St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina decided not to appeal a five-game suspension for bumping an umpire and spraying him with spittle, saying the punishment was fair. The Cardinals' schedule and Molina's sore hand made the decision easier to sit out now.
Molina received the suspension Thursday and began serving it hours later when St. Louis opened a four-game series at Florida. The Cardinals are chasing the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers and face them in a crucial three-game series beginning Tuesday.
Molina will return from his suspension Wednesday.
"I was looking at it like, take it right away," he said. "You want to be part of the race. It's better to do it now and get it done with and move on."
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Another factor in the decision not to appeal was the bruise on the palm of Molina's right hand. Molina said the spittle was unintentional, but he apologized for his tantrum.
Brewers' Morgan has alter ego
Brewers center fielder Nyjer Morgan is engaging — or enraging — to fans, likes playing hide-and-seek in the clubhouse with broadcaster Bob Uecker and holds increasingly bizarre postgame interviews as his alter ego "Tony Plush."
He's a character and a better-than-expected player for the NL Central leaders.
"I'm just playing my game, man. I've been like this everywhere I've been, but it finally feels good to be embraced and get the love," Morgan said. "The fans are what make it happen."
The center fielder, batting a team-best .328, is adamant that when he's on the field, he's Tony Plush and has the confidence of someone who is 5 inches taller, 50 pounds heavier and a power hitter who's nothing like his 5-foot-11, 175-pound self. Off the field, he's Morgan again.
"I'm not crazy," he said. "I just really don't like the word crazy. It's more like having fun. I guess maybe people in the game of baseball haven't seen it."
Morgan picked up the moniker when he was 19 or 20 and his group of friends decided they were a "Rat Pack." He turned into "Tony Plush."
■ Slumping Rays slugger Evan Longoria, who entered Thursday's game on a 3-for-33 slide that dropped his batting average to .226, hit a three-run homer against the Blue Jays.
■ Blue Jays All-Star Jose Bautista hit his major-league-leading 33rd home run Thursday.
■ The Angels demoted right-hander Joel Pineiro to the bullpen following his fourth poor start in a row. Manager Mike Scioscia made the move one day after Pineiro was charged with seven runs over 41⁄3 innings in a 12-4 loss to Minnesota. No decision has been made on who will take his place in the rotation.
■ The Mariners released designated hitter Jack Cust after he was designated for assignment late last week. Cust, signed to a one-year deal in the off-season, hit just .213 with three homers in 67 games.
■ New Pirates first baseman Derrek Lee was a late scratch on Thursday because of a bruised left hand. Lee was hit by a pitch in the ninth inning of Wednesday's 1-0 loss to the Cubs.