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Lovullo regrets comments that triggered brawl

April 10, 2018

Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo gestures at St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina as he argues balls and strikes with home plate umpire Tim Timmons in the second inning of a baseball game on Sunday, April 8, 2018, in St. Louis, Mo. Molina took offense to Lovullo's comments which led to a bench-clearing scuffle at home plate. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo says he regrets his choice of words that set off St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina and triggered a benches-clearing incident.

Lovullo came out of the dugout to argue with plate umpire Tim Timmons in St. Louis on Sunday, blaming the umpire for a called third strike he claimed was influenced by the All-Star catcher’s pitch framing.

Lovullo used a profanity that set off Molina, and the manager was ejected.

“I said what I said,” Lovullo explained Monday. “I made a mistake with some of the wording that I chose. I think the one message that I want to say is that I respect Yady, I think he’s one of the best catchers in baseball. Has been for a long time.”

Lovullo was arguing a called third strike on A.J. Pollock leading off the second innings. He had not liked a called third strike against David Peralta starting the game.

The Arizona manager said he praised Molina while using a profanity and said “but he can’t turn balls into strikes.”

Molina’s version was “he said a bad word to me and I reacted that way. He called me (it) twice. You can’t allow that.”

“I know he was frustrated with what I said, and I can’t blame him,” Lovullo said. “I was giving him more of a compliment in saying that he’s very good and didn’t necessarily follow through, to execute the right way of my words to tell that that’s what I was thinking.”

Lovullo had not tried to reach out to Molina.

“I just want everything to settle down and go away,” the manager said. “I know that it’s a big story. It happened, and I can see why it’s a big story, I’m not trying to downplay it, I just want the dust to settle a little bit and think through it through a really clearer lens.”

Lovullo said he expects to be fined for the ejection.

″’ll deal with the consequences,” he said.

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