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Braves' Cox Suspended 5 Games

Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox, who earlier this week managed the National League in the All-Star game, was suspended for five games Thursday and fined for making contact with umpire Derryl Cousins on July 4.

The penalty, issued by Frank Robinson, baseball's vice president for on-field operations, is due to start with Friday's game against the Baltimore Orioles.

Cox, informed of the suspension late Thursday afternoon, expressed surprise at the announcement.

"Maybe we'll see," he said. "It's not etched in stone. Have they released that?"

Later, after confirming the suspension, Cox said, "I guess it was for arguing too hard. There was some elbowing going on from both of us.

"I'm still thinking (of appealing). I was surprised. It's a little strong, as far as I'm concerned. In fact, most of these suspensions are too strong."

Cox, ejected from games 13 times in 1 1/2 seasons, will put dugout coach Pat Corrales in charge of the team while he's serving the penalty. Corrales has managed three big league teams over nine seasons.

"I'll just be following orders," Corrales said. "We'll make out the lineup together and then he's got to go wherever he's got to go. But I didn't know that it was tomorrow."

Cox argued with Cousins in the second inning against Montreal after the umpire called Greg Maddux's 2-2 pitch to Peter Bergeron a ball.

After Bergeron struck out, Cox again came out of the dugout and argued with Cousins for two minutes, apparently over catcher Fernando Lunar's setting up with one of his feet outside the catcher's box.

Cox then appeared to bump Cousins' side with his elbow as he followed the umpire halfway down the third-base line.

The Atlanta manager has been ejected four times this season for arguing. Last year, he was ejected nine times.

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