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Eight players disciplined for roles in melee

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NEW YORK -- Alex Rodriguez and Jason Varitek were suspended for four games apiece and fined Thursday, and six other players were punished for their roles in a bench-clearing brawl last week between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.

Yankees pitcher Tanyon Sturtze and Red Sox outfielders Gabe Kapler and Trot Nixon were suspended for three games and fined by Bob Watson, major league baseball's vice president of on-field operations. Yankees outfielder Kenny Lofton, Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling and Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz were fined.

Rodriguez, the Yankees' All-Star third baseman, and Sturtze are appealing their suspensions. It wasn't immediately known if Boston's suspended players will appeal.

The fight broke out in the top of the third inning of the AL East rivals' game at Fenway Park on Saturday after Bronson Arroyo hit Rodriguez with a pitch.

Rodriguez stared down Arroyo as he started walking toward first. Varitek, still wearing his catcher's mask, got between them as the AL MVP walked up the baseline. After some jawing, Veritek pushed Rodriguez, and as they began wrestling, both teams' dugouts and bullpens emptied.

Several scrums erupted, with Kapler battling Sturtze, soon joined by Nixon and Ortiz. Sturtze was bleeding from the left ear. Varitek and Rodriguez were ejected from the game by plate umpire Bruce Froemming, as were Lofton and Kapler.

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Suspending a pitcher for anything less than 5 games is silly...


however, I think the suspensions were fair. There was no discrimination of any player taken in the he said/she said nonsense. Everyone involved with whatever tussel got the same fine.

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