New York Managers Lou Piniella and Terry Francona were among six members of the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Devil Rays suspended Friday for their roles in two bench-clearing scuffles last weekend.
Piniella and Francona were suspended three games apiece and fined an undisclosed amount for their teams' actions during Boston's 11-3 victory Sunday. The game featured six ejections, two beanballs and some high-and-tight pitching.
Boston pitcher Bronson Arroyo was given the harshest penalty, a six-game suspension. Tampa Bay pitchers Dewon Brazelton and Lance Carter were suspended five games apiece, and Boston outfielder Trot Nixon was suspended for two games. All four players were fined undisclosed amounts.
Red Sox slugger David Ortiz and Tampa Bay outfielder Chris Singleton each were fined for their roles in the fracas. They will appeal the fines.
All four suspended players also will appeal, and Nixon was in the starting lineup for the Red Sox on Friday night at Texas. Arroyo is the scheduled starter today for Boston, and Piniella said Brazelton would take his turn Sunday against Baltimore.
Asked if the harsh penalty would deter such scuffles in the future, Arroyo said he didn't think so and wouldn't hesitate to protect his teammates.
"In a game like that, once it gets out of hand, it gets out of hand. People don't care what the consequences are going to be. It's just out of respect of protecting your players," he said. "If the situation calls for it, I have no problem protecting guys on my team."
|Boston¢ Manager Terry Francona: three games.¢ Pitcher Bronson Arroyo: six games.¢ Outfielder Trot Nixon: two games.Tampa Bay¢ Manager Lou Piniella: three games.¢ Pitchers Dewon Brazelton and Lance Carter: five games.Note: Managers and players were fined undisclosed amounts.|
All six suspensions were scheduled to begin Friday night, but players can play until their appeal is heard. The managers can't appeal their penalties.
Arroyo hit Singleton in the seventh inning after both teams had been warned. Arroyo also hit Aubrey Huff in the sixth.
In the top half of the seventh inning, Carter nearly beaned Manny Ramirez before the Boston star homered on the next pitch. Then, Carter almost hit Ortiz in the head, causing both benches to clear. Brazelton shoved into the crowd as the teams met on the diamond and was ejected for "escalating the situation," according to umpire crew chief Rick Reed. Nixon also was ejected.