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Wednesday, March 12
Updated: March 14, 12:04 AM ET
 
Evans 'disturbed' that Piazza entered clubhouse

ESPN.com news services

Dodger general manager Dan Evans filed a complaint with the commissioner's office over catcher Mike Piazza's entry into L.A.'s clubhouse after his fight with reliever Guillermo Mota Wednesday, the team's website reported.

Mike Piazza
Mike Piazza didn't appreciate being hit by Guillermo Mota, again.

"I'm very disturbed that the security was such that an opposing player could be inside our clubhouse," Evans said.

"There's a very clear understanding that you don't venture into the other team's clubhouse. I conveyed my concern to the people who need to hear it within Major League Baseball in multiple conversations last night and follow-up conversations today."

Piazza charged the mound Wednesday night after he was hit by Mota, touching off a benches-clearing brawl during the Dodgers' 13-6 win over the Mets in a split-squad game.

"It was a security lapse on the part of the ballpark. Guillermo told me he didn't intentionally throw and I have to believe the player. He's given me no reason not to," Evans said.

Bob Watson, the chief disciplinarian for baseball, said don't expect anything to happen until Monday.

"I have thoughts on it, but we're not talking about anything until we finish our investigation," said Watson. "Don't look for any comment from us until Monday. I'm in Houston now and probably won't even get the tape until tomorrow (Friday). I still need to talk to general managers, managers and umpires to see what they have to say."

Piazza and Mota had a shoving match last March 28 in Vero Beach after he hit the star catcher with a pitch.

Mota told MLB.com he didn't mean to hurt anyone.

"I know what I did and it was not intentional," said Mota. "Whatever they (the Mets) think ..."

"It's not to be about last year. That was 2002. This is 2003."

This time, Mota's first pitch to Piazza in the sixth inning was inside, and his second hit him in the back of the left shoulder.

Piazza immediately charged the mound, with his right fist cocked for a punch, and Mota -- once a shortstop in the Mets organization -- threw his glove at him and began backpedaling away.

"If he wants to hit somebody he needs to stand there and fight," Mets manager Art Howe said. "He backpedaled faster than I can run forward."

Both benches emptied, with Mets outfielder Jeromy Burnitz leading the chase after Mota while Piazza was restrained on the mound by several Dodgers. Mota made it to the dugout without being caught.

An irate Piazza, red-faced and glaring with rage, yelled at Mota while being restrained by coaches and umpires. Twice he tried to charge the first-base dugout, but was held back both times.

"It was intentional, and they knew it, too," Howe said. "It was a setup."

Piazza stormed out of the Mets clubhouse without speaking to reporters, but did not leave the parking lot of Thomas White Stadium quietly.

After hopping into his black BMW parked near the players' exit, an enraged Piazza circled around the stadium and entered the Dodgers' clubhouse. According to Newsday's account, he was observed shouting, "Where's Mota! Where's Mota!"

By that time, Mota had left the stadium. Beforehand, he repeatedly said "No comment" when confronted by reporters in the clubhouse. The pitcher hit a three-run homer in the top of the sixth off Mets closer Armando Benitez.

After Mota hit Piazza in the hip with a pitch last March, he waited until the pitcher was coming off the field in the eighth inning and grabbed him by the jersey, but no punches were thrown.

"Obviously, he remembers the fact that the guy reached up and tried to choke him a year ago," Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. "I'm sure major league baseball will sort this out. We'll sort this out and we'll move on."

Both Mota and Piazza were ejected. No punches appeared to land during the fight.

"This boils down to nothing more than history between the two guys that started at Holman Stadium last year and carried itself over," Tracy said. "I think the thing that needs to be done in a case like this is for both sides to work very hard to get it resolved and get it over with.

"The last thing you want in the case of the Dodgers and the Mets is work as hard as we do and then feel like a season is going to start and you're going to be without players."

The Mets and Dodgers are scheduled to play two exhibition games against each other this weekend in Mexico City. They play once more in Florida during spring training, on March 25.

"I knew after the first pitch, it looked like intent out there," Burnitz said. "Bottom line, I thought it was wrong. You saw how I reacted."

The Dodgers took a 3-1 lead off right-hander Aaron Heilman, who is vying for the final spot in the Mets' rotation. Heilman gave up five hits and three walks in three innings.

Dodgers third baseman Adrian Beltre increased the lead to 7-1 when he hit a three-run homer in the fifth off David Weathers.

"That was the hardest home run ever hit off me," Weathers said. "Not the longest, the hardest."

Mota made it 10-1 with his three-run shot.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.





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