A Spotsylvania American Legion baseball team has been suspended for the rest of the season by league officials who allege misconduct by the team's players, fans and an assistant coach.
The American Legion 16th District, which includes 16 teams from the Shenandoah Valley and the Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia areas, last week told Spotsylvania Post 320 Coach Danny Mastin that his team's season was over. District 16 Commissioner Danny Goolsby cited profanity by Post 320 players and coaches, several ejections of players, and "out of control" fans at home games, Mastin said.
Goolsby declined to comment yesterday. Bob Netherland, the baseball commissioner for Virginia's American Legion teams, said the team would be allowed to play in District 16 next season, but there is a chance the assistant coach -- whom he declined to name -- and certain players would be prohibited from participating in the future.
Netherland said a majority of teams in the district had expressed concern to Goolsby about the conduct of the Post 320 team.
"This is not against [Post 320]," Netherland said. "This post has had a team for years. You can't blame the post for the actions of a few. . . . It's a very unfortunate thing and we've got to put a stop to it."
Mastin, who has coached the team for four years, called the suspension unwarranted and said he already had removed two players from his team who "weren't playing by my rules."
Mastin said he had one player ejected in a July 5 game against Stafford Post 290 for cursing at an umpire, and another was ejected in an earlier game against Fredericksburg Post 55 for stepping out of the batter's box while batting.
"We were railroaded," Mastin said. ". . . I haven't had a chance yet to defend our team."
District 16's regular season ends today. Post 320 was 6-8 when it was suspended and had little chance of making the postseason.