It wasn't so much the three-game suspension he received Thursday that infuriated Angel outfielder Tony Phillips. It was that Boston Red Sox catcher Mike Macfarlane, with whom Phillips tangled during a June 8 altercation in Fenway Park, received no punishment from American League President Gene A. Budig.
"How can you get in a fight and one guy gets nothing and the other guy gets this?" fumed Phillips. "One person can't start a fight."
Phillips had questioned a strike call in the seventh inning of a 10-8 victory over Boston, then exchanged words with Macfarlane, who, according to Phillips, told him to "get back in the batter's box."
The two went jaw to jaw, then wrestled each other to the ground as both benches and bullpens emptied. No punches were thrown, but after order was restored, Phillips then got into a shoving match with Boston batting instructor Jim Rice, inciting both benches to clear again.
Phillips, who was also fined $1,500 for his part in the incident, said if Macfarlane received a three-day suspension, "this would be fine with me."
The suspension was to have begun with Thursday night's game against the Chicago White Sox, but Phillips remained in the lineup pending results of a hearing. The players' association has appealed the penalty.
The hearing could take place during the Angels' next trip to New York Aug. 29, or Phillips said he might try to resolve the matter during the All-Star break July 10-12.
Pitcher Brian Anderson rejoined the Angels after a two-week rehabilitation stint at Class-A Lake Elsinore, which included a seven-hour bus ride to San Jose this week.
"It was actually real fun; I didn't mind at all," said Anderson, who is expected to pitch Monday against Kansas City. "We watched three movies, it was fine."
Anderson, who hasn't pitched for the Angels since suffering a strained left biceps May 5, said there was no friction between him and the handful of former Angel replacement players at Lake Elsinore.
"I didn't really know who they were, so there weren't any problems," Anderson said. "I didn't give it much thought. I had a job to do."