Updates from Tuesday, April 22
Buster Olney of ESPN has the latest on discipline after the brawl in Sunday's game:
The Brewers' Martin Maldonado has received a five-game suspension for his role in Sunday's MILW-PIT fight.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) April 22, 2014
Maldonado was also fined $2,500 for his actions in the brawl.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) April 22, 2014
Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez and Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Travis Snider were ejected following Sunday's benches-clearing dispute between the National League Central division rivals at PNC Park.
MLB.com posted video footage of the incident, in which Gomez took off his helmet and appeared to throw punches:
Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reported on the ejections, while USA Today baseball's official Twitter account speculated on the likely punishment for Gomez:
Gomez and Travis Snider have been ejected, Pirates say.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 20, 2014
One heck of a brouhaha in Pittsburgh. This much is clear: Carlos Gomez is ejected. A suspension seems certain.— USATODAYbaseball (@USATODAYmlb) April 20, 2014
Todd Rosiak of the Journal Sentinel noted that a Brewers assistant coach was also ejected:
Bench coach Jerry Narron was also ejected, we've been told.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) April 20, 2014
Gomez had smashed a triple off Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, and after he made it to third, an argument between the two commenced, per McCalvy:
Huge brawl in #Brewers-Pirates game. Started between Gomez and Cole after Gomez triple.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 20, 2014
Following the game, Gomez talked about his bat flip and the altercation (via Rosiak and Travis Sawchuk of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review):
Gomez said he flipped his bat out of frustration because he thought he'd made an out -- not because he'd homered.— Todd Rosiak (@Todd_Rosiak) April 20, 2014
Carlos Gomez: "I’m not apologizing for nothing I did today....If they don't like it, it's fine. I'm with it. It's not a big deal."— Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) April 20, 2014
Gomez also said that he would appeal any potential suspension (via McCalvy):
#Brewers' Carlos Gomez said he will appeal this time if suspended.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 20, 2014
Cole talked about the incident from his view of things as well (via Sawchuk):
Gerrit Cole:"I said 'If you are going to hit a home run you can watch it. If you are going to hit a fly ball to CF don’t watch it'"— Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) April 20, 2014
Cole:"I didn’t curse at him. I didn’t try to provoke a fight. I was frustrated. I let my emotions get the better of me.— Travis Sawchik (@Sawchik_Trib) April 20, 2014
Gomez has come into his own in recent years for Milwaukee. A strong start to the 2014 campaign backed up Gomez's first All-Star selection from last season, where he also captured a Gold Glove Award for his work in center.
He credits his success to his work ethic and approach to the game, as he recently told ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick:
Even a tough day for me is a good day. It's the way I play the game. I tell everyone, "You don't respect the game when you don't play hard enough." Every time I step on the field, I play 101 percent. That shows respect for the game and my teammates and the other team.
Does Carlos Gomez deserve a suspension?
Snider, meanwhile, began his career with the Toronto Blue Jays and arrived in Pittsburgh during the 2012 season, playing in 111 games. He wasn't in the lineup for Sunday's game but was clearly intent on defending his teammates regardless.
Entering the day, the Brewers held the best record in baseball at 13-5, but losing Gomez for an extended period of time would undoubtedly put their league-best mark in jeopardy.
Fighting in sports is an unfortunate reality, but the bottom line is that it's against the rules. With it being early in the season, MLB could make an example of Gomez to help deter benches-clearing confrontations going forward.
Without a doubt, this is a bad look for the Brewers as they try to snap a two-year postseason absence.