Papi appeals four-game suspension for melee

Papi appeals four-game suspension for melee

Papi appeals four-game suspension for melee
ST. PETERSBURG -- After deciding for sure to submit his appeal of a four-game suspension, David Ortiz opened the second half in the Boston lineup on Friday night, batting fifth against the Rays.

Ortiz knows that at some point, he will need to take a little break from playing and serve the discipline for his part in last Friday's bench-clearing melee in which he and Orioles righty Kevin Gregg were the main participants.

"I know I've got to expect something," Ortiz said. "We'll see what's up afterwards."

The DH did not want to reveal specifics about his appeal -- or the reasons for it -- until the process is complete.

"I can give you an answer about that after I go through the whole thing," Ortiz said. "I can't really talk to you guys about that right now. At one point, I will. I'll tell you what I was thinking, I'll tell you what I thought what was right and I'll tell you what I get. How about that?"

Bringing increased interest to the matter is that the Red Sox and Orioles meet up again on Monday night for the start of a three-game series at Camden Yards. Ortiz had no inkling if MLB would try to finalize the appeals for Ortiz, Gregg and Orioles reliever Mike Gonzalez before that.

As far as Ortiz is concerned, there shouldn't be any issues when the Red Sox and Orioles play again on Monday.

"Like I say, there's only one thing I can control -- David Ortiz. I can't control anything else," Ortiz said. "Anything besides that, is out of my control."

Ortiz thought the issue was over last weekend, only to have Gonzalez throw behind him two days after the original incident with Gregg.

"I was surprised that they were still carrying the thing over [Sunday]," Ortiz said of the Orioles. "But let's see, man. Major League Baseball is always doing the right thing to make sure we don't get into that too much. There's going to be some suspensions and some fines and everybody [can] turn the page."

Assuming Ortiz is eligible to play when the Red Sox and the Orioles play, he said that his mindset will be purely on the game at hand.

"Trust me, you play baseball, there's some buttons that people push and you get caught into that," Ortiz said. "Like I told you guys the very next day after we talked, it's the kind of situation you don't want to be involved in because it's not what the fans come to watch. Definitely you feel embarrassed.

"I know, you don't want anybody looking at you like you're a punk, you know what I'm saying? I'm a [grown] man. I respect everybody and that's why I have a lot of friends around the league, because that's the way it's supposed to be. You have to play the game the way it's supposed to be played and that's it."

Though the timing of the appeal process makes it unpredictable when Ortiz will be lost from the lineup, Red Sox manager Terry Francona wasn't sweating it.

"We'll get it figured out," Francona said. "It's not perfect, for sure, but we'll get it figured out."

Francona also isn't fretting the next round of Red Sox-Orioles.

"I wasn't concerned last week," Francona said. "Sometimes things happen. [You] don't want to get carried away with what happened. We want to get carried away with trying to win a game."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.