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Mariners Suspend Player for Rest of Year

August 21, 2003

LANCASTER, Calif. (AP) _ The Seattle Mariners suspended Evel Bastida for the rest of the minor league season and are considering releasing the Inland Empire infielder for hitting a pitcher with a baseball bat.

Bastida also was fined an undisclosed amount by the California League and could face felony assault charges in connection with the altercation during a game at Lancaster on Monday.

Lancaster pitcher Josh Kranawetter hit Bastida with a pitch during the 15th inning. Bastida charged the mound and hit Kranawetter in the back with his bat, igniting a melee that resulted in the ejections of 16 players and suspension of the game.

``We want to send a message to him and the rest of our players that that’s behavior we won’t condone,″ said Benny Looper, vice president of player development for the Mariners, the parent organization of the Class A affiliate.

A decision on whether to release Bastida won’t be made until after the season, Looper said, adding that the Mariners would offer Bastida counseling.

The California League has informed Lancaster and Inland Empire officials about suspensions and fines, but league policy prohibits disclosing the information, according to John Oldham, league supervisor of umpires.

Lancaster and Inland Empire begin a three-game series starting Friday in San Bernardino. Monday’s suspended game will be completed then.

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