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Coach, umpire suspended over on-field clash

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan's professional baseball ruling body yesterday suspended and fined acting head coach Chiung-Lung Huang (黃煚隆) of Kaohsiung's EDA Rhinos, along with umpire Brian Kennedy, after the duo's “physical” altercation during a game in Northern Taiwan on Wednesday.

Effective immediately, Huang will be suspended for three games and fined NT$60,000, the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) said in a statement.

Kennedy is suspended for 10 games and fined NT$50,000. He will also be relegated to the position of reserve umpire.

Huang, however, may still face a court date as Kennedy has lodged a complaint with the police.

The brawl occurred in the fourth inning of a game between the EDA Rhinos and the Brother Elephants after Kennedy ordered the expulsion of Huang, who had repeatedly questioned the home plate umpire's calls against the EDA Rhinos.

An enraged Huang stormed onto the diamond and bumped his chest against Kennedy after he was ejected; Kennedy responded by grabbing Huang's throat.

Huang left the ballpark after the two were separated by players and others, while Kennedy continued to umpire the game, which ended in a 0-4 no-hitter defeat for the Rhinos.

According to the Chinese-language United Evening News, Kennedy called the police during the fifth-inning break and announced his intention to press charges against Huang.

More than 15 police officers arrived on the scene after Kennedy's call and the coach, back in the ballpark after his departure, suggested he go with the officers to their station to make a written deposition, whereupon Kennedy said he decided not to press charges.

As a precaution, Huang checked into a Taipei hospital to have his throat examined by physicians yesterday morning. His condition remained unclear as of press time.

In his defense, Huang said that he had charged onto the field to ask the umpire which rule his pitcher had violated.

“He simply ignored me and turned his back against me. I said something again, not foul language, and he ordered me out,” Huang was quoted as saying.

“I merely touched him with my chest and yet he responded by grabbing my neck.

“All newspapers in the country carry photographs of Kennedy grabbing my neck. This is an irrefutable fact.

“What I am making right now is a move to protect my rights,” he added.

Huang is an Olympian, a two-time Golden Glove winner, a one-time Best Ten selection and a Taiwan Series MVP.

He played for Taiwan in the 1987 World Port Tournament and 1988 Olympics.

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