Cincinnati pitcher Norm Charlton was reinstated from his one-week suspension by league president Bill White yesterday because the Reds are playing the National League West pennant-contending Atlanta Braves.
"With the close pennant race in the Western Division, it is imperative that all teams play with their full complement of players in order to guarantee that the competition is fair and balanced," White said.
Charlton drew a seven-day suspension from White on Sept. 16 after admitting he purposely threw at the Los Angeles Dodgers' Mike Scioscia. He appealed and continued to play until Sunday, when he withdrew his appeal and served the first day of the suspension. Charlton will resume serving his suspension during the final weekend of the season.
Braves manager Bobby Cox saw it as another reason for changing the major leagues' system of dealing with suspensions.
"It's not right," Cox said. "There has to be a system in baseball where this doesn't happen. Give them a 24-hour appeal and get on with it. This way, you can pick your spots."
* U.S. District Judge Joseph McGlynn Jr. ruled Friday in Philadelphia that an umpire's lawsuit against Reds manager Lou Piniella be moved to New York, and said that the umpires' union cannot participate in the suit. The decision was announced yesterday.
The suit stemmed from comments Piniella made after home plate umpire Gary Darling reversed a call by first-base umpire Dutch Rennert and took away a home run from the Reds' Bill Doran on Aug. 3.
Piniella said after the game that Darling was biased against the Reds. He later retracted the bias charge but still said Darling blew the call.
Darling and the Major League Umpires Association filed a $5 million defamation suit.
McGlynn's opinion contained the sub-headings, "The Warmup," "Batter Up," and "Strike One," "Strike Two" and "Strike Three: You're Outta Here: Defendant's Motion to Transfer."
It concluded with "Post Game Wrap Up," which tossed the union out of the suit and ordered the action to New York, which is most convenient to witnesses.