|Tuesday, August 6
Gagne will not be suspended or fined
ESPN.com news services
Gagne will not be disciplined for hitting Adam Dunn with a pitch during a controversial 6-4, 13-inning loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday. After a three-day investigation, Bob Watson, who is in charge of on-field discipline, ruled that no suspension was necessary. Major League Baseball also ruled that home plate umpire Dan Iassogna made a mistake in throwing Gagne out of the game.
"After reviewing the situation, we have determined that no disciplinary action needs to be handed down from the office of the commissioner," Watson told the Los Angeles Times. "We feel that, in this incident, it just would not be appropriate to take any action."
Gagne, who has 36 saves and a 2.13 ERA, was elated with the news.
"That's awesome," Gagne told the Times. "I'm happy it's not going to hurt us in the future, because the bullpen would have been real short-handed if they suspended me."
Ralph Nelson, vice president of umpiring for Major League Baseball, said that Iassogna made a mistake in ruling Dunn was intentionally hit after a two-run homer by Aaron Boone, the previous batter, had trimmed the Dodgers' lead to 4-2. Nelson, who had a 45-minute meeting with L.A. brass on Friday, agreed with the Dodgers, saying a pitcher in that situation would not intentionally hit a batter and bring the tying run to the plate.
Nelson recommended that Watson should "not do anything to Gagne," and Watson agreed after reviewing tapes of the incident. Nelson would be responsible for taking action against Iassogna, whom he was scheduled to interview in person Monday.
However, Nelson did tell the newspaper he probably would not discipline Iassogna, a reserve umpire from Triple-A with extensive service in the majors, because he made a judgment call and "believed he did the right thing at the time."
"There were a whole lot of things that happened to the Dodgers as a result of the umpire making that call, and we just really felt that nothing else needed to be done," Watson told the Times. "Their closer and manager were ejected, they lost the game and had to make roster moves because of all the pitchers they had to use."
After Gagne was ejected from the game, the Dodgers blew the lead and emptied their bullpen as the game dragged on into extra innings. Overall, the Dodgers used four pitchers after Gagne -- including starting pitcher Omar Daal, who gave up the game-winning homer to Ken Griffey Jr. in the 13th inning.
"Ralph traveled to Philadelphia to have a special meeting with the Dodgers, which we felt was very productive," Watson told the Times. "We talked a lot after that, and it was clear to us (that nothing should be done). This was a very difficult situation for the Dodgers."