Dodgers RHP Brad Penny was suspended five games and fined an undisclosed amount by Major League Baseball yesterday for his run-in with an umpire during last Thursday's game against the Giants.
Penny was ejected by plate umpire Rob Drake after throwing his helmet while returning to the dugout following a play at first base. Penny then had to be held back by third base coach Jim Lett and bench coach Glenn Hoffman before leaving the field.
The suspension is scheduled to begin today, though he will remain eligible to pitch if he appeals the penalty.
* TROPHY TROUBLES: A bankrupt club has agreed to return the 1979 World Series trophy to the Pirates if the team helps the group sell the rest of its memorabilia.
The Pirates and the former Allegheny Club reached a deal Tuesday regarding the ownership of the trophy, now on loan to the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum at the Sen. John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center.
But the club's creditors and a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge must approve the deal before it can move forward.
The Allegheny Club operated a restaurant at the Pirates' former home, Three Rivers Stadium. The club declared bankruptcy in 2002. It has since merged with the HYP Pittsburgh Club and now is known as The Allegheny HYP Club.
The Allegheny HYP Club wanted to sell the trophy and other memorabilia to satisfy debts of the former Allegheny Club.
But the Pirates maintained the trophy and memorabilia belong to the team and that the items were only on loan to the Allegheny Club.
* IMPRESSIVE DUKE: Rookie Pirates LHP Zach Duke, who was pitching in Class A at this time last year, continues to impress people in the big leagues.
None other than Greg Maddux has heaped praise upon the 6-foot-2, 212-pound Clifton, Tex., native who doesn't throw 95 mph, yet seems to have what it takes to win.
"I saw a good fastball, change-up and curveball," said the Cubs' Maddux, who lost, 3-0, to Duke last weekend. "Who cares about the other stuff? There's a lot of guys with poise who can't throw. He can throw."
Duke, a 20th-round draft choice in 2001, is 3-0 with a 0.93 ERA in five starts with eight walks and 26 strikeouts in 29 innings. Overall, he has a 46-17 professional record.
-- From News Services