Mariners’ Lee makes 2-hour-plus appeal of penalty
Mariners pitcher Cliff Lee got his say Wednesday about the
five-game suspension handed down by Major League Baseball during
spring training – and quite a long say at that.
Lee had a teleconference with baseball disciplinary officials
regarding his penalty for throwing over the head of Arizona’s Chris
Snyder in an exhibition game. The new Seattle pitcher and former AL
Cy Young Award winner said the hearing lasted more than two hours
and included an arbitrator who is expected to make a decision in
the next few days.
“It’s first time I’ve ever done it,” Lee said of the hearing.
“It was a lot of the same stuff over and over.”
Lee was suspended and fined for his pitch on March 15. He had
collided with Snyder earlier in the game while backing up home
plate. The collision resulted in a strained abdomen that put Lee on
the disabled list.
During the teleconference, Lee made note of the injury and that
it was still early in spring training – the second of his two
starts all spring – when the incident happened.
“They went over a bunch of stuff, other cases and how they
went, and there was a lot of stuff,” Lee said. “They showed the
tape and basically discussed it. It took a while.”
Lee was joined in the teleconference by Mariners general manager
Jack Zduriencik, manager Don Wakamatsu and trainer Rick
“It was pretty interesting … lot of words,” Wakamatsu said.
“I thought it went well but it’s not my decision. It was a pretty
interesting process. I said my two cents and that was it.”
Lee was Seattle’s big offseason acquisition, brought over from
Philadelphia as part of a three-team deal that was expected to give
Seattle arguably the most formidable Nos. 1 and 2 starters in the
American League with righty Felix Hernandez.
While getting his suspension settled will be comforting, the
bigger event for Lee could be Friday when he’s expected to throw a
simulated game. That is the next step in his recovery that will
include a minor-league rehab outing.
Wakamatsu said on Tuesday that Lee could be back the first week
Seattle also announced that starters Ian Snell and Ryan
Rowland-Smith will switch places in the rotation for this weekend
against Detroit. Snell has been away from the team dealing with a
death in the family and is expected back in Seattle on Thursday.
Rowland-Smith will now start Saturday and Snell on Sunday.