04/03/08 8:03 PM ET
Appeals of Cabrera, Duncan to be heard
Suspensions and fines stem from incident with Rays
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
Cabrera and Duncan were both hit with suspensions and fines for their roles in a March 12 bench-clearing incident against the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla., which sparked when Duncan slid spikes-high into Tampa Bay infielder Akinori Iwamura.
Manager Joe Girardi was hopeful that one or both of his players would be able to have the suspensions reduced.
"Obviously, any time you get a suspension reduced, you have to be happy with it," Girardi said. "I think there's always a chance when you have a chance to state your case."
Bob Watson, Major League Baseball's vice president of on-field operations, cited Duncan for "violent and reckless actions, which incited the bench-clearing incident," and Cabrera for "violent and aggressive actions during the incident."
A video review of the incident allegedly shows Cabrera punching Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Tampa Bay outfielder Jonny Gomes was also suspended two games for "violent actions, which escalated" the situation, charging in from right field and hitting Duncan from behind after the play was completed. All three players were fined, along with Girardi and coaches Kevin Long and Bobby Meacham.
The two clubs sparked a Spring Training rivalry earlier in the month when Rays infielder Elliot Johnson hit Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli in an aggressive ninth-inning collision at the plate, fracturing the backstop's right wrist and requiring two screws to be surgically installed.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.