Diamondbacks take issue with suspensions

Forrest Lee, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

SAN DIEGO -- Major League Baseball clearly showed a bias toward the Los Angeles Dodgers, members of the Arizona Diamondbacks said Friday, when it handed down suspensions resulting from Tuesday night's bench-clearing brawl in L.A.
"I don't believe what I did out there warranted any suspension, let alone a five-game suspension," said Diamondbacks infielder Eric Hinske, whose punishment was five games.
"I'm a little confused by the situation. In my mind, (Dodgers outfielder Yasiel) Puig was the aggressor on the field during the whole fight out of any player on the field, and he received no games. To me, it's not fair. I don't know what kind of statement MLB is trying to make with this.
"To me, I was just holding my ground. I didn't throw any punches and I had punches thrown at me by Puig. He gets no games; I get five. You tell me what's right there."
Diamondbacks pitcher Ian Kennedy received the harshest penalty with a 10-game suspension that he is appealing. Kennedy is scheduled to pitch Sunday against the San Diego Padres.
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly each were suspended one game. Gibson served his suspension Friday night in the opening game of a three-game series in San Diego.
In addition to Mattingly, Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell and infielder-outfielder Skip Schumaker were suspended two games apiece. Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire also was suspended two games, and reliever Ronald Belisario was docked one.
Fines were issued to Puig and Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke and Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero and outfielder Gerardo Parra.
Kennedy said he was unaware of his penalty until receiving texts from friends and family and phone calls earlier Friday from Gibson and his agent, Scott Boras. He believes MLB is making an example out of him.
"We're going through the appeal process and let that work through," Kennedy said before Friday's game "There's some things in there we don't agree with.
"Look at the history and my history and the history of first offenses in the past. I've never been suspended before or really know of anyone who has."
Kennedy said he wasn't trying to hit any of the Dodgers, though he plunked Puig on the nose and Greinke on a shoulder. Kennedy also dismissed comments by Mattingly earlier this week that Kennedy, who leads the National League with eight hit batters, shouldn't pitch inside if he can't avoid hitting players.
"Everybody knows in order to have any success in the big leagues or anywhere you have to pitch in and out," Kennedy said. "I throw inside. You're not going to go in there trying to hit anybody, but sometimes it happens. We're not perfect as pitchers. Otherwise, if we were perfect we would have zero ERAs. Those are (Mattingly's) comments. I'm not going to acknowledge those."
Gibson said his players tried to prevent the situation from becoming worst than it was.
"I think our whole team was trying to avoid escalation," Gibson said. "I think we tried to stop it. I think the video is pretty clear about that."

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