BUDIG HANDS OUT SUSPENSIONS FROM BRAWL; GETS MIXED REVIEWS
AL President Dr. Gene Budig fined and suspended five
Yankees and Orioles players for their part in the fight
Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. Orioles P Armando Benitez
was suspended for eight games; Yankees P Graeme Lloyd and OF
Darryl Strawberry for three games each; and O's P Alan Mills
and Yanks P Jeff Nelson for two games each (AL). Benitez
and the Yankees players "waived their right to appeal,"
while O's officials said Mills "will make a decision about
whether to appeal later" (WASHINGTON POST, 5/21).
REAX: In N.Y., Joel Sherman criticizes the length of
the suspensions and writes that Budig "continues to have a
blind spot for how important perception is in a sport that
is constantly losing that battle," adding that it was "par
for the course for him not to go the 10 miles from his
midtown office to [Yankee] Stadium to be on hand last night"
(N.Y. POST, 5/21). On L.I., Shaun Powell: "This wasn't a
beanball from Budig, this was a Beanie Baby. ... A month off
the bench would have gotten an entire league's attention
about the whole notion of beanballs" (NEWSDAY, 5/21).
Yankees Owner George Steinbrenner, on Benitez's eight-game
suspension: "A month's suspension should have been the least
he should have gotten" (HARTFORD COURANT, 5/21). In N.Y.,
Dave Anderson writes that as MLB "is still searching for a
commissioner, it needs someone to rule on fines and
suspensions in both leagues instead" of the league
presidents (N.Y. TIMES, 5/21). Also in N.Y., John Harper
credit Budig's ruling, calling it "the first properly severe
suspension that Budig has handed down" (DAILY NEWS, 5/21).
LEAVING THE BENCH: MLBPA Associate General Counsel Gene
Orza, on the suggestion that leaving the dugout/bullpen be
an automatic suspension: "It can't be in our sport because
there's only one player on the field against nine" (N.Y.
TIMES, 5/21). On ESPN SportsZone, Rob Neyer agrees with the
dugout aspect, but writes that what is realistic "is a rule
barring anyone from leaving the bullpen" (SportsZone, 5/21).