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MLB penalizes Nats GM Rizzo, Rodriguez for confronting umpires

In a happier moment, Nationals GM MIke Rizzo with Ivan Rodriguez when the future Hall of Famer signed to take his talents to D.C. (Photo: Associated Press)
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NEW YORK (AP) - Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo and catcher Ivan Rodriguez were penalized by Major League Baseball on Monday for verbally confronting umpires in a stadium tunnel after a disputed call last week.

Rodriguez was fined an undisclosed amount, MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said. Courtney confirmed Rizzo was disciplined, but provided no specifics.

In general, penalties for non-uniformed personnel involve fines.

The Nationals were upset after Jayson Werth was called out by first-base umpire Phil Cuzzi in the ninth inning of Thursday's 1-0 loss to the New York Mets. Replays appeared to show Werth was safe.

Manager Jim Riggleman argued with Cuzzi and plate umpire Manny Gonzalez, then came back on the field with Rodriguez to holler at the umpires when they walked past the Nationals' third-base dugout after the game.

With crew chief Tom Hallion away for the series, Bill Miller served as the acting chief and Gonzalez was called up from Triple-A.

Moments later, Rizzo and Rodriguez got into a verbal altercation with the umpires as they headed to their locker room at Citi Field. Uncertain which Nationals executive had accosted them, the umpires asked for help - a Mets security official went into the Nationals' clubhouse and identified Rizzo by a head shot.

The umpires filed a report after the game with Joe Torre, MLB's vice president for baseball operations. Cuzzi said the crew had spoken to Torre, but declined further comment at the time.

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