3-game ban for Phillies coach

Steve Smith was ejected Sunday. MLB also punished Ruiz and Manuel.

Posted: June 19, 2007

CLEVELAND - Phillies third-base coach Steve Smith looked a little like Larry Bowa on Sunday at Citizens Bank Park.

He stormed out of the Phillies' dugout after first-base umpire Laz Diaz ejected him in the eighth inning of a 7-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Charlie Manuel eventually restrained Smith, who had worked himself into a rage.

Baseball didn't like Smith's "inappropriate actions," and yesterday suspended him for three games and fined him $1,000. Smith began serving his suspension last night against the Cleveland Indians at Jacobs Field. Bench coach Jimy Williams will work at third during the three-game series.

Baseball also suspended catcher Carlos Ruiz for one game and fined him $1,000 for making contact with home-plate umpire Bill Welke after being ejected for arguing balls and strikes. Ruiz has filed an appeal; he played last night against the Indians.

Manuel was fined for his fifth ejection of the season.

"Do I think it was harsh? Yeah," Smith said.

Smith said he was suspended for one game for being on the field and for two games for his history.

Baseball suspended Smith for five games last season when he was with the Texas Rangers. Smith said some chewing tobacco accidentally flew out of his mouth and landed on the face of umpire Brian O'Nora during an argument.

"What's history got to do with it?" Smith said. "I've already paid for those. I talked to Bob Watson [baseball's vice president of on-field operations] last year about it. I don't intend to come to the ballpark and get thrown out. . . . Knowing [Diaz] was trying to bait me there, I turned my head. I knew with what was going on and what happened in the past, and I didn't want to get thrown out."

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Smith stood at the top of the dugout steps while Manuel argued with Welke. The coach said he stood there to retrieve Manuel once the manager was ejected. He said Diaz started yelling at him and he looked away. He waved away Diaz at one point, and that's when Diaz tossed him.

"He couldn't wait for me to even move," Smith said. "I'm not happy. The $1,000 . . . shoot, my wife's not happy about that. I'll take that. That's the way it is."

Contact staff writer Todd Zolecki at 215-854-4874

or tzolecki@phillynews.com.

Read his blog at http://go.philly.com/zozone.

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