Lee appeals punishment by league

Lee appeals punishment by league

ARLINGTON -- Derrek Lee appealed the five-game suspension issued by Major League Baseball for his part in a scuffle with San Diego's Chris Young and was in the Cubs' lineup against the Rangers on Tuesday. However, hitting coach Gerald Perry cannot appeal and began his three-game suspension on Tuesday.

Lee will have a hearing with MLB officials; no date has been set.

"From what I understand, if you just charge the mound immediately, it's only three games," Lee said. "I don't see what I did is different. That's the only problem I have with it."

"We'll live with it for now," Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "What can you do? That's the process. It hurts us more than it does San Diego, no question. Losing Lee for five games is a big loss to us. You look at a starting pitcher, and he's not going to be doing all that much in four of those five games."

Lee was upset at a pitch from Young that was at his head and nicked him on the hand in the fourth inning Saturday. The two exchanged words, Lee didn't like what Young said and took a swing at him. Neither player landed a punch, but both benches emptied.

"I don't like that it happened," Lee said. "I don't know how else it could've been handled. I don't like that it happened, but sometimes things happen."

He will not call Young.

"If he called me, I'd talk to him," Lee said. "I'm not going to be reaching out."

He's replayed the incident in his head.

"I've replayed it, I've thought about it," Lee said. "You don't want to fight. I'm not a fighter, I don't like to fight. Sometimes you have to protect yourself.

"It was a situation where I asked him a question, and he answered it," Lee said. "I thought I had to protect myself."

Lee also said he could see how MLB officials might decide to shorten Young's five-game penalty.

"To be honest, I think he has a good case to not be suspended, from how I look at it," Lee said. "If he can tell them he didn't throw it at me and can say the ball got away -- he has to defend himself if someone throws a punch at him. To be honest, I don't know why he was suspended."

Lee does think Young did intend to throw at him.

"I do," Lee said. "I could be wrong, but I do."

Perry, meanwhile, does not have an appeal process. Coaches and managers have to accept the penalty issued by MLB.

"Nobody said anything to me -- they just said I was suspended," Perry said Tuesday. "Actually, I think it's pretty weak."

Perry said all he did was pull off the guy who jumped on Lee's back.

"The next thing I know, I got kicked out of the game," Perry said. "I was trying to get the guy off Derrek's back. I didn't want anything to happen to him."

Who's the substitute hitting coach?

"Hopefully, we won't need one for three days and we'll just swing the bats," Piniella said.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.