Brewers' Gomez to appeal suspension; Maldonado gets 5 games
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
MILWAUKEE--Milwaukee Brewers catcher Martin Maldonado has been suspended for five games and centerfielder Carlos Gomez three games for their roles in a benches-clearing brawl with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday at PNC Park.
The Brewers have since announced Maldonado is accepting his suspension while Gomez is appealing. Maldonado’s suspension begins tonight, while Gomez is in the lineup in his customary leadoff spot.
“I’m just appealing it right now and I’ll just wait for what they say,” said Gomez. “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.”
Maldonado declined comment through a Brewers spokesperson.
Pirates outfielder Travis Snider was suspended two games and catcher Russell Martin one game. Both players are also appealing their suspensions.
In addition, all four players were fined.
“The players have been suspended for their aggressive actions during the bench-clearing incident,” said MLB in its release.
Pirates starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, whose comments to Gomez helped spark the incident, received no punishment.
“I’m not the one who makes the decision to suspend players, but if everybody is suspended, he should be suspended too,” Gomez said when asked about Cole receiving no punishment.
Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, like Gomez, didn’t agree with the suspensions and thought the Pirates got off too lightly.
“No, I don’t,” he said when asked if they were fair. “The guy who started it all got nothing, and I don’t understand that. So, no I’m not happy with it. Doug (Melvin) isn’t 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.”
The incident began during the third inning of the Brewers’ 3-2, 14-inning victory over the Pirates. After Gomez tripled off Cole, the two exchanged words, leading to both dugouts emptying. Gomez was eventually tackled by Snider, who wasn’t even playing in the game, and Maldonado punched Snider in the face in the ensuing melee.
Martin was also involved in the scrum with Gomez, Snider and Maldonado.
“I (started) nothing,” Gomez said. “I responded back to people who were screaming at me. 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 whether he threw the first punch. He said no, implying that not everything that happened in the scrum was visible on the replay.
“In the video it looks like that. But that’s why we have to wait until the result comes out,” he said. “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.”
Gomez was also involved in a benches-clearing situation in Atlanta last September, and it’s likely that played a role in his receiving multiple games this time.
“I don’t know,” Gomez said when asked if he thought his prior history played a role in the three games. “Whatever the result, I’ve got to take it like a man. I’m going to appeal it and I’ll just wait until the result comes out.”
Roenicke said there is no way of knowing right now when Gomez’s appeal will be heard.
“It used to be you had to wait until you went to New York,” he said. “They don’t do it that way anymore. In a couple of weeks, we should know something. I think in a couple of weeks they will try to get something done on this. Setting a date or something.”
Gomez also talked about how he plays the game with exuberance and how he and others are misinterpreted for it.
“I say some people are—too sensitive about stuff like that,” he said. “For me, personally, a lot of players that I’ve played with, you can strike me out and do whatever you want and it don’t make me mad. You win, enjoy it. That’s the way you’re supposed to play. It’s a show for the fans.
“I’m not saying you have to disrespect. You hit a home run, you look at the pitcher, that’s to show him up. But 99 percent of the time when I hit a home run, I don’t know where the ball is at. That means I’m not looking at the ball—I’m putting my head down and running the bases fast like anybody else. Is that disrespect? I don’t feel like it’s disrespect.
“I come here every day and do my job and play hard like everybody else in this league. It’s not disrespect. It’s the way that I play the game. I’m not meaning to show up anybody. I’m not calculated—‘I hit a double, I hit a home run, I’m going to do this.’”