Three suspended in Yankees-Rays fracas

March 14, 2008 at 2:58 PM
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NEW YORK, March 14 (UPI) -- New York Yankees' Shelley Duncan and Melky Cabrera and Tampa Bay's Jonny Gomes were all suspended for their actions in a bench-clearing incident this week.

Yankees Duncan and Cabrera were suspended for three games and the Rays' Gomes' suspension was set at two games by Major-League baseball officials. The suspensions are to begin Opening Day, unless the decisions are appealed.

In addition all three players, New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi and coaches Kevin Long and Bobby Meacham were fined.

MLB Vice President Bob Watson said Duncan started Wednesday's incident with a hard, spikes-high slide into Tampa Bay's Akinori Iwamura. Watson called the slide "violent and reckless."

Gomes rushed in from right field and hit Duncan in the back and both benches emptied. Cabrera was suspended for what were described as violent and aggressive actions during the incident.

The incident seemed to stem from a play last week when Tampa Bay's Elliot Johnson ran into Yankees' catcher Francisco Cervelli on a play at the plate. Cervelli suffered a broken wrist on the play, which the Yankees said was unnecessary in a spring training game.

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