As you likely know by now, the Milwaukee Brewers and Pittsburgh Pirates had a bench-clearing altercation this past weekend. Not surprisingly, the brawl started because a player, in this case starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, took exception to the behavior of outfielder Carlos Gomez.
To recap: Gomez flipped his bat and admired a shot to center field that stayed in the yard and turned into a triple. Cole did not care for the bat flip and told Gomez as much. As the video shows, Gomez then fired off the base with his helmet off shouting back at Cole, which then caused the benches to clear:
Between that and the fact that Gomez appears to be one of the first guys to start swinging, it is not unreasonable to lay a portion of the responsibility (though certainly not all of it) for the incident at his feet. And while Cole overreacted by caring to yell in the first place, Gomez’s lack of accountability afterwards is downright baffling. Quoted on MLB.com:
I heard something I don’t like. I don’t think he’s the one who tells me what I have to do. I don’t tell him what he needs to do to pitch…
“…I’m not apologizing for nothing I did today. This is my job, I’ve been doing it for eight years like that. They know I play like that. It’s not to disrespect nobody…
“…Everything stopped over there — [Cole tells] me something, I tell him something back, everything is normal, I talk to the umpire…And then Snider comes like a superhero and tries to throw punches at everybody. I just tried to protect myself.”
While Travis Snider’s actions certainly escalated the situation (he tackled Gomez), as did the punch thrown by Gomez’s teammate Martin Maldonado, it would be a lot easier to side with Gomez if his telling of the situation included some ownership of his own actions. Watch that video again and tell me if you think he was the well-reasoned guy that he described, the guy who would have simply said something back and then “talked to the umpire” before letting the situation pass. That explanation is a little hard to buy into, even if it is not fair to blame the whole brawl on Gomez.
As for suspensions, some expect them to be handed out before either of these teams take the field again this week. Gomez and Maldonado are the players sure to get dinged on the Brewers side, while Snider will top that list for the Pirates.