MILWAUKEE, AUG. 5 -- Infielder Alan Wiggins was suspended indefinitely and sent home by the Baltimore Orioles today after a clubhouse scuffle with Manager Cal Ripken Sr.

Wiggins and Ripken had gone to the clubhouse after Wiggins and outfielder Jim Dwyer nearly came to blows during batting practice. Once in the clubhouse, Wiggins was heard telling Ripken Sr., "{Deleted} you, man."

Ripken Sr. said Wiggins also grabbed his shirt, which resulted in the suspension.

"I didn't suspend him for anything that happened on the field," Ripken Sr. said. "I suspended him for insubordination to me. I'm not going to let anyone grab hold of my shirt, and I'm not going to have anyone talking to me like that. I had no recourse but to suspend him. I have to have control over this ballclub."

Orioles General Manager Hank Peters supported the move, saying, "Based on what Cal has told me, I am fully supportive of what Cal has done."

Peters declined further comment, but the suspension almost surely ends Wiggins' tumultuous two-year career with the Orioles. He'll probably appeal the suspension but, even if he won reinstatement, would probably be released.

However, his salary is another matter. The Orioles certainly can't suspend him without pay based simply on the argument with Dwyer, but grabbing the manager's shirt solidifies their case.

Wiggins has a guaranteed contract that will pay him $700,000 this season and $800,000 the next.

The baseball staff favored releasing him three weeks ago, but the move was blocked by owner Edward Bennett Williams because of the money.

Wiggins and Ripken had argued Tuesday over Wiggins' failure to make an appointment for early batting practice. Wiggins then sought out reporters and told them about the argument.

"I must be doing something right here because Mr. Williams still wants me around," Wiggins said Tuesday. "It's clear he's the only one."

The latest incident began during batting practice today when Wiggins and Dwyer had to be separated. Wiggins said he made a remark about batting practice pitcher Sammy Snider, and "Dwyer came after me."

Dwyer said he became angry after Wiggins told Snider, "Hit him in the head."

"That's what he said," Dwyer said. "It wasn't just saying something. He left something out, and that's all I'm going to say about it."

Dwyer, with his hands grasping Wiggins' uniform near the neck, walked Wiggins around the batting cage.

"Don't punch me," Wiggins said over and over.

The two were separated by coaches Jimmy Williams and Elrod Hendricks and outfielder Larry Sheets. When Wiggins started to walk back around the cage "to get my bat," he was restrained and eventually wrestled into the side of the batting cage by Hendricks.

At one point, Wiggins screamed at Hendricks, "Everybody here is jumping on me."

He was then ushered into the clubhouse, where the argument with Ripken began. At one point, Wiggins approached reporters standing outside the clubhouse and yelled, "Did you see that? Did you see that? They set me up."

He then put on his street clothes and left County Stadium in tears, saying he was returning to Baltimore.

Wiggins said the argument began because Dwyer "didn't like the idea of me saying something about Sammy, but everybody talks that way during batting practice. That doesn't give him the right to grab me. I wasn't the aggressor.

"Rip came in the clubhouse and said, 'What did you do?' He'd made up his mind I was wrong. He didn't want to hear my side of it. {Dwyer} starts a fight with me, and I get suspended."

Asked about Wiggins ever returning to the Orioles, Ripken said. "I don't know. I have no idea about that."

Several players supported the action. Since he stopped playing two weeks ago, Wiggins has come close to fights with several teammates, and one player said, "He tried to pick a fight with me yesterday. He's been asking for it."