Mass brawl lands 12 suspensions by MLB
In a bizarre bench-clearing play in the Angels-Mariners game on Monday, MLB has hit back with 12 suspensions and an undisclosed amount in fines
It was a bizarre sight. Bench clearing incidents are usually one of two things. Either bloody and swift or tame nonsense. The Angels and Mariners had a moment that was neither one nor the other, and seemed to reignite every time it was just about over.
To be fair to them, this bad blood had been building for a while, and while the fights are usually between individual players, this one seemed to be egged on by the Los Angeles coaching staff as much as anything else.
For those not in the know, when something kicks off and the benches are going to clear, you are required by team etiquette to go out. Even if you don’t agree with the reason for the fight, you back your guy. Everyone must go. If you stay in the dugout, your time in baseball will be vanishingly short. Nobody will trust you, your manager won’t play you, and you will almost certainly be traded, sent down, or cut within a very short time. This is why you often see guys at the periphery who seem to be milling around, not really getting into the mix. They have shown solidarity by going out, and that is enough.
For the extra-curricular events, the Angels lose nine individuals and the Mariners lose three. Here is how it breaks down:
All of the hoo-ha was a result of Andrew Wantz throwing a first-inning pitch behind Julio Rodriguez and then following that up with a dinger to Jesse Winker in the second. Still harboring strong emotions about events of the previous evening, when the Mariners were accused of throwing at Mike Trout, Winker had furious words aimed at the Angels’ dugout.
With the four-man umpiring crew trying their best to diffuse the situation, both dugouts cleared and the vitriol seemed to flare up, tamp down, and then flare up again.
Wantz was suspended for “intentionally throwing at Winker while warnings were in place”, indicating that the league agreed with the Mariners assertions that the pitch was intentional.
In a situation where a pitcher is tossed for throwing at a batter, rules stipulate that the manager must also be ejected, which was the reasoning for Phil Nevin’s suspension. Everyone else was suspended for their actions during the scrum.