© 2006 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
08/18/06 1:07 AM ET
Notes: Suspensions handed down
Showalter, Padilla and Feldman disciplined by MLB
By T.R. Sullivan / MLB.com
DETROIT -- Vicente Padilla's next start has been pushed back two days, Don Wakamatsu has to match wits with Jim Leyland for four games and Scott Feldman is still with the big-league club for now. That was the fallout on Thursday, after the Rangers learned of their punishment from two days of beanballs and tussling with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Manager Buck Showalter received a four-game suspension, Padilla was suspended for five and Feldman got six games for their involvement in the incidents. All three were fined as well. No other Rangers were disciplined. "That was probably on the high end of what we were expecting," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. Showalter started his suspension immediately, which means he'll miss four games against the Detroit Tigers and Leyland, and Wakamatsu will again manage the team in his absence. He managed the Rangers for two games in July while Showalter was recovering from problems with dehydration. "We're in great hands," Showalter said. "Wak is going to manage in the big leagues some day and he manages with me every night. He's surrounded by experienced coaches. These things have a way of banding guys together." Padilla was suspended after hitting Vladimir Guerrero and Juan Rivera in Tuesday's game as well as throwing at Guerrero's head. He was ejected after the second hit by pitch, but he had already set the stage for what followed on Wednesday. The Angels retaliated in the eighth inning of Wednesday's 9-3 loss. Kevin Gregg hit Michael Young and Brendan Donnelly hit Freddy Guzman. Both were ejected but Feldman then hit Adam Kennedy in the ninth inning. Kennedy reacted by charging the mound and a bench-clearing fracas ensued. Angels manager Mike Scioscia was suspended for three games while Gregg, Donnelly and Kennedy were suspended for four games. Padilla declined the opportunity to appeal and began his suspension immediately. "I think he understands and regrets putting his team in this position," Daniels said. Padilla was supposed to pitch on Sunday against the Tigers but will be pushed back to Tuesday against the Devil Rays. Robinson Tejeda will be called up from Triple-A to make the start in place of Padilla on Sunday. Feldman's suspension is scheduled to begin after Padilla's is over on Monday. But Feldman could also appeal the suspension and try to delay it until September when the rosters expand to 40 players. Another possibility would be to option him to the Minor Leagues and recall him in September to serve his suspension at that time. Showalter officially has no right of appeal but Daniels informally spoke to Major League Baseball vice presidents John McHale and Bob Watson in the hopes of getting the suspension reduced. "It's unfortunate to be without your manager for that many number of days," Daniels said. "The folks at the MLB offices were good enough to hear our side of it. We'll know more tomorrow." From quarterback to defense: Mark DeRosa played quarterback at the University of Pennsylvania but impressed people by tackling Kennedy after he charged the mound and started mixing it up with Feldman. Maybe he learned to tackle defenders who intercepted his passes. "That's exactly what my dad said, " DeRosa said. "He said, 'All those picks in college came in handy.' Hey, I played some D in high school. I know how to wrap up." DeRosa was not punished for his role because his actions were perceived as an attempt to end the incident. "In my mind, I know Adam and I'm just trying to get him to the ground," DeRosa said. "Once I do that, that's it. I took him to the ground and said, 'Hey, it's me.' He said, 'We're all right.' "But I couldn't breath. Plus I have claustrophobia being in that pile, all those guys on me. I hate that. I also stuck my face in the grass. I don't know all those guys and it only takes one idiot to knee me in my face." Missing Kinsler: The Angels first tried to hit Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler but Gregg missed with a pitch behind his back. Kinsler must be hard to hit. White Sox rookie pitcher Sean Tracey missed him twice in June, drawing the wrath of manager Ozzie Guillen. "I'm not big enough," Kinsler said. "I need to gain some weight. That's my offseason goal, gain enough weight so I'll be big enough and they can't miss me." Eaton shines again: Overlooked on Wednesday was another strong start for Adam Eaton, who held the Angels to two runs in seven innings before the late-inning problems got started. Eaton is now 3-2 with a 3.86 ERA after five starts. One reason why he's doing well is he's keeping leadoff hitters off base. Eaton has pitched 23 1/3 innings and the leadoff hitter is 0-for-21 with two walks and a hit batter against him. "That's been a good focus of mine," Eaton said. "I think something like over 50 percent of the leadoff hitters who get on base end up scoring. Get him out and you can eliminate a lot of things the offense can do to manufacture runs." Briefly: Gary Matthews had an injection to relieve the stiffness in his neck and was back in the lineup on Thursday after missing one game. ... Carlos Lee had to come out of Wednesday's game after getting hit by the baseball in his left ribcage but was back in the lineup on Thursday. ... The Rangers have signed left-handed starting pitcher Eric Knott out of the Mexican League and assigned him to Triple-A Oklahoma. Coming up: Right-hander Kevin Millwood pitches for the Rangers at 6:05 p.m. CT on Friday against the Tigers at Comerica Park and he will be opposed by right-handed rookie Zach Miner.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.