On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced Cincinnati Reds reliever Amir Garrett has been suspended seven games for "inciting a benches-clearing incident" against the Chicago Cubs on Saturday. He also receive an undisclosed fine. Garrett is appealing the suspension and is eligible to play until the appeal is heard.
The benches cleared Saturday after Garrett pounded his chest and yelled after striking out Anthony Rizzo. Javier Báez took exception and jumped over the dugout railing to confront Garrett. Báez was fined for his actions but not suspended. Here's the video:
"I'm not going to let anyone disrespect my teammates or my team. I don't know what he's got against Rizzo," Báez said after the game. "... I like what he does, he just got to do it to his team and not to us after a strike out. I've hit three homers against him and I didn't do anything to show him up or his team, you know."
This was not the first time Garrett and Báez have had issues. In 2018, Báez took exception to Garrett staring him down following an inning-ending strikeout, prompting the benches to clear. The Reds were involving a separate incident with the St. Louis Cardinals earlier this season, with Nick Castellanos receiving a suspension for staring down Jake Woodford.
Garrett, 29, has previously been suspended for inciting benches-clearing incidents, and perhaps his status as a repeat offender factored into the seven-game ban. Phillies reliever José Alvarado was recently suspended three games for yelling at Mets outfielder Dominic Smith following a strikeout, leading to the benches clearing.
The NL Central rival Cubs and Reds will see each other again later this month, during a three-game series at Wrigley Field from May 28-30.