Wilson will appeal penalty

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 26, 2003

CHICAGO - Cincinnati Reds pitcher Paul Wilson was suspended for five games and Chicago Cubs pitcher Kyle Farnsworth was penalized three games Wednesday for their brawl last week.

Wilson, Farnsworth and Reds infielder-outfielder Russell Branyan were fined undisclosed amounts.

The suspensions were set to start Thursday. Wilson said he likely would appeal.

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''I'm going to talk to my agents but I'll probably appeal,'' said Wilson, the losing pitcher in Wednesday night' 9-6 defeat at St. Louis. ''I'm going to see what my options are.''

Farnsworth said he has not yet decided whether to appeal. He said he believed the penalty was fair.

''When two people go at it, it is still a fight. A fight is a fight, both sides got to get fined and suspended, whatever they have to do,'' Farnsworth said. ''I think they did a fine job.''

Farnsworth and Wilson tangled last Thursday at Great American Ball Park.

Wilson squared to put down a sacrifice bunt and was upset when Farnsworth threw an inside fastball. Wilson said something to Farnsworth, and the Cubs reliever headed toward the plate and flipped away his glove.

Wilson threw down the bat and met him a few feet to the left of home. Farnsworth made a football-style tackle and put Wilson on his back, then threw a punch at the head of the Reds pitcher.

Both players were quickly covered by a pileup of teammates and were ejected. Wilson had a cut on the bridge of his nose that left blood spattered on his jersey.

Just as the umpires restored calm, Branyan left the dugout and apparently tried to get at Cubs first baseman Eric Karros. Branyan was restrained by four teammates and, again, players emptied both bullpens.

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry said he thought Farnsworth was just defending himself.

''Obviously, we felt that Kyle was not in the majority of the wrong,'' said Hendry. ''Basically, the ball was not thrown, in our opinion, up and in. Certainly, we are in a one-run ballgame and we are certainly not trying to hit anyone.

''Basically, when Mr. Wilson crossed the line, it came to the matter of being self defense.''