Major League Baseball meted out swift and severe discipline to players involved in Sunday’s unpleasantness between the Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays.
No player felt the league’s wrath more than the one who unleashed his wrath on Jose Bautista. Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor received an eight-game suspension for slugging the Blue Jays outfielder. MLB sits Bautista and Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus for a game. Blue Jays pitcher Jesse Chavez received a three-game suspension for throwing at Prince Fielder.
In total, fourteen players and coaches received fines or suspensions. Odor and Bautista appealed. The league’s official release informs:
In addition, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons has received a three-game suspension and first base coach Tim Leiper has received a one-game suspension. Gibbons returned to the field after being ejected earlier in the game and incited further fighting. Leiper returned to the dugout following his ejection. Both Gibbons and Leiper also have received undisclosed fines.
Members of the Rangers who have received fines for various infractions are pitchers Matt Bush (intentionally threw at Bautista, causing the warnings), Sam Dyson (aggressive actions) and A.J. Griffin (being on the field while on the DL); catcher Robinson Chirinos (being on the field while on the DL); and bench coach Steve Buechele (aggressive actions). Members of the Blue Jays who have been fined are third baseman Josh Donaldson (aggressive actions); outfielder Kevin Pillar (aggressive actions); and bench coach DeMarlo Hale, who, as acting manager, received standard discipline for the intentional actions of Chavez while warnings were in effect.
“We knew that suspensions were possible,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister told the press. “There are precedents for this. We knew that. We’ll deal with it and move on.”
The bad blood between the teams began in Game Five of last season’s ALDS when Jose Bautista flipped his bat in dramatic fashion after homering off Texas. In the eighth inning of Sunday’s game, Matt Bush plunked Bautista in the ribs with a 98 mph fastball. Later that same inning, after Bautista broke up a double-play with a hard slide into second, Odor landed a clean overhand right to the Blue Jays player’s face. A melee ensued.
Although just seven weeks into the season, the teams do not meet again this year lest a postseason rematch occur.