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ANGELS FYI

Hunter gets two games for fight

September 11, 2008|Mike DiGiovanna | Times Staff Writer

Torii Hunter, saying "if you do the crime, you've got to do the time," served the first game of a two-game suspension Wednesday for what Bob Watson, baseball's top disciplinarian, called "violent and inappropriate actions" in a fight during Monday night's game.

Yankees catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who took a swing -- and a miss -- at Hunter, was also slapped with a two-game suspension, which he began serving Wednesday. Both players, as well as Angels pitcher John Lackey, who was in the middle of the scrum, were fined an undisclosed amount.

Hunter, who left Tuesday night's game after five innings because of a tight left quadriceps, would not have played Wednesday, but the center fielder said that even if he was sound, he would have accepted baseball's punishment.

"I shoved him," Hunter said. "He elbowed me first . . . but I always tell kids to stay out of trouble. This is not trouble, it was just the heat of the moment, being competitive. I apologize for my actions."

Hunter said he felt "a little tweak" in his quadriceps when breaking for a foul ball Tuesday night. The leg felt better when Hunter woke up Tuesday morning, and Hunter expects to return Friday or Saturday.

"It's nothing, I've had it before," Hunter said. "But I understand you've got to be careful. Last year, all those guys were hurt for the playoffs. I don't want to be that guy who battles it out now and then is out for a month."

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Sick day

Mark Teixeira sat out Wednesday's game because of fever and fatigue, symptoms the first baseman said were caused by an infection.

"We want to nip it in the bud and make sure it doesn't get worse," said Teixeira, who is being treated with antibiotics. "It sapped me a bit during the game [Tuesday] night. My body was achy, and I didn't feel right.

"If this was the playoffs, I'd be out there, but there's no reason to risk it getting worse and to be out for an extended period."

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Elbowed out

An X-ray of Chone Figgins' right elbow, bruised when it was hit by a Carl Pavano fastball Monday night, was negative, but the third baseman was still too stiff to throw Wednesday and didn't play.

Figgins, who also felt discomfort swinging a bat, probably will miss the first game or two of the Seattle series, which begins tonight.

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It's a rap

Hunter took advantage of his downtime Wednesday to hang out before the game with Chris Bridges, the three-time Grammy Award winning rap artist and actor known by his stage name, Ludacris.

Hunter and Bridges have collaborated on a hip-hop tune called "Luv of Da Game," which they hope will promote baseball among disadvantaged youths. Hunter plans to use an excerpt from the song as his walk-up music when he returns.

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mike.digiovanna@latimes.com

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