Washington Nationals third baseman Jerry Hairston was suspended one game and fined an undisclosed amount Sunday for making contact with umpire Ed Hickox during a game against the San Diego Padres.
Major League Baseball cited Hairston's "aggressive actions" during the bottom of the seventh inning of Friday night's game in announcing the discipline. Hairston is appealing the decision and was in the lineup for the conclusion of the Nationals' series against the Padres on Sunday.
Hairston said he asked Hickox for time, and he thought the umpire granted it. When San Diego's Clayton Richard delivered, Hairston hurriedly swung, flied out to center and began arguing with Hickox.
Moments later, Hickox ejected him.
"I don't know why he ejected me," Hairston said. "I didn't push him or shove him in any way _ and the video clearly shows that.''
Hairston and Richard were teammates with San Diego last year. Hairston says that Richard habitually pitches before hitters are set in the batter's box.
"I asked for time out earlier - and he gave it to me. I don't think he recalled that," Hairston said. "He didn't try and bait me or anything. I just wanted him to get help. He felt he didn't
need it and he ejected me."
Hickox was umpiring second base Sunday. MLB said he would not be available to comment while Hairston's appeal is pending.