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springer and garner get suspensions

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  • springer and garner get suspensions

    Barry Bonds had no reaction Friday to the four-day suspension and fine handed to Astros reliever Russ Springer for drilling Bonds in Houston on Tuesday night. As Bonds headed to the cage for batting practice, he said, "I didn't know it happened."

    Word of the suspension traveled through the clubhouse, however. Astros manager Phil Garner also drew a one-game suspension and a fine for the incident in the fifth inning of a 14-3 Giants victory. Springer threw a pitch behind Bonds. Home-plate umpire Joe West warned both teams, but Springer threw four more tight pitches, the last one hitting Bonds on the right shoulder.

    Four games is the customary suspension for relievers. More telling is the one game that baseball disciplinarian Bob Watson gave Garner. Watson has discretion not to punish a manager and did not suspend Felipe Alou last month when Matt Morris was ejected for a retaliatory hit batsman.

    Watson would not comment on the Springer and Garner suspensions when contacted by The Chronicle. A source familiar with Watson's thinking said Springer's actions were so blatant, particularly the four pitches after the warning, Watson felt Garner bore some responsibility even if he did not order the hit.

    Asked if the Giants believed Garner was behind the drilling, shortstop Omar Vizquel said, "Well, there was no reason for the hit. Every time you have something in doubt like that you always question if the manager ordered it or not. If the pitcher is trying to do his job of making the manager happy and making the team happy, (the manager) deserves to get suspended."

    Mark Sweeney suggested the punishment was appropriate, saying, "I've played with Russ Springer. I know him as a person. He's not malicious or anything, but it looked like it was on purpose. That stuff needs to be taken care of. The way we look at it, we had a good series with them. It's over with."

    Garner maintained Springer was merely trying to work Bonds inside. Springer, who remained in Louisiana following his wife's gallbladder surgery, will not appeal his suspension.
    -Henry Schulman, SF Chronicle Staff Writer, Saturday, 20 May 2006
    "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury

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