Barrett receives 10-game suspension for brawl

NEW YORK (Ticker) - Major League Baseball on Friday handed Chicago Cubs catcher Michael Barrett a 10-game suspension and fined him an undisclosed amount for punching Chicago White Sox counterpart A.J. Pierzynski last Saturday, leading to a bench-clearing incident.

Deciding to appeal the decision, Barrett played in the Cubs’ heartbreaking 6-5 loss to the Atlanta Braves on Friday, collecting two hits and driving in a run.

“I didn’t know what to expect since I have never been in a situation like this,” Barrett said about the ruling. “I just tried to prepare myself for the worst case scenario and that’s what happened.

“I would have wished that the punishment would have been less stringent, but I am hopeful upon appeal it will be lessened. Ultimately, I want to move on from this and continue to do my very best to help the Chicago Cubs win.”

In the second inning of the White Sox’s 7-0 victory at U.S. Cellular field, Pierzynski bowled over Barrett in beating a throw to the plate from left fielder Matt Murton. Making sure he was ruled safe on the play, Pierzynski emphatically slapped his hand on the plate. He then bumped into Barrett, who grabbed him and punched him in the jaw.

Barrett then was tackled by Scott Podsednik as both benches spilled onto the field. Amid the flurry, White Sox outfielder Brian Anderson threw a punch at Cubs first baseman John Mabry, who was taken to get X-rays of his ribs after the game.

Anderson was handed a five-game suspension and fined an undisclosed amount for his role in the brawl, while White Sox third base coach Joey Cora was given a two-game suspension and fined an undisclosed amount for his aggressive actions.

Pierzynski was fined an undisclosed amount for his conduct during the incident.

All three suspensions are slated to begin Friday, when the Cubs host Atlanta and the White Sox visit Toronto. Anderson and Barrett may appeal their suspensions.

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Updated Friday, May 26, 2006