Red Sox LHP David Wells was suspended for six games for making contact with two umpires. Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said Wells would appeal, allowing him to start last night's game against the Yankees.
"I just want to make sure it gets done properly because he's pitching tonight," Francona told reporters who filed back into his office when the suspension was announced about 21/2 hours before game time. "I kind of had an idea that it was coming."
A few minutes earlier, Wells sat at his locker reading a magazine. Asked if he had been suspended, he said, "Get away from me, man. I'm pitching tonight."
After taking a phone call, Francona went out to talk to Wells, who did not react to the news. Francona said he left the pitcher a message earlier in the afternoon, but Wells did not check his voice mail.
Wells was ejected in the seventh inning by Chris Guccione in a 6-4 win over the Blue Jays at Fenway Park on July 2. The pitcher turned his back to home plate and waved his glove in apparent disgust after allowing a single to Shea Hillenbrand.
After being thrown out, Wells walked toward Guccione and the pair screamed at each other before they were separated. 1B Kevin Millar and umpire Angel Hernandez came over to try to help settle things down, and Wells apparently made contact with Hernandez as well.
Wells said after the game that he uttered a profanity about home plate umpire Larry Poncino, who was walking back to the plate.
* BETANCOURT OUT TO CLEAR NAME: Indians RHP Rafael Betancourt said that while he accepts punishment for violating baseball's drug policy he will continue his appeal to get the word "steroids" dropped from the official record.
The reliever was suspended July 8 for 10 days after testing positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance.
"I don't care about the suspension or the money they took," Betancourt said. "Just clear my name from that word."
Betancourt, on the disabled list since June 30 with a shoulder injury, does not dispute testing positive, though he says he has not been told exactly what substance was detected during a mid-May test.
Betancourt equated the drug to Americans taking Advil or Tylenol. He said that once he got to spring training, he took medicine only prescribed by the Indians.
-- From News Services