Kemp, Torrealba suspended for bench-clearing brawl

Updated: June 5, 2008, 7:50 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was suspended for four games and Colorado catcher Yorvit Torrealba was penalized three games Thursday following their tussle earlier this week.

[+] EnlargeYorvit Torrealba, Matt Kemp
AP Photo/Danny MoloshokYorvit Torrealba and Matt Kemp were ejected following their eighth-inning tussle Tuesday.

Both players also were fined undisclosed amounts by Major League Baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson.

Kemp appealed his suspension, allowing him to play until a hearing is held. He was in the starting lineup Thursday night for the opener of a four-game series against the Chicago Cubs.

"That's what they decided to do, so I have to respect that. But I feel it was just as much his fault as my fault," Kemp said. "I don't feel that I should get more, but it's not my decision. That's why I'm appealing it. I didn't know it was going to be that many games, but we'll see what happens."

The Rockies were informed that Torrealba plans to appeal his suspension as well. The team was off Thursday before beginning a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday night.

Kemp and Torrealba tangled Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium. Kemp struck out on a pitch in the dirt for the final out of the eighth inning, and the ball rolled a few feet to the right of Torrealba.

Torrealba brushed Kemp from behind before picking up the ball and tagging him lightly in the chest. Kemp shoved Torrealba, and the Rockies catcher retaliated by shoving Kemp in the face with both hands.

Kemp and Torrealba wrestled on the infield grass as both benches and bullpens emptied. Both players were ejected in the Rockies' 3-0 win.

"I'm more concerned about the games than the fine," said Kemp, who declined to reveal the amount. "I'm letting my team down. I mean, four games, that's a lot of games. I just don't want to miss any games."

Kemp didn't get a chance to talk to Watson directly, but acknowledged that baseball is trying to crack down on violence.

"I'm not embarrassed about the situation. It just happened," the outfielder said. "I'm sure everybody's been in altercations before -- you just don't see it on TV.

"I'm not going to say it's part of the game. It was just two grown-ups that got into an altercation and things just got a little out of hand. You don't really see too many fights in baseball. It's not really that physical of a sport where people should be fighting. It's not like hockey or any of the other sports, but it happens. We take this game seriously, and it is an emotional game."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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