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Eyes, not replay, tell Maddon when to argue

Joe Maddon argues with umpires Jerry Meals (left) and Ron Kulpa after being ejected in the second inning against the Reds on July 5. | Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Technology has become a bigger part of baseball in recent years, but Cubs manager Joe Maddon said emotion is still part of the game.

It’s why he doesn’t think he’s violating the tenets of replay when he argues with umpires about balls and strikes.

‘‘I know I’ve been guilty of yelling at an umpire, but I never argue based on replay,’’ he said Sunday. ‘‘I never send somebody inside and say, ‘Come back so I can yell at somebody.’ I argue based on what I see.’’

At issue is a memo sent to managers and general managers Friday by chief baseball officer Joe Torre, telling them to stop arguing balls and strikes based on replays or pitch-tracking devices seen on broadcasts.

The memo called the practice ‘‘highly inappropriate conduct’’ that is ‘‘detrimental to the game.’’

Maddon, who was ejected from a game July 5 for arguing with plate umpire Jerry Meals, said Torre’s memo surprised him.

‘‘I think it’s your right to argue,’’ he said. ‘‘I think the call I got kicked out on was egregiously bad. Going through bad moments, you have to protect your guys. That’s part of the game. I argue based on what I see.

‘‘When I read [the memo], I felt OK. I don’t ask for replay to get upset. I might ask for replay to validate what I’m seeing. A lot of times, it validates the umpire.

‘‘I like the technology because you know [if] something gets messed up on the bases, it can be corrected. Balls and strikes, there’s always talk about what may happen in the future. You still have to have some outlet for emotion to defend your guys. There’s a

moment that it’s necessary.’’

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