HOUSTON -- Astros relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins said Wednesday he was fined an undisclosed amount for critical comments he made against an umpire last week in Chicago. Hawkins received a letter Wednesday from baseball vice president in charge of discipline Bob Watson informing him of the fine.

"I don't think the fine is appropriate," said Hawkins, who will look into appealing the fine. "I won't tell you how much I was fined, but it wasn't appropriate. The punishment doesn't fit the crime."

Hawkins was ejected in the eighth inning of a July 27 loss to the Cubs for arguing balls and strikes and after the game criticized plate umpire Mike Everitt, saying he had made his mind up who was going to win the game. Hawkins was tossed after waving off Everitt during an argument.

"I hadn't said anything," Hawkins said. "He said I made a gesture, and for him to fine me about the gesture, he [must have] thought it was an obscene gesture, right, and it wasn't. I stand by what I said. It's America. I know I play in MLB and have rules and stuff I have to follow, but if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything."

"He was fined an undisclosed amount for his media outburst on the umpiring, and we can't have our players, coaches and managers and team personnel making those kinds of comments," Watson said.

Watson had said previously players can't question the integrity of the game's umpires.

"Why not? Why not?" Hawkins said. "He questioned my integrity by what I was doing by doing like that [waving his hand at the umpire]. He questioned my integrity. I made a gesture towards the umpires. This is a gesture [waving his left hand]? You don't know that means. That could mean, 'Drop it, let's go.'"

Hawkins, who was placed on the disabled list last week with shingles, said he's close to returning. He will throw a light bullpen Friday with hopes of getting back on the mound Saturday to gauge his progress.