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MLB says managers need to cool it on arguing

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SAN DIEGO (AP) Major League Baseball is telling managers to cool it on arguing balls and strikes, and warning them not to rely on replay help to bolster their beefs.

MLB executive Joe Torre sent a memo Friday to managers, general managers and assistant general managers that said: “This highly inappropriate conduct is detrimental to the game and must stop immediately.”

The memo was obtained Saturday by The Associated Press.

“Although disagreements over ball and strike calls are natural, the prevalence of manager ejections simply cannot continue,” Torre wrote. “This conduct not only delays the game, but it also has the propensity to undermine the integrity of the umpires on the field.”

Torre, a Hall of Fame manager and former NL MVP, said skippers are increasingly relying on technology from the clubhouse or video room to argue from the dugout. Every pitch and play is monitored by teams in case they want to challenge for a replay review.

He called that “an express violation of the Replay Regulations, which state that `on-field personnel in the dugout may not discuss any issue with individuals in their video review room using the dugout phone other than whether to challenge a play subject to video replay review.”‘

Detroit manager Brad Ausmus was ejected for arguing balls and strikes and covered home plate with a sweat shirt earlier this season, and Boston manager John Farrell was tossed during an animated dispute alongside Red Sox slugger David Ortiz.

Earlier this month, Cubs manager Joe Maddon was ejected while arguing from the dugout.

And as recently as Friday night, Oakland manager Bob Melvin and San Francisco skipper Bruce Bochy got tossed for arguing balls and strikes along with players on their respective teams.

Torre concluded by advising that any manager or coach ejected for arguing balls and strikes “hereafter will be disciplined, including at least a fine.”

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.