MINNEAPOLIS, MAY 30 -- Baltimore Orioles Manager Frank Robinson was suspended for three games today by American League President Bobby Brown in connection with Robinson's ejection from Monday's game here against the Minnesota Twins. Robinson has appealed and will have a hearing Thursday afternoon at the AL office in New York.
Robinson was ejected by home plate umpire Drew Coble after saying Twins Manager Tom Kelly should have been charged with a trip to the mound when, after making a pitching change, Kelly started toward the baseline, turned, took a couple of steps back toward the mound and said something to catcher Junior Ortiz. Ortiz then went to the mound as Kelly crossed the line and returned to the dugout.
When Coble ejected Robinson, the two became engaged in a heated argument during which they exchanged bumps. After the game, Robinson said Coble was a "liar," a "no-good human being" and "prejudiced" against him.
In a statement released by the league office, Brown said Robinson was being suspended for "physical contact with an umpire, use of abusive language, delay of the game and inappropriate postgame remarks to the press."
Robinson, who said Tuesday he expected to be fined but not suspended, said before tonight's game his initial reaction to Brown's decision was "disbelief, really."
He would not say whether he also had been fined -- a penalty the league office does not announce -- but he did say he does not expect his appeal to succeed. The suspension, as it now stands, would start Friday; there was no indication who would assume managerial duties. When Robinson was out with back problems in 1988, coach Elrod Hendricks took over.
Asked whether he had any faith in the appeal system, Robinson said "not the way it operates, not the way it is set up."
Brown has "already made a judgment," Robinson said. He explained he is appealing so he can read the umpiring crew's report on the incident, hear what Brown has to say, tell his side of the story and discuss a few other things.
"I want to comment on things that have been bothering me," Robinson said. He declined to elaborate, saying: "Right now I just don't think it's appropriate to discuss in the press what I think about umpires and the situation here. I don't think it would do me any good."
But he added: "I'll expand on how I feel after tomorrow's hearing. I'll have my say, listen to what they have to say and I'll say what I think."
Robinson threatened to resign as Orioles manager just before last season's all-star break because he said he was frustrated by AL umpires. The threat came in the wake of a 7-2 loss July 9 in Milwaukee during which umpire John Shulock ruled base runner Phil Bradley had interfered with Brewers second baseman Jim Gantner, resulting in a double play. Hitting coach Tom McCraw subsequently added to the controversy by raising the issue of racism, comments he later retracted.
Robinson's ejection was the fifth since he became Orioles manager in 1988. The only umpire to eject him twice during that time is Coble, who now has ejected three Orioles since Aug. 7. He ejected shortstop Cal Ripken that day and outfielder Joe Orsulak nine days ago.
Orioles Notes: Pitcher Jay Tibbs's father died this morning in Birmingham. Robinson said he told Tibbs to "take the time you need to do what you have to do and handle everything," but that Tibbs had told General Manager Roland Hemond he planned to rejoin the club Sunday in New York, where it will be completing a three-game series against the Yankees. If that is the case, Tibbs could pitch against the Brewers in Milwaukee on Tuesday, pitching coach Al Jackson said.