CHICAGO -- Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg was suspended three games for his role in a bench-clearing incident last Thursday involving his Class A Peoria Chiefs team and Clinton manager Mike Micucci.
The Chiefs and the Midwest League announced the penalty. Sandberg began serving the suspension Saturday in Clinton, and also was to miss Sunday's game between the Chiefs and LumberKings at Alliant Energy Field. Sandberg also will miss the Chiefs' game on Monday night against the Quad Cities River Bandits at O'Brien Field in Peoria.
Sandberg apparently confronted Micucci between the sixth and seventh innings of a 7-3 Peoria loss. He was allegedly upset about a sixth-inning bunt attempt by Clinton, which was leading 6-0 at the time.
"It was verbal, nothing more," said Oneri Fleita, the Cubs' player development director. "It's not a big deal to me. Defending his players is what a manager is supposed to do."
This is Sandberg's second suspension in his second season as the Minor League team's manager, and comes nearly one year to the day of his last one. On May 13, 2007, Sandberg was suspended for two games for bumping an umpire in a game at Fort Wayne, Ind.
Sandberg's ejection on Thursday was his third this season, and seventh with Peoria.
On Saturday, the Chiefs rallied for a 4-2, 12-inning win over first-place Clinton. With two outs in the ninth and trailing 2-1, Peoria's Dylan Johnston homered to tie the game. In the 12th, Mario Mercedes singled with one out and Elvis Lara reached on an error. Marwin Gonzalez hit an RBI single, and Lara scored on the play as Clinton catcher Jose Felix threw the ball down the third-base line.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.