Red Sox manager John Farrell and umpire Bill Miller are not on good terms

Red Sox manager John Farrell and veteran umpire Bill Miller took disagreeing up a few notches on Saturday night, engaging in an intense and perhaps even uncomfortable exchange that ultimately led to Farrell’s ejection and accusations of physical contact.

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It had already been a frustrating night for the Red Sox when reliever Fernando Abad was called for a balk with a runner on third base in the seventh inning. That allowed a key insurance run to score for the Angels, and it ended up setting Farrell off when the umpires huddled but ultimately rejected his protest that timeout had been called before the balk was called.

Of course, balks are like balls, strikes and replay reviews. Once a call is made, there’s little to no tolerance for arguing. Farrell kept going anyway, perhaps thinking there would be wiggle room given the circumstances.

He was wrong, but got his money’s worth anyway, getting as much in Miller’s face as he could without actually touching noses.

Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell (right) goes nose-to-nose with umpire Bill Miller after a called balk during Saturday’s game. (AP)

Like we said, it was a lot heated and a little uncomfortable.

Miller would even go on the record after the game accusing Farrell of poking him in the chest.


After reviewing the argument, there’s one point where it appears Farrell’s finger glanced off Miller’s right shoulder while he made a pointing gesture related to his argument. We’d categorize that as incidental contact. The contact Miller is referencing may have come later when his back was to the camera and Farrell’s hands were not in view.

Either way, that’s something the league office will have a keen interest in reviewing as some sort of punishment could be in order.

It’s also been noted that Farrell and Miller have a history of yelling at each other, which isn’t too surprising given the intensity displayed here.


The Angels went on to win Saturday’s game 6-3. While that controversial run scored may not have been a true game changer, it at least changed the game’s make up. That was not lost on Farrell as he further explained his stance with the media.

“Time was called. Time was clearly called before the balk was called, so that was the dispute.”

That he didn’t call time. I’m sure once they take a look at the video, they’ll see time was called well in advance of the balk called, even to the point where Fernando was off the rubber before the balk was called, following time called at home plate, so in my view, obviously not seeing the rest of the game from the dugout, I strongly disagreed, and time was clearly called before the balk was called.”

Based on the television angles it was difficult to tell if Farrell had a beef regarding the timeout.

If there’s one thing that is clear though, it’s that Farrell and Miller will not be hashing it out over lunch on Sunday.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!