MLB suspends Victorino, no suspension for Giants

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MLB suspends Victorino, no suspension for Giants

Aug. 8f, 2011
GIANTS PAGE GIANTSVIDEO

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Philadelphia Phillies center fielder Shane Victorino is appealing a three-game suspension imposed Monday for his part in a weekend brawl at San Francisco.A pair of Giants players who expected one-game suspensions only received fines after playing key roles in the benches-clearing brawl between NL division leaders Friday night. Nobody was injured.Major League Baseball also fined Victorino an undisclosed amount. Victorino declined to address the suspension Monday night as the NL East-leading Phillies opened a three-game series at Dodger Stadium.Phillies third baseman Placido Polanco, Giants pitcher Ramon Ramirez and catcher Eli Whiteside were fined as well. Victorino, Ramirez and Whiteside were ejected."Victorino's aggressive actions prolonged the bench-clearing incident between the Clubs," the commissioner's office said in announcing the penalties.Victorino can continue to play until the appeal process is complete.Philadelphia was eliminated by San Francisco in six games last fall in the NL championship series. The Giants went on to win the franchise's first World Series title since moving West in 1958."I thought it was well done," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said of MLB's decisions. "And I'm not saying that because we didn't have any suspensions. It was pretty clean out there."The trouble broke out Friday night in the sixth inning after Ramirez hit Victorino in the lower back with a pitch, moments after Jimmy Rollins stole second with a six-run lead - a move Giants outfielder Carlos Beltran criticized afterward. Victorino began walking toward the mound as the benches cleared. Victorino later pushed plate umpire Mike Muchlinski trying to get back into the fracas.Victorino was held back by Giants bench coach Ron Wotus and Phillies hitting coach Greg Gross, then also escaped the grasp of manager Charlie Manuel. Polanco said afterward he was trying to protect Victorino.Victorino and Manuel thought Ramirez plunked the center fielder on purpose, something Ramirez denied Monday in his first comments about the brawl. He did expect to receive a one-game suspension.Whiteside tackled Polanco in the skirmish after Polanco came charging in from second base."They were the ones that provoked it," Manuel said Monday. "Vic probably felt like he had to stand up for himself. Usually when you get into things like that on the field, and you get into a little pushing and fighting, whatever you want to call it, somebody gets suspended. And when you get one of your front-line players suspended, it hurts the team or course because of the games they miss. But it's good that it was just one guy."Neither Ramirez nor Whiteside knew the amount of their fines.Ramirez said he figured he would be suspended for at least one game based on the perception that he had plunked Victorino on purpose."I didn't try to hit him," Ramirez said before the Giants opened a three-game series against the Pirates. "It's a surprise (not to be fined). I was waiting for a suspension. They thought it was on purpose but it wasn't. Now, it's important to focus on pitching. I want to help the team win games."Whiteside, a former football player, said he has long been taught to protect the pitcher - and that's all he had in mind when he saw Polanco coming and began bouncing around to defend Ramirez."That was my intention, to go protect Ramon," Whiteside said. "I'm happy with the outcome. A lot of guys are getting suspended for things like that. I thought I might get a game. I'm happy not to miss any time. I felt like I didn't take a swing at anybody. I didn't throw any punches."

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

Instant Analysis: Five takeaways from A's loss despite five home runs

BOX SCORE

Hit five home runs, and a team has to like its chances of winning.

The A’s simply couldn’t keep up with the Houston Astros’ bats, however, in an 11-8 loss Wednesday night that snapped Oakland’s four-game winning streak. Khris Davis went deep twice, and Ryon Healy, Jed Lowrie and Matt Olson all went deep as the A’s set their season high for home runs.

But Houston racked up 17 hits against Jesse Hahn (3-6) and four relievers and evened this three-game series at a game apiece. It was the second time Hahn has gotten knocked around by Houston inside of a week.

The A’s took an early lead, 5-4, in the third on the second of Davis’ two homers, part of a four-run rally for Oakland. But the Astros answered right back with five runs in the bottom half, and the A’s never recovered from that momentum swing.

Hahn’s struggles continue: Hahn was trying to rebound after the Astros hung nine earned runs on him last Thursday at the Coliseum. Things didn’t improve Wednesday at Minute Maid Park, as the right-hander lasted just two-plus innings and allowed six runs on nine hits. Is this a case of one team simply having Hahn’s number or do the A’s make a move and try someone else in the rotation? It bears watching.

Krush Davis x 2: It was apparent early this would be a slugfest, with Khris Davis homering twice within the first three innings as the A’s tried to keep pace. He led off the second with a shot to left field, then came back with a three-run blast to left in the third that put Oakland up 5-4. The homers were his team-leading 20th and 21st.

Reddick-ulous night: Josh Reddick filled up the stat sheet against his old team in every way imaginable. He went 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs, and twice caught the A’s by surprise by stealing third base. For good measure, he turned in an excellent running catch in right field to rob Yonder Alonso.

Strange offensive night: What to make of this night offensively for the A’s? They hit a season-high five homers but also struck out a whopping 17 times. No matter … you can’t hang this one on the offense, because …

The pitching staff just couldn’t hold things down: Josh Smith was called upon to hold down the fort after Hahn departed in the third, but Smith was tagged for three runs on four hits. Daniel Coulombe and John Axford also got touched for runs. Rookie Michael Brady did turn in 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

Cubs outfielder vows he didn't give Trump the middle finger at White House

WASHINGTON – Albert Almora Jr. didn’t use Wednesday’s Oval Office photo op as a subtle form of political protest, but it did sort of look like the Cubs outfielder gave President Donald Trump the middle finger, at least from that angle in an image that went viral on Twitter.    

“There was two fingers! Look closely, there was two fingers!” a veteran player yelled across the room as reporters gathered around Almora’s locker inside the visiting clubhouse at Nationals Park. 

“Guys were giving me a hard time about it,” Almora said, “but I pointed out the second finger. We’re all good.”

In another White House visit that didn’t look nearly as unofficial or informal as the Cubs said it would be, one snapshot became Almora with part of his left hand in his pocket. Almora stood near Kris Bryant – who held a 45 Wrigley Field scoreboard panel – and Trump at his desk with the World Series trophy.

“Obviously, it’s unfortunate,” Almora said with a laugh. “I’m getting ready to take a picture and I’m posing there. But you guys know that I would never do that to the president of the United States. 

“I respect everybody. It is what it is. We laugh about it now, but there’s definitely two fingers out there.”

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