Phillies’ Ruiz, Smith suspended after ejections

Posted: June 18, 2007

Phillies third-base coach Steve Smith was suspended for three games and catcher Carlos Ruiz for one following their ejections in the eighth inning of Sunday's 7-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers.

The players' union appealed Ruiz's suspension, meaning it can't start until after the case is heard and decided. Ruiz was punished for making contact with plate umpire Bill Welke. Both Smith and Ruiz were also fined.

Smith began serving his suspension Monday night against Cleveland. Bench coach Jimy Williams was coaching third.

Ruiz, who was in the starting lineup Monday, was ejected by Welke for challenging calls a couple of times, then cursing him after Welke refused to ask for help from first-base umpire Laz Diaz on a 1-2 checked swing by Marcus Thames. Major League Baseball

"I said a couple of bad words," said Ruiz, a Panamanian. "In English."

Manuel leaped from the dugout to defend Ruiz and was ejected by Welke for the same reason, but only after a long discussion. Welke, he said, never told him why he wouldn't ask Diaz for help.

Meanwhile, Smith got tossed by Diaz in what Smith said was a misunderstanding.

Smith said Diaz caught him pooh-poohing Welke with a dismissive hand wave from the top of the dugout steps that Diaz believed was directed at him. Diaz stared Smith down, Smith said, and Smith gave Diaz a dismissive wave that certainly was directed at Diaz. That got Smith tossed.

"Then, I snapped," Smith said. He charged onto the field, where Manuel had to physically restrain him.

Smith believes umpires consider any hint of disrespect from a coach an egregious offense. "In his eyes, I'm just a bleeping coach," Smith said. "It's like, 'What are you doing? You're just a [bleeping] coach.' "

When Smith returned to the dugout, Diaz shooed him with a backward wave of his hand three times.

Daily News sports writer Marcus Hayes contributed to this report.

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