Major League Baseball came down hard on the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, handing out eight suspensions and a dozen fines as punishment for a bench-clearing brawl.
Yet even with Arizona pitcher Ian Kennedy getting 10 games and infielder Eric Hinske five for their roles in Tuesday’s fight, it might not be enough to quell the lingering hostility between the NL West rivals.
”No, it’s not over yet, not at all,” Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario said. ”I don’t think anybody thinks it’s over.”
Belisario was to serve a one-game suspension on Friday night for ”aggressive actions” while Dodgers reliever J.P. Howell and infielder Skip Schumaker appealed the two-game suspensions they received from MLB senior vice president Joe Garagiola Jr.
Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly and Arizona’s Kirk Gibson were given one-game bans, while Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire must sit two games. Bench coach Trey Hillman filled in for Mattingly on Friday night when Los Angeles played at Pittsburgh.
Garagiola cited Kennedy for intentionally throwing a pitch at the head of Zack Greinke after a warning had been issued and Hinske for leaving the dugout and ”aggressive actions.”
Mattingly was penalized for his conduct and Gibson for Kennedy’s actions following a warning.
Kennedy’s suspension is the longest handled out by the league for on-field conduct since Chicago Cubs catcher Michael Barrett was handed a 10-game suspension for an incident with White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski on May 20, 2006.
”To me (Kennedy) seemed like he was kind of the instigator and started it and piled on and he got the most,” Mattingly said. ”It just seems fair.”
Mattingly seemed a bit puzzled by Schumaker’s penalty, saying he felt if the veteran infielder ”had his hands on anybody, he was pulling people off.”
Schumaker declined to talk about the suspension, saying only he has feelings about it but didn’t want to share them.
All eight handed suspensions were also fined, as were Greinke, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig, Arizona catcher Miguel Montero and Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra.
MLB fined the Dodgers for allowing players on the disabled list to leave the dugout and enter the field during the brawl. MLB also banned disable list players on the Dodgers and Diamondbacks from sitting in their dugouts through Sunday.
If players appeal, their penalties are held off until after hearings and decisions.
Kennedy hit Puig with a pitch that deflected off his back to his nose in the sixth, and Greinke hit Montero on the back in the seventh, drawing a warning from umpires. Both teams charged onto the field, but the scrum broke up quickly with no punches thrown.
Kennedy then hit Greinke on the upper left shoulder in the bottom half of the inning, and the ball deflected off his helmet. A prolonged and more heated scuffle ensued against a railing on the first-base side.
Kennedy, Gibson and Diamondbacks coach Turner Ward were ejected after the shoving match. Puig, McGwire and Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario also were tossed.
Mattingly had to be restrained as he tried to get at Gibson, and they exchanged words briefly. McGwire and third base coach Matt Williams grabbed each other’s shirts in a tense standoff and shouted at each other.
Mattingly joked he was playing ”peacekeeper” and understands the fight will likely have some carryover effect, even if it is only in the media.
”There’s no way for us to go to Arizona now without us having to talk about it,” he said. ”There’s going to be an effort to keep it alive and it won’t be by the players or us.”