Notes: Mesa appeals suspension
Right-hander penalized for second time this season
DENVER -- In April, the weather was beginning to turn. On Friday night, folks were worried about snow and frost. But now, as then, Rockies relief pitcher Jose Mesa is fighting a suspension for hitting a Giants batter.
Major League Baseball issued three-game suspensions to Mesa and the Giants' Jamey Wright for hitting batters late in Wednesday night's 12-4 Rockies victory at Coors Field. Giants manager Felipe Alou received a one-game suspension.
Mesa hit the Giants' Mark Sweeney in the top of the eighth and Wright hit Holliday in the bottom of the inning. Giants starter Matt Cain hit Holliday in the first inning, and the two had a PG-13 yelling match when Holliday knocked a Cain pitch for a home run later.
Mesa hit the Giants' Omar Vizquel, with whom he has feuded since the late 1990s, on April 22. After that offense, he argued his four-game suspension down to three. Mesa is still playing while he appeals his latest suspension. Wright and Alou sat out Friday.
The Giants received the suspensions because both teams had been warned after Mesa had hit Sweeney, and Wright and Alou were ejected. As was the case with the case with the earlier incident, Mesa was not ejected.
"I don't think it's fair because I wasn't trying to hit anybody, and they're the ones who started everything, so things happened in the game," Mesa said. "I'm not going to say right now what I'm going to say [in the appeal], because they're going to find out.
"My argument is going to be good because how do they know I threw at the guy? They know nothing about it. I tried to pitch it in. It was 0-2. I tried to pitch it in."
Mesa, however, seemed convinced of Wright's motives.
"You can tell it was intentional -- you can see Wright putting his head down and saying he was sorry," Mesa said.
Holliday thinks all the action is an overreaction.
"I don't think they should suspend anybody, really," Holliday said. "I don't think it was that big of a deal. Talking to Jamey, he didn't mean to hit me.
"There was no fight, so I don't think anything got out of hand. I could have gone without getting hit, and I'm sure Sweeney wishes he hadn't taken one either. I don't think anybody was at fault. A couple bruises later, no harm done."
Concern for old boss: Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said he was shocked Thursday to learn that Royals manager Buddy Bell, who managed the Rockies from 2000 until April 2002 with Hurdle as hitting coach, has taken a medical leave to deal with a growth that was discovered near his left tonsil.
"I had no clue until I got home last night and [Hurdle's wife] Karla told me," Hurdle said. "She said, 'Sit down.' She'd heard about Buddy. I felt a lot of different emotions.
"You get that feeling in your stomach that you don't like to get. But today I heard some optimistic news. I don't know if it's rumor or fact, but I heard some better news. Supposedly, they got what they wanted to get."
Hurdle said he can only imagine how Bell is feeling. Bell's wife, Gloria, is a throat cancer survivor. Bell has had several health problems -- he is epileptic, and he has dealt with chronic back issues, not to mention a history of knee injuries he endured as a player.
"They both understand the significance of what they're dealing with firsthand, from all the different standpoints, from the family standpoint. And Buddy's had a couple of different things with his health, and he's such a tough man. I just wish him nothing but good things and a speedy recovery."
Up next: Rockies left-hander Jeff Francis (12-11, 3.88 ERA) will start against Braves righty Kyle Davies (3-5, 7.18) on Saturday night in the third of four games between the teams.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.