Lee in Cubs lineup while appeal is pending
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee was in Chicago's lineup Tuesday night for the opener of a series at Texas after appealing his five-game suspension.
Chicago hitting coach Gerald Perry, however, can't appeal and started to serve the three-game suspension he got for his role in the bench-clearing brawl Saturday at Wrigley Field. The fight started after Lee was hit by a pitch thrown by San Diego's Chris Young, who is also appealing a five-game suspension.
Lee and Young were both suspended and fined Monday by Bob Watson, baseball's vice president in charge of discipline. Perry was suspended and fined for "aggressive actions," Watson said. San Diego's Brian Giles and Jake Peavy also were fined.
"We're going to gather all the evidence and the facts and look at it," Young said before the Padres played at home Tuesday night against Baltimore. "We will then present our case."
Lee, who batted third and played first base against the Rangers, appealed hoping to get his suspension shortened.
"We'll see what happens," Lee said before the Cubs played at Rangers Ballpark for the first time. "The only thing is, from what I understand, is if you just charge the mound immediately, it's only three games. I don't see really how what I did is worth [five games]. That's the only problem I have about it."
In Saturday's game, Lee was hit in the forearm by a pitch from Young that appeared to be headed toward the first baseman's head. Lee walked to first, had words with the pitcher, then threw a punch. Young swung back and the benches emptied.
Lee is convinced Young threw at him.
"I think he did. I could be wrong, but I do," he said. "I don't like that it happened. I don't know how else it could have been handled, though. But sometimes things happen in those situations."
Cubs manager Lou Piniella said he hasn't gotten an explanation about the Perry's suspension.
"According to Gerald, he was just pulling Peavy off the pile," Piniella said.
Asked who would be the hitting coach during the games, Piniella responded, "Hopefully, we won't need one for three games, that these guys will swing the bats."
Lee wasn't sure when his appeal would be heard.
"From what I understand, it'll be a while before I can speak to someone," Lee said. "It sounds like it will be a couple of weeks."
As for Young's suspension, Lee said he can see where the pitcher has a good case for not being penalized at all.
"If he can say he didn't throw at me, if the ball got away, he has to defend himself if someone throws a punch at him," Lee said.
Young declined to talk about the fight and the pitch.
"I don't want to hurt my case and my appeal," he said.
Young's next start is scheduled on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series against the visiting Boston Red Sox.
Padres manager Bud Black supported his pitcher's decision to appeal the suspension.
"I think it's the right thing to do," said Black. "I think more than anything he wants the commissioner's office to know, Bob Watson to know, his account of what happened Saturday."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press