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.