Originally written June 08, 2013 on Fox Sports Ohio:
DETROIT -- The Cleveland Indians might add one more piece of evidence to the oft-repeated claim this season that Major League umpires are acting unprofessional by provoking players and managers.Terry Francona was ejected from his teams 6-4 loss to the Tigers on Saturday, but Francona said he never intended to confront home plate umpire Andy Fletcher, or get thrown out. He just wanted to ensure a discussion between Fletcher and Nick Swisher did not get out of control.The way Andy approached me I thought he lost his composure and I dont think I had any chance of staying in that game, Francona said. Spit coming out of his mouth and the gesturing and everything. I didnt go out there to get thrown out. I just wanted to make sure nothing was going on.Francona went out to protect Swisher when he saw a conversation between Swisher and Fletcher between the top and bottom of the eighth start to get heated.Swish and he were talking along the first-base line, Francona said. It looked to me like they were just talking, then when I saw Andy get a little more animated I got out there.Swisher said he wanted to ask Fletcher a couple questions about the way the game was being run.I had some questions about things, and the finger pointing started and I think thats when things started escalating, Swisher said. The next thing you know I was getting blocked out.Francona got between Swisher and Fletcher and Swisher went to his position. Francona stepped away from Fletcher, but the umpire came back toward Francona, arms gesturing.Francona responded angrily.I didnt even know they (Fletcher and Swisher) were even arguing, Francona said. It looked to me like they were talking. Then I saw him gesturing toward Swish so I realized Id get out there and get in the way. I didnt think itd be a big deal. But the way he acted toward me I dont know how I could stay in the game.
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