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Rob Dibble was suspended for four games by the National League on Friday for throwing a baseball into the stands and hurting a teacher, but delayed the penalty by appealing.

The Cincinnati Reds reliever faces a total of seven games on the bench for two angry outbursts this season. NL president Bill White gave Dibble a three-game suspension and $1,000 fine last month for throwing a pitch behind the back of Houston's Eric Yelding, touching off a brawl.Dibble appealed the first suspension and continues to pitch pending a June 17 hearing in New York. There was no hearing date set for an appeal

of the latest suspension - his fourth from the league in the past three seasons.

Dibble declined to talk about the suspension before a game Friday night against St. Louis. Manager Lou Piniella said he didn't condone Dibble's outburst, and he hopes the reliever has learned from it.

"It's hurting the ballclub and it's hurting Dibble at the same time," Piniella said. "I'm sure Rob didn't intend to hurt anybody or the team. You've got to learn from those experiences. Certainly you should learn."

"I think it's an overreaction," said Eugene Orza, associate general counsel of the Major League Baseball Players Association. "I think what's being applied is a standard that doesn't distinguish the act from intentionally going into the stands."

The club was content to give Dibble a "reprimand." He's become their most reliable reliever, leading the club with five saves.

White suspended and fined Dibble for hurling a baseball into the centerfield stands last Sunday after a 4-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs. Dibble, unhappy that he gave up two runs before getting the last out, turned and heaved the ball, which struck first-grade teacher Meg Porter on the elbow.

Porter, 27, required medical treatment and missed several days of work. Dibble visited her home Wednesday and apologized. He also has agreed to pay her expenses from the injury.