Sunday afternoon in Texas, the Rangers and Blue Jays were involved in the most severe bench-clearing brawl we've seen in several years. It all apparently dates back to Jose Bautista's bat flip in last year's ALDS.
The short version: Matt Bush hit Bautista with a pitch, Bautista retaliated by sliding in hard at second base, which Rougned Odor did not appreciate. Odor shoved and punched Bautista. Jesse Chavez then plunked Prince Fielder with a pitch the next half-inning. Here's the video:
Earlier on Tuesday we learned Odor will be suspended eight games for his role in brawl. Several others have been suspended as well, including Bautista. That is no surprise. MLB announced the suspensions Tuesday evening. Here's the recap:
- Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor has received an eight-game suspension for fighting, including punching Toronto's Jose Bautista, during the top of the eighth inning;
- Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Chavez has received a three-game suspension for intentionally throwing at Prince Fielder of the Rangers in the bottom of the eighth inning, with warnings in place for both sides;
- Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus has received a one-game suspension for his aggressive actions during the incident;
- Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista has received a one-game suspension for his actions during the incident and for his postgame comments.
Furthermore, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons was suspended three games for coming back out onto the field after being ejected earlier in the game. Toronto first base coach Tim Leiper was suspended one game for his actions. Odor and Bautista have appealed their suspensions. Chavez and Andrus have not.
A laundry list of players and coaches were fined but not suspended. Rangers players Matt Bush, Sam Dyson, A.J. Griffin, and Robinson Chirinos were fined, as was bench coach Steve Buechele. Blue Jays players Josh Donaldson and Kevin Pillar were fined, ditto bench coach DeMarlo Hale.
Bautista getting only one game while Odor received eight is going to raise some eyebrows, but it's all about the punch. Bautista is effectively being suspended for the hard slide. Odor is being suspended for the shove and landing the punch. Eight games is pretty standard for such infractions.