Ortiz penalty cut to 3 games; sits out here

July, 18, 2011
BALTIMORE -- Red Sox DH David Ortiz and Orioles reliever Kevin Gregg, the principals in a July 8 bench-clearing fight, both had their suspensions reduced from four games to three, and both were to begin serving their suspensions Monday night here.

Ortiz said he was informed of the reduction by his agent Monday. Ortiz never had a hearing, and said he elected not to insist on one.

The only conversation he had with MLB officials regarding the incident, he said, was a casual conversation he had with Joe Torre, the former Yankees' manager who as executive vice president of baseball operations now oversees all on-field disciplinary issues.

"He just told me that saying the things I said the next day was the right thing to do,'' said Ortiz, who had issued a blanket apology for charging the mound and taking a swing at Gregg after the Orioles pitcher barked at him on his way to first base.

Why didn't he pursue it further?

"I didn't want to go over the same things again,'' he said. "I know what I did wasn't the right thing to do. I knew I was going to be punished. Just want to get over it and get on with the season.''

Of the suspension, he said: "This happened. Take it like a man.''

Ortiz said he did not believe the decision was made now to avoid a resumption of hostilities between the Orioles and Red Sox, saying the timing had more to do with the All-Star break than anything else.

With Ortiz out of the lineup, manager Terry Francona used Jacoby Ellsbury as his DH, installing Josh Reddick in center between the returning Carl Crawford in left and J.D. Drew in right.

Gordon Edes

ESPN Staff Writer



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