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Braves coach McDowell suspended 2 weeks

File photo of Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger

File photo of Atlanta Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell. (Feb. 21, 2011) Credit: AP

ATLANTA -- Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell was suspended for two weeks without pay Sunday by Major League Baseball for inappropriate comments and gestures he made toward fans before a game in San Francisco.

The suspension is retroactive to Friday, when McDowell was placed on administrative leave by the Braves. He also was fined an undisclosed amount for the April 23 incident.

McDowell, 50, a former Mets pitcher, will be required to complete sensitivity training and will have to apologize directly to the fans involved, Justin Quinn and his family.

Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement that insensitivity to others "simply cannot and will not be tolerated."

Quinn said he was in the stands with his wife and 9-year-old twin daughters before the April 23 game at San Francisco when he noticed McDowell ask three men about their sexuality. Quinn said McDowell made crude sexual gestures with his hips and a bat. Quinn said he shouted, "Hey, there are kids out here!"

According to Quinn, McDowell said kids don't belong at a baseball park, picked up a bat, walked up to Quinn and asked him, "How much are your teeth worth?"

McDowell issued an apology Thursday and, according to the release from the commissioner's office, asked last week to apologize directly to Quinn and his family. The apology was being delayed until the investigation was completed.

"I understand the decision made today by the commissioner," McDowell said in a new statement Sunday. "I am embarrassed by my actions and I plan to give a personal apology to Mr. Quinn and his family. I would also like to offer a public and heartfelt apology to the fans of San Francisco, to the Atlanta Braves organization, my family and to Major League Baseball."

Braves president John Schuerholz said the team supports Selig's decision.

The commissioner's office release said Quinn and his family will be invited to a Giants home game as guests of MLB. Also, baseball will "reach out" to education programs that promote tolerance and sensitivity.

In a statement released by his attorney, Gloria Allred, Quinn applauded the discipline imposed on McDowell.

"I am pleased to see Major League Baseball imposing discipline on coach McDowell for his actions," Quinn said. "I love baseball dearly and my family and I are now looking forward to getting back to the ballpark for another game."

Minor-league pitching coordinator Dave Wallace, a former Mets pitching coach, is filling in for McDowell.


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