09/17/09 7:51 PM ET
Halos' Fuentes stands firm on Green at-bat
Reliever contends two umpires missed two separate calls
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
Brian "Tito" Fuentes did not move off his position that home-plate umpire Rick Reed and first-base ump Jeff Kellogg blew strike calls on Nick Green, who walked on a full count in the bottom of the ninth inning on Wednesday night at Fenway Park.
"I know people say there might be repercussions down the road, but it's not like I cursed him up and down and called him and his mother names," Fuentes said, referring to Reed and the fateful ball four. "I just said I thought they made bad calls.
"Normally, I never say anything on the field. I barked at [Reed] during the game. I stomped my hands on the mound, which is unprofessional for my personality. Everybody has their breaking point."
When Alex Gonzalez dropped a single into left field, the Red Sox had a 9-8 victory, and the Angels had a lot of anguish to release in one form or another.
Terry "Tito" Francona had a view from the home dugout that was not as clear and unobstructed as Fuentes' from 60 feet, six inches. Boston's manager, not surprisingly, found nothing wrong in the judgments of Kellogg, on a checked swing by Green ruled a ball, and by Reed, on a 3-2 fastball at the knees and over the plate that brought home the tying run.
"Every team, I think, feels that way at times," Francona said when asked about Fuentes' assertion that umpires might be intimidated at Fenway Park. "It's so funny, because every team does the same complaining. Every team. I've done it. We do it here.
"And it's funny, because you hear it more because of Boston. Teams feel it here maybe just as much as New York or anywhere because of the way this place is. It's no different than any team I've ever been on. It's always the same. Everybody needs a call. That's just the way it is."
Fuentes had no intention of seeking out either umpire in the series finale on Thursday night, when Kellogg moved behind the plate and Reed to third base.
"I don't normally associate with the umpires," he said. "I don't want to get too close. Not that I dislike the guy. It's just not in my personality.
"Like I said last night, people make mistakes. He knew it was close. He went back and looked at it [on video replay]. Only him and the strike zone know."
Fuentes, returning to his hotel room after the game, found perspective from the events of the day on his television screen.
"It's one game," he said. "I went [back to the hotel] last night, tried to relax. I was watching news, all the horrible things on TV. One game's not that big a deal. It's really not worth it. Better to move on."
Neither Fuentes nor manager Mike Scioscia was aware of any disciplinary actions being taken by Major League Baseball for their negative comments after the game.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.