KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -Appearing embarrassed and uncomfortable, John Bale apologized Monday for punching a door and breaking his pitching hand.
``I'd like to apologize first of all to the Royals organization, my teammates, my coaching staff, for my action. It was uncalled for,'' Bale said. ``It was, you know, a moment of frustration and I wish I could do anything I could to take it back. But I can't.''
Exactly why Bale slammed his hand into a door in his hotel room in Cleveland on Friday remained a mystery. After issuing a brief statement in front of his locker Monday, the left-hander walked away without taking questions.
Royals manager Trey Hillman later said ``no comment'' when asked if he knew what had been bugging the pitcher, who was probably headed to the bullpen after coming back from the disabled list for shoulder fatigue.
Bale had looked quite good while throwing the ball in the bullpen earlier in the day. Before Bale went back to the hotel and punched himself deeper onto the DL, Hillman had said Bale might be ready to rejoin the club this week.
Now he will be gone for perhaps two months with a broken hand.
One reason for his anger may have been news that rookie Luke Hochevar was going to replace him in the starting rotation. In three starts, Bale is 0-3 with a 7.63 ERA. Hochevar was called up when Bale went out with the shoulder and is 2-1, 4.86.
Now Bale can only sit and stew while healing what X-rays indicated was a fracture on the side of the left hand.
``I have to try to move on as best I can and support my teammates and do what I can, keep my arm in shape, which I'm going to be able to do, I think,'' Bale said. ``I'm going to be able to do manuals with my shoulder and get that stronger. It's not in a bad spot. The throwing fingers are OK. I'm looking at possibly four to six weeks before I can start throwing. Again, I'd like to apologize to everybody. I felt like I let my teammates down.''
Hillman has not tried to hide his anger.
``I've talked to Johnny quite a bit,'' he said. ``John Bale is as remorseful in making a really poor decision at a poor time, especially with his pitching hand, as anybody I've ever managed. He's killing himself right now. We met for over 40 minutes today. We've met two or three different times since the incident. It's unfortunate. Hopefully, the bone heals up as quickly as possible. Hopefully he doesn't miss any more time than necessary.''

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