Two Brewers, two Bucs suspended for altercation
Maldonado to serve five games, Gomez, Snider and Martin appeal
MILWAUKEE -- Brewers backup catcher Martin Maldonado on Tuesday began serving a five-game suspension levied by Major League Baseball for his role in Sunday's skirmish with the Pirates, but center fielder Carlos Gomez appealed his three-game ban and was in the starting lineup against the Padres at Miller Park.
Pirates outfielder Travis Snider was suspended two games and catcher Russell Martin one game, and they also appealed. All four players were also fined.
Gomez, whose third-inning triple sparked the altercation in an eventual 14-inning Brewers victory, continued to maintain Tuesday that he did nothing wrong.
"I'm appealing because I don't feel it's fair," Gomez said. "Why do I have three games when I didn't start nothing? It's what it is. I'm appealing because it's not fair and I'm not the one who started the fight and I'm not the one that started throwing punches first, either. I'm going to appeal it and wait until the result."
Maldonado declined to comment to reporters Tuesday, but Gomez and Brewers manager Ron Roenicke expressed frustration that Pittsburgh's suspensions were light relative to those levied Gomez and Maldonado. They said Pirates pitcher Gerrit Cole should have been suspended as well, arguing it was Cole's sharp words which led to Gomez's response, which led to both benches clearing.
Players on both sides threw punches, but Maldonado landed the only notable blow when he punched Snider in the face.
"The guy who started it all got nothing, and I don't understand that," Roenicke said. "So, no I'm not happy with it. Doug [Melvin, Milwaukee's general manager] 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."
Roenicke expects it to take several weeks for MLB to hear Gomez's appeal.
In Pittsburgh, meanwhile, Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was making a similar but opposite argument, that the Brewers' suspensions were too light relative to Snider and Martin's.
"Do the math, watch the video," Hurdle said in reference to the difference in the levied punishment. "We'll never condone players getting on the field and fighting. But when there is a fight or punches are thrown, appropriate measures need to be taken. And we want to make sure the punishment and the crime match up. The punishment needs to fit the crimes."
Regarding Gomez's claim that he did not throw the first punch when video replay appears to show otherwise, the Brewers outfielder said, "In the video, it looks like that, 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 anything. 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 [did] not start nothing. The umpires, they have everything, and we're going to wait for the result."