The MLB has handed down punishments for various involvements in Sunday’s brawl between Toronto and Texas. We’ll break them down here.
After the benches emptied twice on Sunday afternoon between the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers, fourteen individuals will face discipline from the MLB. The melee started after Jose Bautista slid hard into the legs of Rougned Odor at second base; Odor proceeded to push and then punch Bautista inciting a brawl between the two teams. Among the fourteen, four players and two coaches will face suspensions.
Odor will face the harshest penalty because of the punch he threw at Bautista and his overall aggressive behavior. He was given an eight game ban by the league, but is appealing it immediately to allow him to play on Tuesday night. Before the game, Odor didn’t seem very surprised:
"“I knew I was going to be suspended…I have to follow the rules, and I’m just waiting for the appeal. I want to be with my team all year. I don’t want to be out eight games.”"
Rougned Odor – 8 gms
Jesse Chavez – 3 gms
John Gibbons – 3 gms
Jose Bautista – 1 gm
Elvis Andrus – 1 gm
Tim Leiper – 1 gm
Bautista has been suspended a single game for his aggressive slide and comments after the game. The Blue Jays’ right-fielder admitted to trying to send a message after being plunked by Matt Bush to start the inning:
"“I could have injured him, I chose not to. I just tried to send a message that I didn’t appreciate getting hit.”"
Bautista said the same thing when he was called out earlier this season due to the new slide rule, that time to end a game. The Blue Jays’ right fielder has also appealed his suspension and played against the Rays on Tuesday night, hitting his 7th home run of the season in a 12-2 loss.
Jesse Chavez and Manager John Gibbons have both received three-game bans for their part in Sunday’s incident. Chavez was the pitcher who threw at Prince Fielder after the first brawl, inciting the second bench clearing. Gibbons had previously been ejected from the game for arguing balls and strikes, and was given his ban for re-entering the field of play. Gibbons was given a similar suspension last fall against the Royals for coming back out.
Chavez is appealing his suspension, and will probably drop it after the next time he pitches out of the bullpen. Gibbons started serving his time on Tuesday night, allowing DeMarlo Hale to manage the club against Tampa Bay. Hale for his part was fined for being the active manager when Chavez intentionally hit Fielder.
Elvis Andrus has been given a one-game suspension for “aggressive actions” in the scrum, and chose not to appeal it. He sat out Tuesday night against the Athletics and is eligible to return for Wednesday’s action. Tim Leiper, the Blue Jays’ first base coach also received a one-game ban for returning to the dugout after being previously ejected. He served it on Tuesday night, with hitting coach Eric Owens taking his place at first.
Seven others received discipline from the league. Josh Donaldson, Kevin Pillar, Sam Dyson and Steve Buechele were all given fines for “aggressive action”, while A.J. Griffin and Robinson Chirinos were both fined for going on the field despite being on the disabled list. Matt Bush was also fined for throwing the initial pitch at Bautista that started the whole thing.
All in, it was an expensive day for the players and managers involved. The Blue Jays and Rangers will not face each other again this season, leading Bautista to believe this was a “cowardly” way to finish their season-series:
"“I thought it was pretty cowardly of them to wait until my last at-bat to do that, it shows at least the apparent lack of leadership they have over there when it comes to playing baseball the right way. Baseball plays are supposed to be taken care of by baseball plays.”"
We’ll have to wait for next year to see if Texas has a response, though with Bautista being a free agent this summer he might not be in the middle of it.