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Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba suspended in Venezuela for striking umpire

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CARACAS, Venezuela - Texas Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba was suspended Monday from Venezuela's professional baseball league for 66 games for striking an umpire.

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 Jose Grasso Vecchio called Torrealba's behaviour unacceptable and a violation of league rules.

Torrealba plays for the Caracas Lions when not playing in the majors.

His agent, Melvin Roman, said Torrealba acknowledged he got carried away in the heat of the moment.

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