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Indians Suspend Franco for 2 Games

Associated Press

Cleveland Indian shortstop Julio Franco was suspended for two games and fined $200 because of his unauthorized absence from Sunday’s game against the Angels, the team announced Monday.

Franco was at Municipal Stadium in uniform early Sunday but left the ballpark about 45 minutes before the game began.

Manager Pat Corrales said Monday he had talked to Franco about a problem before Franco left the stadium on Sunday. Corrales emphasized the problem was not alcohol or drug-related, but he would not reveal the nature of the problem.

“If he wants to explain it, that’s up to him,” Corrales said.

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Corrales suspended Franco and levied the fine after meeting with him Monday afternoon. Franco was not available for comment.

“If he would have asked permission for me to give him the day off, I would have given him the day off,” Corrales said. “But as I explained to Julio Franco, he’s a necessary part of this lineup, but one guy doesn’t make it go. Babe Ruth has died, and the game has gone on.”

The two-game suspension without pay was applied to Sunday’s game and Monday’s game against the Oakland A’s.

Franco, 24, is batting .259, with 4 home runs and 21 RBIs.

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