Minnesota Vikings defensive end Al Baker said...

Minnesota Vikings defensive end Al Baker said he will appeal a $10,000 fine by the NFL for a late hit on Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Tomczak in the final game of the regular season.

Baker said from Eden Prairie, Minn., that he has asked for a hearing before Commissioner Pete Rozelle.

“I’m really shocked and I’m pretty disappointed in the way it was handled because it wasn’t intentional,” said Baker, who has lost $30,000 in fines and salary this season.

In the Chicago incident, the Vikings, who won the game, 28-27, were penalized 15 yards when Baker was charged with roughing Tomczak in the first quarter of the game Dec. 19. The league reviewed the play and decided punitive action was appropriate.


Meanwhile, in Suwanee, Ga., Bear Coach Mike Ditka said Baker’s hit was not intentional, but he’s getting tired of seeing such plays.

“I just think the game is hard enough to play, and when a guy tries to shorten somebody else’s career, it’s wrong. And I’m sure Bubba didn’t mean it, but I get tired of saying that,” Ditka said.