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Tigers Keep Groggy Clark Out

May 23, 1999

CLEVELAND (AP) _ Detroit’s Tony Clark was still groggy Sunday, a day after being hit in the head by Cleveland’s Jaret Wright in a beanball exchange between the Tigers and Indians.

Clark, struck in the batting helmet on Saturday, was kept out of the starting lineup for the series finale.

The Tigers first baseman was examined by the team’s trainer and Dr. Zenos Vangelos, one of the Indians’ team physicians, on Sunday. He has a bruised head and is listed as day-to-day.

Clark was nailed by Wright in the sixth inning of Detroit’s 6-2 win on Saturday, that led to a brief beanball war, a bench-clearing incident and the ejection of Cleveland outfielder Manny Ramirez.

The Tigers first baseman said after Saturday’s game that he didn’t think Wright, who he knows personally from off-season charity appearances, was throwing at him on purpose.

``I know it wasn’t intentional. I know Jaret,″ the 6-foot-7 Clark said. ``No hard feelings. You never try to hit anyone in the head. But that’s not going to stop the ringing in my head. ... I’m tall enough I usually avoid those.″

Clark said he and Wright ran into each other and talked Saturday night at Detroit’s team hotel where Wright had out-of-town guests staying.

After Clark was struck, Tigers starter Jeff Weaver hit Ramirez _ Cleveland’s first batter in the bottom of the sixth _ in the head with a pitch. Ramirez looked like he was content to only yell at Weaver, but once he neared first base, he decided to go after the rookie right-hander.

As Ramirez ran half-heartedly toward the mound _ this was anything but a charge _ he was met by second base umpire Jim Evans, who put his arms out in an attempt to stop him.

Ramirez side-stepped and moved Evans aside as the benches and bullpens for both teams emptied on to the field. Wright was tackled to the ground by Tigers manager Larry Parrish, a takedown that infuriated Wright and some of his teammates.

``Pretty much classless,″ Wright said.

Wright, who has already been suspended for five games following a brawl in Boston last month when he hit Darren Lewis, is unlikely to face a suspension this time. However, Ramirez is certain to get one for chasing after Weaver.

Indians GM John Hart did not think Ramirez would get any additional time for making minor contact with Evans.

``I thought that was more of a dance,″ Hart joked. ``It looked like a well-chaperoned dance. No touching.″

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