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Umps Respond To Tirade

Umpires said Sunday that Carl Everett had no one to blame but himself for the confrontation with plate ump Ron Kulpa that led to the Red Sox slugger's ejection and will likely earn him a suspension.

"Our interpretation is, his foot cannot be closer than six inches to the plate," crew chief Randy Marsh said before Boston played Montreal. "I think Ronald handled himself appropriately. He basically warned him a few times."

Everett, who uses an open stance while batting right-handed, lined up in the second inning of Saturday's game as he usually does with his back foot on the edge of the inside of the batter's box.

Kulpa warned Everett before the first pitch. With a 2-2 count, Kulpa again indicated Everett's foot was on the line. When Everett stepped out of the box, Kulpa drew a line with his left foot, then his right.

The two had words and that's when Everett became incensed. He was ejected almost immediately before he bumped Kulpa. After slamming his helmet, Everett appeared to head-butt Kulpa, who jerked his head away.

"He had a mark on his head," Marsh said of Kulpa. "It's something he had never experienced before."

Baseball has made a point of cracking down on violent acts on the field this season, and just last Monday issued a five-game suspension against Atlanta manager Bobby Cox for shoving an umpire.

Everett, who refused comment Saturday and Sunday, had to be restrained by coaches Tommy Harper and Wendell Kim along with manager Jimy Williams. After being escorted to the dugout by teammate Jose Offerman, he tossed a bat on the field and knocked over a water cooler. He also screamed at many of his teammates.

"The Red Sox organization does not condone behavior that leads to physical contact," Boston general manager Dan Duquette said Sunday.

After Saturday's game, Williams said the Mets had complained about Everett being out of the batter's box. Marsh said Sunday that catcher Mike Piazza said, "Come on, his foot's over the line."

"He doesn't have to make a complaint," Marsh said. "Anytime we see a guy that's standing over the line, we have to tell him to get back in the box."

Everett, batting sixth and playing center field, was greeted with a mixed reaction when his name was announced before Sunday's game. Kulpa, umpiring at third base, was greeted with a spattering of boos.

Marsh said he didn't expect any additional confrontations with Everett.

"I would think Carl would realize what the rule is," Marsh said. "It's not like we're making him stand on the outside of the batter's box. If he takes it to extemes, I'll do what I have to do."

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