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Baseball Suspends Five Devil Rays

September 5, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Tampa Bay outfielder Gerald Williams was suspended for five games and fined for last week’s fights against the Boston Red Sox, and four teammates were suspended for one-to-three games apiece.

Williams was penalized Tuesday for ``charging the mound, inciting a bench clearing incident and returning to the dugout following an ejection,″ according to the commissioner’s office.

Pitchers Dave Eiland, Tony Fiore and Cory Lidle were suspended for three games each and fined for ``intentionally throwing at batters after a warning had been issued,″ and Devil Rays manager Larry Rothschild was suspended for three games and fined for ``failing to pre-empt his players’ wrongful conduct and for making inappropriate comments during and after the game.″

Frank Robinson, baseball’s head of discipline, imposed the penalties after reviewing the Aug. 29 game, which was interrupted five times by fights and/or arguments. Boston’s Pedro Martinez pitched a one-hitter, taking a no-hitter into the ninth, and eight Devil Rays were ejected.

The players’ association appealed the penalties imposed on Williams and Fiore, meaning the suspensions can’t start until a hearing before Paul Beeston, baseball’s chief operating officer.

Lidle started his suspension Tuesday and Rothschild is to start his Wednesday. Eiland’s suspension was not scheduled to start until later this week and he probably will make a decision Wednesday on whether to have the union appeal on his behalf.

Williams was ejected for fighting after Martinez hit him on the arm leading off the game and he charged the mound. Boston’s Brian Daubach was hit by pitches twice after playing a role in the first-inning fight, during which he hyperextended his left elbow.

``We thought that Daubach was throwing cheap shots in the pile and you have to protect your players,″ Rothschild said after the game. ``You’re not going to let that happen, and the only problem was that our pitchers kept missing that guy.″

Eiland was ejected in the third inning for hitting Daubach and Nomar Garciaparra. Lidle and Fiore were tossed during Daubach’s at-bat in the seventh.

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