NL Notebook

Mets' Lo Duca Suspended Two Games

Paul Lo Duca, with umpire Ed Montague, threw a tantrum aimed at ump Marvin Hudson.
Paul Lo Duca, with umpire Ed Montague, threw a tantrum aimed at ump Marvin Hudson. (By Ed Betz -- Associated Press)

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Mets C Paul Lo Duca was suspended for two games and fined $2,000 yesterday after a weekend tantrum aimed at umpire Marvin Hudson.

Lo Duca appealed the penalty and cannot be disciplined until after a hearing is held. He was in the starting lineup for last night's game against St. Louis at Shea Stadium.

Lo Duca said it was the first suspension of his career. He said he wasn't exactly sure how the appeal process worked, and wanted to play this weekend against Philadelphia.

Lo Duca was ejected in the sixth inning of the Mets' 1-0 victory over Oakland on Saturday night after a called strike made the count against him 0-2.

His eyes bulging, Lo Duca was restrained by Mets Manager Willie Randolph. When Lo Duca walked to the dugout, he threw his helmet, bat and elbow guard toward first base. Once he reached the bench, Lo Duca tossed his shin guards into foul territory and his chest protector, which got hung up on the dugout railing.

ยท JOHNSON'S BACK?: One week after being found to have a herniated disk, LHP Randy Johnson looked sharp in a simulated game yesterday and could be close to returning to the Diamondbacks' starting rotation.

Johnson, on the disabled list since June 11, threw 41 pitches over two innings to teammates Jeff DaVanon and Augie Ojeda before the Diamondbacks played the Dodgers.

Manager Bob Melvin wouldn't commit to a date for Johnson's return until he sees how the back responds today. If Johnson feels good, he could start against the Dodgers in the finale of their four-game series Thursday and bump struggling RHP Livan Hernandez.

-- From News Services


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