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Umpires had hands full in Game 3
10/11/2003 9:45 PM ET
BOSTON -- The six-man American League Championship Series umpiring crew had to restore order twice in the fourth inning Saturday at Fenway Park.

The umpires' first test occurred in the top of the inning when Pedro Martinez plunked Karim Garcia in the back with a pitch. An exchange of words followed, and escalated when Garcia made a hard slide into second baseman Todd Walker on a double play. As Garcia and Martinez jawed after the play, umpire Joe West steered Garcia toward the Yankees dugout. The situation brought both teams to the top of the dugout steps but no farther.

That was followed by an incident in the bottom of the inning when Roger Clemens threw a high pitch to Manny Ramirez. Ramirez took exception and took a few steps to the mound as he and Clemens exchanged words.

The benches emptied, but the most serious altercation occurred in front of the Red Sox dugout when 72-year-old Yankees bench coach Don Zimmer went after Martinez. Martinez sidestepped Zimmer and threw him to the ground.

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There were no ejections, and no further incidents in the game.

Initially after the game, Major League Baseball announced that crew chief Tim McClelland would address the media in the postgame interview room. But after both managers and Clemens answered questions, MLB announced that McClelland would not appear, and sent word that his crew's actions on the field spoke for themselves. There was no word on the possibility of further discipline.

The managers, both of whom said they didn't see what happened between Zimmer and Martinez, gave the umpires high marks.

"Tim McClelland and his group were outstanding," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. "They explained that, sure, things happened that probably under normal circumstances, people would have gotten thrown out. But they explained, I think, they took into consideration that it's the postseason."

Boston manager Grady Little said, "It's unfortunate that it came to that, but the umpires did an outstanding job of controlling the situation and we went on playing baseball."

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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