Eight members of Rangers, Angels suspended
NEW YORK -- Managers Buck Showalter and Mike Scioscia were suspended by Major League Baseball on Thursday along with six others following two days of trouble between the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels.
Showalter will miss four games, starting with Texas' game Thursday night at Detroit. Bench coach Don Wakamatsu will run the team in the interim.
"We knew it was going to be something," Showalter said. "It's pretty much standard."
Scioscia was suspended for three games, starting with Thursday night's opener of a four-game series against Seattle. Bench coach Ron Roenicke and pitching coach Bud Black will split the duties while Scioscia watches the games in his office.
Texas reliever Scott Feldman drew the most severe penalty at six games. He hit Adam Kennedy with a pitch in the ninth inning Wednesday night in retaliation for two Rangers batters that were plunked by Kevin Gregg and Brendan Donnelly. Kennedy charged the mound, triggering a bench-clearing brawl, and was suspended for four games along with Gregg and Donnelly. Roenicke will serve a one-game suspension on Sunday.
"I cannot begin to express my displeasure over the course of these events," Scioscia said. "I think that Major League Baseball in New York has certainly dropped the ball on this one. They can't have it both ways. You can't ask a team not to retaliate -- which is our philosophy -- but yet not back us up when it's obvious that the players are throwing at us."
Kennedy and Gregg decided not to appeal their suspensions. Kennedy didn't figure to see much playing time, anyway, against the Mariners, who were starting three left-handers against the Angels. Gregg didn't expect to pitch for three games because of a sore knee.
"I was very glad they acted this quickly," said Kennedy, who had never charged the mound before. "I just wanted to get it over with."
Texas pitcher Vicente Padilla was suspended for five games for throwing at a batter after receiving a warning Tuesday night. Feldman was scheduled to begin his suspension on Tuesday. All eight suspensions were also accompanied by fines, and Angels pitcher John Lackey and outfielder Juan Rivera were also fined.
The tensions between the Angels and Rangers were triggered Aug. 6 at Anaheim, when Rangers pitcher Adam Eaton gave up a three-run homer to Garret Anderson and threw his next pitch behind Rivera. Eaton was immediately ejected by umpire Rob Drake but was not suspended.
"Last week Adam Eaton threw a ball behind Juan Rivera for no reason, other than he was 'a little too comfortable in the box' -- that's Adam Eaton's words -- and he didn't care if he hit him or not. So something needed to be addressed then," Scioscia said. "Nothing was, and Padilla felt a free reign to be able to throw at us, as he did in that other game. So this is certainly an issue.
"I think that if Major League Baseball is going to monitor this, they need to back up what their own umpires said -- that Eaton was ejected for intentionally throwing at a hitter. It should have been a suspension, and there wasn't one," he said.
In Wednesday night's 9-3 loss at Texas, Gregg threw behind Michael Young -- and then hit him with his next pitch before he got ejected.
"I was just trying to pitch in aggressively," Gregg said. "You're going to pitch inside, and you're going to hit people. I mean, I think I hold the record for wild pitches in an inning, so everyone knows I have a wild one in my game."
Donnelly relieved Gregg and hit Freddy Guzman -- leading to his ejection. The right-hander, whose suspension was scheduled to begin next Tuesday, is appealing it.
"I wasn't throwing at him on purpose," Donnelly said. "Am I going to throw at a guy that just got called up a few hours before the game?"
Donnelly received a 10-game suspension last season for getting caught with pine tar on his glove. That ban was reduced to eight games.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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