Venezuela's professional baseball league suspended Texas Ranger's catcher Yorvit Torrealba for 66 games after he struck an umpire during a winter league game.
Torrealba issued an apology, saying he was embarrassed about his argument with a home plate umpire after striking out Friday. He angrily put a hand on the umpire's mask and shoved him. He was then ejected.
"I wanted to express my sincere apologies to all parties for my actions," Torrealba said in his statement. "I have extended an apology to the Rangers organization as well. I am embarrassed for my conduct, and personally relayed that feeling to the umpire after that night's game.
"On the field, I strive to be an example for children, especially those in my native Venezuela, and I regret my actions," he said. "I understand the reactions to the incident and will make every effort to set a positive example in the future."
League President José Grasso Vecchio called Torrealba's behavior unacceptable and a violation of league rules.
Torrealba plays for the Caracas Lions when not playing in the majors.
His agent, Melvin Román, said Torrealba acknowledged he got carried away in the heat of the moment.
Torrealba began his MLB career with the San Francisco Giants in 2001 and has played for the Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies and San Diego Padres before joining the Rangers in 2011.
He was part of the Ranger's team that won the American League Championship Series last season and went on to lose the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals in seven games.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.