The commissioner's office has become well-acquainted with the Yankees' Gary Sheffield this season. Sheffield dodged disciplinary action for an altercation with a fan at Fenway Park in April, but Thursday he received a two-game suspension and a fine for his actions Sunday night, when he was ejected from a Yankees-Mets game.
That was not the only item on baseball's agenda regarding Sheffield. Commissioner Bud Selig, who was the owner of the Milwaukee Brewers during Sheffield's stormy tenure with them at the start of his career, could fine Sheffield for fiery comments he made Wednesday about possibly being traded.
Richard Levin, a spokesman for Major League Baseball, said Selig was aware of Sheffield's comments, in which he warned that he would be a problem for any team that traded for him. "It's been noted," Levin said.
Selig seems to be worried that Sheffield could set a precedent for other players by essentially blocking his team from trading him by promising to be unhappy. Sheffield admitted his comments were calculated for that purpose, though General Manager Brian Cashman said they delighted the Yankees.
"He's a guy who wants to stay here and be here, and I applaud that," Cashman said. "Sheff is more a part of the solution than any problem we have."
Rufus Williams, Sheffield's agent and business manager, said he did not think Sheffield's comments deserved Selig's attention. "I don't know what was said there that would be fineable," Williams said.
As for the Sunday incident, Sheffield never expected to be suspended for it. On Monday, he laughed when a reporter asked if he was worried that might happen.
Sheffield was called out at first base in the seventh inning on Sunday, and he slammed his helmet to the ground as he crossed the bag. Umpire C.B. Bucknor ejected him, infuriating Sheffield, who confronted Bucknor in anger but said later that he never made physical contact.
Sheffield appealed Thursday's punishment and will be allowed to continue playing until his appeal is heard.
Cashman said that he supported Sheffield and that Bucknor instigated the tirade. "You wish, at that moment in time, the umpire could just take a step back, turn his head and walk away," Cashman said.
The Yankees in general, and Sheffield in particular, were angry at the umpires throughout the series with the Mets. Cashman said there were "a lot of circumstances that led up" to the confrontation with Bucknor, and Williams agreed.
"Gary should not have been ejected, and I think a number of things took place that led to other things happening," Williams said. "It was a bad situation that was made worse, and it was not made worse by Gary."
Williams said that he had not spoken with baseball's disciplinarian, Bob Watson, but that Cashman had told him Sheffield was suspended for the "overzealous nature of his response" to being ejected. Watson did not return a phone call seeking comment.
Pedro Martinez won for the seventh time in his last eight decisions, and Jose Reyes drove in two runs with his Major League Baseball-leading ninth triple to lead the New York Mets over the Philadelphia Phillies 5-3 Thursday.
Reyes also turned an acrobatic double play in the eighth on Tomas Perez's grounder to second baseman Marlon Anderson.
Chris Woodward drove in two runs with a bases-loaded single as the Mets sent the slumping Phillies to their sixth loss in the last seven games. Philadelphia has lost 11 of 15 games following a 12-1 homestand.
Nationals 7, Pirates 5
In Washington, Vinny Castilla and Brian Schneider homered as Washington won again at RFK Stadium to complete a three-game sweep of Pittsburgh.
Chad Cordero wiggled out of a second-and-third, no-out jam in the ninth inning for his 25th straight save and 28th overall. He retired Ryan Doumit on a routine fly with the bases loaded for the final out.
Washington has won 15 of its last 16 home games and taken nine series in a row at RFK. The NL East leaders set a franchise record with 20 wins in June.
Brewers 10, Cubs 6
In Chicago, Carlos Lee homered twice, including a first-inning drive off Greg Maddux, and Milwaukee avoided a three-game sweep.
Lee, who also homered in the eighth off Michael Wuertz, has 22 homers and leads the major leagues with 72 RBIs.
Damian Miller also homered and had a go-ahead single for the Brewers, and Geoff Jenkins had three doubles.
Marlins 6, Braves 2
In Miami, Josh Beckett pitched six innings of one-hit ball in his return from the disabled list, and Miguel Cabrera and Juan Encarnacion homered to help Florida beat Atlanta in a game delayed nearly three hours by rain.
Beckett (8-5) was activated a few hours before the game; he hadn't thrown since June 14 because of the sixth blister problem of his major league career.
He summoned pitching coach Mark Wiley and a trainer, who examined the middle finger on his pitching hand, before starting the seventh. Wiley then motioned to the bullpen for rookie left-hander Scott Olsen, who was charged with both Atlanta runs.
The Marlins said Beckett did not have a blister, but left as a precaution because he was getting tired.
Cabrera's homer, his 16th of the year and fifth against Atlanta this season, highlighted Florida's three-run opening inning against Braves starter Roman Colon (0-4). Encarnacion hit his 11th, and second in as many nights, in the second inning.
Astros 2, Reds 2, 7 innings
In Cincinnati, Ken Griffey Jr. singled home a tying run in the fourth inning, and the second storm of the evening forced Cincinnati and Houston to settle for a seven-inning tie.
The game will be replayed from the start today as part of a doubleheader.
Griffey, still weakened by a virus that sidelined him the last two days, had a pair of singles to lead an offense that wasted chances up to the end.
The start of the game was delayed 1 hour, 57 minutes by a storm that dumped heavy rain and window-rattling hail for nearly an hour, leaving parts of the field submerged. Both teams then spent seven innings wasting chances to end June with a rain-shortened win.
Giants 9, Diamondbacks 2
In Phoenix, Lance Niekro hit a three-run homer and winning pitcher Noah Lowry singled in two runs, helping San Francisco to its first three-game sweep at Arizona in five years.
Niekro also doubled and scored twice in the Giants' third sweep of the season and first since they won three at Pittsburgh April 29-May 1. Ray Durham added a solo homer for the Giants, who limped in to Arizona after being swept at Oakland, capped by a 16-0 loss on Sunday.
Lowry (5-7) won for the third time in four starts and Brett Tomko pitched three innings for his first save.
The Giants jumped on Shawn Estes (6-6) for five runs in the second inning, three on Niekro's homer.
Rockies 7, Cardinals 0
In St. Louis, Rookie Jeff Francis pitched three-hit ball for six innings, and Garrett Atkins and Danny Ardoin homered to lead Colorado to its sixth road victory of the season.
Francis (7-5) contributed two hits and scored twice for the Rockies, a major league-worst 6-31 on the road. The start was the most feeble since the 1982 Twins went 5-32, and they had dropped five straight and 11 of 12 away from Coors Field while getting outscored 77-32.
Albert Pujols had a single and two walks to extend his hitting streak to 12 games for the Cardinals, who advanced only two runners to second base against Francis and totaled six hits.
Atkins hit his seventh homer off Jeff Suppan (7-7) in the second and Ardoin hit his first leading off the third.
Kevin Mench hit a career-high three homers and Mark Teixeira homered twice as the Texas Rangers matched a club record with eight home runs in an 18-5 rout of the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday.
During the game, Rangers owner Tom Hicks said Major League Baseball will decide whether to discipline Texas pitcher Kenny Rogers for an outburst Wednesday that sent a television cameraman to the hospital and prompted a police investigation.
"At this point there's nothing the Texas Rangers will or can do," Hicks said. "We will support whatever the commissioner decides."
White Sox 6, Tigers 1
In Detroit, Freddy Garcia pitched a five-hitter for his first complete game of the season and the White Sox finished off a three-game sweep of the Tigers.
Joe Crede and Carl Everett homered for Chicago in a game delayed 2 hours, 4 minutes at the start because of thunderstorms. With Garcia in control, the game itself took only 2:06.
The Tigers lost their fourth in a row.
Athletics 6, Mariners 2
In Oakland, California, Dan Haren won his career-best sixth straight decision and Dan Johnson and Bobby Crosby homered to lead Oakland to its season-high seventh straight victory.
The A's, helped by three errors from Seattle third baseman Adrian Beltre, completed their second straight sweep after taking three games from San Francisco last weekend. Seattle lost its fifth straight.
Indians 9, Orioles 3
In Baltimore, Coco Crisp had three hits and drove in two runs to back a strong pitching performance by Jake Westbrook.
Jhonny Peralta had two hits, two RBIs and scored twice for Cleveland, which went 17-10 in June. The Indians have won nine of their last 11 on the road and five of six overall.
Westbrook (6-9) allowed three runs, four hits and three walks over seven innings to win his fourth straight start.
Baltimore's Rafael Palmeiro went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to move within eight hits of reaching 3,000 for his career. Hayden Penn (2-2) lost.
Sal Fasano homered for the Orioles, who have lost seven of eight. Sammy Sosa went 0-for-4 and is 1-for-27 in his last seven games.
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