Kline suspended four games, fined for outburst


Reliever appealing ruling

O's interested in Kotsay


July 01, 2005|By Roch Kubatko | Roch Kubatko,SUN STAFF

Reliever Steve Kline has been suspended four games by Major League Baseball and fined $3,000 for "inappropriate and aggressive" actions during the eighth inning of Monday's game against the New York Yankees at Camden Yards, and for comments made to the media at his locker. He's appealing the suspension, which would have started last night.

Kline was ejected after being called for a balk, his third this season. He spun toward second base umpire Laz Diaz and chased after plate umpire Marty Foster, pointing a finger in his face as manager Lee Mazzilli got in between them. Kline grabbed Mazzilli's warm-up jacket while trying to get closer, and first base coach Rick Dempsey escorted him from the field.

"I've seen worse than what I did, but they suspended me so I have to appeal it and go through that," he said.

"I guess I had to have contact. Usually if you argue something, you get thrown out, right? I guess they're saying I bumped him or touched him."

Mazzilli also was surprised by the length of the suspension. "Four days is a long time," he said. "We'll see where it goes."

Foster ruled that Kline started and stopped. Kline said he thought the batter, Jason Giambi, asked for time.

"Four games, that's my whole career. That's two-thirds of an inning if I'm lucky, if I get somebody out," Kline said.

"They're coming down hard on me a little bit, just trying to make a point. I think it's because I might have said fudge cookies too many times on the field. But that's the story of my life."

Kline's punishment also is based on post-game comments that suggested the umpires show favoritism toward the Yankees.

"Sometimes I speak the truth, what I feel, and it comes back to haunt me," he said.

No hearing date has been set for the appeal.

Mazzilli was suspended two games for his actions during a June 19 game. He'll speak by phone to John McHale, senior vice president for administration, on Thursday to give his side of the story.

Possibly courting Kotsay?

The Orioles have shown interest in Oakland Athletics center fielder Mark Kotsay, who's expected to become available if he doesn't agree to a contract extension.

Kotsay's current deal includes a $7.05 million player option for next season. The Athletics want him to sign an extension, but he's seeking a full no-trade clause. He's making $7.025 million this year. The ninth overall pick in the 1996 draft by the Florida Marlins, Kotsay is batting .277.

Healing track

Erik Bedard is expected to throw off a mound tomorrow for the first time since spraining a ligament in his left knee and going on the disabled list.

Third baseman Melvin Mora sat out his eighth consecutive game with a strained right hamstring, but he took batting practice and ran again yesterday.

Catcher Javy Lopez, on the disabled list with a broken bone in his right hand, is hitting and throwing, and he could return before the All-Star break.

Rainout rescheduled

Wednesday's rained out game against the Yankees at Camden Yards has been rescheduled for Sept. 26 at 7:05 p.m.

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