Everett bumps back 10-game ban

Red Sox slugger appeals over incident with umpire

July 21, 2000|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Boston Red Sox center fielder Carl Everett has been suspended for 10 days and fined an undisclosed amount for twice bumping plate umpire Ronald Kulpa during Saturday's game against the New York Mets.

The players union immediately appealed the suspension and Everett started the first game of yesterday's doubleheader at Camden Yards, hitting a two-run homer off Sidney Ponson in the first inning.

Everett, an All-Star who went 0-for-7 in his other at-bats yesterday and last night to drop his average to .317, can continue playing until his hearing is held by Paul Beeston, baseball's chief operating officer. No date has been set.

Everett became infuriated when Kulpa used his foot to draw an inside line to the batter's box. His tirade continued after being ejected, and at one point he bumped heads with Kulpa, causing the umpire to stumble backward. Restrained by coaches and teammates, Everett knocked over a water cooler after reaching the dugout.

Mets reliever Dennis Cook had been ejected the previous game for hitting Everett with a pitch. He complained that Everett was standing too close to the plate, apparently leading to Kulpa's actions the next day.

"I don't have a reaction [to the suspension]," Everett said while dressing before the first game. "The whole thing is the majority of media tried to make a guy out to be a monster. Everyone's quick to judge. I blame the media. It's their opinions instead of what you actually see. I didn't do the things that people said I've done."

Everett said he was contacted by Frank Robinson, baseball's vice president for on-field operations. "I told him my side. That's all I can do," Everett said.

He wouldn't specify what he felt was unfair about the suspension. "I can't really state that here because there's no merit here. Where I state that is when I go for my appeal," he said.

"I could say some things that could ruffle some feathers, but I'd rather keep that to myself until I appeal my case."

Asked whether he blamed Kulpa for the incident, Everett said, "I'm not going to judge another person. There are people who are disliked by the things they do, but I would not go out of my way just to make myself look better by saying someone overreacted or something.

"I'll just let everything stand as it is right now, and at a later date maybe I can elaborate a little more."

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