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O’s Wigginton suspended for 3 games and fined

- Associated Press - Friday, July 23, 2010

BALTIMORE (AP) - Orioles first baseman Ty Wigginton received a three-game suspension and an undisclosed fine for "making contact" with an umpire during an argument in Thursday night's game against the Minnesota Twins.

Wigginton says he will appeal the ruling, which was rendered by Major League Baseball on Friday.

"The way I look at it, I got thrown out of the game," Wigginton said. "They chose to suspend me and now I have the right to appeal."

The punishment stems from a confrontation between Wigginton and umpire Gary Darling following a call at first base.

Darling ruled that J.J. Hardy got back to the bag on an aborted attempt to steal second. Wigginton threw off his cap and yelled until he became red in the face, stopping only after interim manager Juan Samuel forcefully pulled him away.

As he walked off the field after being ejected, Wigginton tossed the ball into the stands.

Replays showed Darling missed the call, and the umpire confirmed that after the game, saying, "He missed him the first time and on a close play, he got him the second time, it looked like."

Wigginton's punishment, according to a release issued by Bob Watson, Vice President of On-Field Operations for Major League Baseball, was "for his inappropriate actions, which included making contact with umpire Gary Darling."

Wigginton said, "It wasn't like a definite bump. I feel like if I bump someone, they're going to move back. ... If I did and didn't realize it, my bad. But I think it was more of a brush if anything."

The fine, Wigginton said, was "more than I was expecting."

Wigginton could recall being ejected from a game only once, and said he never has been suspended before. Had Wigginton not appealed, the suspension would have started on Friday night.

Samuel and pitching coach Rick Kranitz were also ejected.

Samuel said Wigginton's tirade probably stemmed from frustration over having another call go against the Orioles, who own the worst record in the majors.

"I think it's the first time I've seen Wiggy like that. We thought he was out and it was one of those that went against us. And there's just many that have gone against us," Samuel said. "I think guys have probably gotten sick of that because we are basically not getting a whole lot of breaks."

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