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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Wells suspended 7 games

Associated Press The Spokesman-Review

San Diego Padres pitcher David Wells was suspended for seven games and fined $3,000 Thursday by the commissioner’s office for his animated argument with an umpire last weekend.

In handing down the punishment, Bob Watson, baseball’s discipline czar, cited Wells’ “violent and aggressive actions,” including throwing a baseball at the backstop as he left the field.

Not surprisingly, “Boomer” was as irritated with the punishment as he was on Saturday, when he was ejected by umpire Ed Hickox for questioning calls in the fourth inning of an 8-5 win over Atlanta.

The 44-year-old lefty criticized Watson and said the game is changing so much that “pretty soon we’ll all put skirts on and we’re all going to play softball.”

Yanks reportedly warn A-Rod

The New York Yankees have a message for Alex Rodriguez: Sign an extension before opting out of your contract, or don’t sign with us at all.

A source told the New York Daily News that the Yankees have made it clear to A-Rod and his agent, Scott Boras, that they have no intention in taking part in a free-agent bidding war for the two-time American League MVP, and that if he chooses to opt out of his current contract and open the bidding to the rest of baseball, his days in pinstripes will be over.

Rodriguez has until 10 days after the World Series – Nov. 10 at the latest – to opt out of the contract.

Harden lands back on DL

Rich Harden went back on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder.

The A’s hope their hard-throwing right-hander will pitch again this season. He has the same injury that landed him on the DL for the first time this year – from April 16 to June 21.

Clearing the bases

Controversial Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said that he has submitted his application to purchase the Chicago Cubs. … Travis Hafner and the Cleveland Indians agreed to a $57 million, four-year contract extension through 2012. … Baltimore right-hander Danys Baez was activated from the 15-day disabled list. … Julio Franco may have finally run out of at-bats. The New York Mets cut the 48-year-old utilityman, opting to give 22-year-old outfielder Lastings Milledge another chance. … Rickey Henderson was traveling to New York as the Mets announced his hiring and the dismissal of hitting coach Rick Down. It has not been decided whether Henderson or first-base coach Howard Johnson will replace Down.

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