Astros' Qualls suspended 3 games for throwing ball into stands
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Houston reliever Chad Qualls was suspended for three games and fined $3,000 by Major League Baseball on Wednesday -- two days after throwing a baseball into the stands at Angel Stadium in frustration.
Qualls asked the players' union to appeal the penalty, meaning he cannot disciplined until after a hearing is held and the appeal is decided.
The decision was made by Bob Watson, baseball's vice president for discipline.
Qualls allowed five runs in the seventh inning Monday night as the Astros blew a 9-4 lead to the Los Angeles Angels, who rallied for a 10-9 victory. After Orlando Cabrera hit an inning-ending grounder in the seventh, Qualls made the putout at first base and then threw the ball into the stands.
"I was just mad about the way the inning went, the way the runs had scored, and I fired the ball into the third deck," Qualls said before Wednesday night's game against the Angels. "It was pure frustration. We were ahead 9-4, then it was ground ball after ground ball.
"It was frustrating. We've been playing so well, we had scored nine runs, I didn't get the job done. The way they scored their runs made me angry."
Qualls said his agent, Alan Hendricks, called Wednesday morning to inform him of the fine and suspension.
"We both thought it was a little excessive," Qualls said. "He spoke with the union and we filed an appeal."
Qualls said he didn't know when the appeal will be heard.
"I'm just going to play baseball in the meantime," he said.
Manager Phil Garner acknowledged some action had to be taken.
"I thought it was a little excessive, although I do understand the need to do something," Garner said. "I believe they dinged him too much. I'm sure he regrets what he did."
Qualls, a 28-year-old right-hander, is 5-3 with a 4.17 ERA in a team-high 36 games with one save.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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