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06/05/08 9:11 PM ET
Kemp suspended for role in fracas
Dodgers outfielder appealing MLB's four-game levy
By Ken Gurnick and Michael Schwartz / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was suspended four games and fined an undisclosed sum on Thursday for his role in an on-field altercation in Tuesday night's game with Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba, who was suspended three games and also fined. Kemp has decided to appeal the suspension and was in the lineup hitting second and playing center field on Thursday against the Cubs. "I guess I felt it was just as much his fault as it is my fault," Kemp said. "I don't feel like I should get more, but it's not my decision. That's why I'm appealing." Kemp was disciplined for "fighting and inciting the on-field incident," according to a statement from Bob Watson, MLB's vice president for on-field operations. Torrealba was disciplined for "fighting." The incident occurred when Kemp struck out on a pitch in the dirt at the end of the bottom of the eighth inning. Moving to retrieve the loose ball, Torrealba collided with Kemp. In the process, Torrealba moved Kemp aside with his glove. Kemp shoved Torrealba in the torso, and the catcher responded by shoving the ball into Kemp's neck. Kemp then wrestled Torrealba to the ground as the benches and bullpens emptied. Both players were ejected. Kemp has been the Dodgers' starting center fielder in the absence of Andruw Jones, who underwent knee surgery. Juan Pierre would likely move back to center while Kemp serves the suspension. Kemp has started Los Angeles' last 17 games and leads the team in hits, doubles and multihit games while ranking second behind Pierre in steals entering Thursday. "I'm letting my team down," Kemp said. "Four games, that's a lot of games. I'm just trying to not get that many games suspended, so I can get back on the field and help my team win." The Dodgers will be down to three natural outfielders when Kemp serves the suspension -- Pierre, Andre Ethier and Delwyn Young. Manager Joe Torre said utility player Terry Tiffee would be "an insurance policy for us" in the outfield and that infielder Luis Maza has played there before as well. "We just have to figure out when he's going to serve and try to figure out if there's something we can do to offset it," Torre said.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. Michael Schwartz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.