Dodgers coach Bowa suspended, fined for argument

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers third base coach Larry Bowa was incensed on Wednesday after being suspended for three games and fined by the commissioner's office following a wild argument the night before.

Bowa was tossed in the sixth inning against the San Francisco Giants by umpire Ed Montague, who had told him to keep within the boundaries of the coaching box. Bob Watson, baseball's vice president in charge of discipline, cited Bowa for "inappropriate and aggressive conduct," which included making contact with Montague several times.

"It's ludicrous is what it is. Probably the suspension's more ludicrous than the rule," Bowa said before Wednesday night's game. "There's no due process. For getting kicked out of the game, you get a three-game suspension. It's totally uncalled for. I have no idea why. You have to ask the people in New York that wear the coats and ties and don't get on the field.

"You've got guys who tested positive for steroids and admitted they took them -- no suspensions. They're still playing," Bowa said.

The very least Bowa expected from Watson after his ruling was an explanation.

"I got a fine, which I expected. But I don't even know what the fine is, to be honest with you," Bowa said. "I left a voicemail, and obviously I knew I wouldn't get a return call from him. They don't want to hear the coach's side of the story."

Bowa is convinced that Watson is trying to make an example out of him.

"He's done it since I've been out of baseball as a player -- as a coach and as a manager. That's his gig. He wants to get me any way he can get me," Bowa said. "Bob Watson's very prejudiced against me for some reason."

Manager Joe Torre expressed concern that this incident, in addition to Bowa's well-documented grousing during spring training about the new rule forcing base coaches to wear helmets, might make him a constant target.

"He's been the most outspoken about it," Torre said. "I mean, if they're going to continue to throw him out, obviously he can't do his job. And now, when you put a bull's-eye on your back -- having been thrown out for that reason one time -- we're probably going to have more umpires taking notice of where he's standing."

Major League Baseball announced in February that starting this year, first- and third-base coaches must not cross the lines toward home plate or the field until batted balls pass them. Only then can they take up other spots to guide runners.

Montague said Tuesday night that it was "probably one of the dumbest ejections he's had."

Bowa's latest ejection was his first since July 11, 2004, when he was managing Philadelphia and got run after arguing balls and strikes with umpire Rob Drake. He was ejected 22 times during his four-year stint as Phillies manager, and five times while piloting San Diego -- all in 1987.

Bowa was also thrown out five times in 1986 when he managed the Padres' Triple-A club in Las Vegas.