MLB suspends Payton 2 games for N.Y. tirades

The Baltimore Sun

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Orioles outfielder Jay Payton arrived at the visiting clubhouse at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and didn't see his name listed among the starters or reserves on the posted lineup card. That told him all he needed to know.

Payton was suspended for two games and fined an undisclosed amount for "inappropriate actions" in games against the New York Yankees on Monday and Wednesday. Payton was ejected Monday for arguing a checked-swing appeal that was ruled a third strike and Wednesday for arguing a called third strike. He threw his bat and helmet toward the field after both ejections, nearly hitting plate umpire Mike Reilly with his helmet Wednesday.

He began serving his suspension last night, choosing not to appeal the two-game ban that was announced by Bob Watson, vice president of rules and on-field operations for Major League Baseball.

"They said it's kind of standard punishment for what they've been handing out," said Payton, who said he expected a fine but not a suspension. "We're not in a wild-card chase or anything, so I guess I'll just go ahead and serve it. I'll take my punishment like a big boy and be ready for Saturday."

Payton has three of the Orioles' nine ejections this season. Orioles manager Dave Trembley said he discussed the matter with his veteran outfielder yesterday and considers it done.

"We'll move on," Trembley said.

Payton told Trembley that building frustration from both the team and personal struggles got the best of him in the Yankees series. In the second half of the season, Payton is batting .222 with three home runs and 19 RBIs in 55 games.

"I've been frustrated for two months now," Payton said. "I think everybody's had their little episodes at some point in time. ... It's part of the game. That's why I said that sometimes it would be better if you almost didn't care, because it wouldn't upset you so much. When you care, sometimes you get out of control."

Guthrie optimistic; Olson done

Jeremy Guthrie, who hasn't pitched since Sept. 9 because of a strained left oblique muscle, will throw a side session tomorrow, moving one step closer to making a return for at least one start before the season ends.

"We'll see how I feel [Sunday], but right now, I feel good," Guthrie said. "That's all you can go off of."

Meanwhile, Trembley said rookie left-hander Garrett Olson, who hasn't pitched since Sept. 6 because of a strained left forearm, will not pitch again for the Orioles this season. He'll stay with the club through the rest of the road trip before being sent to the instructional league Tuesday.

"He's going down to Sarasota [Fla.] on Tuesday and he'll start a throwing program down there," Trembley said. "Hopefully, at some point in time during instructional league, he'll be able to be game-ready. I'd like to see him pitch maybe one inning in a game in instructional league before he goes home, just to let everybody know and himself know that he's 100 percent."

Roberts nearing 50

Second baseman Brian Roberts says he tries not to think of personal achievements, but it becomes difficult not to when people keep bringing them to his attention. The leadoff man wasn't exactly sure how many steals he had this season, but teammate Corey Patterson and friend Jonathan Byrd, a professional golfer, reminded him of his total after he stole his 45th and 46th bases Wednesday against the Yankees.

Roberts, who didn't start last night, had a previous career high of 36 steals. Among Orioles, only Luis Aparicio (57 in 1964) and Brady Anderson (53 in 1992) have had more steals in a season than Roberts has this year.

"Fifty has always been a number that I've never been able to reach and I thought that I could get," Roberts said. "It's not a major issue if I don't, but it's something that would be kind of cool for me."

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