Published August 31, 2007 by sadistickitten

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By JAY COHEN, AP Sports Writer Thu Aug 30, 7:13 PM ET

NEW YORK – Major League Baseball's style police were patrolling Yankee Stadium, and Red Sox manager Terry Francona was pulled over.

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During the second inning of Wednesday night's game against the New York Yankees, Francona was called out of the dugout so an MLB security official could make sure he was wearing his uniform top under his usual Boston pullover jacket.

“When Derek Jeter is on second base and I got somebody coming from the league making me go down the runway, I was a little perturbed,” Francona said Thursday.

“That was about as embarrassed as I've been in a long time, for baseball.”

Francona got fired up again in the seventh inning of the series finale against New York. He was ejected for the fifth time this season for arguing with the umpires after Kevin Youkilis was called out for running outside the basepath.

The Yankees went on to beat Boston 5-0, completing a three-game sweep and pulling within five games of the AL East-leading Red Sox.

Francona said the commissioner's office contacted him when the Red Sox were in Cleveland earlier this month, reminding him to wear his uniform top. He also spoke with MLB vice president Bob Watson before Wednesday's game, and Francona said he showed him he was wearing his uniform under his jacket.

A resident security agent then came to check on Francona with New York batting in the bottom of the second.

“I'm not talking about that, and I'm disappointed that they talked about it. And there will be something said about that,” Watson said. “That's in house.”

Francona said it's more comfortable to wear the jacket without the uniform top, but he started doing it anyway after the commissioner's office stressed its importance.

“I don't want to disrespect the game,” Francona said. “At the time I didn't think it was a big deal.”

Wearing team apparel instead of a uniform top is not uncommon among coaches and managers across the majors, and MLB will fine personnel for violations.

“I got a letter warning me,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said. “You'd think there'd be more important things to do this time of year than do Mickey Mouse stuff like that. It's a farce, I think. I really do.”

Francona said he has had good conversations with Watson about the issue and was just surprised with the timing of the uniform check.

“I have never seen anything like that before in my life,” Francona said. “Middle of the game you've got the fashion police. This is incredible.”

The Boston manager said he felt the need to speak out because of a New York Post report that said Watson entered the dugout during the game and Francona snapped at him.

“For somebody to say that I yelled at Bob Watson, somebody owes Bob an apology and probably me,” he said, “because that's bad. That's not being professional.” 


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