Wood to appeal; Baker sits vs. Arizona

Updated: April 29, 2004, 4:20 AM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood was suspended for five games and Chicago manager Dusty Baker for one game Wednesday for confronting umpires during their recent series against Cincinnati.

Wood said he would appeal the penalty, and will continue to play until a hearing is held.

Baker, as manager, is not allowed to appeal. He served his suspension during Wednesday night's game at Arizona.

"This is my first suspension in my entire life anywhere -- elementary, junior, high school, college, any team anywhere," Baker said.

The penalties were handed out by Bob Watson, baseball's vice president for on-field operations.

Baker was upset that he had no opportunity to express his side of the story.

"But I guess when Judge Roy Bean makes a decision, it sticks," Baker said. "You have no choice."

Baker said he called home to tell his wife, who explained to their young son, Darren, why his dad wasn't managing the game.

"She told him I was getting a timeout for a temper tantrum," Baker said.

Baker said he was told he was suspended for inciting the crowd to throw things on the field and for obscene language in front of kids.

"I don't swear usually, especially in front of children," Baker said, "so I apologize to the kids and their parents for that action."

Wood said he expected a fine, but not the suspension, since he did not bump the umpire.

On April 16, Baker screamed at plate umpire C.B. Bucknor over a disallowed double switch. A day later, Wood yelled at plate umpire Eric Cooper about balls and strikes after being removed in the ninth inning.

Baker insisted he had signaled a double switch when he inserted shortstop Ramon Martinez and pitcher Kent Mercker in the top of the seventh inning. Mercker was supposed to bat in the eighth spot, with Martinez hitting ninth -- but crew chief Mike Reilly said Bucknor was never notified.

When Martinez led off the bottom of the inning with a double, Reds bench coach Jerry Narron asked Bucknor if there'd been a lineup switch. Bucknor said no, and Martinez was called out for batting out of order.

Baker tossed his lineup card on the ground, and Bucknor ejected him. Then Baker threw his hat on the ground and gestured wildly before kicking bats in the dugout.

The next day Wood became angry with Cooper after walking Reds outfielder Adam Dunn on a 3-2 pitch in the ninth inning. Dunn later scored the go-ahead run on a double by Willy Mo Pena, leading Baker to pull Wood.

After Baker made the pitching change, Wood sprinted off the mound and began screaming at Cooper before he was ejected. As he walked down the dugout, Wood heaved a batting helmet and gloves onto the field. Fans at Wrigley Field then littered the warning track with debris and the game was held up for several minutes.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press