David Ortiz appeals 4-game suspension

Updated: July 15, 2011, 11:07 PM ET
ESPNBoston.com

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Red Sox slugger David Ortiz is appealing the four-game suspension he received for his part in Boston's bench-clearing melee with the Baltimore Orioles last week.

He was in the lineup against the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night as the designated hitter.

Ortiz was suspended Thursday, along with Orioles pitchers Kevin Gregg and Mike Gonzalez and Baltimore manager Buck Showalter. He declined to specifically address his suspension.

"After I go through the whole thing (I can address it)," Ortiz said. "I can't really talk about it now. But at one point I will. I'll tell you what I was thinking. I'll tell you what I thought was right."

Ortiz has not been told when the appeal will heard.

"Hopefully soon," Ortiz said. "We'll see."

Ortiz jokingly said he's hoping it will be reduced to "zero games."

"I expect something," he said. "But we'll see what's up."

Gregg and Gonzalez said Thursday they would appeal their suspensions that followed the fight on July 8. The Red Sox didn't play Thursday, and Boston manager Terry Francona said Ortiz was excused from the team's workout in Florida to give him an extra day to recover from the All-Star Game.

The skirmish started when Gregg threw two inside pitches to Ortiz. The DH started toward the mound after the second, and players from both benches and bullpens trotted onto the field, but nothing further developed.

Gregg then got Ortiz to pop out and shouted something to the Boston slugger, who charged and met Gregg about halfway between the mound and first base line. Umpire Mike Estabrook ejected Gregg and Ortiz.

Gregg said he was merely protecting himself and questioned the decision to suspend him for the same number of games as Ortiz.

Ortiz apologized the next day, but in the series finale on July 10 Gonzalez threw a pitch behind Ortiz. Gonzalez and Showalter immediately were ejected.

"It's the kind of situation that you don't want to be involved with," Ortiz said. "It's not what the fans come to watch. Definitely, you feel embarrassed."

The Red Sox and Orioles open a three-game series Monday night in Baltimore, and Ortiz is hopeful there will be no carryover.

"Not from my side, you know what I'm saying?" Ortiz said. "This all happened already. Major League Baseball is always doing the right thing to make sure we don't get into that too much. There's going to be some suspensions, some fines, and hopefully everybody turns the page."

"There's one thing that I can control ... David Ortiz," he added. "Can't control anything else."

Red Sox manager Terry Francona said he's not concerned with anything carrying over either.

"I wasn't concerned last week," Francona said. "Sometimes things happen. You don't want to get carried away with what happened because we're trying to win the game."

Information from ESPNBoston.com's Joe McDonald and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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