Baseball

Braves coach gets 2-week ban

Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was suspended for two weeks without pay Sunday by Major League Baseball for inappropriate comments and gestures he made toward fans before a game in San Francisco.

The suspension is retroactive to Friday, when McDowell was placed on administrative leave by the Braves. He also was fined an undisclosed amount for the April 23 incident.

McDowell will be required to complete sensitivity training and will have to apologize directly to the fans involved, Justin Quinn and his family.

Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement Sunday that insensitivity to others “simply cannot and will not be tolerated.”

Quinn said he was in the stands with his wife and 9-year-old twin daughters before the April 23 game at San Francisco when he noticed McDowell ask three men, “Are you guys a homo couple or a threesome?”

Quinn said McDowell made crude sexual gestures with his hips and a bat. Quinn said he shouted, “Hey there are kids out here.”

According to Quinn, McDowell said kids don’t belong at a baseball park, picked up a bat, walked up to Quinn and asked him, “How much are your teeth worth?”

McDowell issued an apology Thursday and, according to the release from the commissioner’s office, asked last week to apologize directly to Quinn and his family. The apology was being delayed until the investigation was completed.

SHORT HOPS

Undefeated Angels right-hander Jered Weaver, the American League leader in wins, strikeouts and ERA, was scratched from his scheduled start Sunday because of a stomach virus. Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia is hopeful Weaver will be able to start tonight’s game at Boston. Cardinals third baseman David Freese suffered a broken bone in his left hand when he was hit by a pitch from Atlanta’s Scott Linebrink in the sixth inning Sunday. Veteran right-hander Kevin Millwood has opted out of his contract with the New York Yankees, which he could do if he wasn’t called up from the minors by May 1. The Dodgers activated reliever Hong-Chih Kuo (lower back strain) from the 15-day disabled list. Astros left fielder Carlos Lee was taken to a Houston-area hospital for X-rays on the left side of his rib cage after colliding with Angel Sanchez while chasing a pop fly in the seventh inning against Milwaukee.

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