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Torrealba Hit With 66-Game Suspension in Venezuela

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Torrealba Hit With 66-Game Suspension in Venezuela

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DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 11: Yorvit Torrealba #8 of the Texas Rangers reacts to a play in Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

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Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba is known as a pretty good guy around Major League Baseball.

But he's put himself in a negative light recently after an incident that occured on Friday in a Venezuelan Winter League game when Torrealba obviously didn't like something that home plate umpire Dario Rivero Jr. did.

Torrealba put an open-handed punch right in the facemask of Rivero Jr., was obviously ejected from the game and on Monday was hit with a 66-game suspension in the Venezuelan league.

That suspension doesn't hold any water in the United States and won't affect his time with the Rangers, but that doesn't mean Major League Baseball or the Rangers won't do anything about it.

Torrealba hit .273 with seven home runs in his first season as a Ranger in 2011 before basically losing his starting job behind the plate near the end of the regular season and into the playoffs. He had his moments, but Mike Napoli is definitely the Rangers starting catcher now.

Torrealba was highly apologetic on Monday after he was handed the suspension when he issued the following statement:

"I wanted to express my sincere apologies to all parties for my actions during the Venezuelan Winter League game on Friday. 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. I understand the reactions to the incident and will make every effort to set a positive example in the future."

It'll be interesting to see if Major League Baseball or the Rangers take any action here, but it would be a surprise if either did. Regardless, it's a black eye on the image of Torrealba.

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