Dodger reliever Guillermo Mota hopes to persuade baseball to reduce his five-game suspension today during an appeal hearing at Dodgertown.
Bob DuPuy, baseball's chief operating officer, will decide whether Mota, also fined $3,000, should be punished less for intentionally hitting New York Met catcher Mike Piazza with a pitch March 12, igniting a bench-clearing brawl between the clubs. DuPuy's ruling is expected Friday, a baseball official said.
Although Bob Watson, baseball's administrator in charge of on-field discipline, ruled Mota's action was intentional, Mota maintains it was accidental and will try to convince DuPuy that he should be lenient. That could be difficult, considering Mota and Piazza also were involved in an on-field incident last spring at Dodgertown.
"I've never been through this before in my career," Mota said. "I don't know what anybody else [would do], but I'm going to tell the truth. Five games [are] too many games for a reliever for an accident."
The Dodgers, expected to carry 10 pitchers while Mota is inactive, hope DuPuy reduces the suspension by at least a game.
Even in the first week of the season, the bullpen might be short-handed without Mota.