NL suspends Nixon, Ritchie


The National League suspended Otis Nixon of the Atlanta Braves for four games and Wally Ritchie of the Philadelphia Phillies for one game as the result of a brawl in Tuesday night's game between the teams.

The fight started when Ritchie hit Nixon with a pitch and the Braves outfielder charged the mound. He knocked Ritchie to the ground with a lunging kick, then threw several punches before the players on both benches emptied and the fight was broken up.

Both players were fined an undisclosed amount. They have appealed the suspensions and fines, and will be eligible to play pending the appeals.

* DODGERS: Tommy Lasorda says his close relationship with his players helped him get through the ordeal of the death of his son, Tommy Jr. The Los Angeles Dodgers manager returned Thursday night.

One day earlier, the Lasordas attended memorial services for their only son, known as Spunky. Lasorda had stayed awake until 3 a.m., then flew to St. Louis two hours later for the game.

When Lasorda arrived at the clubhouse, his players took turns entering his office and either shaking his hand or hugging him.

"It made me realize, I am so lucky, I have two families," Lasorda said. "These guys are also my family. And these guys love me like real family."

* ATHLETICS: Catfish Hunter tomorrow will become the first player to have his number retired by Oakland. "It just means I retired before the other guys," said Hunter, the former No. 27.

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