New York Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Everett was suspended for 10 games and fined an undisclosed amount Thursday for bumping umpire Ronald Kulpa twice in Saturday's game against the New York Mets.
The players' union immediately appealed the suspension, which means Everett can continue to play until a hearing is held by Paul Beeston, baseball's chief operating officer.
No date was set for the hearing.
Outfielder Brian Hunter of the Colorado Rockies and pitcher Scott Sullivan of the Cincinnati Reds also appealed their three-game suspensions and fines for their parts in a beanball brawl on Sunday.
In Baltimore with the Red Sox, Everett was angry about the way the affair was reported in certain media accounts.
"They tried to make me out to be a monster," he said. "If you listen to what was said, it's their own opinion, not what you actually see. It's what they wanted everyone else to see."
Everett, who is batting .323 and leads the Red Sox with 25 home runs and 72 runs batted in, became furious when Kulpa, umpiring at home plate, drew the inside line of the batter's box with his foot, showing where the hitter could stand.
The Boston slugger confronted Kulpa, making contact twice, the second time with a bump to the head that sent the umpire staggering away. Everett was thrown out of the game and continued his tirade.
"I would say I didn't do the things people said I did," he said. "I could say some things that could ruffle some feathers, but I'd rather keep that to myself until I state my case."
After being thrown out the game, Everett had to be restrained by teammates and coaches. When he reached the dugout, he threw over a water cooler and threw a bat.
A night earlier, Mets reliever Dennis Cook was thrown out of the game after hitting Everett with a pitch. Cook stormed toward the plate, indicating that Everett's wide-open stance takes him beyond the batter's box lines.
Major league baseball has reminded umpires that they can order the lines redrawn during the game.
The batter's box measures 4 feet by 6 feet and is outlined in chalk on three sides with the inside line closest to home plate not drawn. Umpires allow 6 inches off the plate to indicate the inside limits of the box. It was that 6-inch area that both Cook and Kulpa said Everett had violated.
The penalty on Everett was imposed by Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, who took over the role of disciplinarian in the commissioner's office this season.
Over the years, baseball punishment for contact with an umpire has been inconsistent, often depending on whether the contact was intentional or accidental.
In 1988, Cincinnati manager Pete Rose got 30 days for shoving ump Dave Pallone. That was twice as long as Bill Madlock got when he shoved his glove in the face of ump Gerry Crawford.
In 1990, Ron Gant got one game, Dickie Thon three games and Vince Coleman seven games, all for contact with an ump.
In 1996, catcher Brad Ausmus was with San Diego when he was suspended for one game after an argument. He appealed, was traded to Detroit, lost the appeal and served the suspension while on the roster of the Tigers.