Big League Stew

Giants pitcher George Kontos gets suspended, fined and demoted to Triple A — on his birthday

Mike Oz
Big League Stew

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San Francisco Giants relief pitcher George Kontos won't look back fondly on the day he turned 28. Instead of just blowing out candles on Wednesday, Kontos was suspended and fined by Major League Baseball, and then demoted to Triple-A.

Kontos was ejected from Tuesday's game after hitting Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Earlier, he had thrown behind Starling Marte and received a warning from home plate umpire Wally Bell. Kontos said he didn't hit McCutchen on purpose and it wasn't retaliation for the Pirates pegging (and injuring) Giants second basemen Marco Scutaro.

All of this might have been a bigger deal had the Dodgers and Diamondbacks not had a couple bench-clearing shoving matches Tuesday night. MLB acted first against the Giants, suspending Kontos for three games and fining him an undisclosed amount. Manager Bruce Bochy, also ejected, received a one-game suspension that he'll serve on Wednesday.

Word of the Kontos' suspension came just a few hours after the Giants announced they were sending him back to Triple-A Fresno. His 2013 numbers — a 5.76 ERA with 19 runs allowed in 29.2 innings — are worse across the board than his 2012 stats. He's already given up more earned runs and home runs than he did all last season. His strikeouts are down, his walks are up and opponents are hitting .278 against him, as opposed to .207 in 2012.

We at The Stew hope none of this — the unhappy birthday, or the tough season — is a curse brought on by Kontos winning our Connect Four World Series rematch.

Here are a few interesting tidbits about Kontos and Giants birthdays from CSN Bay Area's Andrew Baggarly.

On the suspension front: We now await word about what action Major League Baseball will take after Tuesday's ugly Dodgers/Diamondbacks game.

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