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Sheffield fined for umpire remarks

Sheffield fined for umpire remarks

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MINNEAPOLIS -- Six weeks later, Gary Sheffield's ejection at Cleveland is still making news in the Commissioner's office.

Major League Baseball announced on Wednesday that it has fined Sheffield an undisclosed amount for what was termed "recent remarks regarding umpires." The news release did not refer to the specific remarks, but they're likely his remarks from when he dropped the appeal of his suspension last month.

Sheffield was highly critical of the umpiring system after umpire Greg Gibson tossed him May 31, believing Sheffield had tossed his bat in Gibson's direction. Sheffield, who denied directing his bat at anyone, was suspended for three games, but immediately appealed.

The suspension was reduced to two games in exchange for Sheffield dropping his appeal June 28. That didn't soften the views of Sheffield, who at one point wanted to get the suspension eliminated altogether.

"That just shows you how corrupt the umpire system is," Sheffield said at the time, unhappy that the league accepted Gibson's report.

Before his suspension was reduced, Sheffield had stronger comments.

"If I get suspended for the maximum days, ain't no telling what I might do," he said, "and that's what I do know. And that's what bothers me inside. When I know I'm wronged, I'm just a different person. And it's not a threat. It's a promise."

Though most MLB discipline goes through vice president of on-field operations Bob Watson, Commissioner Bud Selig announced Wednesday's fine.

"Our highly professional umpires protect the integrity of the game on the field," Selig said in the statement. "Attacks on their professionalism and character will not be tolerated."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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