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Votto suspended 1 game for bumping umpire

Reds first baseman to serve penalty immediately
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Joey Votto and the Reds felt fortunate Friday knowing that his anticipated discipline wasn't more severe. The first baseman received a one-game suspension for bumping an umpire during an argument on Wednesday.

Votto, who was also fined an undisclosed sum, will serve the suspension during Game 1 of Saturday's twin bill against the White Sox. He did not attempt to appeal.

Full Game Coverage

CHICAGO -- Joey Votto and the Reds felt fortunate Friday knowing that his anticipated discipline wasn't more severe. The first baseman received a one-game suspension for bumping an umpire during an argument on Wednesday.

Votto, who was also fined an undisclosed sum, will serve the suspension during Game 1 of Saturday's twin bill against the White Sox. He did not attempt to appeal.

Full Game Coverage

"I feel fairly strongly that the penalty was fair," Votto said. "I wanted it done as soon as possible. I didn't want to miss multiple games, the fewer the better. But I do feel like have to pay the price for my actions."

During the top of the third inning of Wednesday's 3-0 Reds win over the Pirates at PNC Park, Votto struck out to end the inning before he slammed his helmet to the ground and yelled something in the direction of starting pitcher Gerrit Cole. That's when he was ejected by home-plate umpire Chris Conroy.

Video: CIN@PIT: Votto on his ejection, regrets actions

Votto had his back turned when Conroy threw him out of the game and was not informed until after he took his position defensively. Upon realizing he was tossed out, he charged at Conroy to argue and bumped him.

After Wednesday's game, Votto expressed remorse and apologized for his actions. Perhaps that helped lessen his punishment.

"I don't think it hurt him at all that he immediately acknowledged that he was responsible and was contrite in trying to make amends with the umpire, and talking to the media about the fact that he made a big mistake and he wanted to make it right," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Joe Garagiola Jr., senior vice president of standards and on-field operations for Major League Baseball, made the announcement of the suspension.

Video: CIN@PIT: Votto ejected in the 3rd inning

"There are no really good or really bad guys," Votto said. "I'm not one or the other. I just felt a responsibility to young players in the league, Minor Leagues, high school, college, youth leagues. . . . I felt responsibility to stand up for my actions to really kind of tsk-tsk myself and make sure I that recognized to them it's not the way professional athletes should handle themselves."

By getting just the one game suspension, Votto was told he had to serve it immediately.

"I think it could have possibly been longer," general manager Walt Jocketty said. "The players association is involved with that a lot. I think they worked with the Commissioner's Office to get it to one game. It starts tonight."

If there was an additional silver lining, the break is coming at a good time for Votto. Although he is batting .311/.413/.573 with seven home runs and 18 RBIs, he was 0-for-7 his last two games at Pittsburgh -- the first time all season he didn't reach base in back-to-back games.

"The guy missed 100 games last year," Price said. "You see he's playing hard, he's running hard on the bases. He puts a lot of time and attention into his pregame work. A day off isn't the worst thing for Joey at this point."

• In other news of discipline, Minor League right-handed pitchers David Ayala and Adolfi Telleria each received 25-game suspensions without pay following violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Both play in the Dominican Summer League.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cincinnati Reds, Joey Votto