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Park Suspended a Week for Kicking Belcher

The other shoe dropped on Chan Ho Park on Tuesday.

Three days after he delivered a martial-arts style kick to Angel pitcher Tim Belcher, Park was suspended for seven games by National League President Leonard Coleman and fined $3,000.

“Hopefully [Belcher] did not do it because I’m Korean,” said Park of the Angel pitcher, whose tag of Park on a sacrifice bunt down the first base line first infuriated the Dodger right-hander.

Park said Belcher never referred to his nationality during the confrontation, so why did he think Belcher might have been motivated by that?

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“I don’t know that he was, but I always feel that way,” Park said.

Korean newsmen who have covered Park’s career say that when the pitcher was still in the minor leagues and unable to speak English, he sometimes felt that players picked on him because of his minority status.

After Belcher had applied the tag, Park said he asked the Angel pitcher, “Why did you do that?”

He said Belcher responed by saying, “Get the . . . out of here,” while motioning to the dugout.

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Park, in turn, responded with a forearm to Belcher’s face, followed by the kick.

Despite his insinuations about Belcher, Park took full blame for his own actions.

“I apologize for the bad news to my teammates,” he said. “Seven days will be really long for me. I apologize to Tim Belcher. Hopefully, he will not get any big hurt from it.”

Park said he was told the suspension would have only been for five games had it not been for the kick.

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“What’s the difference if you use your foot or your hand?” Park said. “I didn’t really kick him. If I had wanted to hurt him, I would have kicked him.”

*

Add suspension: Although Park had the option of appealing the suspension, he does not plan to do so.

Part of the reason is that comes at a fortunate time for the club. With two off days on the Dodger schedule in the next five, Park will only miss one scheduled turn, in Oakland on Friday. He will be back in time to take his regular turn June 17 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Dodger Stadium.

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“There is nothing good about a suspension,” Manager Davey Johnson said. “The only thing that helps the ballclub is to take it now because we have some off days. Somebody is looking out for us.

“It’s done and over with. Let’s turn the page and go on. I don’t live in the past. Don’t ask me about this tomorrow. I don’t want to hear about it.”

TODAY

DODGERS’ KEVIN BROWN (6-3, 2.73 ERA)

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vs.

RANGERS’ MARK CLARK (3-4, 7.55 ERA)

Dodger Stadium, 7:30

TV--Fox Sports West 2.

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Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

* Update--Brown, who spent six full seasons with the Rangers, has pitched against them three times. He doesn’t have a decision against Texas, but does have a 4.62 ERA. Clark has a 4.23 ERA against the Dodgers along with a 4-5 record in 17 appearances.


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