10/05/2003 6:38 PM ET
Fick fined for actions, comments
ATLANTA -- Major League Baseball fined Braves first baseman
Robert Fick $25,000 on Sunday for his
"actions during and comments after" Atlanta's 6-4 win over the
Cubs at Wrigley Field on Saturday night.
By Matthew Leach and Mark Bowman / MLB.com
Fick was also fined an undisclosed amount by the Braves.
Pinch hitting for pitcher Jaret Wright to lead off the eighth
inning of Game 4 of the National League Division Series, Fick
attempted to bunt for a base hit. Cubs pitcher Kyle Farnsworth
fielded the ball and threw to Eric Karros, and the throw beat
Fick to the bag.
Fick, however, threw up his left arm and
struck Karros on the arm. The ball came loose and the glove
came off Karros' hand, but Fick was ruled out because of his
interference with Karros.
"I was running down the line and really didn't know where the ball was," Fick said on Sunday evening. "I wasn't trying to hurt Eric. I like Eric and I plan on apologizing to him."
Karros was sore on Saturday, and still felt some pain on
Sunday. But he remained in the game and hit a home run in his
next at-bat. He was back in the Chicago lineup for Sunday's
deciding Game 5, playing first base against lefty Mike
Hampton. Fick, 0-for-11 in the series, was replaced in
Atlanta's lineup by Julio Franco for a second straight day.
"I'm not even going to engage with him at all," Karros said
Sunday. "That play speaks for itself. My concern is out on the
field, and I'm looking forward to tonight's game."
Fick's comments and actions didn't sit well with the Cubs.
"I'm not happy," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said at his pregame
news conference on Sunday. "Whatever [MLB] did, I think it's
appropriate. I had MLB take some action against me a couple
times this year. They're doing their job. That's what they're
there for, to police the game and make sure things are played
and run properly."
Fick was obviously upset with the stiff penalty levied by Major League Baseball and believes the significance may have to do with separate fights he was involved in during the 2000 and '01 seasons.
"I guess this is what happens when you get in trouble for two brawls you didn't even start," Fick said.
While Braves general manager John Scuerholz stated he doesn't discuss team business matters, manager Bobby Cox confirmed that the team, too, had indeed fined Fick.
"I fined him and told him it was the wrong thing to do," Cox said. "He got caught up in the moment. He kept waiting for the ball to be thrown. He didn't know what was happening. All of the sudden [Karros'] arm went up and he instinctively reacted. He wasn't trying to hurt Eric and I'm glad he didn't."
During Sunday's Game 5 matchup against Kerry Wood, Cox opted to utilize the right-handed-hitting Julio Franco at first base instead of Fick, who hit .195 (28-for-128) in the final two months of the regular season and has gone hitless in 11 at-bats against the Cubs during this series.
Matthew Leach is a reporter for MLB.com. Mark Bowman and Carrie Muskat contributed to this report. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.