TORONTO — Terry Francona confirmed before tonight’s game against the Blue Jays he had been fined by Major League Baseball for his ejection from last Friday night’s 9-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. Francona declined to reveal the amount of the fine but, during his weekly appearance on WEEI Wednesday afternoon, he indicated he had been fined “a little bit.”
“It was handled and we move on,” Francona told reporters before tonight’s game against the Blue Jays.
“They actually had a pretty good sense of humor about it,” Francona added. “I was giving Matt McKendry [a specialist with MLB’s On-Field Operations] some [grief] about it. I said, `I’ll pay you when I get to New York’ [for this weekend’s three-game set vs. the Yankees] and he said, `I don’t want any Canadian money.’ ”
Francona was ejected by plate umpire Angel Hernandez in the second inning when Francona came out of the dugout to seek an explanation from Hernandez for his balk call against starter Tim Wakefield. Crew chief Joe West attempted to intercede and bumped Francona several times in an attempt to buffer Hernandez from Francona’s heated attempts to seek an explanation.
Francona said he didn’t have any concerns about acing a possible suspension over the physical contact with West.
“No, I didn’t think so, because the way things go, you hear pretty quick,” he said. “If anything, I thought Joe should’ve fouled out after I took the charge.”
There was no indication if any disciplinary had been taken against West, however.
Asked if he felt it was the right way to handle it, Francona said, “I don’t know. I think some of our rules are antiquated. Like I know, for the longest time, they didn’t put highlights or replays on the board and I know, for the longest time, it was for the umpire’s safety.
“We’ve got 50,000 security people there and if I paid $300 for a ticket, I’d want to see a replay,” Francona said. “You got an NBA game, you got to an NFL game, [there is video replays], so I don’t know if I agree with that, but that’s not my area, it’s not my jurisdiction.”
Asked if he felt public disclosure of any fines or sanctions against umpires would increase accountability, Francona said, “I’m sure there’s arguments for both, but I don’t know. I think sometimes the perception is maybe they’re not [accountable], and I don’t think that’s the way it really is.”
In the finale of the four-game series vs. the Twins Monday night, Hernandez called a balk on Alfredo Aceves from his first base umpire’s position. It was the second time in the series and second time in as many outings Hernandez had called Aceves for a balk. This time, to Francona’s astonishment, Hernandez signaled the Sox manager to come out of the Sox dugout so he could explain the call.
“He invited me,” Francona said. “I was on the top step thinking, `He’s reeling me in; he’s going to throw me out as soon as I leave the top step.’ I waited a minute, thinking, `Are you kidding me?’ But I appreciated it, because he actually gave me a really good explanation and he said he explained it to Aceves, too, which is the way I think it should be.”