MILWAUKEE — Major League Baseball came down with punishments stemming from Sunday’s benches-clearing brawl between the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates, suspending four players Tuesday for their role in the incident.
Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado received the most severe penalty, getting hit with a five-game suspension. Center fielder Carlos Gomez was suspended for three games, while Pirates outfielder Travis Snider received a two-game suspension and catcher Russell Martin was suspended for one game.
Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole, who took offense to the way Gomez watched a fly ball that eventually turned into a triple, was not disciplined.
While Maldonado will begin serving his suspension Tuesday night when the Brewers face the San Diego Padres, Gomez is appealing. Gomez is eligible to play until his appeal is heard, a process manager Ron Roenicke said could take weeks.
Through a team spokesman, Maldonado declined to comment Tuesday.
"I’m just appealing it right now and I’ll just wait for what they say," Gomez said. "That’s the only thing I can say. I’m appealing because I don’t think it’s fair.
"Why do I get three games when I don’t start nothing? It is what it is. I’m appealing because it’s not fair and I’m not the one that started the fight and I’m not the one that started throwing punches first. I’ll appeal it and wait for the result."
Cole shouted at Gomez as he slid into third, causing him to get up and start yelling back. Snider came charging out of the Pirates dugout and took Gomez to the ground and then was punched in the face by Maldonado. Gomez and Snider were the only two players ejected Sunday, while Brewers bench coach Jerry Narron was tossed for arguing with home-plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth.
The Brewers are not pleased with the fact Cole did not get suspended, as they see him as the instigator of the whole ordeal.
"The guy who started it all got nothing, and I don’t understand that," Roenicke said. "So, no I’m not happy with it. (General manager) Doug (Melvin is) not happy with it. I know they’re tough decisions, I know they have a lot to think of, they’ve got precedent, they’ve got a lot of things that go into this, but I don’t think it’s fair."
"I’m not the one who makes the decision to suspend players, but if everybody is suspended, he should be suspended too," Gomez added.
Roenicke is adamant in saying the situation wouldn’t have escalated to a brawl had it not been for Snider leaving the dugout to charge at Gomez.
"He took strides, but Gomey wasn’t going anywhere," Roenicke said. "The umpire got between them. It was going to be over. Unfortunately it got to where it was because now we need to scramble to figure out what we are going to do."
Gomez apologized and didn’t appeal his one-game suspension for last year’s incident with the Atlanta Braves, but he views this as an entirely different situation. He admitted to having done something wrong late last season in Atlanta but won’t do the same this time around.
"I responded back to people who were screaming at me," Gomez said. "You look at the replay, I don’t even say many words to him. I say, ‘What? What?’ Those are the first words that I say. Then somebody come out of the dugout and they start talking bad. That’s how everything started. If nobody come out of the dugout, I finish the game fine."
Gomez was asked if he threw the first punch as one could deduce from watching the video. He instead indicated that something happened that can’t be seen on the tape.
"In the video it looks like that," Gomez said. "But that’s why we have to wait until the result comes out. Because the umpire, he knows who started everything. And whatever he says, he’s going to be right because he’s there and he knows exactly what it is.
"The umpire knows and he’s going to tell the truth. I can’t say nothing. You can believe me, you can believe them because you’re only going to try to protect yourself. But I’m honest and I tell what it is, and that’s what it is. I no start nothing. The umpires, they have everything and we’re going to wait for the result."