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Braves' Fick Fined for Hitting Karros

October 06, 2003|From Times Wire Services

ATLANTA — First baseman Robert Fick of the Atlanta Braves was fined Sunday for clubbing Chicago's Eric Karros with a forearm in Game 4 of the National League division series with the Cubs.

Fick was fined an undisclosed amount by the commissioner's office and his team.

"I just tried to hit his glove," Fick said before Game 5. "It was all a reaction. It wasn't like I tried to do it on purpose. I mean, I play hard. I wasn't trying to hurt anybody. I was just trying to knock the ball out of his glove. It ended up a lot worse than I wanted it to."

Fick struck Karros while running to first base Saturday at Wrigley Field.

The blow knocked the ball and glove free; Fick was called out.

"I like Eric Karros," Fick said. "Shoot, he's a real good player. He's a [former] Dodger. I've been a Dodger fan my whole life. It's not something I'm proud of, but it happened."

Bob Watson, Major League Baseball's vice president in charge of discipline, didn't disclose the amount of his fine.

The Braves wouldn't discuss their penalty, either.

"It's not at all what anybody's thinking about today, I can assure you of that, as we face the most important game of the year," General Manager John Schuerholz said before the game. "We don't comment on what we do internally. Never have, never will."

Karros was 0 for 4 in the Cubs' 5-1 victory, which sent Chicago to the National League championship series against Florida.

"I'm fine, I'm fine," he said.

Fick was eager to know about Karros' status for Game 5.

"Is he in the lineup today? So he's OK? That's good," Fick said. "I like the Cubs as a team. They've done a lot this year. They've battled. They're a tough team. I like Sammy Sosa. The last thing I want to do is hurt someone."

Fick's actions might have resulted from a frustrating division series. He went hitless in his first 11 at-bats, prompting the Braves to start Julio Franco at first base for the second game in a row. Fick did not play Sunday.

*

Cub Manager Dusty Baker, while pleased to advance, was sorry that his old team, the San Francisco Giants, was knocked out by the Marlins.

"I have a lot of friends out there, and a lot of guys over there. I was kind of looking forward to going back to San Francisco and playing against the Giants and sleeping in my own bed and seeing my dog again," Baker said. "I miss my dog. I haven't seen my dog since April.

"You guys can laugh, but I'm serious, man. I hate that they were eliminated, but at the same time, that's part of baseball."

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