Blue Jays’ Sturtze Suspended for 3 Games
TORONTO (AP) _ Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Tanyon Sturtze was suspended for three games _ the rest of the season _ and fined by major league baseball for yelling at an umpire.
A $1,500 fine was reduced to $500 on appeal.
Sturtze berated umpire Phil Cuzzi during Tuesday’s bench-clearing shoving match between the Blue Jays and Devil Rays. The pitcher was angry Cuzzi ejected Toronto ace Roy Halladay on Monday for hitting Rocco Baldelli in the back.
Sturtze said Cuzzi grabbed his jersey and wouldn’t let go.
``I didn’t expect to get suspended. He put his hands on me. I felt like I didn’t even touch him. He initiated the contact,″ Sturtze said Saturday. ``They said that I pushed him.″
Sturtze served the first game of the suspension Friday night; the regular season ends Sunday.
Tensions escalated on Tuesday after Toronto’s Josh Towers threw behind Aubrey Huff. Towers said he did it because two Blue Jays were hit by pitches earlier in the game. Both benches cleared after Toronto’s Aquilino Lopez threw behind Carl Crawford in the ninth inning. Sturtze then went after Cuzzi.
Towers and Lopez were fined.
``I was surprised I didn’t get suspended,″ Towers said.