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Phillies' Smith, Ruiz suspended06/18/2007 11:03 PM ET
By Ken Mandel / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Phillies third-base coach Steve Smith, catcher Carlos Ruiz and manager Charlie Manuel were punished for their actions in Sunday's loss to the Tigers.
Smith was suspended for three games and Ruiz was suspended for one game, with each paying a $1,000 fine. Manuel wasn't suspended, but he was fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball. Ruiz is appealing his suspension and started Monday's game against the Indians. Coaches can't appeal, so Jimy Williams coached third on Monday.
Smith and Ruiz were ejected in the top of the eighth inning of Philadelpha's loss on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park. Bob Watson, vice president of on-field operations for Major League Baseball, made the disciplinary announcement. Smith was suspended for "inappropriate behavior," while Ruiz made contact with umpire Bill Welke during an incident.
"[Welke] said I was pushing him, but I never got my arm up," Ruiz said. "I was just asking, 'Where was that pitch?'"
As for Smith, he feels the punishment is a bit extreme.
"Do I think [three games is] harsh? Yeah," Smith said. "They explained it was because I came out on the field. That's one day. The other two days are for my history. I've been thrown out a few times over the years."
With the Rangers last season, Smith was suspended for five games for arguing a call with umpire Brian O'Nora. Mark Teixeira was called out on a play at the plate, and Smith ran in to argue, inadvertently spitting some chewing tobacco in O'Nora's eye.
Though unintentional, Smith received a five-game suspension. The three games Smith got for Sunday's incident were equal to the punishment levied to Cubs hitting coach Gerald Perry, who got into an altercation during Saturday's game between the Cubs and Padres.
Smith feels he was misunderstood. He believes that umpires consider the suggestion of disrespect objectionable and subject to ejection.
"They make it sound coaches just have to sit there and take it," Smith said. "When an umpire is cursing me out, and all I said was, 'We got it,' and he threw me out. He couldn't wait for me to even move. You can't breathe."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.