Royals catcher Miguel Olivo received a one-game suspension and a $1,500 fine Wednesday morning for actions stemming from his ejection Saturday for arguing a check-swing call with umpire Phil Cuzzi in a 6-2 loss at Pittsburgh.
Olivo opted against an appeal and served the suspension Wednesday when the Royals concluded a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins at Kauffman Stadium.
“I thought about appealing,” he said, “but you never win with that. If I appeal it, it’s just going to be delayed. That’s why I decided to take it today and have it over with.”
Brayan Peña started Wednesday at catcher, while first baseman Mike Jacobs and outfielder Mitch Maier, former catchers, served as backups. The Royals played with 24 active players because rules require teams to operate with a shortened roster when a player is suspended.
The suspension and fine was levied by Bob Watson, who serves as Major League Baseball’s vice president for on-field operations.
Olivo was ejected in the ninth inning for arguing when Cuzzi failed to seek help from first-base umpire Tom Hallion, the crew chief, on a check-swing third strike.
“When he kicked me out,” Olivo said, “I hadn’t said anything to offend him. I just asked him why he wouldn’t check (with Hallion). He said, `Don’t make me ruin your day.’ And I said, `Well, that’s a (bad) call.’ And he kicked me out.”
Olivo escalated his argument at that point and needed to be restrained by manager Trey Hillman, teammate Alberto Callaspo and first-base coach Rusty Kuntz. Olivo and Cuzzi appeared to make light contact, but it’s unclear who initiated the bump.
“First of all,” Olivo said, “I wasn’t happy with the call. He said I bumped him, but he put his elbow out. It’s not like I bumped him on purpose. I think he’s the one who touched me. He put his elbow out, but they are saying that I pushed him.
“The sad thing is he made the wrong call, and I’m the one who gets the penalty. That’s what I’m not happy about. They suspended me for one day and fined me -- what can I do?”