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Joba banned for throwing pitches over Youkilis' head

NEW YORK -- Yankees rookie sensation Joba Chamberlain was
suspended for two games and fined $1,000 Friday, a day after he
threw two 98-99 mph pitches over the head of Boston's Kevin Youkilis.

Chamberlain, ejected by plate umpire Angel Hernandez, claimed
the ninth-inning pitches slipped and "there was no maliciousness
or bad intention."

The umpires disagreed.

"There's more than a little bit of history between these
clubs," crew chief Derryl Cousins said. "Those were two pretty
nasty pitches the young man threw. Up here, you need to be a little
better throwing strikes, and we just had to put a lid on it before
there was a problem."

Bob Watson, baseball's vice president for discipline, cited
Chamberlain for "inappropriate actions." Watson at first
contemplated suspending Chamberlain for three games but decided on
a two-game penalty after conversations with Yankees officials, a
person familiar with the talks said, speaking on condition of
anonymity because that detail wasn't made public.

Yankees manager Joe Torre was upset after the ejection.

"That's absolutely ridiculous," he said. "Unfortunately, in a
lot of situations, the umpires do not apply common sense. And I've
seen it too many times. And something has to change. Either they
have to school them or do something that certainly gives them a
feel for the game better than they showed today."

Youkilis also was angry.

"Who knows what it really meant? You would have to ask him what
his intent was and he's going to probably tell you he didn't mean
to throw them," Youkilis said.

Chamberlain will miss games Friday and Saturday against Tampa
Bay. Under the Yankees' rules for him, the 21-year-old right-hander
wouldn't have been allowed to pitch Friday, anyway.

Chamberlain has thrown 11 1/3 scoreless innings in the majors,
striking out 17, walking four and allowing just five hits.