Report says no fines, suspensions today
Joel Sherman of MLB Network and the New York Post is reporting via Twitter that the Fieldin Culbreth-led umpiring crew overseeing Sunday’s fracas between the Brewers and Pirates at PNC Park is traveling today and will not file its detailed reports on the incident to the Commissioner’s Office until late in the day. Because Major League baseball’s Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre will need time to review those materials, he is not expected to levy fines or suspensions until Tuesday.
That means the Brewers will be all hands on deck Monday night for their series opener against San Diego at Miller Park.
They probably would have been near full-strength anyway, because Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez made clear Sunday night that he would appeal a suspension this time, unlike last September when he accepted a one-game ban after a showdown with the Atlanta Braves. This time, Gomez said he believes he did nothing wrong when he took some time getting out of the batter’s box on what proved a third-inning triple off Pirates starter Gerrit Cole.
You have probably already seen what happened next. Cole had sharp words for Gomez, who responded, drawing first Pirates players and then Brewers players out of their respective dugouts and bullpens. Punches were thrown, including Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado’s right hook to Pirates reserve Travis Snider, and Gomez, Snider and Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron were ejected.
“I’m not apologizing for nothing I did,” Gomez said after the Brewers’ 14-inning, 3-2 victory. “This is my job, I’ve been doing it for eight years like that. They know I play like that. It’s not to disrespect nobody.”
Countered Cole: “I grabbed the ball from [third baseman Josh] Harrison and I said, ‘If you’re going to hit a home run, you can watch it. If you’re going to hit a fly ball to center field, don’t watch it.’ I didn’t curse at him, I didn’t try to provoke a fight. I was frustrated, and I let my emotions get the better of me and I ended up getting one of my teammates hurt, so I’m not too thrilled about it.”
Snider had a cut on his face after the game but did not speak to reporters Sunday.
Maldonado posted on Twitter about the incident.
“To All Baseball Fans,” he wrote. “My sincere apologies for today’s incident. I hope you all understand that I have to back up my team.”
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he believes multiple players from each team will be suspended and fined. Players have the right to appeal, and continue to play until their case is heard. When a suspension is made final for on-field incidents like this one, players’ teams play short while they are banned.
In the case of Maldonado, that could be a bit tricky for the Brewers, who, like most teams, carry only two catchers. One of their emergency catchers is outfielder Logan Schafer, but he was placed on the disabled list, retroactive to Friday, with a right hamstring strain. So utility men Jeff Bianchi or Elian Herrera might be the next line of defense.
Herrera is the only true backup outfielder on the roster, and would presumably play during a suspension for Gomez.
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