N E W Y O R K, Oct. 24, 2000 -- New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens was fined$50,000 today for throwing the jagged barrel of a shattered battoward New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza in Game 2 of the WorldSeries.
Umpires in Sunday night’s game concluded that Clemens did notdeliberately throw the bat at the catcher, who had fouled off apitch and trotted a few steps toward first base.
“He just picked up the bat and winged it,” umpire crew chiefEd Montague said. “It was just an emotional deal that built overthe months.”
Clemens was notejected and pitched eight shutout innings in the Yankees’ 6-5 winover the Mets.
However, Frank Robinson, the vice president of thecommissioner’s office in charge of discipline, said today thatClemens engaged in “inappropriate conduct.”
Robinson did not disclose the reasoning for his decision or theamount of the fine, but two baseball officials, speaking oncondition of anonymity, said the fine was $50,000.
Clemens vs. Piazza
Game 2 was the first time the two players had faced eachother since July 8, when Clemens hit Piazza in the helmet with apitch.
After the game, Clemens said the whole thing was accidental andthat he was being emotional.
“This is the World Series, it shouldn’t overshadow what we’retrying to do,” Clemens said.
The players’ union can appeal Robinson’s decision to PaulBeeston, baseball’s chief operating officer.
“My understanding is Roger wants to put the matter off untilafter the World Series,” said Gene Orza, the union’s No. 2official.
Mets general manager Steve Phillips said he thought the matterhad been appropriately handled. “If they had come back and saidthey didn’t want to do anything, that’s fine, too,” he said. “It wouldn’t have broken our hearts either way.”
Said Piazza: “This is a situation that has taken prominenceover the ballgame, which is unfortunate. But that’s the way itis.”
Past Behavior Was Considered
Robinson began telephoning executives from theYankees and Mets on Monday and viewing videotapes, said Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations in thecommissioner’s office.
“We’re reviewing the situation and will take any appropriateaction, if necessary,” Alderson said Monday. “Whatever pattern ofbehavior that exists or doesn’t exist will be part of the review.
“There’s a perception of a pattern of behavior in the minds ofthe public that has to be taken into account.”
In the past, hitters have been penalized for throwing bats atpitchers, most notably Oakland’s Bert Campaneris. He was suspendedfor the rest of the American League playoffs in 1972 after throwinghis bat at Detroit pitcher Lerrin LaGrow, who had hit him on anankle with a pitch.
Phillips, the Mets general manager, said he didn’t think Clemensdeliberately threw the bat fragment at his catcher.
“I understand why they didn’t eject him, I really do,”Phillips said.
When Clemens was ejected in the 1990 AL playoffs by umpire TerryCooney, who thought the pitcher was cursing at him, Clemens wassuspended for five games and fined $10,000. A final rulingafter two appeals was not made until the following April 26.