Posted on August 25, 2017, by Bryan Zarpentine
One day after no less than three on-field incidents between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers, including one benches-clearing brawl, Major League Baseball handed out its suspensions for the incident. Altogether, four players, as well as Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, were suspended. The list is highlighted by Miguel Cabrera, who threw the first punch that incited the brawl, and Gary Sanchez, who was also at the center of things both before and during the fisticuffs.
Cabrera received a 7-game suspension, the most of any player. Soon after Yankees reliever Tommy Kahnle was ejected for throwing a pitch behind him, Cabrera pushed Yankees catcher Austin Romine before landing a couple punches. From there, a melee ensued with both benches clearing.
“It’s MLB. They can do whatever they want, and they have to control the situation. But be fair,” Cabrera said in response to the suspension. “Watch the video. See the people throw punches. See the people go after me when I was on the floor. I don’t ask that you give me fewer games. I don’t care. I take my responsibility. But, come on. (Kahnle) who threw at me? He said, ‘No, it was an inside pitch.’ Come on. Say the truth. Why not say the truth? I think that’s bull****.”
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The harshest suspension for a Yankees player went to Sanchez, who received four games. Tensions between the two teams reached a boiling point after Sanchez was hit by Michael Fulmer. However, Sanchez earned his suspension by throwing punches during the brawl.
“Things got out of control pretty quickly there. I went out there to defend my teammates. That’s what it is,” said Sanchez.
However, if you ask the Tigers, Sanchez got off easy with only a four-game suspension.
“I figured because it started with Miggy that his would be big,” said Ausmus. “I’m a little surprised at how short Gary Sanchez’s is, quite frankly, considering some of the video I saw. I think that one probably shocked me the most. I thought he would get the largest suspension.”
Detroit reliever Alex Wilson also received a four-game suspension for purposely hitting Todd Frazier. Ausmus was suspended for one game on account of Wilson’s actions.
Finally, Romine received a two-game ban. He was locked in a verbal altercation with Cabrera right before the brawl started. He was livid at being ejected afterward and maintains that everything he did was done in self-defense.
“We’re going to have some stuff that we’re going to have to fight coming up shortly,” Romine said. “It really doesn’t matter what I think at this point. I’ve got to go in there and defend myself and make it clear that I was trying not to get punched. I stand behind what I said after. There was a lot of emotions going on. There was an instigation and some stuff that he was trying to do. It’s hard to say. Again, I’ve got to stick with the appeal process, and we’ll see how it plays.”
Kahnle, Yankees manager Joe Girardi, bench coach Rob Thomson, outfielder Brett Gardner, and Tigers shortstop Jose Iglesias were all fined an undisclosed amount. New York’s Garrett Cooper and Clint Frazier were also fined for stepping on the field while on the DL. Interestingly, Kahnle, Fulmer, and Dellin Betances were not suspended after all three pitchers hit a batter during Thursday’s game.
All four suspended players have said they will appeal, allowing them to play until their appeal is heard. For Cabrera and Wilson, missing time is no big deal outside of the salary they stand to lose. However, losing Sanchez for four games and Romine for two games could hurt the Yankees, as they chase a playoff spot. The Yankees currently trail the Red Sox by 4.5 games in the AL East but hold a 3.5-game lead atop the wild-card standings.