Chicago Cubs catcher Steve Clevenger was suspended for one game and fined for his role in a benches-clearing incident Thursday night in Washington.
Clevenger did not appeal the penalty and was set to sit out Saturday night at Pittsburgh.
”I fully accept it,” Clevenger said. ”Major League Baseball stepped in and I’m accepting their punishment for it.”
During the sixth inning of the Cubs’ 9-2 loss to Washington on Thursday night, a pitch from Chicago’s Lendy Castillo to Bryce Harper was well inside and low. The ball went to the backstop, and Clevenger appeared to make no attempt to move his glove.
Both dugouts and bullpens emptied for the second time in the game. No apparent physical contact was made between the teams until Clevenger pushed Washington’s Michael Morse.
Clevenger also appeared to take an open-handed swipe at Washington shortstop Ian Desmond, who accidentally knocked down first base umpire Bill Miller while backing away.
”Benches clear, things happen,” Clevenger said. ”I’m out there trying to protect my team.”
Clevenger, a rookie who is hitting .214 in 61 games, said the suspension was for ”my actions in the pile.”
”What happened, happened,” he added. ”I have a responsibility to protect my players and my pitchers, and I feel like I handled myself fine.”
Clevenger was the only player suspended who was involved in Thursday’s game. Cubs reliever Manuel Corpas and Nationals reliever Michael Gonzalez also were ejected as part of the same incident as Clevenger, and earlier in the game Cubs bench coach Jamie Quirk was ejected for jawing at the Nationals dugout.
”Anything like that happens, it’s going to be just lucky it’s just one day,” Chicago manager Dale Sveum said of Clevenger’s suspension.
”Basically, (a suspension) is going to happen anytime anyone gets ejected from some kind of brawl.”