MLB hands out suspensions for Brewers-Pirates brawl
Major League Baseball has suspended four players involved in last Sunday’s brawl between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Milwaukee Brewers.
Milwaukee catcher Martin Maldonado was suspended five games while outfielder Carlos Gomez was suspended three games. Pittsburgh outfielder Travis Snider received a two-game penalty, with catcher Russell Martin also missing one game.
Maldonado began his suspension with Tuesday’s game against the San Diego Padres. Gomez decided to appeal and was in his usual leadoff position. Manager Ron Roenicke said he thought a decision could take a couple weeks.
"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," Gomez said Tuesday in the dugout. "I’ll appeal it and wait for the result."
Gomez said he did not throw the first punch during the fracas, and that umpires know "who started everything."
Gomez would be biggest loss among the four players disciplined. The surprising Brewers entered Tuesday with the best record in baseball at 15-5, four games up on the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Gold Glove-winning center fielder is hitting .313 with five homers and 12 RBI after being moved to the leadoff position this season.
Snider and Martin plan to appeal the suspension and were penciled into the lineup for Tuesday night’s game against Cincinnati. Martin said he was surprised at being disciplined.
Martin has a scheduled off day on Thursday in favor of backup Chris Stewart. It’s possible he could sit out then to serve the suspension.
Benches cleared after Gomez and Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole exchanged words after Gomez’s triple in the third inning. Snider came onto the field and tackled Gomez, getting a minor assist from Martin in the process.
Snider was then punched in the face by Maldonado, receiving a small gash under his left eye.
Roenicke and general manager Doug Melvin were unhappy with the suspensions, and Roenicke said he didn’t think it was fair.
"No, I don’t. The guy who started it all got nothing, and I don’t understand that," Roenicke said. "I know they’re tough decisions . . . They’ve got precedent, they’ve got a lot of things that go into this, but I don’t think it’s fair."
Maldonado’s suspension leaves utilityman Elian Herrera, who was just called up last week, as the backup to starting catcher Jonathan Lucroy.