Billy Martin accepted without appeal Thursday a three-day suspension and $1,000 fine for soiling umpire Dale Scott, then immediately went back to slinging dirt.
The Yankees manager released a 400-word statement that was more caustic than contrite. Martin accused Scott of lying on two counts and he indicated that Scott and crew chief Rich Garcia were to blame for his dirt-throwing incident Monday night in Oakland.Martin also called for a change in the review of umpires, a change that will happen. In an unrelated decision, major-league owners, out of concern about recent umpiring problems, voted at their meeting this week to place eight owners on the umpiring committee, it was learned through a source. Only general managers and the two league presidents previously have served on that committee.
Martin's suspension is to begin Friday night. American League President Dr. Bobby Brown suspended him for three games and fined him $1,000, though the league did not announce the amount of the fine.
Under terms of Brown's decision, Martin is not allowed to be in any part of Memorial Stadium during the Yankees' three games against the last-place Orioles. When National League president A. Bartlett Giamatti suspended Reds Manager Pete Rose for 30 days, he permitted Rose to watch the Reds' games from the press box.
Martin, 60, had the right to appeal the penalty. In that case, his suspension would have been held in abeyance until Brown heard his appeal. But Martin would have risked missing all or part of a series against the Red Sox that begins Monday at Yankee Stadium.
"I accept the fine and suspension but I still maintain it's unfair because of the comments of Dale Scott and the way Rich Garcia mishandled the situation being a crew chief with three young umpires," Martin said in his statement. "If they handled the matter correctly in the first place, this situation would never have happened."
George Steinbrenner called Brown's decision "very fair," but that it might have been harsher if Steinbrenner had not talked with Brown Wednesday.
"I think Bobby Brown considered all the facts," Steinbrenner said by telephone from his home in Tampa, Fla. "It was a very fair decision. The umpire said he was kicked. Obviously, it would have been more severe if he was. I had a long talk with him (Brown) on Billy's behalf."
Scott included in his report to Brown that Martin kicked him in the leg, but the league president made no mention of contact. He announced through a spokeswoman that he suspended Martin "for kicking and throwing dirt on umpire Dale Scott."
Brown, a former third baseman, and Martin, a former second baseman, played on the same Yankee teams from 1950 through 1953, though they never held regular starting jobs at the same time.
It was the second time in 16 days that Brown disciplined his former teammate. He fined Martin $300 May 18 for kicking dirt on umpire Tim Welke May 6.
Brown also issued Martin a warning Thursday morning when he telephoned him at the Yankees' hotel here.