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Friday, June 08, 2007

Astros' Berkman earned two-game suspension for onfield outburst

Associated Press
Updated: June 8, 2007, 7:43 PM ET

HOUSTON -- Astros first baseman Lance Berkman was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed sum Friday, three days after he was ejected against Colorado and tossed his batting glove and equipment bag onto the field.

The suspension by Major League Baseball was to have begun Friday night against the Chicago White Sox. Berkman, however, is appealing the decision and was to play Friday.

"I think it's just a normal course of action so we can have a little bit more time to look at all of our options," Berkman said Friday in Chicago.
"It just gives everybody a little more time to make a decision as to whether it best behooves the club to go ahead and serve the suspension or to try to fight it with an appeal if we think we have a good chance of winning."

Berkman was ejected Tuesday night in the eighth inning after arguing a third strike. He then threw his glove and bag onto the field from the dugout.

He violated rules by returning in the ninth inning when the benches emptied after the Rockies' Manny Corpas hit Houston's Carlos Lee with a pitch. The Astros won 4-1.

"The suspension is automatic. But I'm not outraged by it, other than I think the whole incident is unfortunate because I don't feel I did anything to deserve to be thrown out of the game in the first place," said Berkman.

"Which means I should have been able to come back out on the field because I would never have been out of the game. I still don't know why he threw me out of the game. I didn't charge over there until after he gave me the heave-ho."

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

Cardinals Sign Closer Troy Percival

By David

First it was starting pitcher Roger Clemens who attempted to make a comeback and now it's 37-year old reliever Troy Percival who signed a minor-league contract today with the St.Louis Cardinals.

During his 11-year career Percival racked up 324 saves, while posting an impressive 3.10 E.R.A. After retiring during the middle of the 2005 season due to arm injuries, the future Hall of Famer signed on to become a special assignment pitching instructor with the Angels.

He spent ten successful seasons with Anaheim before he signed with Detroit before the '05 season. His addition to a struggling St.Louis team will provide an instant boost in both the clubhouse and on the field.

Fortunately, he's one of the good guys in the game who has worked extremely diligently to get the point where he is in his career. Currently, he ranks 12th on the all-time saves list and he'll look to add onto that number during his time in the gateway city.

Surprisingly, the one strength of the Cards team this year has been their bullpen that ranks sixth in MLB with a 3.41 E.R.A. I figure that Percival was enticed by the fact that he has the opportunity to play with Albert Pujols and learn from people like Dave Duncan and Tony La Russa.

The only thing that scared me when I read about the signing was that Percival has never pitched in the NL and he will quickly have to adapt to facing different hitters.

It has been rumored for several weeks that Percival was ready to return from retirement, but the reigning World Series champions were not among the list of choices. Initially, the Philadelphia Phillies and Florida Marlins were mentioned as teams he was interested in.

He will report to triple AAA Memphis to begin his comeback return and in the coming weeks he will be making an impact on the major league level.

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