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Kemp appeals suspension

June 06, 2008|Dylan Hernandez | Times Staff Writer

Matt Kemp appealed a four-game suspension he received from the commissioner's office Thursday, making him eligible to be in the Dodgers' lineup until the case is resolved. He started in center field Thursday night.

Kemp was suspended and fined an undisclosed amount for his altercation with Colorado Rockies catcher Yorvit Torrealba on Tuesday night. Kemp drew a suspension that was one day longer than Torrealba's, as Bob Watson, baseball's vice president of on-field operations, blamed him for "fighting and inciting the bench-clearing incident," in a statement released by baseball.

"I guess I feel it was as much his fault as it was my fault," Kemp said. "I don't feel I should get more. That's why I'm appealing."

The appeal was filed by Kemp's agent, Dave Stewart, through the players' union.

If Kemp and the commissioner's office fail to agree on a penalty, a hearing will be held to settle the case. The case would be heard by John McHale Jr., baseball's executive vice president of administration.

Like old times

Chan Ho Park pitched three scoreless innings in the Dodgers' loss to the Rockies on Wednesday to lower his earned-run average to 2.21.

What surprised even Park about his 16th relief appearance of the season was how hard he was throwing: The radar gun at Dodger Stadium clocked one of his fastballs in his last inning at 97 mph.

"It's good to be healthy," said the oft-injured Park. "The more I keep throwing, the harder I throw."

Asked when he last threw that hard, Park replied, "2007."

Last year?

"Oh, I mean, 1997," he said.

Park was still pitching for the Dodgers at the time, on his way to a 14-8 season as a 24-year-old.

Hu's more comfortable

Chin-lung Hu, who broke an 0-for-22 dry spell Wednesday, was back in the lineup Thursday. Hu blamed his slump on overthinking, saying that by focusing on where his hands and feet should be, he wasn't anticipating what the pitcher might throw him.

"Right now, I don't worry about my legs, my hands," he said. "I just try to see the ball."

Hu said that even though he didn't get a hit in the Colorado series until the final game, he felt a difference.

"I hit a couple balls hard," he said.

Manager Joe Torre said he noticed that Hu was more selective at the plate this week than he was last week, when he was swinging at pitches over his head.

But Torre said that the main problem with Hu's swing remains the same.

"It's still a little long," Torre said.

Short hops

Rafael Furcal resumed taking ground balls at shortstop. . . . Jason Schmidt threw a side session and is scheduled to make a rehab start on Sunday with Class-A Inland Empire or triple-A Las Vegas.


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