10/10/2002 6:38 pm ET
Baker, La Russa fined for fracas
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
ST. LOUIS -- San Francisco manager Dusty Baker and St. Louis manager Tony La Russa have been fined as a result of a bench-clearing incident during Game 1 of the National League Championship Series Wednesday night at Busch Stadium.
"I think (San Francisco's Kenny) Lofton should pay both fines," La Russa said.
The decision was handed down by Bob Watson, baseball's vice president for on-field operations. Watson, who attended the game with Ralph Nelson, MLB's vice president in charge of umpires, was sitting in the front row when Lofton exchanged words with St. Louis pitcher Mike Crudale and Cardinals catcher Mike Matheny after Crudale's neck-high fastball pushed Lofton off the plate with two outs in the fifth and San Francisco leading 7-1. Lofton had homered on his previous at-bat and briefly admired the shot.
"It was obvious in that bench-clearing situation there were some things that definitely violated the rules that we have and those things were addressed with both organizations," Watson said. "I don't know how or when they want to release this information to the public. I'm the bad guy, I just issue what is going to be done."
San Francisco general manager Brian Sabean confirmed Baker had been fined and that the penalty also included a stipulation that any player not on the active roster cannot remain in the dugout during the NLCS.
When asked if he agreed with Lofton's actions, Sabean replied: "I agree with what Kenny said last night. This is the playoffs, you savor the moment, you get caught up in the moment."
The ruling means players not eligible for the NLCS such as San Francisco outfielder Marvin Benard and St. Louis pitcher Luther Hackman cannot remain on the bench during games.
"I'm getting punished for somebody else's crime," Benard said. "I can't be in the dugout because guys chose to go out there and they chose to go out there on their own."
Both managers were fined a reported $500.
Jim Molony is a reporter for MLB.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. MLB reporters Josh Rawitch and Matthew Leach contributed to this report. This article was not sujbect to approval by Major League Baseball.