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Bourn sits out CLE-TB finale for suspension

Tribe outfielder takes 1-game punishment after exchange with ump on June 16

ST. PETERSBURG -- Major League Baseball heard Michael Bourn's case, but the Indians center fielder ultimately had to serve the one-game suspension he received last month.

Bourn will sit out Thursday's game against the Rays, adhering to the one-game punishment MLB gave him for bumping into home-plate umpire Phil Cuzzi on June 16. Bourn appealed his case in a video conference with MLB officials last Friday.

"Both sides got to state their case," Bourn said this weekend. "I feel like I didn't deserve to get thrown out of the game, and I did. I feel like I didn't say anything that was derogatory to the umpire."

Indians manager Terry Francona did not expect the suspension to be upheld.

"I really didn't," Francona said. "I was hoping that maybe they would just give him a fine or whatever. I wasn't in on the [appeal meeting]. ... Anyway, Bourny's not available today. Sometimes, whatever, you get thrown out and you go by the system and you do what you're supposed to do."

During Cleveland's 6-0 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field a little more than two weeks ago, Bourn took issue with Cuzzi's strike zone during a fourth-inning at-bat that ended with a called strikeout. After the frame concluded, Bourn approached Cuzzi on the field before taking his position and got into a heated exchange with the umpire.

Bourn, who was promptly ejected, bumped into Cuzzi during their argument, but the center fielder said the contact was not intentional. The center fielder said he was thrown out of the game in Chicago because Cuzzi did not like the timing of his complaints.

"I went up and told him I thought the ball was six inches outside," Bourn said after the June 16 game. "He said, 'That's what you came to tell me?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'You can't wait until you come up to bat to tell me? That's when you should tell me.' I said, 'I felt like saying it now.' And he tossed me. I didn't cuss at him. I didn't say anything derogatory to him. I feel like I had a right to talk to him about it."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.
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