SEATTLE (AP) -Yankess first baseman Josh Phelps has one regret about bulling over Seattle catcher Kenji Johjima last weekend and prompting a dustup that led to the suspensions of New York manager Joe Torre and pitcher Scott Proctor.
Phelps wished he would have found the ball before barreling into the area in front of home plate.
``The only thing I look back on about it - and hindsight would be a great thing to have on the field - is not knowing where the ball was,'' Phelps said Friday, just before he faced Seattle starter Jarrod Washburn again. ``I was running as fast as I could and didn't take the time to see the ball.''
Phelps said he has no problem that Washburn reacted Sunday at Yankee Stadium by hitting him in the back with a pitch. That led to Proctor throwing a pitch behind Yuniesky Betancourt. Proctor and Torre were then ejected from the game.
Proctor was suspended four games, a penalty he is appealing, and was fined $1,500. Torre got a one-game suspension.
As Phelps explained himself Friday, he stressed that he did not want to make the rematch with Washburn ``an issue between two teams'' this weekend.
``I don't blame him. I would expect someone to step up for his player,'' Phelps said of Washburn. ``I got hit and jogged to first base. No big deal. That's part of the game. It was understood.''
Washburn's retaliation came after Phelps had bowled over Johjima well in front of home plate as he scored on a short outfield throw from usually accurate Gold Glover Ichiro Suzuki.
``I knew who the ball was hit to ... I expected Ichiro to hit (Johjima) in the chest with that throw,'' Phelps said. ``And I know I'm not the fastest player on our team. I had committed myself to the (collision). And actually, my body's lower half was still over the plate.''
Phelps said the play was just his second collision at home plate in his 12 seasons in the major and minor leagues.
``I didn't have an air brake,'' he said.
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