Joe's the boss, so I guess we'd better cool it," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "There's just some days you can't stand over there and not say something. They're always making additions, and I get speeding the game up and sometimes that sort of thing slows it down, so it'll take a little while to walk through that and see exactly how to play it. But you can't take the emotion out of the game. Joe knows that as well as everybody, but I understand where he's coming from."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.