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Macha meets with Cox before Sunday's game

Macha meets with Cox before Sunday's game

ATLANTA -- Bobby Cox sought out Ken Macha during batting practice on Sunday and the two managers talked for nearly five minutes off to the side behind the batting cage. It wasn't hard to guess the main topic.

Brewers slugger Prince Fielder was hit by a pitch on Saturday night after an eighth-inning warning from home-plate umpire Angel Hernandez, resulting in the ejection of rookie left-handed pitcher Jonny Venters and Cox.

Macha isn't happy about his Brewers leading the National League in being hit by pitches and he voiced his displeasure loud and clear after the 6-3 victory, calling on Major League Baseball to look into the situation.

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"Bobby and I are friends," the Brewers manager said following Sunday's meeting. "We talked about the situation. Bobby understands his side and he understands my side."

Said Cox when asked about the pregame talk, "It's between us."

Cox admitted Saturday night that Venters hitting Fielder after a home run his previous at-bat off Tim Hudson an inning earlier "looked bad" and that he "didn't blame Prince for being mad at all." But the manager said, "We didn't hit him intentionally ... and that is the truth."

Macha complained to Bruce Froemming, an MLB special assistant for umpiring, after Rickie Weeks was hit twice in the series before the All-Star break against the Pirates. This time he called for Bob Watson, MLB vice president for rules and operations, to review things personally.

Weeks has been hit by pitches 17 times this season and Fielder has been hit 14 times. The first baseman was also hit Friday by the Braves' Tommy Hanson.

"I cannot read intentions of what other people are doing," Macha said. "But just put the evidence out there. ... We've got two guys that have been hit an inordinate amount of times. That's the basic fact."

Macha would like MLB to regularly review hit batters, then levy fines or suspensions if warranted.

"The umpires are put in a very tenuous situation," Macha said. "The NFL is so far ahead of us that it is unbelievable. ... On Monday, they look at the evidence and say, 'Let's put a stop to this.'

"Let's fine these guys a bunch of money. The players' association should be on board for this. ... You ought to get rid of this kind of stuff. ... That's my opinion. Look at the film and hit the guy hard. Then it's done."

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