- The Washington Times - Monday, May 1, 2006

Nationals Notes

ST. LOUIS — Washington Nationals reliever Felix Rodriguez dropped his appeal of a three-game suspension last night and will begin serving his time tonight in New York.

Rodriguez was suspended by Major League Baseball on April 10, four days after he was ejected for beaning Mets catcher Paul Lo Duca after umpires had already issued a warning. He immediately appealed league disciplinarian Bob Watson’s ruling and had since been waiting to have his appeal heard.

With the Nationals about to open a two-game series at Shea Stadium, Rodriguez would have met with league officials in New York today, but he decided instead to drop the appeal. He’s eligible to return Thursday.

Church out again

Outfielder Ryan Church missed his second straight game yesterday with flu-like symptoms and again stayed at the team hotel before leaving with the club for New York.

Extra bases

Utilityman Robert Fick, whose recovery from right elbow surgery was derailed by a sore shoulder, played catch yesterday and appears close to resuming his rehabilitation assignment. …

Third baseman Ryan Zimmerman will not be with the club today while he attends funeral services in Detroit for his grandmother. He is expected to play tomorrow. …

First baseman Matt LeCroy had a new look yesterday, having colored his prematurely gray hair and goatee to a more natural-looking dark brown. “As soon as I did it, they offered me a three-year contract extension,” the 30-year-old bench player said. “They thought I was only 24.”

Got a question about the Nats? Mark Zuckerman has the answers. To submit a question, go to the Sports Page.

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