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Brown injured punching clubhouse wall

NEW YORK -- Yankees pitcher Kevin Brown will miss at least
three weeks -- and possibly the rest of the season -- after breaking
his left hand when he punched a wall in the clubhouse.

Brown was examined Saturday at Yankee Stadium by team physician
Dr. Stuart Hershon and hand specialist Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser. The
pitcher will have surgery Sunday to insert a pin into his hand.

"We're hopeful we can get him back in a few weeks," manager
Joe Torre said. "A lot of it will depend on the healing and the
comfort. We don't worry about the comfort too much. I think Brownie
was hoping he could just tape it up and go. That's not what's going
to happen."

Frustrated by an injury-filled season, Brown made it much worse
Friday night when he broke two bones in his non-pitching hand by
punching a clubhouse wall during the sixth inning of New York's 3-1
loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

That was the end of his outing.

One of the fractures extends into his wrist, requiring the pin.
Now the best-case scenario for Brown (10-4) and the Yankees is that
he misses three weeks -- though he could be done for the year.

"For certain, I'm happy it's the left and not the right. The
thing that bothers me is that he thought enough to throw the left
and not the right. I wish he would have thought a little more on
that subject," Torre said. "He still has to field his position,
catch the ball and do all those things."

Brown should be able to keep his arm in shape while he recovers.

"He'll be able to throw. Somebody can hand him the ball. He'll
be doing all the pitching stuff," Torre said.

Already short on starting pitching, the Yankees plan to call up
a minor leaguer to start in Brown's place Wednesday night against
Tampa Bay. One possibility is left-hander Brad Halsey, who went 1-2
with a 7.23 ERA in four starts with New York earlier this season.

Brown's temper tantrum left the Yankees without one of their
best pitchers in the heat of a pennant race. New York leads the AL
East by just 2˝ games over the Red Sox after a 7-0 loss to
Baltimore on Saturday. The Yankees led by a season-high 10˝ games
on Aug. 15.

"Stupidity," Brown said Friday night, adding that he wanted to
apologize to his teammates. He wasn't available for comment
Saturday.

The Yankees aren't happy with him. Torre and general manager
Brian Cashman were visibly annoyed Friday night. Alex Rodriguez and
Jorge Posada have declined to share their thoughts about how Brown
hurt himself.

"I think we've all been frustrated, we've all been upset at one
time or another, and we've probably said some things that we wish
we hadn't said. But to physically do something to injure yourself?
I can't relate to that. I've seen guys do it, but I can't relate to
it," teammate Mike Mussina said.

Cashman said the 39-year-old Brown could be disciplined or
fined. Torre said he spoke to the pitcher and expressed his
disappointment.

"It's obviously a big blow for our team. We have to go on and
find a way to win games," Rodriguez said.

After the game, the Yankees began reviewing Brown's contract to determine whether a self-inflicted injury could void the guarantee language, one baseball official said on the condition of anonymity. Brown is earning $15 million this season and is due $15 million next year, the final season of his $105 million, seven-year deal.