Batista, Martinez Suspended for Fighting
NEW YORK (AP) _ Arizona pitcher Miguel Batista was suspended for 10 games and St. Louis first baseman Tino Martinez for four games for their fight last weekend.
In addition, Cardinals pitcher Jeff Fassero was suspended for three games and St. Louis manager Tony La Russa for one game by Bob Watson, baseball’s vice president in charge of discipline. All four were fined, as were Cardinals catcher Mike Matheny and Arizona coach Eddie Rodriguez.
``I don’t understand how Miguel could get 10 games and Tino get only four,″ Arizona manager Bob Brenly said.
Batista and Martinez appealed, meaning any penalties will be delayed until after a hearing before Bob DuPuy, baseball’s chief operating officer. Fassero also plans to appeal his suspension, which is to start Wednesday.
La Russa will sit out Saturday against Florida.
``My only comment is (about) the perception fans get, because we had more guys fined, that the bad guys Sunday were the Cardinals,″ La Russa said. ``It’s the opposite. The bad guy was the Arizona guy that instigated the whole thing.″
Batista was penalized for ``inciting a bench-clearing incident, fighting and throwing a baseball at the head″ of Martinez, who was cited by Watson for ``charging the mound and fighting.″
Watson penalized Fassero ``for intentionally throwing at and hitting Luis Gonzalez″ after a warning, and La Russa was punished for ``comments directed at Batista″ and for Fassero’s ``intentional pitch at Gonzalez after a warning.″
Fassero declined to comment.
``I thought I’d get two or three games at the most,″ Martinez said. ``I’m going to appeal it and see if I can get my side of the story in, and see if I can get it reduced by a game or two.″
Batista hit Martinez in the right shoulder blade in the fifth inning of Arizona’s 1-0 win. The two had words from a distance, and Martinez went to first. After Marinez was forced at second, he suddenly made a right turn to attack Batista.
The right-hander threw the baseball at Martinez, missing with it as Martinez threw a punch. Both benches quickly cleared and Batista, constantly backing up, threw a few more punches before manager Bob Brenly forced him all the way into shallow left field.
Russa and Fassero were ejected in the ninth after Gonzalez was hit in the ribs. Fassero admitted he intentionally hit the batter.
``I don’t play this new style of baseball,″ Fassero said after the game. ``I still believe in the old ways, settling scores for teams and stuff like that. I think that’s how baseball should be played.″