Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

League set to punish Dodgers

The Cubs increased security in the bullpens and the commissioner's office said punishment is in order for Dodgers involved in a fight with fans in the stands at Wrigley Field on Tuesday night.

Dodgers catcher Chad Kreuter was in the bullpen when a fan hit him in the back of the head and stole his cap. Kreuter gave chase, his teammates followed, and soon there were a half-dozen or so Dodgers in the stands, trading punches with fans. The rest of the team stood watching at the first-base wall, a chest-high brick barrier that separates the bullpen from the fans.

It took stadium security nine minutes _ and several tries _ to restore order.

"We would look at this as an incident of some fan. We do not apologize for the fan," said Mark McGuire, the Cubs executive vice president of business operations.

"The fan should not have reached over and tried to grab a player's hat. That was wrong, and we are embarrassed by the incident that took place after that."

Three fans were arrested, charged with disorderly conduct, and released, with a June 19 court date set. A fourth fan, who ran onto the field earlier in the game, was charged with trespassing.

In keeping with this season's crackdown on any kind of fighting between two teams, "something involving players and fans will simply not be tolerated," said Sandy Alderson, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office. "There really is never any excuse for going into the stands. It is not only not acceptable, it exposes players and other uniformed personnel to risks and liabilities. At any level, it is not a tolerable response."

Frank Robinson, baseball's vice president of on-field operations, talked with Cubs manager Don Baylor and Dodgers manager Davey Johnson, and a representative from the commissioner's office was going to Wrigley to investigate.

"He just wanted to know what I saw, what happened, how many players were involved," Baylor said. "I just told him I saw a lot of gray shirts in the stands. It got ugly."

Kreuter, who declined comment Wednesday, has a stiff neck, Johnson said. A few other players had bruised ribs.

Several Dodgers said security wasn't adequate Tuesday night, a claim McGuire denied. There may not have been uniformed police officers, but there were plenty of off-duty police and stadium security in the area, he said.

An additional security person sat between the two bullpen benches Wednesday, and there were no apparent problems. Early in the game, one Dodger turned and talked with fans.

Players from other teams said they are concerned about safety.

"If anybody touches anybody they have the right to defend themselves even if that means going into the stands," Toronto pitcher David Wells said. "He could be superstitious and that's the only hat he wears, so there is grounds for that as well. He had every right to do what he did."

Braves outfielder Brian Jordan: "I could see myself getting into it with someone if they wanted to hit me. If a fan decides to be stupid and is trying to injure or hurt me, I'm going to react."

Marlins outfielder Cliff Floyd: "I think about someone not liking me, standing up in the stands and shooting."

Blue Jays closer Billy Koch: "They're coming at me with intent to hurt me, I'm going to get after them."

Dodgers general manager Kevin Malone said he's not worried about his team's safety the rest of the three-game series "unless those guys come back and drink some more."

ATHLETICS: Third baseman Olmedo Saenz made two errors in his first appearance since spraining his right ankle Friday.

CARDINALS: Outfielder Eric Davis said it's 80 percent certain he will retire after the season. Davis, who turns 38 on May 29, wants to spend more time with his family.

ROYALS: Outfielder Jermaine Dye missed his third straight start because of lower back tightness, but entered the game in the eighth. A day after he lasted just one-third of an inning in a start against Oakland, right-hander Chad Durbin was optioned to Triple-A Omaha. The team purchased the contract of left-hander Paul Spoljaric from Omaha.

TIGERS: Reliever Jim Poole was released and left-hander Allen McDill was called up from Triple-A Toledo. Poole made a team-high 18 appearances and was 1-0 with a 7.27 ERA.

LOBBYIST NAMED: Lucy Calautti, North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan's chief of staff, was named major-league baseball's lobbyist. Calautti, 53, is married to North Dakota Sen. Kent Conrad.

MARINERS: Second baseman and leftfielder Mark McLemore was held out of the game because of back spasms. Manager Lou Piniella expects McLemore to play Friday against the Devil Rays.