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Sheffield: Pass your own judgment



Published: Sat, April 16, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Investigation begins into Yankee's confrontation with Red Sox fan.

BOSTON (AP) -- The Boston Red Sox and Major League Baseball began looking into the scuffle between New York Yankees outfielder Gary Sheffield and a fan in the right-field corner at Fenway Park.

The confrontation came in the eighth inning of Boston's 8-5 win over New York Thursday night while Sheffield was fielding Jason Varitek's two-run triple in front of the 3-foot high barrier.

No decision on discipline was expected Friday, baseball said.

Before their night game at Baltimore, the Yankees said Sheffield would not comment until MLB and the Red Sox completed their investigations. But Sheffield later spoke, adding that team management had advised him "not to say anything else."

'Happened so fast'

"Everything happened so fast," Sheffield said. "You have to look at the tape and pass your own judgment. I can't stand here and try to convince you one way or the other."

"I hold my opinion to myself," he said. Asked whether he would have done anything differently, he said: "I don't think so, I doubt it."

Red Sox president Larry Lucchino met for 75 minutes Friday with chief legal officer Lucinda Treat, chief operating officer Mike Dee and director of security Charles Cellucci, said Charles Steinberg, Boston's executive vice president for public affairs.

"It was clear that Lucchino wasn't treating this lightly," said Steinberg, who also attended the meeting. "He was serious and concerned."

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, through spokesman Howard Rubenstein, declined to comment except to say: "It's in the commissioner's hands."

The commissioner's office told The Associated Press that Bob Watson, baseball's head of discipline, was reviewing tapes of the play and security chief Kevin Hallinan was expected to talk to Red Sox officials.

'Not a hard punch'

As the ball rolled, the spectator reached over the wall and made a sweeping motion with his arm. Sheffield said he was hit in the mouth.

"It ain't nothing you're going to feel the next day," he said Friday. "It wasn't that hard enough punch to knock you out or anything."

Sheffield picked up the ball, pushed the fan, then threw the ball to the infield. Sheffield then confronted the fan but did not punch him. A security guard quickly jumped over the fence and got between the fan and Sheffield.

"We appreciate the restraint that Gary Sheffield showed," Steinberg said.

The team is considering increasing the number of signs that warn of fan interference and make more announcements at the park that interfering with a ball in play will result in ejection.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.




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