Lackey appeals; Scioscia out one game

Updated: June 3, 2004, 10:08 PM ET
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Angels pitcher John Lackey was suspended for five games Thursday for throwing at a Toronto batter on May 24, and Anaheim manager Mike Scioscia was banned for one game.

John Lackey
Starting Pitcher
Anaheim Angels
Profile
2004 SEASON STATISTICS
GM W L Sv K ERA
10 3 6 0 26 5.95

Lackey and Scioscia also were fined undisclosed amounts by the league, said Bob Watson, baseball's vice president of on-field operations.

Lackey is appealing his suspension, so he'll be able to take his scheduled turn against Cleveland on Saturday.

"I was definitely surprised that there was a suspension involved," said Lackey, who heard about it in a phone call from general manager Bill Stoneman. "I'd never even gotten kicked out of a game before, so it's definitely new ground. I don't think I deserve to be suspended. But the league is pretty strict on that kind of things these days, so I guess [Watson] was just doing his job."

Managers have no such appeal process, so Scioscia was suspended for Thursday night's series opener against the Indians. Bench coach Joe Maddon was the acting manager.

"I'm very disappointed with the suspensions. I don't think there's anything that warrants suspensions," Scioscia said. "The ejection wasn't appropriate because John wasn't throwing at the guy. We pitch inside aggressively, and every pitcher's going to hit somebody at one time or another when you do that. That's baseball."

Lackey was disciplined for intentionally throwing at Simon Pond in the bottom of the sixth inning after a warning was issued earlier in the game at Toronto.

Scioscia, the AL Manager of the year in 2002, was disciplined for "for the intentional actions of Lackey after the warning was issued," Watson said.

"I know the league's position on retaliation, and we don't operate that way," said Scioscia, who spoke to Watson on the phone Thursday. "We're not about retaliation. We're not about headhunting. The league knows that. And that's what's disturbing."

Both Lackey and Scioscia were ejected after Lackey threw a pitch that grazed Pond's jersey. That came after Toronto's Justin Miller tied a club record by hitting three batters, including Jose Guillen in the top of the sixth.

Miller wasn't disciplined because he hit all three batters before the umpire issued a warning.

"What's really unfortunate about this incident was how Toronto gained an advantage by hitting one of our guys," Scioscia said. "And when I went up to Jim Reynolds after the warning, he interrupted me and said, 'You guys can still pitch inside. This isn't about that. They're not going to gain an advantage through this.'

"That's the way you're supposed to look at it. Unfortunately, his actions after that were quite different from what he had told us. So in this circumstance, we definitely got the short end of it."

After the Blue Jays won 6-5 in 10 innings, Guillen ripped his teammates for not backing him after he was hit for the sixth time this season, saying there was never any retaliation when he was hit. Guillen later apologized to his teammates.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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