National League president Bill White, in an effort to stop "potentially explosive" arguments with umpires, has issued a memo to club managers saying he will be "extremely harsh" on players who make physical contact with umpires during arguments.
A copy of the memo, obtained by the Associated Press, instructed managers to heed the warning, "to head off a potentially explosive situation and to keep your players available to you."Here is White's memo in its entirety:
"There has been an increase in players making contact with umpires during arguments.
"I am concerned that this may escalate into something more physically violent.
"I need you to talk to your players at your next team meeting and tell them that I intend to be extremely harsh on any players making physical contact with an umpire.
"My intention is to head off a potentially explosive situation and to keep your players available to you."
Baltimore manager Frank Robinson is currently serving a three-day suspension for a bumping incident with umpire Drew Coble last week. It was not immediately known if the American League sent out a similar memo.
In the NL, Mariano Duncan was suspended by White for one game on May 11 for running into umpire Mark Hirschbeck.