Minor league coach banned for balks
By QMI Agency
Oakland A's minor-league hitting instructor Todd Steverson has been banned for one year after ordering pitchers to intentionally balk three times in the 17th and 18th innings of a game that had depleted his bullpen.
Steverson, who was acting as manager for the single-A Stockton Ports in a game June 24 against the Modesto Nuts, said he ordered the balks to get the game over with and prevent injuries to his players.
"We had a position player out there (pitching) and I didn't want to put another position player on the mound and get him hurt," Steverson told the Modesto Bee.
The Nuts won the game in the 18th after a balk put a runner in scoring position.
The California League announced the suspension after learning this week that Steverson purposely ordered the balks. League president Charlie Blaney said in a statement that Steverson's actions "compromised the integrity of the game."