Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training: Benches Clear and Chris Snyder Nearly Looses Some Teeth

Seattle Mariners pitcher Cliff Lee is a punk.

In the third inning of today's spring training game with Arizona Diamondbacks, Lee threw two pitches at the head of D-backs catcher Chris Snyder -- missing both times -- leading to a bench-clearing backlash between the two squads, which netted no punches and a probable suspension for Seattle's new ace.

The attempted beaning is suspected to be retaliation for an incident in the first inning, where Lee tripped over Snyder as he was directing a runner at home plate, and Lee was on the move to backup a throw.

Lee, however, is chalking the wild throws up to his own suckiness, saying the pitches weren't in retaliation for anything.

"I was trying to go inside, and a couple got away from me, and the guy hitting got mad and came close to the mound, and I got thrown out of the game in the process," Lee tells reporters after the game, ESPN reports. "That's it in a nutshell."

A believable story if it only happened once, but Lee went headhunting twice on two consecutive pitches -- let's just say it doesn't take the likes of bionic super-sleuth Jay J. Armes to get to the bottom of this one.

After the first pitch nearly took his chin off, Snyder played it cool. After the second pitch went sailing over his head, Snyder'd had enough.

Snyder threw his bat to the ground and approached Lee on the mound, as the benches and bullpens cleared.

Nobody hit anybody, but umpire Brian Knight gave Lee the heave-ho.

Lee's alleged wild pitches probably will earn him a suspension once the regular season starts -- league officials tend to frown upon intentionally throwing at a guy's head -- twice.

Lee wound up getting shelled for four runs and six hits in 2 2/3 innings, as the Diamondbacks shellacked the Mariners 13-5.

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James King
Contact: James King