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Beckett shocked by six-game suspension


Beckett shocked by six-game suspension
NEW YORK (AP) Boston right-hander Josh Beckett was stunned Tuesday after receiving a six-game suspension from Major League Baseball, which determined he intentionally threw a pitch near the head of the Los Angeles Angels' Bobby Abreu last week.

Beckett, who immediately appealed the ruling, also was fined an undisclosed amount and cited for "aggressive actions" after the pitch that led to the benches clearing Sunday, according to Bob Watson, vice president for discipline in the commissioner's office.

"We were pretty shocked," Beckett said before the Red Sox's game against the Athletics in Oakland. "I think the appeal speaks for everything that we feel. I respect the job they have to do, but I don't agree."

Any suspension wouldn't begin until after Beckett's appeal is decided, likely allowing him to make his next scheduled start on Saturday against Baltimore.

Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher also was angry after being suspended for one game and fined, although he served the penalty Tuesday night at Seattle. In addition, Watson fined Angels manager Mike Scioscia and players Torii Hunter and Justin Speier.

The incident began when Abreu was granted a timeout after a long pause on the mound by Beckett, who was holding Chone Figgins on second base. Beckett finished his throwing motion in any pitcher's normal attempt to avoid injury from a sudden stop, but his throw went in the direction of Abreu's head.

Beckett insists the throw's direction was unintentional.

"It's what we're taught to do," Beckett said. "We have to kind of protect ourselves in those situations. That ball could have ended up anywhere, and that's unfortunate where it ended up. That's why I'm standing dealing with all this stuff."

The throw infuriated the Angels' bench and Abreu, who raised his arms and stared at Beckett. The pitcher then moved toward Abreu, causing both benches to clear, although no real fighting went on.

"I don't really feel like I've done anything," Beckett said. "I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do. Am I supposed to give him a hug? I wasn't really in a hugging mood right then. I really don't know what he wanted me to do."

A-Rod has another good day of rehab workouts

New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez completed his second day of Baseball workouts without a problem Tuesday and could soon start taking batting practice.

"It should be pretty soon," Rodriguez, who had right hip surgery five weeks ago, said after watching batting practice before New York's game Tuesday night at Tampa Bay.

Rodriguez hit off a tee and took part in a soft toss session for the second consecutive day. He also threw, stretched and took grounders in an indoor cage at Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees' spring training ballpark.

"You know what I was most curious about? How he moved," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi, who watched the workout. "Very fluid. We joked, would he be available tonight? He looked really good. The first two days were really good."

The Baseball drills were moved from the Yankees' minor league complex because of rain.

"I felt good," Rodriguez said. "Just natural soreness."

The Yankees have targeted approximately May 15 for A-Rod's return, although the three-time AL MVP is hoping to be back earlier.

Phillies plan public memorial for Kalas

Harry Kalas fans will have a chance to pay their respects to the legendary Phillies broadcaster.

The Phillies and Kalas family announced that a public memorial for Kalas will be held Saturday at Citizens Bank Park. Fans will be welcome from 8 a.m. until 12:45 p.m., when all fans in attendance will be directed to their seats for an on-field tribute at 1 p.m. before a game against the San Diego Padres.

Kalas, 73, died Monday in Washington D.C. after collapsing in the broadcast booth before a Phillies-Nationals game.

The Phillies will wear a black, circular "HK" patch on the front of their jerseys this season.

The team also urged fans coming to Friday night's game to arrive early for a pre-game tribute to Kalas.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: April 16, 2009

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