Leyland hit with one-game suspension

Leyland hit with one-game suspension

ST. PETERSBURG -- Jim Leyland figured he'd be hearing from the Commissioner's Office after his ejection from the Tigers' eventual no-hit loss to the Rays on Monday.

His prediction was on-target.

Major League Baseball suspended Leyland for Wednesday night's game at Tropicana Field and fined him an undisclosed amount for his run-in with umpire Marty Foster.

The press release announcing the suspension cited Leyland's "inappropriate and aggressive conduct during the bottom of the third inning," when the argument took place.

It made no mention of his remarks after the game, when he vented about Gary Cederstrom's umpiring crew and said he would no longer defend umpires when he feels they're in the wrong.

"The way I understood it, really, was the suspension part really had nothing to do with the argument with Marty," Leyland said. "It was more with Cederstrom and I."

Leyland apparently made contact with Cederstrom during that part of the argument.

Leyland also said Foster accused him of intentionally spitting on him during their argument, which seemed to be the crux of Leyland's ire.

"I had some sunflower seeds in when I was talking," Leyland said Tuesday. "Some sprayed on him, and he indicated that I deliberately spit on him, and I'm not going to take that from anybody. I'm not going to do it. That's a blatant lie. Now, did some of the sunflower seeds spray on his shirt? Yes, they did, without any question. [But] I don't even spit on the ground.

"If they want to kick me out, that's fine, I don't care about that, because it sprayed on his shirt. But when you start accusing somebody of deliberately doing something, you better be careful. I don't give a care what he says, and I don't give a care about what anybody else thinks when they read it in the office. I'm tired of not saying anything. I don't care that he missed the play. That's part of the game. When you make an accusation that's a total, blatant lie -- that's upsetting to me."

Leyland said he asked Foster at the time if he was going to report him for intentionally spitting. Foster, Leyland said, told him he would.

Leyland was still fired up about it Tuesday, saying he expected to hear from MLB. He didn't care, and stood by his remarks from the previous night.

There's no appeals process for suspensions handed down to managers, so Leyland's one-game suspension was immediate. Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, who took over as manager when Leyland was ejected Monday, served as manager Wednesday.

"That's OK," Leyland said. "It's behind us. You take your medicine and move on, get it behind us and move forward."

The way the Tigers' recent stretch is going, it was just another absence for a team that has been short-handed for the better part of a week. Detroit is also without injured position players Magglio Ordonez, Carlos Guillen and Brandon Inge.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.