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COLEMAN SUSPENDED 7 DAYS FOR HITTING UMP WITH HELMET

SHARE COLEMAN SUSPENDED 7 DAYS FOR HITTING UMP WITH HELMET

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Vince Coleman Thursday was suspended for seven games and fined an undisclosed amount of money, National League President Bill White said.

The suspension begins Friday and is the result of Coleman's actions after he was called out by umpire Ed Montague trying to steal second base in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 9-2 loss to the San Franciso Giants.Coleman hit Montague in the nose with his batting helmet, causing a cut that required a bandaid, White said. Also, Coleman continued to use profanity toward Montague and delayed the game when he was ejected.

Montague responded to getting nicked by slapping Coleman in the helmet.

Coleman said Montague's action deserved similar penalties.

"If you look at it rationally, you know I wasn't intentionally trying to butt him in the head," Coleman said Thursday. "The way he reacted, I think he should be fined and suspended, too."

"Even though I struck him first, he should get some kind of fine."

Coleman said he had not decided whether to appeal the penalty. He sat out Thursday's 4-1 victory over San Diego after aggravating a back injury Wednesday by running into the fence at Candlestick Park.

"I'm kind of stiff," Coleman said. "My back was all right until I ran into that fence."

St. Louis Manager Whitey Herzog refused comment on the suspension and fine but said Coleman might be out for a week with his injury.

"His back's been hurting him and then he went into that fence," Herzog said. "He might not be playing anyway."

Earlier this season in Houston, Coleman put his hands on first-base umpire Bob Davidson, who also umpired in Wednesday's game. Coleman stayed in that game because he was demonstrating some contact he had with Houston first baseman Glenn Davis.