Friday, September 3, 2010

Marlins players appeal suspensions

MIAMI -- The fireworks took place on Wednesday night. The fallout occurred on Friday.

Major League Baseball levied a series of fines and suspensions in the aftermath of the benches-clearing altercation between the Marlins and Nationals on Wednesday night at Sun Life Stadium.

From the Marlins, Chris Volstad was fined $4,000 and suspended for six games. Alex Sanabia was suspended for five games, while Gaby Sanchez received a three-game suspension. Sanabia's suspension will begin on Sept. 8. The reason is the league didn't want to overlap two Marlins starting pitchers.

Manager Edwin Rodriguez was suspended for one game and fined $1,500. Bench coach Brandon Hyde managed the team on Friday. Jose Veras wasn't suspended, but he was tagged with a $1,000 fine.

Sanchez and Sanabia each received $3,000 fines.

"I think the umpires and the league did what they had to do," said Rodriguez, who served his suspension on Friday when the Marlins faced the Braves. "All the players are going to be appealing their suspensions. The league did what they had to do, to get this over and start playing baseball."

All the players are appealing, which means they can play until the appeal process takes place.

Volstad is hoping to at least have his suspension and/or fine reduced.

"Fair or not, I don't know what it is," Volstad said. "I'll serve it and go through that process."

The firestorm started on Wednesday after Volstad threw behind Washington's Nyjer Morgan, who charged the mound. Morgan was suspended for eight games and fined $15,000.

Nationals reliever Doug Slaten and third-base coach Pat Listach received three-game suspensions. And Washington manager Jim Riggleman was handed a two-game penalty.

Sanchez was highly visible during the skirmish, as he knocked down Morgan, who'd already thrown a punch at Volstad. The Marlins first baseman said he was protecting his pitcher, and not looking to apply a clothesline move.

"In a situation like that, you don't want to see your teammates go down," Sanchez said on Friday. "After that, I'm done with it. I want it to be over, and to play baseball."

The Marlins face the Nationals Sept. 10-12, and chances are Sanchez could miss that series if his suspension is upheld. The appeals process is expected to take place just prior to Florida being in Washington.

Sanabia, meanwhile, was actively pulling players off each other. And he was entangled with Washington's Adam Dunn.

"I thought he just landed on me," Sanabia said.

Sanchez said he has seen enough of the replays and he is ready to play baseball.

"After the first day, it was kind of like, 'Enough with it. I've seen it. I've lived through it.' The biggest thing was, for me, is that no one got hurt, and everybody was OK," the rookie first baseman said. "What you don't want to see is guys get hurt in that situation."

The Marlins clearly were upset by the way Morgan conducted himself during the series. On Tuesday, the Washington outfielder collided with catcher Brett Hayes, who suffered a separated shoulder.

The matter with Morgan would have been resolved, to many Marlins, after he was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning. But Morgan swiped two bases with his team trailing by 11 runs.

But when he scored, Morgan stared into the Marlins' dugout, and he made expressions to the crowd as he entered his dugout.

"That definitely upset people," Sanchez said. "He did what he thought he needed to do, and we did the same. In baseball, you're going to have situations like that. It's not the first time, and it probably won't be the last time where situations like that happen in the game. It's the bad part of the game."

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